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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Catholic League Roundup

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The Gabriel Richard girls’ basketball team pushed their win streak to five games with wins over Lutheran North and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep last week.

The Pioneers pushed their CHSL AA Division record to 4-1 with a 55-44 victory over Lutheran on Jan. 22.

The Mustangs were another favorite team in the division and the Pioneers knew the win was important.

Richard got off to a slow start after a long bus ride, but the team picked up as the game progressed and a dominating fourth quarter secured their victory.

Ashley Henderson led the team with 21 points but nine different players got into the scorebook in the effort.

After suffering their only league loss at the hands of Notre Dame Prep earlier this month, the Pioneers got revenge Thursday night with a 52-48 victory.

Prep took an early 4-0 lead but Richard turned things around and regained control to lead the rest of the game.

“We were looking to get payback and even up the record with them at the hopes of at least positioning ourselves with a share of the league title,” Coach William Jones said.

The teams chipped away and stayed neck in neck throughout the contest. At the half, Richard led 24-18 and 16 points from each team in the third quarter made the fourth even more important.

“It was nice to get that kind of challenge against a quality opponent like Prep,” Jones said.

The Pioneers went on a mini run in the third quarter and Jones saw great execution and team play.

“Contribution from every single team member is becoming a tremendous team strength for us,” Jones said.

Richard saw contributions from 10 players who had one basket or more.

Henderson led the team with 19 points and Casey Lyons finished with seven.

Jones is pleased with the overall efforts of Henderson.

“She’s playing tremendous floor game basketball,” he said. “(She’s) willing to give the ball up and not dominate the action. Opponents are finding it hard to not center their attention on her.”

The win put Richard at 5-1 in the CHSL AA Division and 7-5 overall on the season.

If the team wins the final two games, they will secure their second consecutive CHSL Division Championship.

Monarchs split

The Cabrini girls’ basketball team split a pair of games last week with an overtime win over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and a loss to Macomb Lutheran North.

On Jan. 22, the Monarchs forced overtime against Richard with a three-pointer to tie the game as the buzzer sounded, and won 58-52.

The teams stayed fairly even through the first half and Cabrini was only down by one point, 24-23 at the half.

Richard opened the second half, shooting the ball well and took a 10 point lead after the third quarter.

“They were able to make jump shots versus our zone defense, and although we effectively ran our offense versus their trademark 1-3-1 zone, we could not covert good looks into points,” Coach Mike Rozanski said.

In the fourth quarter, the Monarchs decided to extend their pressure full court and it rattled Richard.

Cabrini created turnovers on six of eight consecutive possessions and reduced Richard’s 10 point lead to three with less than fifteen seconds left.

On a sideout play, Richard eliminated the Monarchs’ initial look for a three pointer, but Sophia Formella drove the ball into the paint and found Carlee Alley open in the win. Alley hit the three as time expired and the teams went into overtime tied at 46.

In the overtime period, the team saw another three-pointer from Alley and two free throws by Emily Zgoda to help maintain their lead.

Zgoda led the team with 21 points and four steals. Catherine Diroff had 10 points, Alley finished with six, and Formella had four points and four assists.

Two nights later the Monarchs put themselves in good position to win against Lutheran North, but fell 56-45.

North presented a tough matchup with their six foot post players and several tall perimeter players.

In the first half, the Mustangs rebounded the ball well on the offensive side, helping them to their 25-18 led after the half.

“I challenged our guards at the half to box out, and they responded,” Rozanski said.

The Monarchs cut North’s lead to one point in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs responded with a three pointer from the top of the key and a post feed and finish to give them a six point lead, which Cabrini could not come back from.

Zgoda led the team again with 19 points and eight steals.

Formella recorded nine points and Kasey Jodway finished with five points and four rebounds.

Cabrini is now 4-8 overall as they head into the second half of the season.

Cabrini and Riverview Gabriel Richard met in a rematch on Tuesday night in Riverview.

The Monarchs will be looking for revenge in the rivalry game, after falling to Richard just two weeks prior.

Jones is looking forward to the rematch and says it is always an interesting game when the two teams get together.

Last Updated: 1/29/2013 2:00:55 PM EST