East Lansing Falls In Class A Title Game

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) -- Grosse Pointe North's Ariel Braker had a star-in-the-making game Saturday, but got plenty of help from her supporting cast.
The sophomore had 15 points, 16 rebounds and eight steals and was one of five different players who scored during a fourth-quarter run. That performance lifted the Norsemen to the school's first Michigan High School Athletic Association girls' basketball title, a 58-46 win over East Lansing in the Class A championship game.
The Norsemen (24-3) went on a 3-minute, 12-2 fourth-quarter streak to take the lead for good. The victory was their 13th straight.
"All of us were dying out there, but we pushed forward," said Braker, one of three Grosse Pointe North starters to play at least 30 minutes. "We helped each other out and it all just clicked."
Jasmine Kennedy added 13 points and eight rebounds and Kelly DeFauw had 11 points as the Norsemen outrebounded the Trojans 40-24.
Braker had nine offensive rebounds and four blocked shots.
"She's relentless," East Lansing's Sami Tucker said of Braker. "She's big, she's tall, she goes for the ball."
The Norsemen had 10 turnovers in the third quarter but led 36-34 at the end of the period thanks to Kennedy's layup just before the buzzer. The miscues didn't bother coach Gary Bennett, whose team scored 14 points off East Lansing's 20 turnovers.
"So much comes from our break and our defense," he said. "We can live with that. I thought we showed a lot of composure down the stretch."
Grosse Pointe North scored 18 points in transition.
East Lansing (25-2) got 14 points from Klarissa Bell, 12 from Tucker and 10 from Rachel Woodruff as its 14-game winning streak ended. Like the Norsemen, the Trojans were making their first finals appearance.
"We'll use this as a learning experience," said East Lansing coach Rob Smith. "We were beaten by a better team today."
East Lansing's Kori Reinhart tied the game at 38 with a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter before the Norsemen answered with the decisive run.
Braker had 10 points and nine rebounds in the first half, including a steal and layup in the final seconds that gave Grosse Pointe North a 28-26 lead at intermission.


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