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Girls' District Basketball: Flat Rock gets by Airport without its leading scorer Photo/Tout Video

Morgan Villemure (10) stepped up in the absence of her sister Paige Monday night with nine points and five rebounds. Photo by Frank Wladyslawski

After a Huron League title this season and an 18-3 overall record, Flat Rock was forced to take the court Monday at districts without someone most responsible for that success.

The Rams (19-3, 14-0 Huron) were missing injured forward Paige Villemure (14.3 ppg), who is the team's leading scorer and one of the area’s best shooters.

Despite her absence, Flat Rock came away with a 43-35 victory against host Airport in the first round of the Class B, District 39 playoffs.

Helping guide the squad to victory was her sophomore sister, Morgan Villemure, who had nine points and five rebounds, as well as nine points from Paige Nemeth and eight from Hannah Myre.

“I’m really proud of the way we came out, considering that we didn’t have Paige today,” the younger Villemure said. “We came out and played really solid defense. I think we all stepped it up.”

The elder Villemure suffered an ankle injury in the team’s non-league battle with Woodhaven last week and is hopeful to return Wednesday, when the Rams will face Grosse Ile in the semifinals.

To open the night against Airport, Flat Rock held a 14-10 advantage after the first quarter, getting four points from Marina Steffke and three each from Villemure and Holli Rhodes. Airport countered with four points from Jenna Meyer and contributions from three other players.

With about three minutes left in the second quarter, the Rams began a 16-0 run that went well into the third quarter.

The stretch was highlighted by a second-quarter triple at the buzzer from Nemeth, which sent her team into the half up 28-17.

Rams’ Coach Marc Villemure said the squad came out with a plan Monday night as to how it would score against Airport and executed well most of the night.

“To get up and down the floor and try to create as many possessions as we could,” he said. “We knew if we could run them up and down and get out quickly, which we did; I thought we’d have a good chance at creating some easy buckets.”

Airport finally got on the board about halfway through the third quarter with a 3-pointer from Miranda Umin and soon after took advantage of some free throws to stay within striking distance, as it trailed 36-25 heading into the final eight minutes.

Flat Rock scored the first four points of the final quarter, but the Jets cut the deficit to single digits at 42-33 and then 43-35 inside the last minute, helped by seven points from Chelsea Mossburg.

Airport went on to get a late steal, but a traveling call squashed any more thoughts of a comeback and Flat Rock hung on for the eight-point win.

On Wednesday, the Rams will take on Grosse Ile, which finished second in the Huron League, and the game will start at 5:30 p.m. at Airport. During the regular season, Flat Rock beat the Red Devils (16-3, 11-2 Huron) by scores of 50-43 and 48-38.

The winner of Wednesday’s game will play either Huron or Cabrini on Friday for the district title.

















Last Updated: 2/25/2014 12:37:24 PM EST

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