A'ja bows out in Columbia tonight

02/18/2014 11:38 AM

02/18/2014 11:46 AM

A’ja Wilson’s final game in Columbia as a prep basketball player will be tonight when Heathwood Hall hosts national powerhouse New Hope Christian Academy in the Highlanders’ regular season finale.

Wilson, who hopes to lead the Highlanders to their first state championship during her five-year career, sat out with injury when the teams first met on Jan. 10 in Thomasville, NC. He result was a 97-25 blowout win by the Phoenix, who are ranked No. 6 on MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25 list.

Wilson is averaging 35.1 points, 14.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.2 steals and 5.0 blocks this season for the 20-3 Highlanders. The top senior recruit in the country has yet to announce her college destination.

Unbeaten NHCA (28-0) has plenty of talent, but not a single player is averaging double figures in scoring. Kristina King (9.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Katherine Harris (9.1 ppg) are the top point producers on the balanced deep, balanced Phoenix roster.

Heathwood Hall wrapped up another SCISA Region 1-3A championship on Saturday with a 73-30 win over Cardinal Newman. Wilson rang up 26 points, 10 boards, four assists and four steals in the romp, and Victoria Dickerson, another member of thew program’s 1,000-point club, tallied 16 points along with five assists and four steals.

But Wilson and the Highlanders will be satisfied with nothing less than a SCISA state title. Heathwood Hall’s motivation is the memory of back-to-back-to-back SCISA state tournament losses to Pinewood Prep – in the semifinals in 2011 and 2012 and in the championship game last season.

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