|VIDEO: Chavis propels University past New Milford in state semi|
One of New Jersey's elite girls' basketball teams nearly a decade ago, University hasn't made much noise on the state level in recent years. But the Phoenix has risen, and will return to the state finals.
Jihayah Chavis propelled University to a 60-37 win over New Milford in the Group I state semifinals. Chavis scored 27 points and added 10 assists as the magnet school from Newark raced away in the second half at Ramapo High School.
It's actually the closest game University has played in the state tournament thus far. The Phoenix rolled to the North 2, Group I sectional title by an average victory of 41 points per game. Chavis has averaged more than 26 points a contest in the state tournament thus far.
Shadiyyah Guyton had 12 points and added 12 rebounds as University dominated the boards. Iyannah Moore added eight points for the Phoenix.
New Milford, which won the North 1, Group I sectional title, started slowly but pulled within nine points late in the first half. But the Knights managed just six points over the next 12 minutes against University's fierce 2-3 zone defense.
Natalie Miller led New Milford with 11 points, while Vianca Soriano scored 10. Ezzy Reyes and Bionca Chambers added seven points apiece. The Knights finish the season at 25-5.
University is 22-6. The Phoenix will meet Bound Brook for the Group I state title on Sunday in Toms River. It's their first trip to the finals since winning the Group I crown in 2008; University also won the group title and the Tournament of Champions in 2007.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school girls' basketball state tournament semifinal game, click play in the box at left.