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Taylor leads White over Dark, 71-68 PHOTO GALLERY

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Mariah Taylor had something to prove in her final high school girls basketball game.

And did she ever.

The Warren-Mott senior scored a game-high 19 points to lead her squad to a 71-68 win at the annual Macomb County All-Star girls basketball game at Macomb Community College.

“This just showed that all the hard work I put in during high school paid off in the end,” Taylor said about being named to the team. “You get to play against all the players that you’ve seen, won against, lost against multiple times. It’s a great experience.”

Taylor averaged 21.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, four steals and two assists per game this past season.

Despite those numbers she was unable to crack the county first team list which didn’t sit well with her.

“I didn’t make first team so I wanted to show everyone I deserved to be on that list,” Taylor said. “I’m happy I was on second team, but I believe I should have been there. I think this game really showed I should have been there.

She scored 42 points in a game in December against Warren Woods-Tower.

“I wanted to make my mark,” Taylor said. “I love basketball. I just love being out here. It was a pleasure to play.”

It was fitting Taylor did it at MCC where she will play next season for the Monarchs.

“I wanted to show Macomb they made a good choice,” Taylor smiled.

Nija Collier (Roseville) added 16 points and Alicia Norman (Detroit King) finished with 10 for the winning squad. Tone Ogelsby (Fitzgerald) chipped in nine and Alexus Smith (Eisenhower) followed with seven.

The other squad was paced by Katie Snow (Grosse Pointe North) with 13 points and 11 came from Maria Berishaj (Sterling Heights). Morgan Holdreith (Lamphere) finished with 10 and Bree Bauer (Port Huron Northern) totaled nine.

Berishaj’s last game at Sterling Heights didn’t go quite like planned.

The Stallions trailed just 28-26 at halftime of a Class A district championship game against Cousino, the defending Class A state champs. They were outscored 26-5 in the third quarter. Twenty two of those points came after Berishaj and Tatyana Hardwick each picked up their fourth fouls.

“We got in foul trouble,” said Berishaj, who averaged 15.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.3 steals a game last season. “It’s kind of hard to guard Kierra (Fletcher) with four fouls. They started penetrating. They knew we could do nothing about it. It was kind of hard to watch that happen.”

Fletcher, who was a Miss Basketball finalist, finished with a career-high 47 points.

“That first half, I couldn’t be any more proud of my team,” Berishaj said. “Our team is young. No one expected to even get to the district final so being down by two to Cousino at half was amazing.”

Berishaj continued the long string of Stallions – Dayshia Vance, Julianna Trombley and Sade Lemons – to compete at the All-Star game.

“I saw all my other teammates from my freshman, sophomore and junior years play in this game,” Berishaj said. “It was fun to play in a game I saw them all play in.”

Berishaj will also playing at MCC this upcoming season.

“Mariah is great,” Berishaj said of her soon-to-be Monarch teammate. “You can’t stop her coming down in the paint. She’s too fast.”

Last Updated: 6/19/2017 9:21:48 AM EST