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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Warriors win battle of DRL and HL heavyweights

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Capitalizing on turnovers and a steady rhythm helped the Woodhaven girls’ basketball team to a victory in its final regular season game on Tuesday night.

It was a battle of Downriver League and Huron League heavyweights when Flat Rock came to call and mistakes ultimately cost the Rams, giving the Warriors a 64-50 victory.

“Our pace was great,” Woodhaven Coach Doug Simons said after the win. “We’ve been trying to get back to that pace.

“I thought we trapped well, we pushed the ball well, we got a lot of shots off. That’s exactly what we wanted to do. They’ve got a couple really good post players so we wanted to get them in transition; wanted to get them back and forth and take away a little bit of their effectiveness.”

Flat Rock took a 4-3 lead early, but it was the only lead they would hold through the contest.

Lyndsay Brennan gave her Warriors a 5-4 lead and they never really looked back, going on a 9-point run for a 12-4 lead halfway through the quarter.

With 2:27 to go they had a 21-8 lead, but the scoring cooled off a little and Woodhaven led 22-15 after the first quarter.

Flat Rock made it a 5-point game several times over the next three quarters, but each time they made a run, Woodhaven added another basket to keep its distance.

Holli Rhodes hit a triple early for a 25-20 score but triples from Woodhaven’s Allison Manning and Erin Marvaso left the Warriors with the upper edge.

Late in the second, Flat Rock went on an 8-point run when Paige Villemure popped up with two quick triples and a two-point field goal for another 5-point game (35-30).

Woodhaven added one more basket before the buzzer for a 37-30 advantage at the half.

The third and fourth quarters were much of the same and ultimately it was turnovers that cost the Rams.

“You can’t turn the ball over 27 times and them turn it over seven and expect to win,” Flat Rock Coach Marc Villemure said. “We did a very poor job of handling the ball.

“I thought if we handled it well we would have been fine, but we didn’t and they capitalized on it and got up on us.

“It’s tough to come back on that team. As many possessions as they get, they shoot the ball enough as it is. To give them 20 extra ones; it’s not gonna happen.”

Villemure said he was happy with his team for pulling close several times, but would have liked to see them get over the edge.

“We got it to give and started going back and forth, but you just can’t have breakdowns and turn the ball over,” he said. “I thought we made a great run. (But) they hit some threes right out of the gate, which we knew they would.

“But like I said, they did a better job of taking care of the ball.”

Simons was pleased with his team for handling the pressure and running the floor well.

“I thought we spaced the floor really well,” he said. “I just thought that we had girls that took shots at the right time tonight instead of just throwing up anything.

“We had girls that if they were covered and if they didn’t catch it cleanly, they passed the ball.”

Simons said the team worked on not resting players, but getting into a true rotation to keep the pace going and said it worked.

Lyndsay Brennan didn’t lead the team in scoring, but was a big factor in the win, grabbing key rebounds and popping up with some timely, big blocks.

“The ball was in her hands a lot,” Simons said. “Whenever Cassie came out of the game, Lyndsay was running the offense (and) we never lost pace when Lyndsay was running the point guard spot.”

Simons was also pleased with the play of Kacey Cassette.

“She got her hands on a lot of balls tonight,” he said. “She would dive for the ball … she was jumping passing lanes, she was making contact on rebounds on every single play.

“That’s what she’s capable of; that’s the kind of contribution we like from a kid like that.”

Woodhaven’s Hailey Leidel led all scorers with 27 points and also brought down six rebounds.

Brennan finished with 13 points and five rebounds, Cassie Breen had 11 points and three rebounds and Allison Manning had nine points and six rebounds.

Paige Villemure led the Rams with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.

Morgan Villemure had eight points and eight rebounds, Paige Nemeth had five points and five rebounds and Rhodes finished with seven points and four rebounds.

Hannah Myre had six points.

The regular season is over for both teams and each starts districts on Monday.

“We’ve gotta get better before Monday,” Villemure said. “The regular season was great. We accomplished a lot, but now we’re 0-0 and we’ve got a new goal to set for next week.

“This is a good experience. I think it opened the eyes of our ball handling a little bit and hopefully we’ll sharpen that up.”

Last Updated: 2/18/2014 10:36:27 PM EST