Lathrup Village, Southfield
Southfield A&T ends magical season with semifinal loss to East Kentwood
By Mike Moore
Southfield A&T guard Tyler Washington (3) dives for a loose ball in Friday's Class A semifinal loss. The Warriors closed the season with a 22-5 record.
Posted March 17, 2017
EAST LANSING — From down 20 to within two.
From a game seemingly over to anyone’s guess.
The Southfield A&T girls basketball team nearly wrote the perfect final chapter to what had been a storybook season.
“Battling back just took too much out of us,” coach Michele Marshall said shortly after her team fell to East Kentwood High 55-51 in Friday afternoon’s Class A state semifinal at the Breslin Center. “We dug too big of a hole, and it took so much to get back into it.”
The Warriors trailed 38-18 with 3:47 to play in the third quarter before mounting a furious comeback, holding East Kentwood scoreless for nearly five minutes while going on a 16-0 run.
Southfield A&T got the score to within 44-42 with 4:45 remaining in regulation, but after a missed layup that would have tied the game, never got any closer.
East Kentwood eventually got back up 52-42 before closing things out.
“I think we played two different halves,” Marshall said. “We came out and were a little awestruck. We didn’t play our brand of basketball. The game seemed to be bigger than we were ready for. Once we calmed down and played our game, we fought to get back in it. The hole was just too big.”
Southfield A&T trailed 9-3 after the first quarter and 30-15 at halftime.
“We had to check off that first half,” senior Deja Church said when asked about the comeback, adding the team never felt out of the game.
Playing in its first season ever, Southfield A&T closed the winter with a 22-5 record.
“Very good season, working through the adversity of merging two schools,” Marshall said. “I can’t speak about how proud I am of them and everything they’ve given this program. They played so hard. We are, as a city, as a school, and as a coaching staff, so proud of them.”
Church led all scorers in the game, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Alexis Johnson added 13 points in the loss.
Mauriya Barnes led East Kentwood (26-1) with 16 points. Corinne Jemison added 14.
The Falcons face Flushing High (23-3) in Saturday’s noon Class A final.
Flushing knocked off defending champ Warren Cousino 52-36 in the other semifinal.
About the author
Sports Writer Mike Moore covers a variety of sports in Oakland County and the Detroit Catholic League. Mike joined C & G Newspapers in 2006 shortly after graduating from Albion College where he played football. He attended Dearborn Divine Child where he met his wife Jennifer. They have four sons together and reside in Dearborn.
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