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Grosse Ile wins district title in double OT PHOTO GALLERY

  • Grosse Ile's Eric Smorch (40) had a big triple in double OT that proved to be a turning point for the Red Devils. The triple gave his team a 68-64 lead and they kicked it up to win 82-74 and secure their first district title in 10 years. Photos by Dave Chapman
It was Grosse Ile’s game to lose.

Up on Summit Academy in Friday’s district final game by as many as 18 points at one point, the Red Devils found themselves heading into double overtime with the Dragons.

But a huge triple sent a spark into the Red Devils’ shoes and they came through with the 82-74 victory.

The game-changer came about a minute into the second overtime.

The teams had traded leads back and forth down the stretch through the fourth quarter and first overtime and Grosse Ile had a 65-64 edge.

About a minute into the second OT, Eric Smorch came off the Red Devil bench after not playing the fourth quarter or first overtime.

The ball found its way to the senior’s hands, he jumped up with it and drilled a triple into the net for a 68-64 lead.

The Red Devils never looked back.

“The was a huge three, absolutely,” Grosse Ile Coach Bryan Friel said. “For him, that was just a huge shot.”

Summit made a few small pushes over the next three minutes but each time they got within three, Grosse Ile pushed right back.

Danny McCarty was playing with four fouls but continued to push, giving Grosse Ile a 72-67 lead halfway through the four-minute double OT and Summit never got any closer.

Early on, Grosse Ile had tough time getting inside and the Dragons took an early 6-2 lead.

But with just under five to go in the opening quarter, Smorch came up with his first triple of the night and tied the game at seven.

Then the Red Devils kicked it up.

“All of the sudden we started getting some drives and getting some rebounds,” Friel said.

Grosse Ile outscored Summit 14-6 in the second quarter behind solid free throw shooting. As a team they went 10-of-11 in the second quarter alone and finished the night 27-of-36.

“That’s one thing we’ve done all season,” Friel said. “These guys, they stay after practice and they work on their free throws.

“We’ve been a poor free throw shooting team for years since I’ve been here and this is finally the first group that actually makes free throws. It was huge tonight.”

Grosse Ile led 17-10 after the first quarter and 31-16 at the half, but that quickly changed.

If the second quarter belonged to Grosse Ile, the third definitely belonged to Summit.

The Dragons came out with an intense energy and held Grosse Ile scoreless for almost two minutes.

Randall Micheaux made a huge impact, scoring 12 of his nights 20 points in the quarter and helping to cut the Dragons’ deficit to four several times.

Friel said his team started turning the ball over and he reminded them to slow down.

“It was just about being patient,” he said. “Let them come to you.

“We’re trying to force things on them and that really was all it was about.”

Down by three after three, Summit’s Cory Hicks opened the fourth quarter with a big triple that tied the game at 47-all.

He continued to put the Red Devils on edge.

With 2:41 to play he sank his fourth triple of the game to tie the game 56-56 and tied it again at 58-58 just over a minute later.

Leavohn Lewis tied things up at 60 each and the score held through the final buzzer, forcing overtime.

Summit took a 63-62 lead after a triple from non other than Hicks.

With less than 30 seconds to go, Grosse Ile’s Tyler Moores went to the charity stripe and put away one of two attempts to force the second overtime.

“We knew it was gonna be a battle,” Friel said. “We didn’t expect to get up that big that early.

“They (Summit) definitely played awesome and came back and forced it into a two overtime game.”

Grosse Ile was led by McCarty and Tyler Moores who each finished the night with 26 points.

Tommy Daly had 12 points and six rebounds, Justin Moores finished with eight points and six boards and Smorch had seven points.

“Everybody played great tonight,” Friel said. “McCarty, Tyler Moores; Justin Moores didn’t even come off the floor as a freshmen; Tommy Daly’s been there all year.”

The Dragons were led by Hicks who topped all scorers with 31 points.

Micheaux finished with 20 points and Christian Flanigan had eight points and seven boards.

The district title was Grosse Ile’s first in 10 years.

The Red Devils move on to play Huron League rival Milan on Monday at 7:30 at Flat Rock.

“I’m feeling awesome,” Friel said after the win. “Right now we’re gonna enjoy this game and we’ll figure (Milan) out on Sunday.”



Last Updated: 3/7/2014 11:34:17 PM EST

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