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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Waterford Mott tops rival Kettering on fourth attempt in district opener

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Basketball - Girls - 2/25/2013 

Waterford Kettering 38
Waterford Mott 41

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TROY — The fourth time’s the charm for the Waterford Mott girls basketball team.

After falling at the hands of Waterford Kettering three times during the season, the Corsairs put together a performance in Monday night’s district opener, their fourth meeting of the year with the Captains, that was good enough to send their biggest rival home packing.

A great defensive effort and a game-high total in points from junior Lauren Hung was just the tonic Mott needed, as it advances to the district semifinals with a 41-38 win over Kettering.

“I’m so happy for our girls,” Mott head coach Michelle Sklar said. “It’s the best feeling in the world to knock off your rival, especially when it’s in districts and they’d beaten you three times already this year. It’s awesome.”

“Tonight was a hard-fought game,” Hung said. “We came out strong. We wanted this win so badly, and we got it. This is an amazing feeling.”

Holding an eight-point edge with a quarter to play, the Corsairs knew that Kettering wouldn’t go down without a fight. And sure enough, the Captains stormed back, closing the gap to as few as two points with just minutes to play.

Four huge free throws from Hung coupled with a pair of buckets from Kettering gave Mott a three-point lead, giving the Captains a chance to tie on a last-second attempt. But just like the first 31 minutes of the game, the Corsairs were rock solid on defense, forcing an arrant 3-point attempt with the clock nearly expiring.

“We knew that we had to be smart with the ball in the fourth,” Sklar said. “We came into tonight wanting to hold them to under 40 points, and we did that. I’m proud of how we played defense.”

With the win, Mott will face Troy Athens on Wednesday night with a chance to punch its ticket to the district finals.

“This was a great win for us,” Hung said. “We want to keep it going, but we know that Wednesday will be a battle, too.”

Kettering was uncharacteristically bad from the field on Monday, and head coach Scott Woodhull gave credit the Corsairs for their effort.

“They’re a good team,” he said. “We’d been fortunate enough to jump out ahead of these guys (Mott) in the earlier games, but tonight, they were making all the shots they needed to.”

Along with the stout defense, Mott’s Hung was huge in the win, and Woodhull certainly took notice of her game-high 21 points.

“She’s tough,” he said of Hung. “We contained her in the first three games, and tonight, she got loose. That was my biggest fear. At some point in time, she was going to start making her shots.”

The Corsairs grabbed a one-point lead early in the second quarter, and that seemed to be the cue that Hung was waiting for. After missing her first four shots of the night, the talented guard would pour in nine points in the second frame, helping to extend Mott’s lead to seven at halftime.

“She’s a competitor,” Sklar said of Hung. “She’s not going to quit. If she misses some shots, she’s right back out there trying to score. She had a nice little run that gave us some cushion in the second quarter.”

Kettering’s season finishes up sooner than it had hoped, but an overall record of 17-3 is something that Woodhull was proud of. His class of seniors picked up over 60 wins in their careers, and he had nothing but great things to say about them.

“These seniors have had one heck of a career,” he said. “We’re definitely disappointed. These girls wanted it bad.”

Mott gets a day off to prepare for its district semifinal bout against Troy Athens on Wednesday night after Pontiac and Auburn Hills Avondale do battle in the early game.

“We’re going to enjoy this win tonight,” Sklar said. “But we’ve got to get right back at it tomorrow with practice. We’ve got Athens scouted, and we’re ready to go for Wednesday.”


KETTERING — Shelby Watts 1 2-6 4; Taylor Steinhelper 1 4-6 6; Allie Shaner 2 3-4 7; Lauren Tewes 4 4-7 12; Gabrielle Jerome 1 (1) 5; Haley Tewes 2-3 2; Alicia Hepler 1 2; Totals: 10 (1) 15-26

MOTT — Lauren Hung 5 (1) 8-10 21; Jenna Ciennik 1 1-2 3; Jamie Carter 1 2; Alex Yarmuth 2 1-2 5; Vannessa Bolling 2 2-6 6; Sarah Golfis 1 2; Moriah Williams 1 0-2 2; Totals: 13 (1) 12-22


WK 8 10 8 12 — 38

WM 9 16 9 7 — 41

RECORDS — Mott 13-8; Kettering 17-3

Last Updated: 2/26/2013 12:28:31 PM EST

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