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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Anderson shuts out Woodhaven in OT, remains undefeated in DRL (PHOTOS)
Anderson was down by five points with 20 seconds left in Thursday's game. The Titans tied things up to force overtime and shutout the Warriors to win 56-48. Photo by Larry Caruso
Cassie Breen (32) had a big fourth quarter of 13 points to give Woodhaven its first lead of the game. Photo by Larry Caruso
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The Anderson-Woodhaven girls’ basketball games are always highly anticipated in the Downriver League and when each team is undefeated in the league, the anticipation rises.
Thursday’s game did not disappoint and not to anyone’s surprise, went to overtime before the Titans prevailed 56-48.
Woodhaven had stayed close through most of the contest and really made it a game in the fourth quarter when the Cassie Breen show started.
The senior finished the quarter with 13 points
With 1:21 left to play, Breen sunk a shot to give her team its first lead of the game.
A steal and two field goals later, the Warriors had a 48-43 lead with 22 seconds to go.
It looked like that was the game, but the Titans, who had been in this situation all too often, had other plans.
A season ago the teams split league games to share the DRL title and went to triple overtime before Woodhaven prevailed in the district semifinal.
“I told them … this is a very similar situation,” Anderson Coach Larry Sakalas said about his team’s final timeout in the fourth quarter. “They all looked at me and said yes and I said we answered that last year, do you think we can do it again and they said yes we can.
“So we drew up a play to try to spring Laekyn (Jaciuk) for a three-pointer and actually Tinara (Moore) was our second option.”
Jaciuk was covered, but Moore popped open and with 20.4 seconds to go and sunk the three to make it a two-point game.
Seven seconds later, Jaciuk got her open shot and the basket tied the game and forced overtime.
It wasn’t the first time the teams had seen the situation. In last year’s district semifinal, it was Jaciuk who kept popping up to force overtimes.
The situation was not lost on the junior.
“We’ve been in that situation before,” she said. “It’s nothing new.
“It’s almost bound to happen with Woodhaven at this point, so just keep working (because) it’s not over until the final buzzer.”
In the final quarter, the momentum swung back Anderson’s way as they outscored the Warriors 8-0 for the win.
It was scoreless until almost halfway through the extra quarter when Jaciuk got an open shot for the field goal.
A big Woodhaven turnover on a pass straight to Jaciuk put the Titans up by four and Amani Corley came up with to free throws and a field goal with just over 10 seconds to go that iced the win.
With less than a minute to go, Woodhaven was getting the chances, but Breen went out with a knee injury and they could not complete the comeback.
Early in the game it was a scoreless first two minutes before Anderson got on board with 5:43 left in the first quarter.
Moore got the first field goal of the game and the Titans built up an 8-1 lead before Lyndsay Brennan got the scoring started for the Warriors and three straight field goals made it a one-point game (8-7).
Anderson pulled away again in the second quarter and Leah Malam’s two-pointer with 1:10 left to play in the half gave Anderson a 23-13 lead, it’s biggest lead of the night.
The Titans led 15-7 at the end of the first and took a 25-17 lead into the second half.
The Warriors made it a five-point game (37-32) after three before things got interesting in the fourth.
“It just seemed like we were really close the whole way and we couldn’t get over the fence,” Woodhaven Coach Rodney Scharboneau said. “We kept telling them just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re getting shots and they’ll fall.
“The big shot of the game was Tinara’s three-pointer. That was the one that took momentum back in their favor (and) we never really recovered from it.”
Sakalas said it was an exciting game and his first thoughts on overtime were “not again” but then said he was happy to be heading to overtime after being down by five with 20 seconds to go.
“Woodhaven’s a very good team,” he said. “They’re as good as last year. Cassie’s a very good player and we were fortunate she missed a shot at the end of the game there.
“I thought we definitely played very well at times. That’s a team that’s averaging 68-70 points a game and we held them to 48 and one of our goals was to try to hold them to under 50.”
It was a team effort for the Titans who saw eight players contribute to the score sheet.
Jaciuk’s big points were not lost on Sakalas.
“She’s got a motor that doesn’t stop,” he said. “She doesn’t know how to stop. She’s a clutch player.
“We’ve got some girls that are returners on this team that are clutch players, Laekyn being one of them. Amani, even though she had a rough game shooting tonight, she hit two big free-throws and made a big layup in overtime.”
Sakalas said his team got great minutes from Chrissy Anderson and great minutes from Megan Browe off the bench, as well as Celeste Black and Andrea Thornsberry all in the first half when Laekyn was in foul trouble.
“That’s a team effort in my opinion,” he said. We played 10 girls tonight and it was outstanding.
“I was very happy that all of them stepped up and did what they were supposed to do.”
Moore led all scorers on the night with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Jaciuk finished with 10 points and three rebounds, Malam had eight points and eight rebounds and Corley had six and seven rebounds.
Woodhaven was led by Breen with a double-double of her own of 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Brennan had 10 points and seven rebounds, Hailey Leidel finished with eight points and six rebounds and Erin Marvaso and Allison Manning had five points each.
Scharboneau said it was a great game for his team and he looks forward to seeing the Titans again at the end of the season.
“There’s so many great kids out there playing hard and it’s great to see,” he said. “We knew that they’re the team to beat coming in … they’re really good. We talked about how we believe in ourselves too and said let’s see what we can do.
“I think we can improve from here. I’m looking forward to playing them again; I wish we could play them every time.”
The loss was Woodhaven’s first of the season and Anderson remained undefeated in the league with the win.
“This is a game we look forward to all season so to pick up this win, it feels great because they played real well,” Jaciuk said. “(But) it’s not over. Every win counts.
“Just one win against Woodhaven doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win the rest, so we’ve gotta keep working.”
The teams are back on the court Tuesday when Woodhaven takes on Roosevelt and Anderson faces Melvindale.
Last Updated: 1/17/2014 1:08:03 PM EST