St. Francis girls basketball wins 10th straight region title

By Zach Shugan

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The St. Francis girls basketball team has carried the title of region champions for the past decade, and that trend will continue for another year.

St. Francis cruised past Fellowship in the Reg. 6-A Private championship game Friday night, winning 69-22 to claim its 10th region title in a row. Seniors Mia Moore and Morgan Harper led the charge for the Lady Knights, scoring 19 and 13 points, respectively.

“It’s exciting, especially for my seniors,” St. Francis head coach Aisha Kennedy said. “I definitely wanted Mia and Morgan to be able to go out with a region championship.”

St. Francis seniors Mia Moore (#22) and Morgan Harper (#1) defend Fellowship junior Kaya Beard (#44) during the region championship game Feb. 19. (Zach Shugan)

The Lady Knights dominated the region championship game from wire to wire. After opening the game on a 16-0 run, they led 40-11 over Fellowship at halftime. The second half was a repeat of the first, with the Lady Knights opening the half on a large run and closing out strong.

All 10 players who appeared in the game for St. Francis made at least one shot from the field and grabbed at least one rebound, and seven players had at least one assist.

“They’re sharing the ball extremely well,” Kennedy said. “I told them at halftime that’s what makes me proud. We don’t have a selfish person on our team. They want everybody to be involved.”

St. Francis will briefly celebrate its win in the region championship, but then it will turn its attention toward the Class A Private state playoffs, which begin next week. The Lady Knight will host North Cobb Christian, the four seed out of Region 7, in the first round of the 32-team tournament.

St. Francis senior Morgan Harper (#1), who will play college basketball at Lynn University, brings the ball up the court during the region championship game Feb. 19. (Zach Shugan)

The goal for St. Francis is simple but not easy. The Lady Knights win five more games, and they’ll be state champions for the first time since 2016. In 2018 and 2019, the Lady Knights made it to the final four but lost to Wesleyan both times. They came closest to a state title in 2020, falling to Holy Innocents’ in the state championship game.

The senior class, which consists of two starting guards Moore and Harper, has won a region championship every year, but it doesn’t have a state championship to its name. At least not yet.

“They don’t want to be the class to leave St. Francis without a state championship. That means a lot to Mia and Morgan,” Kennedy said. “I told my underclassmen ‘Let’s try to send them out the right way.’ We’re really focused on that starting tomorrow. The first thing was to get a region championship. Starting tomorrow we’ll be going to chase a state championship.”

STATS

St. Francis Knights

Mia Moore (Sr.) – 19 pts, 3 reb

Morgan Harper (Sr.) – 13 pts, 2 reb, 4 asst

Nya Young (Fr.) – 7 pts, 1 reb, 1 asst

Sa’Mya Wyatt (Fr.) – 6 pts, 3 reb, 1 asst

Anaja Hall (So.) – 6 pts, 6 reb, 1 asst, 4 blk

Erica Moon (So.) – 5 pts, 4 reb, 6 asst, 1 blk

Nicole Frausto (So.) – 5 pts, 2 reb, 1 asst

Trynce Taylor (So.) – 4 pts, 4 reb, 4 asst, 1 blk

Bell Warshaw (Jr.) – 2 pts, 3 reb

Marie Harris (Fr.) – 2 pts, 3 reb

Fellowship Paladins

Cate Hardin (Jr.) – 9 pts, 7 reb, 2 asst, 1 blk

Alden Hayes (Fr.) – 6 pts, 7 reb, 1 asst, 1 blk

Kaya Beard (Jr.) – 5 pts, 4 reb, 1 asst, 1 blk

Avery Paulson (Fr.) – 3 pts, 1 reb, 1 asst

Savannah Schulz (Jr.) – 2 blk

Olivia Young (Fr.) – 3 reb

Addy Costoulas (So.) – 1 reb

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