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Grosse Pointe Woods

March 20, 2012

Liggett girls hoops falls short in state finals again

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

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Grosse Pointe University Liggett senior Madison Ristovski scored 42 points in the girls basketball MHSAA Class C state final March 17 at MSU’s Breslin Center, but the Knights finished as state-runner up for the second straight year after falling 61-57 to Morley-Stanwood.

EAST LANSING — Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s girls basketball team’s second consecutive bid for a state title again fell just shy, as the Knights lost in the Class C final March 17.

Morley-Stanwood (28-0) edged Liggett (22-5) 61-57 in the championship game played at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.

Liggett returned to the finals for the second year in a row after topping Riverview Gabriel Richard in a March 13 quarterfinal and Concord High in a March 15 semifinal.

But the Knights couldn’t overcome the Mohawks, trailing closely behind most of the early part of the game before trading baskets throughout the latter parts of the second half. Eventually, Morley-Stanwood outlasted Liggett and the clock.

“Losing stinks,” Knights coach Joe LaMagno said. “This feeling’s no good. It’s tough, tough.

“Defensively, I thought we played well, especially in the first half,” the coach continued. “It just didn’t happen tonight.”

Junior Hayleigh Ristovski said it was “worse the second time,” dealing with another finals setback.

Her sister, senior Madison Ristovski, scored 42 points in the losing effort, the second-highest total in girls basketball finals history, regardless of class.

“Madison played awesome,” Hayleigh said. “I’m really proud of her.”

But Madison, named the state’s top player as the Miss Basketball winner, said she’d trade every point for a state title.

“I would rather have totally blown it and won then to have this feeling all over again,” she said.

Heading on to play for the University of Michigan next season, Madison said she’ll miss her teammates most of all from her playing days at Liggett.

“My team’s a family,” she said. “I’m really sad to say that that was my last high school basketball game with them.”

Madison Ristovski is joined by fellow graduating senior and starter Andriana Evangelista in departing from the Knights.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.