Waterford Kettering's #4 Julia Kroll is fouled while attempting a shot by Grosse Pointe South's #10 Christina Flom during their MHSAA Girl's Basketball Class A Quarterfinal game at Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall, Tuesday March 13, 2012, (Oakland Press Photo: Vaughn Gurganian)
Basketball - Girls
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Memorable tournament run ends for Kettering as the Captains fall to Grosse Pointe South WITH VIDEO
By SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN Special to The Oakland Press
Grosse Pointe South's #5 Cierra Rice and Waterford Kettering's #24 Shelby Watts battle for a rebound during their MHSAA Girl's Basketball Class A Quarterfinal game at Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall, Tuesday March 13, 2012, (Oakland Press Photo: Vaughn Gurganian)
Waterford Kettering's #23 Erica Schwartz and Grosse Pointe South's #4 Carmen Engel battle for a loose ball during their MHSAA Girl's Basketball Class A Quarterfinal game at Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall, Tuesday March 13, 2012, (Oakland Press Photo: Vaughn Gurganian)
Waterford Kettering's #24 Shelby Watts grabs a loose rebound in front of Grosse Pointe South's #23 Claire Deboer during their MHSAA Girl's Basketball Class A Quarterfinal game at Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall, Tuesday March 13, 2012, (Oakland Press Photo: Vaughn Gurganian)
DETROIT — The tourney jaunt is over, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Waterford Kettering’s memorable state tournament run came to an end Tuesday night at Calihan Hall on the campus of the University of Detroit-Mercy, as Grosse Pointe South defeated the Captains 58-54 in a Class A quarterfinal.
Led by a core group of seven seniors who have been playing together since elementary school, Kettering concludes a three-year era that saw the Captains win more than 50 games and the school’s first regional title in more than decade.
“These young ladies have just been a pleasure to coach and mentor and they represented their school and community the last few years with nothing but pride,” Kettering head coach Scott Woodhull said. “The memories we made together will be a foundation for the program’s future. That’s their legacy and it’s a pretty special one.”
Tied 38-38, South surged ahead at the end of the third quarter and looked ready to close things out. The Blue Devils put together an 11-0 run entering the fourth. Cierra Rice jump-started the run with a 3 from the top of the key and Caitlin Moore finished it with consecutive triples from the wing to give South a 49-38 advantage heading down the stretch.
Kettering stormed back, though, with a 13-2 run of its own to go ahead 52-51 on Allison Bicknell’s lay-in off a steal and an assist from Taylor Steinhelper with 1:34 left to play. Fast to respond, the Blue Devils got a pair of free throws and a lay-up by Rice in the closing 60 seconds to win it.
Bicknell’s drive and score with 32.3 seconds left made it a one-point game at 55-54, however, Moore wrapped it up at the line for South by nailing 3-of-4 free throws to the applause and cheers of a rabid South cheering section.
Kettering missed a half dozen easy lay-ups in the game, making the team earn a majority of its points on the perimeter. The Captains close the season with an overall record of 23-3. They ended the regular season ranked No. 5 in the state according to The Associated Press.
While South (22-3) was in front 13-10 after the first quarter, the score was knotted 27-27 at the half.
Moore, South’s senior captain, highlighted the stat sheet for the Blue Devils, scoring a game-high 19 points, dishing five assists and grabbing five rebounds. Rice, only a freshman, netted 12 points for the victors.
Reminiscent of their season, the Captains scorebook was a balanced one. Bicknell’s 13 points spearheaded four Kettering players in double-figures. Senior point guard Hannha Huff had 11 points and six assists on the night. Fellow seniors Shelby Watts and Arjanai Washington both tallied 12 points apiece. Watts brought down 12 rebounds for a double-double in her final game as a prepster.
Huff and Bicknell will be continuing their athletic careers in college together at Lawrence Tech, with Huff going to play soccer and Bicknell going to play basketball.