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Wilkins named MVP as Wesleyan win tourney

NORCROSS -- Holli Wilkins was honored before the championship game of the Wesleyan Turkey Tip-Off for recently reaching 1,000 career points and awarded the tournament's MVP plaque afterwards.

There is no question who the go-to player is for the Wesleyan girls. But the Wolves aren't ranked No. 16 nationally by ESPNU and going for a fifth straight state title because of any one player.

It is the depth of talent that makes Wesleyan a special team and that was on display again as the Wolves (4-0) rolled to a 59-32 victory over Lovett on Wednesday night at Yancey Gymnasium.

Wilkins, who has signed with Furman, had 12 points and five steals in the title game, but she was far from Wesleyan's only standout.

Katie Frerking had 15 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, while 6-foot-4 Georgia signee Kaelyn Causwell had 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Wofford recruit Jordan Frazier, who joined Wilkins and Frerking on the all-tournament team, added four assists and Brittany Stevens contributed four assists and three steals.

Lovett (4-1) had advanced to the title game with wins over state-ranked Douglas County and Hillgrove, but the Lions couldn't cope with the Wesleyan press.

After Lovett scored the game's first basket, the Wolves ran off 11 straight points and it was 19-5 by the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Lions, it was going to get worse before it got better.

Wesleyan started the second quarter with a 14-2 to go up 33-7 and the game was over right then. The Wolves cooled off after starting 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc, but Lovett was down by too much to make a comeback bid.

Wesleyan, ranked No. 1 in Class A as usual, led 35-17 at halftime and 45-28 after three quarters.

"We played very well in spurts," Wesleyan coach Jan Azar. "I was pleased with the first half, but then we stopped attacking in the third quarter. We want to attack the whole game."

Lovett, ranked No. 6 in Class AA, was the first team to come within 30 points of Wesleyan this season. No team has reached 40 points yet against the Wolves.

Northwestern signee Christen Johnson was the only double-figure scorer for Lovett with 10 points. Freshman Te'Erica Eason, who had 20 points in the Lions' semifinal victory over Hillgrove, scored just four.

"Lovett is a good team," Azar said. "They have a chance to make a run in Class AA."

Of course, Wesleyan is the heavy favorite in Class A with what could develop into Azar's best team ever. And that is saying a lot.

The Wolves have won eight state titles in the past 10 seasons.

Wesleyan doesn't play again until hosting Mill Creek, a Class AAAAA Final Four team a year ago, on Dec. 3. Hawks coach Ashley Phillips scouted the Wolves' victory over Lovett and came away impressed.

"They can beat you a lot of different ways," Phillips said. "It's a challenge to play them."

Douglas County 59, Brookwood 55

Rebecca Walker was named to the all-tournament team, but Brookwood lost to Douglas County 59-55 in the fifth-place game. Courtney Gardner had 16 points, while Walker scored 12 and Alliah Jackson added 10 for the Broncos (1-3).

LaTara Springs had 25 points for Douglas County.