South senior Claire DeBoer, left, dominated the paint and goes up for another two points with Dakota’s Rio Dudgeon attempting to defend. photo by Paul Kania.
January 17, 2013Grosse Pointe South's girls' basketball team showed why it is the squad to beat in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division this season.
Visiting Macomb Dakota, previously unbeaten, had the Blue Devils on the ropes, leading 34-21 at the half.
The smiles and high fives heading into the locker room turned into upside down and inside out after the final horn sounded and Grosse Pointe South turned the 13-point deficit into a huge 54-52 victory.
South sophomore Aliezza Brown scores two points
over Dakota senior Olivia Savage during the Blue
Devilsâ€™ close league win over the Cougars.
"Sure it's a huge win for us, beating a very good unbeaten Dakota squad," head coach Kevin Richards said. "We had to defend their three-point shooting better and turn up the defensive pressure, which we did and the results were in our favor."
The Blue Devils led 14-12 after a seesaw opening quarter, but it was all Dakota in the second quarter. The Cougars couldn't miss from the field and hit several three pointers to take a 34-21 halftime advantage.
The Cougars had all the momentum, but still had to play the second half.
Richards' crew played a much tougher non-league schedule than Dakota and it showed as the Blue Devils turned up the pressure at both ends of the court.
The Cougars turned the ball over 13 times and those were turned into easy transition baskets.
Senior Gretchen Shirar struggled with her shot throughout the game, but hit a huge three-pointer that tied the game at 46 and sophomore Aliezza Brown's steal and layup gave the home team a 48-46 lead.
Shirar converted a three-point play a minute later and all of sudden the Blue Devils had all the momentum and a 51-47 lead.
A 5-2 Cougar run made it a 53-52 Blue Devils lead and they had a chance to ice the game, but made only 1-of-3 free throws down the stretch to make it a 54-52 game with a half-minute left.
Dakota's last-second three-pointer to win the game was an air ball and a Cougar player tipped the ball out-of-bounds, giving South possession with 0.7 left on the clock.
One last heave down court nestled in senior Claire DeBoer's hands and the horn sounded. Game over, victory South.
DeBoer owned the paint in the second half and finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Brown led the way with 16 points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Cierra Rice had nine points and six rebounds, while Shirar finished with six points and senior Christy Flom had five.
Junior Bre Andrews had three to round out the Blue Devils' scoring.
The rematch at Dakota is Thursday, Jan. 31.
In other action last week, South crushed Sterling Heights Stevenson 54-14, improving to 3-0 in the MAC Red Division and 9-1 overall
The visiting Blue Devils led 18-1 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 31-6 at the half.
Andrews had 13 points and five rebounds, while Rice added 12 points and four rebounds.
DeBoer finished with 10 rebounds and seven points, while Shirar had eight points, and Brown had eight points and seven rebounds.
A couple of sophomores, Katie Kish and Cydney Webb, chipped in with six points and six rebounds, respectively, in the win.