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South, Liggett win district titles


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South coaches and players are all smiles after beating city rival Grosse Pointe North in a Class A district championship game. photo by Bob Bruce.

March 06, 2014
Right from the opening couple of minutes of the game, it was evident host Grosse Pointe South would beat city rival Grosse Pointe North and capture a third straight Class A district championship.

The Blue Devils led 6-0 and 17-7 before settling in and beating the Norsemen 71-38. Their defense forced the Norsemen to turn the ball over on their first three possessions and scored the first six points in about a minute.

North head coach Gary Bennett called a timeout to curb the run, but the Norsemen's attempt to slow the game down didn't work.

"Our girls were focused tonight and the entire district tournament," South head coach Kevin Richards said. "We had some good practices after not playing up to our potential the final few games of the regular season.

"I saw the girls step up and play with a lot of intensity. We're going to need it if we're to get back to the Final Four."

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"We were never in this game," Bennett said. "South is very athletic and they forced us to commit a lot of turnovers and take quick shots. South is a very good basketball team and we weren't tonight."

The Blue Devils put their game into overdrive in the second quarter, outscoring the Norsemen 22-12 to build a 39-19 halftime lead.

It was 58-31 when the horn sounded ending the third quarter.

This was the third time this season South beat North and stretched its winning streak over North to eight.

The Norsemen committed 25 turnovers to only seven for the Blue Devils, which was a huge factor in the outcome.

Leading the Blue Devils were three players in double figures. Junior Aliezza Brown had 24 points, including making six three-pointers, while junior Cierra Rice and senior Bre Andrews followed with 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Sophomore Benna Ames had seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the district title victory.

For the Norsemen, sophomore Erin Armbruster had a double-double, netting 10 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Lauren Lesha had eight points off the bench.

Senior Jayla Hubbard and sophomore Lucy Dodge each scored seven points.

Grosse Pointe South improved to 22-1 and Grosse Pointe North ended its season 12-10, playing most of it without all-state senior guard Maria Liddane, who injured her knee early in the season.

Each team had an easy road to the finals.

North defeated Detroit Denby 65-30 in the semifinals and Detroit East English Village Prep 63-22 in the first round, while South crushed Detroit Southeastern 70-7 in the semifinals and Detroit Osborn 96-17 in the first round.

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