False MI Prep Zone: GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Downriver League Roundup
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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Downriver League Roundup

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Free throws can often be the difference in a game and that was exactly the case on Friday night in Woodhaven when the Warrior girls fell 56-48 to University Liggett.

The Warriors went 1-for-8 in the first half from the foul line and finished the night 5-for-14, while Liggett finished 14-for-21.

“That really hurt us,” Woodhaven Coach Doug Simons said. “You can’t shoot that and expect to win, especially against that team. They’re a very good basketball team.”

Woodhaven took the first lead of the game with Allison Manning’s free throw, but Liggett quickly took over and led 20-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The teams stayed close in the second quarter, but triples and free throws gave Liggett the upper hand, and outshot the Warriors 15-14 for a 35-27 lead at the half.

Free throws improved in the second half and the Warriors went 4-for-6 and outscored their opponent 13-8 in the third quarter.

The score grew closer as the Warriors kept chipping away and they held Liggett scoreless until halfway through the third quarter.

At the 4:36 mark, Cassie Breen went two-for-two on free throw attempts to tie the game 35-35.

The teams tied again at 36-36 and Woodhaven took a 40-38 lead after Allison Manning’s three-pointer at the 3:15 mark, but Liggett finished with a three-pointer of its own and led 43-40 after three.

The baskets were the same in the fourth quarter, but Liggett had the upper hand this time and secured their win.

Woodhaven was only down by three points, 51-48 with 1:23 to go, but fouls plagued the team and Liggett went 4-for-5 from the foul line in the last minute of the game.

Simons thought his team may have been too excited for senior night after missing many open opportunities and also acknowledged that inconsistent rebounding and a lack of three-pointers, two things the team is well known for, didn’t help the case.

“We didn’t rebound the ball like we normally do. We normally rebound much better than that,” Simons said. “Sometimes you life and die by the three, and we kind of died by it tonight.

“(And) being a senior on senior night, their last home game, I thought they were almost too pumped.”

The Warriors only finished with five triples, something the team has been known for all season.

Breen led the team with her 12 points, including two triples. She also brought down six rebounds.

Brianna Brennan and Whitley Currie each had nine points. Currie led the team with her 15 rebounds, and Brennan finished with eight.

Liggett was led by Lauren Ristovski who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Jessica Rotzoll recorded 15 points and three rebounds.

Simons had mixed feelings on the loss.

“In a sense, we say it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “But it does because that’s a good team you want to be able to compete with right before districts.”

The Warriors, who have been the dominant team Downriver all season, had to settle for a share of the DRL title last week after a loss to Anderson, and are now on a two game losing streak as they head into districts.

After defeating the Warriors last week and securing a share of the DRL title, the Anderson Titans added two more wins to their season, finishing 17-3 (12-1 DRL).

On Feb. 19, Anderson defeated Garden City in a 48-31 victory.

The Titans jumped out quick, and took a 16-5 lead after the first quarter and did not allow their opponent more than 10 points in any of the remaining quarters.

Tinara Moore led the team with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Amani Corley also had 14 points to go with her two rebounds, three steals and three assits.

Bailey Fast had a good night, contributing seven points, three rebounds, two blocks, three steals and five assists.

Two nights later the Titans took on Edsel Ford and crushed them in a 54-16 victory.

Similar to their game earlier in the week, the Titans had a 14-5 lead after the first quarter and held the Thunderbirds scoreless in the second quarter. In the second half, the defense proved strong and only allowed their opponent 11 points.

Corley led the team again with 14 points to go with her four rebounds, two steals, five assists and one block.

Moore had another double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. She also had seven blocks, four assists and one steal.

Leah Malam finished the night with 10 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two assists and Laekyn Jaciuk added 12 points.

The Titans had a bye in the first round and will face the winner of the Woodhaven-Roosevelt game tonight.

In their only game last week, the Roosevelt Bears hosted Edsel Ford and defeated the Thunderbirds 50-12.

Wyandotte took an 8-2 lead after the first quarter, held their opponent scoreless in the final quarter, and did not allow more than seven points in the remaining quarters en route to their victory.

Hailee Trombley led the team just short of a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. She also had two blocks and three steals.

Amber Smiddy and Rachel Carley each finished with eight points and Amelia Czarnota had seven.

Czarnota also recorded five steals and six assits. Carley had five rebounds, four steals and one assist, Smiddy had five rebounds and a steal, and Abby DeSana had six assists, three steals and four rebounds to go with her six points.

The Truman Cougars finished their season 11-9 after splitting games with Crestwood and Dearborn High last week.

Last Thursday the Cougars won a close 46-43 game against Dearborn.

The Pioneers led throughout the first three quarters, before Truman took over for the win.

The Cougars stayed close in the first and third quarters and trailed 12-10 after the first eight minutes.

April Micheaux led Truman with six points in the first quarter and accounted for all of the second quarter offense, another six points.

When Micheaux got into foul trouble, Truman was led by Victoria Fisher and Ciara Bush in the third quarter.

Putnam was pleased with the overall play of Bush, Fisher, Kadie Lee, Judah Frazier and Mariah Hopkins and said they played well together and applied good defensive pressure in the second half.

In the final quarter, the Cougars saw field goals from five different players to help secure their win.

Micheaux led the team with 16 points and five rebounds.

Fisher led the Cougars in rebounds with 12, to go with her seven points.

Bush finished the night with 7 points and four rebounds, Lee recorded six points, five assists and four steals, Frazier had six points and three steals and Mariah Hopkins and Chelsea Bedwell had two points each.

As a team, the Cougars went seven-for-14 from the foul line.

“The girls did a really good job of rallying together in this game to come back and earn the victory,” Putnam said. “Fisher and Bush really keyed our second half comeback and both of them probably played their best half of basketball this season in the second half of this game.

“Bush is only a sophomore and, as a coach, it was nice to see her effectively manage the game from the point guard position. Being in a close game like this one will be helpful to her growth and development as a point guard.”

The previous night the Cougars fell 42-35 to Crestwood.

The game remained close throughout the first half with Truman only trailing 8-6 after the opening quarter and 19-15 at the half.

The Cougars were paced by Bush in the second quarter who came off the bench to score five points.

In the third quarter, Crestwood extended their lead with a 15-11 run and also went four-for-four from the foul line, while the Cougars went zero-for-two.

Shots suffered in the final quarter and the Cougars were only able to add three two-point field goals to go with their three free throws.

They finished the night five-for-16 from the line.

Micheaux again led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Frazier followed close behind with 13 points and four rebounds. Bush finished with five points and Fisher had two points and six rebounds.

“Overall, I felt that we did a good job of staying in this game the entire 32 minutes,” Putnam said. “We were never really out of contention but we did not do ourselves any favors by shooting five of 16 from the free throw line.

“Our free throw difficulties along with the fact that we missed several shots inside the paint added up to us losing this game by seven points.”

The Cardinals finished their season 7-13 overall and 5-8 in the DRL after splitting games last week.

Melvindale defeated Redford Union 52-42 on Feb. 19.

Redford was up 28-25 at the half but the Cardinals played strong defense in the second half to secure their win.

“We didn’t do a good job of playing team defense and they did a good job of hitting their shots in the first half,” Melvindale Coach Tom Schick said. “We did a better job of team defense in the second half, holding them to 14 second half points.”

The game was highlighted by Katlyn White’s performance, playing with a sprained ankle.

White came out to start the second half with four steals and scored on all four of them.

“Her effort was what we needed to gain our confidence and we played a lot better after that,” Shick said.

Auriel Harris led the team with 33 points and Paige Filipowski added 15.

On Friday night, the team fell 59-20 against a tough Romulus team; the fastest team the Cards have seen all season.

“We struggled with their half court press and with their speed,” Schick said. “We just couldn’t get much done.

“They play a style that I eventually want to play at Melvindale and my players need to play against them so they can learn the tempo of that style.”

Harris accounted for almost all of the offense with her 13 points.

The Cardinals have a bye in the first round of districts and will play the winner of the River Rouge-Robichaud game tonight in the Divine Child District.

After a rough five game losing streak, the Carlson Marauders got a much needed win with their 52-40 victory over Airport.

The win was all that more special to the team as it was their senior night.

The team saw seven girls contribute to the scoring effort which was a big turn for the team and much needed as they head into districts.

Sarah Carlson accounted for much of the offense with 24 points and reached the 1000 point mark in her career.

Heading into the game, Carlson needed 17 points to reach the accomplishment and with two minutes to go in the first half, she was fouled and went to the line and got her 17 points with her first free throw.

“It was a very emotional night for all the girls, and we played really well,” Coach Phil Carlson said.

Last Updated: 2/26/2013 1:47:30 PM EST