North Carolina High School Athletic Association

3A Women’s Championship Game Recap: Freedom holds off Northern Guilford 53-50


It wasn’t without a struggle, but the Freedom (32-0) Women’s team downed Northern Guilford (25-8) 53-50 to win the school’s fifth state championship in Women’s Basketball.

Ariyana Williams had 16 points and 3 rebounds to lead the Patriots on her way to winning the 3A Women’s Championship Game Most Valuable Player award. The Patriots took care of the basketball all night with only nine turnovers on the game. They forced 14 Nighthawk turnovers including nine steals.

The Patriots led by 13 after the opening quarter, 20-7, as five players for Freedom had points in the quarter. They stretched the lead to 14 in the early second quarter on a free throw by Amy Rhoney. That’s when Northern Guilford started to chip away.

Elissa Cunane went to work for the Nighthawks beginning in the second quarter. She had six straight points for the Nighthawks to draw them within 8 in the mid-second quarter.  She finished the night with 20 points and 14 rebounds on the night and was named the Nighthawks’ Most Outstanding Player.

Northern Guilford briefly cut the Freedom lead to two with 51 seconds remaining in the game on a pair of Kelly Lomax free throws, but the Nighthawks, who never led in the game, could not get any closer. Ariyana Williams iced the Patriots win hitting 3 of 4 free throws in the final 30 seconds to secure the victory.

Lindsey Adams had 16 points for the Patriots, chipping in 2 rebounds and going 3 for 4 from beyond the three-point line. Adams was named Freedom’s Most Outstanding Player. The Patriots hit 4 of their 7 shots from the three-point line.