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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Dominant second half lifts Flat Rock over Carlson (PHOTO)

Paige Nemeth (3) and the Flat Rock Rams ran away in the second quarter to knock off Carlson for their first win of the season. Photo by Larry Caruso



There was about as much rust between the Flat Rock girls’ basketball team and the Carlson Marauders as you might expect on Monday night, following a full off-season layoff.

The game was littered with turnovers and fouls but it was the Rams who got hot in the second half and made enough plays to win, routing the Marauders by a final score of 50-23.

The Rams came out of the first quarter with a 13-5 lead backed by some nice defensive plays and a couple of assists by junior small forward Paige Villemure. But it was Paige Blakeslee’s tough rebounding and nice touch at the free throw line (3-of-3 in the first half) that got Carlson back into the game in the second quarter.

Blakeslee led the Marauders with seven first half points and helped Carlson control the boards, which in turn helped them control the second quarter. Carlson scored 13 second quarter points to Flat Rock’s nine and out rebounded the Rams 14-7 to cut their lead down to five points by the half. The Rams took a 22-18 lead into the locker room.

Flat Rock Head Coach Marc Villemure said he expected his team to come out a little rusty in the opening game of the season.

“It was a typical start, first game of the year, “Villemure said. “We played well in spurts but also played sloppy in stretches. We played well defensively, I thought, but offensively we were really out of sync.

“Then we made some adjustments in the second half and got some good looks and the shots started to fall.”

After a strong first half, Villemure really caught fire in the second half. She propelled the Rams to a 15-5 run in the third quarter to put Flat Rock up 37-21 heading into the final frame. Villemure then really broke the game open by hitting two three-pointers right out of the gate in the fourth. She scored 14 points in the second half and also swatted a couple shots away on the defensive end.

Flat Rock’s defense forced the Marauders to miss every field goal they attempted in the second half. All five of their second half points came at the free throw line.

Carlson Head Coach Phil Carlson said he thought his team put much more effort into the first half than they did into the second.

“I was not happy with the second half performance,” Carlson said. “I thought we came out and played really hard; we kept coming after them. But then once they scored a couple baskets in the third quarter we went a little helter-skelter and the effort wasn’t where I wanted it to be.”

Coach Carlson said his team failed to execute on offense repeatedly down the stretch and it showed. The Marauders wound up winning the rebounding battle in the second half 11-8 to win the overall board war by a total of 25-15. But those numbers wouldn’t reflect the 50-23 final score.

Paige Villemure finished with 18 points for Flat Rock and junior Holli Rhodes wasn’t far behind her, netting 17 points and hitting four three-pointers. Morgan Villemure led the way on the glass with five rebounds.

Blakeslee led the Marauders in scoring with her seven first half points. She also tied for the team-lead in boards and grabbed five rebounds in the game, as did Kristina Torres.

Flat Rock will take a 1-0 record into the Tip-off Classic at Arbor Preparatory High School, where they will take on Flint Southwestern this Saturday. Carlson will visit Allen Park on Thursday.



Last Updated: 12/2/2013 10:45:15 PM EST

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