Cy-Fair girls cruise to 5A hoops title

AUSTIN, TX Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a dominating performance, sending Houston Cypress-Fairbanks to a the Class 5A state title with a 50-33 victory over DeSoto.

The senior McDonald's All-American post player was a force on both ends of the court with three blocks and seven steals to go with five assists in her final game. She has signed to play next season at Stanford.

Her sister, sophomore Chiney Ogwumike, added 10 points and five blocks for Cy-Fair (39-2), which returned to the title game after losing in overtime to Rockwall in 2007. Saturday night's title game was a matchup of two of the country's top teams. Cy-Fair came into the tournament ranked No. 6 by USA Today and DeSoto (39-2) was No. 10.

Vanessa Obafemi scored nine points to lead DeSoto, which shot just 19 percent (9 for 47) and committed 22 turnovers.

The sisters both stand 6-foot-2 and were the most athletic post players in the tournament in several years. Their showtime act started with the tipoff when Nneka tipped the ball straight toward the basket where Chiney caught it in stride for a wide-open layup.

The sisters seemed to always know there the other was. When Nneka grabbed a rebound, her first look was up the court where she was likely to see Chiney streaking behind a defender for an easy transition bucket.

The combination worked to perfection when Chiney coasted in for a basket and a 12-3 lead. The sisters scored 16 points as Cy-Fair took an 18-6 lead after one quarter.

Defensively, the sisters gave up no ground in the paint. DeSoto started the game 2-for-16 shooting, their only two baskets in the first 13 minutes coming on long 3-pointers. DeSoto's 6-foot-3 center Jasmine Johnson was 0-for-3 in the first half and DeSoto didn't hit a shot in the paint until Chiney Ogwumike was on the bench with two fouls.

If Cy-Fair had a problem, it was thinking they could get any pass, no matter how questionable, into the post. Cy-Fair committed 11 turnovers in the first half -- 24 for the game -- and still led 30-15 going into halftime. Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike each scored 10 points in the half.

Chiney Ogwumike sat for most of third quarter and Cy-Fair's offense seemed to lose its rhythm. Even so, Nneka scored all five of her team's points in the quarter and played a big role on defense when she stepped out to challenge DeSoto's 3-point shooters. DeSoto scored just four points in the quarter and Cy-Fair led 35-19 going into the fourth.

DeSoto finally threatened to make a game of it when Sydney Carter's floater in the lane cut the lead to 37-25 with 6:42 to play. But it would only be DeSoto's last gasp.

Nicole Morris hit a 3-pointer and Nneka Ogwumike closed it out in style with an assist on a sharp pass to Rhia Rhogan and followed with it a powerful block on the other end.

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