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Back to Breslin: Irish win ultra-close quarterfinal over Gaylord St. Mary's WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)
  • Sacred Heart booked its second trip to the Breslin Center in three years on Tuesday as it downed Gaylord St. Mary. (MIPrepZone photos by Paul Beroza)

SCOTTVILLE – In the seconds immediately following the conclusion of Tuesday night’s Class D quarterfinal from Mason County Central High School Damon Brown walked by himself to the west side of the gymnasium.

He walked slowly and surely with his hands covering his eyes before releasing his right hand and pointing it towards the sky.

In his own way Damon Brown was taking a second to celebrate his team’s quarterfinal victory with his wife Keisha.

It was a symbolic and beautiful gesture, one that spoke more than words can communicate.

It was also a gesture filled with a bit of relief in that Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy had just punched its ticket to the Class D semifinals via a dramatic and intensely-competitive 27-26 victory over Gaylord St. Mary’s.

“I told the girls at one of our last team dinners that I want to go back to the Breslin Center because (in 2014) when Riley (Terwilliger) hit that shot to win that game (the Class D state title game) you see a person in the corner and it’s Keisha, sitting there,” said Damon Brown following Tuesday’s victory. “I want to go back and sit in that spot because that was a great experience for our family.”

The next potential great experience for the Sacred Heart family will play out at 7:50 p.m. Thursday night from the Breslin Center in East Lansing when Brown and company take on Stephenson (24-2) in a Class D semifinal. The winner of this game advances to Saturday’s state final at 10 a.m.

In terms of how the Irish (24-1) went about advancing, well it wasn’t easy by any means.

Senior guard Megan English hit a short jumper with 3:28 left on the clock to give SHA a 27-26 lead and neither team would score again.

The Snowbirds had eight chances to take the lead in the final three minutes, yet in each instance the ball wouldn’t go down. Moreover the Irish missed the front end of two one-and-one opportunities from the free-throw line and were still able to hold on.

Gaylord St. Mary sophomore Averi Bebble had the final chance to win it in the closing seconds but her shot rolled around the rim and into the awaiting arms of SHA senior Averi Gamble, who secured the rebound as the buzzer expired.

“Somebody asked me about that last shot and I swear Keisha blocked it,” said a smiling Damon Brown.

The Irish struggled in the first half as they went 4-for-14 from the floor with eight turnovers. Gaylord St. Mary’s was a little better as it went 6-for-13 from the field despite turning it over 10 times.

The Snowbirds led 16-13 at the half before SHA got it rolling in the third.

“We’ve been a good second-half team during the tournament, but I thought we were a little jittery in the first half,” said English, who scored SHA’s final four points of the night. “We’ve been in close games and down at halftime but it doesn’t faze us. We’re going back to Breslin and I can’t put that into words.”

After the halftime break the Irish used sophomore forward Sophie Ruggles at the guard position which took some pressure off the English, Megan Nowak and freshman Scout Nelson.

This one move was critical in that Gaylord St. Mary’s guards were quicker and created problems for the Irish match-up wise. With Ruggles helping bring the ball up the floor the SHA settled in and got better looks.

“We were more relaxed in the second half, for sure,” said Damon Brown. “Ruggles bringing the ball up was big because it took some pressure off of Scout. We have been working on that since the middle of the season and it worked out tonight.”

Ruggles and Nelson both tallied four points in the third to cut the deficit to one at 22-21 going into the fourth.

An Averi Gamble lay-up gave SHA its first lead at 23-22 early in the fourth before English tallied four straight points to close the scoring.

“This is just amazing,” said Scout Nelson. “I watched my sister Skylar play in the state championship game two years ago and now I’m going, I can’t wait.”

Nelson led the Irish with seven points and two assists while Hayden Terwilliger had five points and five boards. Ruggles and Gamble both chipped in five points and six boards as well.

Bekah Myler led the Snowbirds with eight points.

Last Updated: 3/15/2016 11:46:53 PM EST