Written by Corbett Smith
How a 5-3 MacArthur guard overshadowed Georgetown's star 6-4 forward Krystal Forthan
AUSTIN — Apart from Alexis Jones, the spotlight was firmly focused on the play of the biggest player on the court — Georgetown’s 6-4 post Krystal Forthan.
Instead, everyone should have focused on one of the smallest — Irving MacArthur’s Ayriel Anderson.
The 5-3 junior guard was a shot of energy for MacArthur, and a needed counterpoint on the wing for Jones.
“She is our Energizer [bunny],” Irving MacArthur coach Suzie Oelschlegel said following her team's 74-51 victory.
Be it in transition, or making herself available for a kick-out pass, Anderson was buzzing around the court.
Anderson scored 22, going 5-of-6 from 3-point range and actually outscoring the highly-touted Forthan, who finished with 14.
“Actually, I was a little nervous [at the start],” Anderson said. “But Alexis told me to keep my head up and just shoot the ball, do what I know best.”
She made her real stamp on the game at the start of the second half. On the first possession out of the break, Anderson stole an entry pass to Forthan, which resulted in a MacArthur layup.
Anderson proceeded to hit 3s on two of the next three possessions, ballooning MacArthur’s lead to 23.
“I was trying to end it while I could,” Anderson said.
Forthan, the much-touted Oregon transfer in her first — and only — season with Georgetown, came into the game sharing the spotlight with Jones.
Ranked No. 5 in the nation by HoopGurlz and an LSU signee, Forthan entered the final off of a dominating performance in the Georgetown’s semifinal win over Alief Elsik — 27 points with 20 rebounds.
But three first-half fouls had Forthan sitting out for a good portion of the second quarter, sapping much of her aggressiveness in the third quarter, as well.
“The flow of the game, as a coach you certainly don’t have any control over that,” Oelschlegel said, “but that certainly helped our momentum.”