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South forces tempo, beats North

South junior Aliezza Brown, right, drives past North junior Megan Lesha during the Blue Devils' win over the Norsemen. photo by Bob Bruce.

January 23, 2014
It didn't take long for host Grosse Pointe South to put a strangle hold on city rival Grosse Pointe North in a division game last weekend.

The Blue Devils' up-tempo style was too much for the Norsemen. The home team led 19-8 after the first quarter and it was 33-15 at the half.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half, even though players from both squads had good looks at the basket.

It was 44-21 after three quarters and the final score was South 53, North 30.

"We wanted to push the ball every chance we had and we were able to do that," South head coach Kevin Richards said. "We could see they were gassed late in the first quarter and that played into our system.

"We knew we had to play a good game because Gary (Bennett) would have his kids ready."

"We're too robotic on offense and we weren't going to be able to run up and down the court with them," North head coach Gary Bennett said. "I told the girls we had to slow it down, but we weren't able to do that.

"Despite the final score, I was proud of how our girls played against a good South team. This was a learning experience for our younger kids."

The Blue Devils forced the Norsemen into 17 turnovers and junior Cierra Rice took advantage of several of those, converting the steals into transition baskets.

Rice finished with a game-high 19 points and junior Aliezza Brown had 11.

Other South scorers were sophomore Anna Carmody with seven, sophomore Benna Ames with six, senior Bre Andrews with four, sophomore Natalia Engel with three, junior Katie Kish with two and sophomore Elizabeth Rauh with one.

For the Norsemen, senior Jayla Hubbard was a force in the paint, tallying 12 points and a dozen rebounds, while sophomore Lucy Dodge had six points. Senior Phoebe Dodge had five points.

Earlier in the week, North won a big division game, defeating Macomb Dakota 47-43.

The host Norsemen played a near flawless first half, taking a 30-13 lead.

They had to hang on tight in the second half as the Cougars fought back to make it close down the stretch.

Carney and Hubbard paced a balanced Norsemen attack, scoring nine points apiece. Phoebe Dodge had eight points, followed by Lucy Dodge with seven, junior Megan Lesha with six and Armbruster with six.

Grosse Pointe North is 2-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division and 5-4 overall, and Grosse Pointe South is 4-0 in the Red Division and 11-1 overall.

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