BY DAN STICKRADT
LAKE ORION — Throughout the course of the regular season, Lake Orion was anything but a high-scoring, proficient offensive juggernaught.
The Dragons picked the right time to locate their shooting touch.
Lake Orion opened up Monday’s Class A state tournament with a 16-4 first-quarter run and went on to shoot a season-high 46 percent from the field in posting a 44-35 victory over visiting Rochester Adams.
“We just came out on fire and probably had out best shooting day of the season,” admitted Lake Orion coach Steve Roberts. “We shot 46 percent from the floor and we have not been shooting above 30 percent all season. A lot of games we’ve shot in the 20s.”
Junior Maddie Hutchinson scored a season-high 21 points in leading the Dragons.
“We understand that we are not a high-scoring team, that we often have to do it with defense,” said Roberts. “Today, it was Maddie Hutchinson who happened to lead the way. But this was a nice team effort.”
Lake Orion, which moved to 9-12 on the year, will face Rochester Stoney Creek at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Orion in the district semifinals. Romeo and Rochester will play in the 5:30 p.m. game, also at Lake Orion.
Senior forward Jessica Lang scored 11 for Adams, which finished 11-10.
“Lake Orion came out and took that 16-4 lead in the first quarter and we never fully recovered,” said veteran Adams coach Fran Scislowicz. “We played them pretty even the rest of the way. We outscored them in the second and (fourth) quarters. We cut it to four points, but we could never take the lead.”
Lake Orion led 23-15 at the half and used a late surge in the third quarter for a 11-9 edge in the frame, which gave the Dragons a 34-24 lead entering the final frame.
Adams outscored the Dragons 11-10 in the fourth quarter, but could never mount enough of a rally to steal a comeback.
“We were not a high-percentage shooting team,” said Adams coach Fran Scislowicz, whose team lost in the first round for the third straight season. “It’s hard when the other team comes out shooting at a high percentage. It seemed like they couldn’t miss a lay-up in the first quarter. And we were 1-for-14 in the first quarter. That was the difference.”
ROMEO 57, OXFORD 24: Oxford was ushered from the Class A tournament by Romeo in the first round once again, succumbing to the Bulldogs by 33 points in this district opener at Lake Orion.
Ashley Flynn scored a game-high 18 points and Leah Konieczki added 14 points for Romeo (13-8), which will face Rochester at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Orion in the district semifinals.
Miranda Murphy had seven points and Emma Kimmel had six points for the Wildcats, who finished 3-18.
“I am proud of our girls for hanging in there in a very difficult season,” said Oxford coach Al Poynter. “We had injuries and distractions, we played the toughest schedule of any Oxford girls basketball team since the program’s inception, and we played with what was maybe the youngest team in the entire OAA. But our girls will be better for it in the future if they work really hard, both with the program and on their own, in the off-season.”
MADISON HEIGHTS BISHOP FOLEY 53, LUTHERAN NORTHWEST 42: The host Ventures outscored Northwest in the first three quarters to post this Class C district quarterfinals win over the Crusaders.
Jackie Bieniewicz and Nikki Taylor combined for five 3-pointers and both scored 17 points in the win for Bishop Foley. Colleen Szakacs added nine points for the Ventures (13-8).
Bishop Foley led 19-13 at the end of the first quarter and 28-20 at the half. A 14-10 surge in the third quarter gave the Ventures a 42-30 advantage heading into the fourth stanza.
Kim Lepor kept the Crusaders close with five three-pointers and 19 points. Jillian McLoughlin added 10 points and Chelsea Didio scored eight for Northwest (10-11).