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Cousino wins state championship with victory over King PHOTO GALLERY

  • Kierra Fletcher (3) of Cousino Jumps for joy after winning the match between Cousino and Martin Luther King at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)
  • Girls basketball finals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on March 19, 2016. Warren Cousino vs Detroit Martin Luther King. The Patriots beat Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65.(MIPrepZone photo gallery by David Dalton)

EAST LANSING >> Cousino girls basketball coach Mike Lee always knew this year’s squad had state championship potential.

And boy did the Patriots deliver.

Behind 27 points from Kierra Fletcher and 20 out of Mackenzie Anderson, Cousino topped Detroit Martin Luther King, 67-65, to win the Class A state title on Saturday afternoon at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.

“I got a little emotional after the game, but when we sacrifice for four months like these girls and nobody is harder on them than me, I just knew they could be a state champion. And they did.”

The Patriots are just the fourth team from Macomb County to win a girls basketball state title and the first since Utica (Class A) in 1999.

“This team had the will and belief,” Lee said. “This team believed more than any team and once we got to a certain point in regionals we felt good about at least making a good run at it.”

Just like Friday’s semifinal win over Hudsonville, the Patriots got off to a great start and continued to build off it. They held a 19-point advantage, 48-29, after a pair of free throws from Anderson past the midway point of the third quarter.

But then King, which ended the regular season ranked fourth in the state in Class A, began to press and cut into Cousino’s lead.

The Crusaders (24-2) got to within five, 52-47, with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter.

“I thought at first maybe, if I had it to do all over again, maybe I should’ve started pressing from Jump Street to really get them going,” King coach William Winfield said. “Now that I think about it — but, hey, it is what it is.”

A timeout from Lee, the second one he used in the quarter, seemed to settle things down.

“We had to gather the troops for one last fight in the last round,” Lee said. “First thing I said was take a deep breath. We had to calm everyone down. They are young ladies. They want to win. There was no doubt they wanted to win with five minutes left. We just had to guide them in the right direction. I just told them to focus.

“I don’t think we were pressed at all this year, maybe a couple possessions here and there,” Lee added. “We have press breakers in, but we run them against each other and not for a state title.”

Fletcher, who also had eight rebounds, five assists and two steals, scored Cousino’s next seven points to build the Patriots’ lead back up to 11, 59-48.

“She’s not just a scorer, but she’s a distributor,” said Lee, whose team beat Hudsonville 60-45 to reach the finals. “The great thing about this win was for the first half she played a big role but there were other people that stepped up as well. We said we needed people to step up and they did.”

Fletcher was also 9-of-11 from the free-throw line to help seal the win.

“I wanted to be aggressive because we were in the bonus for almost all the second half,” Fletcher said. “I wanted to get the ball in and get fouls so we could get easy free throws and try and push our lead out that way.”

It also helped that King was 5-of-31 from 3-point range.

“They fought back when we had them on the ropes in the fourth quarter,” Winfield said. “They came back and made a couple of key shots. From there, it was just nip and tuck.

“They played an excellent game,” Winfield added. “They were able to push the ball down the floor. I think Fletcher and (Anderson) played a great game. I’ve got nothing but praise for the team.”

Micaela Kelly finished with 34 points for King, while Tia Tedford added 14.

“We rushed our 3s,” Kelly said. “We didn’t take our time with them. We were just rushing too much.

“She played tough,” Kelly added about Fletcher. “She never gave up. She penetrated our defense, just as I thought she would.”

Fletcher, a junior and an early favorite for Miss Basketball next season, also played with four fouls, picking up the fourth one late in the third quarter.

“We knew long ago and once Miss Basketball comes around this time next year I don’t think there could be a better representation for any young lady or the state of Michigan than Kierra,” Lee said. “Sometimes Macomb County isn’t known for girls basketball, but I think this week we showed it. We play some tough competition. Port Huron Northern was on the other side in the elite eight.

“Kierra is a role model for my daughter,” Lee continued. “She loves her. I think the state knows Kierra as a player, but I think they need to know that she’s an incredible young lady as well.”

Kate McArthur added 13 points, while Rachel Hayes took down eight rebounds and Mackenzie Cook grabbed seven boards. Aubrey Fetzer and Anderson each finished with six rebounds.

“There are a lot of great players in the (MAC Red) and in the state and Kierra is one of them,” Lee said. “They got knocked out too. It’s not about one player. It’s about one team. We have role players, like Rachel Hayes, that relish their role. She played 32 minutes, but is she going to get the headline or the picture in the paper, probably not, but that’s OK and she doesn’t care. She’s the role up your sleeves, blue collar worker when we need to go. Every great team needs those.

“Everybody wants to score, but everyone wants to win a state title as well,” Lee added.

L’Anse Creuse (1978) and Warren Woods (1975) each won Class B titles.

Last Updated: 3/19/2016 5:06:31 PM EST