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Farmington Hills, Walled Lake

March 1, 2013

Harrison girls claim first basketball district title in school history with 47-42 victory against Western

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Harrison girls claim first basketball district title in school history with 47-42 victory against Western
Harrison's Marissa Cotton made five free throws in the final moment's of Friday night's victory against Western. The district title was the first in school history.

FARMINGTON HILLS — In its 40-plus years of existence, Farmington Hills Harrison had never celebrated a basketball district title.

As she stepped to the free-throw line in the waning seconds of Friday night’s final against Walled Lake Western — with a 10-point lead all but extinguished — Marissa Cotton wasn’t about to let that fact remain much longer.

“I just had to visualize making every shot,” the senior said with a smile.

She didn’t make every one, but came close enough.

Thanks to her five free throws in the final 45 seconds, Cotton pushed Harrison past Western 47-42 to claim a Class A district crown at North Farmington.

“As a school that’s been around for 40 years, and you figure 40 years of boys and girls basketball teams, to be the first (to win a district) is something I hope these girls can reflect on and be proud of,” coach Tim Micklash said. “They have a legacy now that will go on forever.”

After a first quarter filled with nerves saw Western hold a 5-4 lead, Harrison mounted a 19-10 run in the second quarter and led 23-15 by halftime. The Hawks pushed the advantage to 35-25 entering the fourth, but Western wasn’t about to go quietly.

The Warriors' offense caught fire, and with 45 seconds remaining, trailed just 42-39.

That’s when Cotton went to the line six times and made five free throws.

“You want the ball in her hands,” Micklash said. “She’s the leader on our team for a reason.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Western coach David Walther said. “They fought to the end. That’s the kind of team they’ve been all year.”

Cotton finished the game with 14 points to lead all scorers.

Amber Stephens added 13 points, and Kyla Roland scored 10.

Harrison ( 22-1) advances to the Novi High regional and faces Hartland High (18-5) at 7:30 p.m. March 5.

Western finishes the season 14-9.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.