Basketball - Girls

Adams executes late to best Eisenhower in district final WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Highlanders advance to regional for first time since 2001

Game Info

Basketball - Girls - 3/3/2017 

Utica Eisenhower 46
Rochester Adams 50

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UTICA - Rochester Adams ended its district championship drought and extended Eisenhower’s.

Hannah Simard made three free throws in the final 51 seconds Friday night to spark the Highlanders to a 50-46 victory over the Eagles in the championship game of the Class A girls district basketball tournament at Utica.

Senior wing Ryian Owusu scored 23 points as OAA Red Division member Adams advanced with a losing record to the Port Huron Northern regional, where at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Highlanders will play Fenton, which topped Holly in a district final Friday.

“I just tried to get the crowd out of my head, to shoot free throws like I do in practice,” Simard said. “We struggled a lot this season. We didn’t get the record we wanted. But we put in a lot of work this year and we’re still going.”

Simard’s free throw with 51.5 seconds left broke a 46-all tie, and she grabbed the rebound after the second of two missed Eisenhower free throws two seconds later.

Simard added two free throws with 20 seconds to play that gave the Highlanders a 49-46 lead, and senior Maggie Rogers’ free throw with 1.7 seconds left ended the scoring as Adams lifted its record to 8-14.

“This is what we play for,” first-year Adams coach Jacki Steinacker said after the Highlanders won a district title for the first time since 2001. “We’ve had a bumpy road. Our record didn’t show the team I thought we could be. I think competing in the OAA Red really prepared us for this.

“My girls played their hearts out. They left it all on the floor. It was a very physical game.”

Malynn Kosnik led Eisenhower with 14 points.

Eisenhower missed four free throws in the final 49.8 seconds, and for the game the Eagles were 8-of-21 from the line as they fell to 14-8 and were denied winning their first district crown since 2003.

The MAC White Division Eagles committed a turnover with 22.3 seconds to go.

Eisenhower trailed 29-21 at halftime, but built a 35-32 lead in the third quarter behind 3-pointers by Koznik, Olivia Gulyas and Sabrina Raveane.

“This is a tough one,” Eagles coach Mike Satawa said. “We didn’t play real good in the first half. We came in at halftime and talked about regrouping. We went out there and battled our last 16 minutes. I told the girls we left everything we had on the floor.

“It was a game of runs, and they made the last run, unfortunately. We left points out there. I’m not sure what we were from the free throw line, but I know it wasn’t real good. I don’t know if it was fatigue, I don’t know if it was nerves. I don’t really know what it was. Sometimes you just don’t make shots.”

Eisenhower led for most of the fourth quarter, but Owusu’s 3-pointer with 2:28 to play created the 46-46 tie. It was Owusu’s third triple of the fourth quarter.

“She went off tonight,” Satawa said. “That was quite a performance she put on. She played one heck of a game.”

It was the first tournament game between Eisenhower and Adams since 1991, when the Highlanders defeated the Eagles in a district semifinal.

Last Updated: 3/3/2017 9:47:02 PM EST