Aniyah Augmon wanted to spend as much time as she could soaking up everything that made her high school girls’ basketball career so special before heading off to New Mexico.
The Priory senior, er, graduate will be joining her new teammates over the weekend for the summer conditioning program. She’s also enrolled in summer school there.
“I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything,” Augmon said after top-seeded Mitty beat the No. 5 Panthers 68-26 in a semifinal game of the Central Coast Section Open Division Wednesday.
Augmon wasn’t. of course, talking about the final score but her overall experience at Priory, which used to be thought of as a nice place to visit but not a sports factory.
It’s still not a factory but both the boys and girls’ basketball teams have given Priory some street cred this season, each appearing in the Open Division for the first time in school history.
“Priory used to be a school no one heard of,” Augmon said. “We were nothing until Tatiana came, and now we’re playing in the Open Division. It’s an honor to be here.”
That’s Tatiana Reese, who graduated from Priory a couple of years ago and went on to Eastern Washington. On Wednesday, she was back on the bench as the team manager.
Reese took Priory to its first state final as a player but until this year, the Panthers never qualified for the Open Division.
Priory has never been at full strength this year and still managed to finish second to Pinewood in the West Bay Athletic League and win its Open Division debut.
“They were bringing fresh legs every two minutes,” Augmon said. “But I liked how we preserved, playing through injuries. We were so resilient all year. We just decided to come here and give it everything we had.”
Priory’s starting five went the distance while Mitty, with a deep bench, was able to sub in five at a time over the course of the game.
Augmon, Bineta Diatta, Valentina Saric and Sydney Donovan helped keep Priory competitive in the early going then Mitty upped its full court pressure and forced turnovers.
Saric led Priory (10-4) with 10 points.