Akins was 1-for-11 from the field with just three points through three quarters. She finished 4-for-15 with 14 points.
She was far from the only player struggling from the field, however. Norcross was just 13-for-42 (31%) for the game, while Harrison was 12-42 (28.6%), and both teams were 4-for-15 from 3-point range. No player from either team that attempted at least two shots made more than half of them.
“It was a tough game,” Clanton said. “We shot abysmally, and the only way you stay in a game like that is to play some defense. The Harrison team is tough, which you expected in a state championship-level game. I thought they did a really nice job of making things tough on us, and we thought our kids hung tough.”
After a tight first quarter which ended with Harrison ahead 8-7, the Hoyas led for most of the second and third quarters, building the margin to seven points on a free throw and a 3-pointer by Alisha Foster that made it 21-14 with 2:01 left in the third.
Zaria Hurston’s basket in the lane in the closing seconds of the period had the Blue Devils within 23-19 and started the game-deciding run.
Hurston, the Region 7 player of the year, led Norcross with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Akins added seven rebounds and two assists.
Foster was Harrison’s only double-figure scorer with 14. Region 3 player of the year Anna Gernatt had eight points, four rebounds and three steals.
Norcross - 7-5-7-22 - 41
Harrison - 8-9-6-14 - 37
Norcross (41): Zaria Hurston 15, Jania Akins 14, Denaeja Morton 7, Kayla Lindsey 3, Laniya Kenon 2, Cadence Peterson, Cate Sidey.
Harrison (37): Alisha Foster 14, Anna Gernatt 8, Emme Johnson 6, Emily Acadmpora 3, Alex McElroy 2, Mia Geveke 2, Bailey Vick 2, Holley Turner, Kennedy Young.