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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stormont's 28 points push Royal Oak past Southfield

ROYAL OAK — Sami Stormont remembers how her junior season at Royal Oak ended last year. Fast forward 12 months to Monday, the now senior guard was defiant and determined not to let history repeat.

Facing Southfield, the team that eliminated the Ravens a year ago, in Monday's pre-district playoffs, Stormont was an unstoppable force with 28 points, nearly outscoring the Bluejays by herself. A swarming defensive effort by the rest of the squad did the rest, as Royal Oak came out on top, 50-29.

"It was not happening again," Stormont said firmly, recalling last year. "It's my senior season and there was no way that was happening again."

While Stormont's career has had no shortage of outstanding performances, Ravens coach Brian Sopata said Monday's effort was particularly valuable, as it helped extend the team's season.

"To do it on this stage in the districts — she's had some phenomenal games over the course of her career — but it's really nice to see her do it when we're playing in an elimination type of game," Sopata said. "It doesn't surprise me, though, at this point since I've seen her do it so many times. Our team feeds off that. She makes everyone better."

Stormont finished just one steal shy of recording a rare triple-double, settling for a scorebook-stuffing 10 rebounds, nine takeaways and five assists to go along with her scoring output.

The game was competitive for much of the first half, with Southfield's offense producing enough early on to keep pace. A 3-pointer by Dominique Gillespie midway through the second quarter drew the Bluejays within one point, 14-13.

But from there, Royal Oak's defense held Southfield off the scoreboard for the next six minutes. Applying intense pressure on the Bluejays' ball-handlers, the Ravens came away with 10 steals in the first half alone.

"Having seen a team three times (this season), we felt like we had a pretty good defensive plan in place," Sopata said. "We really focused on containing them and getting a hand up in the lane. I thought our defensive interior did a great job of contesting shots and getting to the defensive glass because (Southfield) has some big bodies in there that are tough to guard."

Royal Oak's 12-0 scoring run that bridged the second and third quarters was eventually put to an end, but Stormont's endless parade to the free-throw line was not. She made 13-of-16 attempts from the charity stripe on the night.

"Sami is a great player," Southfield coach Jamie Glinz said. "What I love about her is she's so crafty with the ball. We tried different things to defend her, but she always finds a way to slither through the defense or go around the defense or over the defense. That's what I admire most about her game."

A 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer by sophomore Bailey Haran gave the Ravens a 39-24 lead and enough breathing room to close out the game without incident.

Hanan totaled seven points, while junior point guard Sam Bartelotti contributed six points for Royal Oak (16-5).

The Bluejays, which end the year 10-11, were led in scoring by junior Cortney Williams (eight points) and Gillespie (seven).

With the win, the Ravens advance to Wednesday night's district semifinal against Birmingham Groves at 7 p.m.. The two teams did not meet during the regular season. The early matchup on Wednesday pairs Berkley against Southfield-Lathrup.



ROYAL OAK 50, SOUTHFIELD 29

ROYAL OAK — Sam Bartelotti 3 6; Dallas Porter 1-2 1; Jane Kurkowski 2-4 2; Ashley Krenzer 1 2; Bailey 1 (1) 2-2 7; Bella Leone 2 0-2 4; Sami Stormont 6 (1) 13-16; Totals: 13 (2) 18-26 50

SOUTHFIELD — Tailar White 1 2; Kristi Lynn DeFoe 1 3-6 5; Dominique Gillespie 1 (1) 2-4 7; Cortney Williams 3 2-3 8; Ki'Yana Williams 2-4 2; Kierra Washington 1 (1) 5; Totals: 7 (2) 9-17 29

SCORE BY QUARTER

RO 12 11 16 11 — 50

S 8 6 10 5 — 29

RECORDS — Royal Oak 16-5; Southfield 10-11

Last Updated: 2/26/2013 10:17:38 AM EST

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