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Beline Obeid

December 13, 2012
Head coach Kevin Richards knows his Grosse Pointe South girls' basketball team has a target on its back this season.

After coming within two points of winning a state championship last season, the Blue Devils are once again one of the state-title contenders and everyone will give them their best shot.

Grosse Pointe South’s Aliezza Brown dribbles down court during the Blue Devils’ win over Port Huron Northern. photo by Paul Kania.
"The girls realize everyone wants to play their best and beat us and that is OK because it makes our girls play harder, too," Richards said.

After opening the season with a loss to Chicago Whitney Young, South returned home last weekend and beat Port Huron Northern 51-43.

"They're a 17-win team from a year ago, so we knew they would battle," Richards said. "This was a good basketball game and it was nice to get the first win of the season."

The Blue Devils used two scoring spurts, one in the second quarter and another to open the fourth, to stretch the lead to double digits.

In the first run, freshman Natalia Engel drained two three-pointers and the backcourt duo of sophomores Cierra Rice and Aliezza Brown scored four layups to help the home team turn a 14-11 deficit into a 30-22 halftime advantage.

The lead stayed between eight and 11 through most of the third quarter and was at 14 early in the fourth quarter.

The Huskies made a run late in the game and had a chance to cut it to three ­— or two with a three-pointer — but they missed and the Blue Devils were able to grab the rebound.

Rice led the way with 16 points and Brown followed with 13 for the Blue Devils. Engel finished with six points, as did senior Christy Flom. Senior Claire DeBoer was held to four points.

"Northern was double- and triple-teaming Claire, taking her out of the game," Richards said. "Our guards came through and our bench played well."

Grosse Pointe South improved to 1-1 overall.

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