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GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: Grosse Ile lives at the free throw line, tops Huron

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Fouls made all the difference in the world in a closely contested Huron League rivalry game in New Boston on Thursday night.

The Grosse Ile girls’ basketball team (15-3) got to the free-throw line a whopping 28 times and that helped guide them to victory over the Huron Chiefs (10-7) by a final score of 51-40.

“In the fourth quarter I wanted ball control and to work the clock down,” said Grosse Ile Coach Sandy Tobin. “I wanted the ball to stay in our hands for a long time each time we got possession.”

That strategy seemed to frustrate Huron, who had four girls foul out of the game according to their head coach, Jim Kalbfleisch.

Everyone came out sluggish to start the game on both sides, excluding Chiefs forward Hailey Richardson. Richardson shined in the opening minutes of the game, scoring her team’s first nine points and leading them to an 11-8 lead after one quarter of play.

“Hailey’s solid, she’s really makes us go,” Kalbfleisch said. “She played another good game tonight but we just ended up not getting much help for her offensively.”

The Red Devils pulled ahead of Huron in the second quarter thanks to contributions up and down the lineup and consistent rebounding. They managed 17 boards to Huron’s 11 in the first half and that was a big reason why they took a 25-24 lead into halftime.

“Rebounding is always how you win games, really,” Coach Tobin said. “If you control the boards you’re going to be in it and our job on the glass tonight makes me really happy.”

After a neck and neck first half, Grosse Ile was able to pull away a bit once they found their shooting stroke. The Red Devils nailed three 3-pointers in the third. Megan Moco hit two of them and scored nine second-half points altogether.

“Megan Moco really kind of lifted us with two big buckets in a row there,” Coach Tobin said. “She really helped move our offense a lot quicker in the second half as well.”

Grosse Ile came out of the third quarter with a 40-33 lead and then proceeded to make a killing at the free-throw line in the fourth.

All 11 of their fourth-quarter points came at the charity stripe. Kalbfleisch said he thought a lot of the calls that ended up in Grosse Ile’s favor in the second half could have easily gone the other way.

“Every time (the referees) blew the whistles it was against us,” he said. “I don’t know what the deal was with that but it was bad. (Grosse Ile) was trapping us and they were playing pressure defense and we were playing zone, all the way back, and yet every foul was against us. What can I say.”

Huron hit a couple of threes late, one by Carley Ames and one by My-Nhi Nguyen, but unfortunately for the Chiefs, those were their only two field goals of the fourth quarter, so they didn’t factor much into the outcome.

Megan Swick led the Red Devils with 17 points while Moco and Kate Tobin scored nine apiece. Erin Carney grabbed seven rebounds and Megan Swick hauled in six more for Grosse Ile.

Richardson double-doubled for Huron in the loss with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Savannah Floyd scored eight points and pulled down four boards.

Huron will visit Allen Park on Tuesday and then Airport on Wednesday. The Red Devils will remain on the road next week and close out their so-far stellar season in games against Trenton on Tuesday and Cabrini on Thursday.

“I always love the matchup between Trenton and Grosse Ile,” Coach Tobin said. “It’s a great rivalry. I always look forward to going into Trenton and I’m expecting it to be a good game.”

Last Updated: 2/14/2014 12:05:40 AM EST