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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Downriver League Roundup One (PHOTO)

After several years of frustration, the Allen Park basketball team finally ripped away a victory from city rival Cabrini. Photo by Larry Caruso

The start of Friday’s girls’ basketball game between Allen Park and Cabrini got off to a slow start. The finish was anything but.

Some timely buckets, a few big blocks and one last free throw attempt left host Allen Park on the winning side of the in-city rivalry game.

The score was only a three-point difference after each quarter and the Jaguars only led after the first; a 12-9 advantage.

Things got off to a slow start and Allen Park only led 5-2 almost halfway into the first quarter.

Two triples from sophomore Erin Fish and six points from sophomore Aly Kubik helped the hosts to a 12-9 lead after eight minutes.

In the second quarter, Carbini got things going and outscored Allen Park 11-5.

Caitlyn Lefebrue gave the Monarchs a 13-12 lead just two minutes into the frame and they built their way to a 20-17 advantage at the half.

The Jags were held scoreless for almost four and a half minutes before sophomore Audrey Newstead got the first points of the quarter with a field goal and a free throw.

After the break the Jags regrouped and four players combined for 16 points, including three triples in the third quarter.

The Monarchs kept right up, scoring 16 points of their own to hold on to their three-point lead heading into the final quarter.

The teams switched leads in the third quarter and Allen Park was led by captain Casey Bowdell.

The senior recorded seven points in the quarter, tied the game on two separate occasions with a free throw and a field goal and gave her team a 26-24 lead with a triple.

It was in the final quarter that things got interesting.

The intensity of play had been increasing with each new quarter and the fourth gave fans their money’s worth.

The Monarchs took an early 39-38 after a triple from Carlee Alley with less than a minute gone by.

The teams traded possessions and things heated up even more, but the scoring went stagnant for almost four minutes.

Cabrini struck first when Alley put up a field goal for a 41-38 lead.

Bowdell brought it back within one by knocking down two free throw attempts.

With less than a minute and a half to go, Bowdell came up with a big block and that resulted in Jaguar possession and junior guard Olivia Keeley came up big.

She scored all seven of her night’s points in the final quarter including a triple that gave Allen Park a 43-41 advantage.

With less than a minute to go, Kendel Adamus put up a field goal to tie the game, but Keeley responded with one of her own for another lead.

With 10.8 seconds go to, senior Hailey Lazarek knocked down one of two free throws for the comfortable three-point lead.

Lazarek led the team with 11 points and four rebounds on the night.

Bowdell finished with nine points and four rebounds, Fish and Kubik each had eight points and Keeley had seven points.

Cabrini was led by Alley with 13 points. Lefebrue finished with six points and Emily Deeter had five points and six rebounds.

The rival win was even more special for the Bowdell, who had been on varsity since her sophomore season and had never beaten Cabrini.

The captain encouraged her team before heading onto the court for the night.

“(I told them) that this is my last time to beat them and I wanted it and they wanted it,” she said about her teammates. “I was just trying to get them ready and pump them up.”

It was clear how much Bowdell wanted the win with her big blocks and steals in the final minutes of the game.

“I was just like, I can’t let them score,” she said. “I had to stop them somehow.

“I had to do what I had to do to make sure they didn’t score.”

Bowdell knew it was a team effort and said the free throw of Lazarek at the end was huge.

“They had to get three to tie it,” she said “If we wouldn’t have made it, they could have shot a three and they could have won, or they could have shot and tied it.”

The Jags got into foul trouble in the first half and Coach Chuck Perez was pleased with the efforts of those who stepped in.

“The girls that came in off the bench, they kept us in the game,” he said. “Savannah Mehi was a huge spark for us today coming off the bench.

“And Casey wanted the game really bad, being a senior.”

During a timeout near the end of the game, Perez said the team focused on positioning the subs and settling down on the offense to ensure the win.

He knew it would be a good game, though.

“We just knew it was going to be a test game,” he said. “Cabrini …. They’re always hustling 100 percent, so we had to go above their intensity.

“That was pretty much our message.”

Cabrini Coach Mike Rozanski said the game was typical of the two schools.

“I thought it was a typical rivalry game between us,” he said. “I’ve been in I don’t know how many of these now.

“I thought it basically was what I expected. I give my kids credit because my two starting guards are on the bench and kids were trying to play in positions they weren’t used to.”

Rozanski said he thought his team could have pulled away a bit in the fourth quarter and credited Allen Park with their effort.

“I give Allen Park credit,” he said. “They really did a nice job with their pressure, found where we were weak at and took advantage of it.”

The Monarchs are now 1-1 on the young season and look to two games next week.

“We get better on Monday, get kids healthy and do what we need to do,” Rozanski said.

Allen Park opened the season with a 59-50 league win over Gibraltar Carlson.

The Jags outscored the Marauders in every quarter and the first quarter saw quite a bit of scoring from each side. Allen Park led 17-12 after the first eight minutes.

Perez was very pleased with the team effort that saw 10 girls contribute to the scoring.

The defense was also strong, allowing just seven points in the second quarter and 11 points in the whole second half.

Bowdell had a strong season-starter with 13 points, five rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks. She knocked down three triples in the second half.

Lazarek finished the night with 10 points and four steals, Keeley had 10 points, two steals and two assists, Kubik added eight points and five steals and Fish finished with eight points and two steals.

Lisa Marsh (four points, three rebounds), Savannah Mehi (two points, six rebounds), Hannah Holer (two points, four rebounds), Emilee Semeniuk (one point, two rebounds, one steal), Rachel Caswell (three rebounds, two steals, two assists) and Newstead (one point, three rebounds, one steal, one assist) also contributed to the victory.

The Jags now turn to a busy week of three games.

Now 2-0, they took on Lincoln Park yesterday and will face a big test in Anderson on Thursday and face Inter-City Friday.

The Truman Cougars are also off to a 2-0 start this young season.

The season started with a 41-34 win over Detroit Consortium in a non-league matchup.

The teams were only tied 5-5 after the first and Consortium had a one-point lead (15-14) at the half and two-point lead (28-26) after the third.

Things stepped up for Truman in the third quarter when the team got field goals from four different players, including one from April Micheaux with six seconds left to tie things at 26.

In the final quarter, the Cougars switched to a zone defense and held Consortium to just six points, while the offense was led by Micheaux with nine points.

Coach Chad Putnam was pleased with his veteran players for stepping up for the win.

“This game was a battle throughout the entire contest and it was nice to see Micheaux assert herself and score nine points in the final quarter of play,” he said. “Going into the fourth quarter we trailed by two points, but the veteran players on our team played together and were able to defensively contain Detroit Consortium and secure the victory.”

Micheaux led the team with a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Judah Frazier chipped in six points and five rebounds, Ciara Bush had five points and Caprice King finished with four.

Two nights later the Cougars opened league play by knocking off Trenton 50-36.

Truman jumped out to a fast lead, led 20-3 after just one quarter and never really let the score get close.

With a zone defense, Frazier was able to put away three triples and finished with 14 points in the first quarter alone.

The Cougars did not allow a field goal in the first eight minutes; Trenton’s only points came from Kaylie Crowell’s free throws.

Putnam was thrilled with Frazier’s performance in the opening quarter.

“(She) got off to a great start,” he said. “Early in the quarter she was able to drive to the basket and score.

“By far, this was Judah Frazier’s best quarter she has played as a member of the Truman basketball team.”

Truman got into some foul trouble in the second quarter and only managed one field goal, but got right back to their scoring ways in the third and cruised through to the win.

Putnam was pleased with the work from Jewel Rubens, Mauricsa Dillard and Debbie Black who played key minutes while the starters went to the bench to mange fouls.

“Overall, we played fairly well throughout the game and it was important for us to get off to a good start in league play,” Putnam said. “Forty-eight of our 50 points came from our starting five and we got nice contributions from several players off the bench.”

The Cougars were led by Micheaux with another double-double of 22 points and 21 rebounds.

Frazier finished with 17 points (four triples) and eight rebounds and King had six points and eight rebounds.

The Trojans were led by Kaylie Crowell with 20 points, five rebounds and five steals.

Kallie Kornforfer came off the bench with six points and Madison Stackpool led the team with seven rebounds off the bench.

Trenton Coach Rob Sauter said he knew it was a slow start for his team.

“They really jumped out and played very well,” he said about Truman. “We were just very tentative, but we picked it up after that and did some good things.”

After allowing 40 percent of the night’s points to be scored in the first quarter, the Trojans picked things up and Sauter said a few players came off the bench and had a decent game.

“We were able to pick it up and play much better after that,” he said. “We just have to make sure that we don’t have these slow starts anymore.”

Trenton changed from a zone to a more man-to-man defense and Sauter said the team did much better that way.

Sauter said he felt like he learned a lot about his team and that the youth on the team are constantly getting better.

Moving forward, the Trojans will focus on defense and rebounding.

“We’ve been giving them too many points,” he said. “Once we clean those two areas up, we’ll have a better chance to win.”

Two nights earlier, Trenton fell to non-league Riverview 48-36 in each team’s season-opener.

A big third quarter helped propel the Bucs over Trenton after the Trojans took an early 6-2 lead.

The teams saw a few Riverview leads and tied games and the Bucs led 24-21 at the half.

Riverview took off in the third quarter, outscoring Trenton 18-10 with 12 of the points coming from Kirsten Chambers.

The final quarter was a low-scoring affair, but the Bucs edged Trenton 6-5 for the win.

Chambers led all scorers on the night with 21 points and finished the night three-for-four on free throws.

For Riverview, Andrea Machnacki finished with seven points and eight rebounds, Michala Burke had six points and seven rebounds and Anastasia Smith had six points and eight rebounds.

Trenton was led by Crowell with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Aevah Hebda had 10 points, including three triples and six rebounds and Briana Plonka had seven points.

Riverview Coach Marty Mucha was happy with the win but said his team got off to a slow start and credited that to not having played a preseason scrimmage.

“The girls I think had butterflies,” he said. “They didn’t scrimmage or anything this year, so that was the first competition basically.

“I think we’ll improve.”

Last Updated: 12/10/2013 2:31:41 PM EST

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