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Woodhaven surives multiple comeback attempts for 58-56 win over Southgate Anderson in Class A district semifinals (with video)
Jared Purcell | firstname.lastname@example.org, February 27, 2013 11:19 p.m.
Woodhaven girls basketball coach Doug Simons celebrates his team’s 58-56 double-overtime victory over Southgate Anderson on Wednesday night in the Class A district semifinals. – (Jared Purcell | email@example.com)
Woodhaven senior Brianna Brennan (left) and Southgate Anderson junior Mani Corley scan the floor during Wednesday night’s Class A district semifinal. – (Jared Purcell | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Woodhaven freshman Lyndsay Brennan drives with the ball against Southgate Anderson in the Class A district semifinals. – (Jared Purcell | email@example.com)
There were plenty of tears on Wednesday night at the Wyandotte Roosevelt gym. Some were the cause of defeat, others were the result of victory.
But for Woodhaven senior Brianna Brennan, there was only shock.
The cause for Brennan’s shock was the fact that the Woodhaven girls basketball team had finally topped Southgate Anderson, 58-56, after two overtimes and multiple edge-of-your-seat moments. The result also keeps Woodhaven’s season alive as it moves on to the Class A district finals against Gibraltar Carlson on Friday.
“When it was 56-50, I thought we had it,” Brennan said.
She was wrong, even after Woodhaven made it 57-50 with 51.4 seconds to play in the second overtime.
In the span of 16.1 seconds, Anderson sophomore Laekyn Jaciuk hit back-to-back three’s to cut Woodhaven’s lead to just 57-56 with 29.9 seconds left. Woodhaven (19-3) went from victory mode to survival mode in an instant.
“Laekyn, on the other team, hit her two three’s – she’s an outstanding player,” Brennan said. “But, at the end of the day, we just wanted it more. We’ve worked so hard for this and its finally here. We’ve got one more game (for a district title).”
Even if Woodhaven wanted it more, it nearly let the game slip through its hands one last time before the final buzzer as Anderson junior Tinara Moore came up with a steal in the final 15 seconds. But a couple of rushed passes led to a loose ball and Woodhaven senior Salina Shubik dove onto the ball and gained possession back for the Warriors.
A Shubick free-throw and an Anderson turnover finally ended the game.
“We were prepared for a two point game,” Woodhaven coach Doug Simons said. “We beat them by 20 the first time, they beat us by 30 the second time. It was like we knew that both teams were not going to give an inch.”
And if an inch was given, it was taken right back. With Woodhaven winning 41-30 at the end of the third quarter – the largest lead for either team – Anderson (17-4) roared back with an 11-0 run to tie the game 41-41 with 2:26 left in regulation.
With Anderson holding onto the ball for the final shot in the fourth quarter, down 45-43, Jaciuk picked a heck of a time to hit her first shot of the game with 3.0 seconds left. The best Woodhaven could do was toss up a half-court shot that fell well short.
“One of the things about our team is that a lot of different people can score,” Woodhaven coach Larry Sakalas said. “… We’re a very good and well balanced team. We always know that we are never out of something.”
Both teams struggled for quality possessions in the first overtime as both teams played aggressively on defense, forcing turnovers and contested shots. Brennan scored the seven of her game-high 21 points in the two overtime periods.
“She just absolutely just wanted the ball in her hands,” Simons said. “She just absolutely wants to be the two-point game at the end … Bri has a tendency to just go get the ball. She wants the ball. She’s really a (center) and she’s playing point guard, just because she wants it that bad.”
Although Anderson got plenty of production from the 6-foot-4 Moore on offense (15 points), Woodhaven did its best to contain Anderson junior Mani Corley, holding her to just six points form the field and 10 points overall. Woodhaven junior Allison Manning denied her so fiercely that she ended up fouling out in the fourth quarter. Still her teammates did not let up any slack.
“I thought Allion Manning had a heck of a game,” Simons said. “She took that challenge before she fouled out to deny her as much as she possibly could.”
Anderson managed four players in double figures to Woodhaven’s one, as senior Sarah Kircos finished with 13 points and Jacuik finished with 11 points to complete the quintet.
“We were down 11 and we battled back from that,” Sakalas said. “We’re just a hard working team. They always battle and they always played hard. We had our opportunities to win it in both overtimes but we just couldn’t get it done. If we make just one shot, one free-throw, one something – you know, then it’s a different story.”
Woodhaven also used its 3-point shooting to keep on pace in the first half, draining six of its eight before the third quarter.
Although the win was dramatic and gave Woodhaven the last laugh on the year, Simons is not going to let the celebration last long with an opportunity to win a district title on Friday night back in Wyandotte’s gym.
“We absolutely will not be taking Carlson lighty,” Simons said. “We’ve played them too many times and they’ve given us trouble in the past.”