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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Woodhaven reaches first-ever regional final with OT win (PHOTO)
The Woodhaven Warriors needed overtime to reach the district finals last week and advanced to the Class A regional finals in a similar fashion by defeating host Saline 60-58 in OT in Tuesday's regional semifinals. Photo by Dave Chapman.
A week ago, the Warriors had to see overtime before advancing to the district finals.
Tuesday night was much of the same when the Warriors again saw overtime before defeating host Saline 60-58 to advance to Thursday’s regional finals.
Woodhaven got off to a nice start and sat a 6-0 lead almost halfway through the opening quarter but Saline pushed themselves into the game and only trailed 12-9 after the first eight minutes.
Things fell apart in a free-throw filled second quarter and the Warriors saw almost all of their points come from the charity line.
The Warriors went six-for-11 from the foul line, while the Hornets went six-for-eight and took a 24-20 lead at the half.
Woodhaven’s three point game showed up in the third quarter and kept he team in the game.
After picking up her third foul early in the game and sitting much of the second quarter, Cassie Breen came back to the floor and made three quick triples for the Warriors.
“She had a couple big threes for us to get us back in it,” Coach Doug Simons said.
Saline Shubik and Hailey Liedel also contributed triples in the quarter, but the Warriors still trailed 41-38 after three.
The Warriors kept chipping away in the fourth and it came down to the last minutes with both benches holding their breath as the lead flipped back and forth.
With 2:38 to play in regulation, Woodhaven’s Brianna Brennan got a field goal to tie the game 48-48 and Whitley Currie gave the Warriors a 50-48 lead with 1:58 to go.
Saline’s Caitlin Ellis quickly tied the game and then gave her team the lead but Allison Manning’s free throw attempts with 43 seconds left tied the game 52-52.
Breen went for the game winning shot as time ran out, but the basket was no good and the teams went to overtime.
The overtime was much of the same and Saline’ sMelissa Needham had two free-throw attempts to tie the game at 56.
Thirty seconds later, Breen had her own free throw to give the Warriors a 57-56 advantage but Ellis responded with a field goal to give her teal the lead.
Manning came up big again with 42 seconds to go in overtime and the Warriors were ahead and when Saline was called for traveling with 4.2 seconds to go, Woodhaven held on for the win.
Simons was pleased with the win but said his team did not play their style of basketball for three quarters.
“(We) started out the game pretty strong I thought and then we kind of went conservative in the middle but came back around and played hard in the fourth quarter,” Simons said. “In a tournament like this, if you have two bad quarters you usually lose.
“So give our kids credit. They battled back, they never gave up. It was jus tone of those where you just keep it close (and) normally we don’t like to keep it close.”
Simons thought his team’s out of the norm playing style was due to nerves going up against a strong Saline.
“They (Saline) were a discipline team,” Simons said. “You look at that team on paper, and I think they were a lot better than what they showed.
“They’re disciplined and didn’t make a lot of mistakes and we did, so give them credit.”
The Warriors saw scoring efforts from six players in their victory.
Breen, despite missing part of the second quarter, topped the score books with 21 points and brought down five rebounds.
Brennan dominated the glass all night and finished with a double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Currie recorded nine points and eight rebounds, Manning had five points and 10 rebounds, Shubik finished with four points and Liedel had a triple.
As a team, the Warriors shot 10-for-21 from the foul line.
The Hornets were led by Ellis with her double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Needham had 16 points and six rebounds, Amanda Zylstra finished with seven points and six rebounds and Emily Reyst went four-for-five from the free throw line and brought down five rebounds.
With the victory, the Warriors advance to play John Glenn in the regional finals.
Simons says his team will have to turn things around to have a shot at advancing to the state quarterfinals.
“We have to play much better than what we played (tonight) thought, or we wont move on,” he said
The Warriors face John Glenn at 7 pm on Thursday in Saline.
Last Updated: 3/6/2013 12:05:40 AM EST