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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Country Day has no answer for Inkster's McLeod WITH VIDEO

INKSTER — Some things are best forgotten.

Some things awfully hard to completely forget, though.

Very rarely does a coach want a player to look back at press clippings from old games — especially if it pertains to a loss.

Inkster coach Dwayne Scott had no problem with encouraging his senior point guard, Paris McLeod, to dredge up the old stories from her sophomore year, when one of just two blemishes on a state championship season for the Vikings came at the hands of Tuesday’s opponent, Birmingham Detroit Country Day.

Unlike that season, neither team was unbeaten this time around, and neither wore the mantle of the state’s No. 1 team in their respective division.

And unlike that matchup, Country Day would have no answer for Inkster’s star, as Paris McLeod lit up Class B’s No. 4-ranked team for 25 points, as the Vikings — tied for 8th in Class A — won, 51-46.

“I don’t ever remember Inkster beating them,” said Scott, whose daughter, Leah, was the point guard on the state championship team, but never beat the Yellowjackets, despite having her best chance as a senior, when teammate Crystal Bradford dueled head-to-head against DCD’s Aerial Powers in a 58-55 Yellowjacket win.

“The last couple of years, we had some great teams. That year that Crystal and Aerial was going (at it), we had them. We was up by 20 at one point. And they came back.

“When they hit the one 3(-pointer), and got down by one, I kind of thought about that. And I was like, ‘OK, we’re not going to let that happen again.’ ”

Unlike two years ago, when the Yellowjackets completed a comeback of monstrous proportions, this time a six-point bump from the second quarter proved too much to overcome. That was when the Evansville University-bound Paris McLeod took the game over, scoring all nine of Inkster’s points in a 9-0 run, and finishing with 16 in the frame, as the Vikings outscored Country Day, 21-12, to take a 26-20 lead into the half.

The outburst by McLeod — Inkster’s ninth Division I recruit in the past few seasons — was unsurprising, considering how her third coach in as many seasons figured out perfectly how to push her buttons.

“What I was really trying to do was I was trying to pump Paris up a little bit. ... I tried to pump her up. I told her, ‘Look, all those great teams, they hadn’t beat Country Day.’ ... But that team, with Leah, and Crystal (Bradford) and Jas’Mine Bracey, never beat Country Day. I told her, ‘Here’s your chance to cement your future as — Hey, I’m the kid who led my team to beat Country Day,’ ” said Scott, who played her every minute of the contest, even when she got a bit gassed.

“And I think that was weighing heavy on her, and I think that pulled her through when she got banged up a little bit.”

All the fireworks by the two McLeod sisters — Paris’ younger sister, Victoria, had a trio of key 3-pointers in the game — weren’t enough to keep the Yellowjackets from mounting a comeback, though.

Brittany Washington scored all seven of her points in the third quarter, while Asia Doss — who finished with 15 — had a pair of key buckets in the fourth.

A 3-pointer by Jordan Wright with 2:11 left made it a one-point game, but Country Day would get no closer.

A golden chance to take the lead went by the wayside with 1:33 left, as Washington’s layup was waved off by an offensive foul — her fifth and final on the night — and, coupled with a technical foul on the Country Day bench, it proved to be disastrous. Paris McLeod would hit one of the two technical foul free throws, making it a 45-43 game, then R’Mani Garrard would get a bucket on an offensive rebound against the shorthanded Yellowjackets on the ensuing possession to make it a two-possession game.

Tianna Glimpse’s 3 with 20 seconds left made it a two-point game again, but the Yellowjackets couldn’t get a game-tying or go-ahead shot, and Paris McLeod’s steal and layup with 16.9 seconds left — after she missed two free throws — made it academic.

It snapped an 11-game win streak for the Yellow Jackets (13-3), who’d started the season 2-2, but hadn’t lost since Dec. 13.

“You know what? I told the girls, actually I’m not going to say anything negative. I think it’s a positive thing that we played a game like this before the state tournament,” Country Day coach Frank Orlando said. “I’m not going to use any excuses — I don’t want any excuses. I think with a couple of breaks at the end, we could’ve — we could have won the game at the end.”

The Yellowjackets end the regular season with a game at Grosse Pointe North on Thursday, then will be in the Class B district at Clawson next week.

Email Matthew B. Mowery at matt.mowery@oakpress.com.



INKSTER 51, BIRMINGHAM DETROIT COUNTRY DAY 46

COUNTRY DAY
— Tianna Glimpse (2) 1-2 7; Asia Doss 6 (1) 0-3 15; Brittany Washington 2 (1) 0-0 7; Kristina Grace 3 1-2 7; Jordan Wright 3 (1) 1-2 10; Totals 14 (5) 3-9 46.

INKSTER
— Deana Williams 1 2-2 4; Paris McLeod 6 (2) 7-17 25; Alexis Stripling 1 1-1 2; Victoria McLeod (3) 0-0 9; R’Mani Garrard 1 1-2 3; Ariel Walker 1 0-1 2; Elisse Parker 2 1-2 5; Totals 12 (5) 12-25 51.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

DCD 8 12 14 12 — 46

INK 5 21 11 14 — 51


Records: No. 8 (A) Inkster 18-0; No. 4 (B) Country Day 13-3

Last Updated: 2/19/2013 11:17:22 PM EST

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