GIRLS BASKETBALL: Waterford Our Lady stuns Kingston to reach Final Four

| March 17, 2015 | Comments (0)



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WATERFORD — If you would have asked Steve Robak six months ago if Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes would be in the Class D Final Four, the veteran coach would have thought you were crazy.

Ask him that same question six weeks ago and he still might have thought the same thing.

Again, ask him that question six days ago and he might have held some slim hope.

That hope became a definite reality Tuesday at Waterford Mott.

Despite entering the postseason with a 7-12 record and with five freshmen and a sophomore on a 12-player roster, the upstart Lakers continued their magical run through the state tournament by shocking Kingston 39-36 in the state quarterfinals at Waterford Mott.

WOLL, now 12-12, will face unbeaten Pittsford, 50-45 winners over St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran on Tuesday, in the stet semifinals Thursday at 6 p.m. at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.

“Even at the midpoint of the season we didn’t think we’d be here,” admitted Robak. “But then again we kept telling them, ‘look, there’s something there.’ We started to put (a run) together.

Kingston, which boasts only two seniors, bows out with a 21-4 record, having yielded a 13-point lead to a sub-five-hundred team.

“We told them to be patient on offense. Don’t put up the wrong shot,” adde Robak. “When you put the ball in the hands of the right people, then we’re capable. We’re not a great, flashy team. They’re competing.”

Kingston was in control for much of the first half. The Cardinals, making their second ever appearance in the quarterfinals, led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter and 19-10 at the half.

“We were really nervous,” said junior guard Alex Troy of the game’s start. “But we came out (in the second half) and tried to prove everyone wrong. Just play our best game.

“We have a lot of potential, no matter what our record says,” added Troy.

Kingston only committed four turnovers over the first 16 minutes of play and held WOLL to only 4-of-20 shooting in that span.

Then the wheels came off the Kingston train.

Waterford Our Lady amped up the defensive pressure in the second half, and forced 13 second-half turnovers. A 15-9 third quarter run pulled the Lakers to within 28-25 entering the final frame.

Our Lady of the Lakes took its first lead a 29-28 on a jumper from freshman Lucille Kline and led 34-30 with 4:14 to play after a driving layup from Troy.

Kingston made a comeback and tied it one final time at 34-34 with 3:10 remaining on two free throws by junior forward Sarah Savage.

A three-pointer from freshman guard Tiffany Senerius and a steal and free throws from Troy gave the Lakers a five-point cushion at 39-34 with 48.4 seconds left.

Kingston picked up a layup from junior center Madison Cofer with 28 ticks remaining and had a chance to tie it, but a three-pointer from junior forward Allison Maiorana fell way short with 1.8 remaining.

“We had a chance to beat one of the perennial state powerhouse shoals in Class D. We just came up short,” sighed Kingston coach Jay Green. “We had a hard time handing their pressure in the second half and turned it over a few times. We had a chance to tie it at the end. (Maiorana has) made those before. Just came up a bit short.”

“(I didn’t think this would be possible) until literally when the state tournament started,” said Robak, who coached the Lakers to four straight state championship appearances from 2010-13. “It was at the point, everything that we have been seeing the whole year, it went in one ear and out the other sometimes. But in the state playoffs, they wanted to get to Breslin. They put that as their goal and wanted to get there.

“This is a group that wanted to make their own mark,” added Robak.

The gusty 5-food-7 Troy led WOLL with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. Senerius added nine points and three steals and junior guard Megan Ross chipped in with five points for the Lakers, who finish the night by shooting 34.2 percent (14-for-41) from the floor and 9-for-15 from the foul line.

Savage scored a game-high 19 points for Kingston, although 10 came in the first half which matched the Lakers’ output as a team. She added eight rebounds, two blocked shots and a trio of assists.

Senior guard Cassidy MacGuire followed with eight points, while Cofer added six points and five rebounds for the Cardinals, who shot 11-for-34 from the floor (32.6 percent), out rebounded Lakes 25-17 and did not connect on a single three-pointer (0-for-4).

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Category: Basketball, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Most Recently Updated Stories, NOS reference, Prep Wraps, Sport, Top Stories, Uncategorized, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

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