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L’Anse Creuse falls in semifinals in girls hoops district action

By: Jon Malavolti | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published March 1, 2012

 L’Anse Creuse junior Carly D’Almeida looks for an opening with the ball against a pair of Fraser High defenders. The Lancers fell 28-24 to Fraser High in a Class A district semifinal Feb. 29 at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

L’Anse Creuse junior Carly D’Almeida looks for an opening with the ball against a pair of Fraser High defenders. The Lancers fell 28-24 to Fraser High in a Class A district semifinal Feb. 29 at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

Photo by David Schreiber

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The second night of action in the girls basketball state playoffs saw a pair of local teams lose while another advanced to a district final.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse lost 28-24 in a Class A district semifinal to Fraser High on Feb. 29, the same night that Clinton Township Clintondale fell 63-48 in Class B to Richmond. Mount Clemens High, meanwhile, won its second game of the playoffs by defeating Madison Heights Madison 74-8 in a Class C semifinal.

The Battling Bathers, winners in the Feb. 27 opening round with a 71-14 decision over Detroit Marvin Winans Academy, were slated to take on defending state runners-up Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a district final played after press time.

For an update on the Bathers, as well as complete tournament coverage including photo galleries, visit our website at www.candg news.com.

Lancers fight Fraser to end

For a while, it looked like L’Anse Creuse might join the Bathers in playing for a district crown. The Lancers led throughout the entire first half against Fraser in their semifinal after both teams received opening-round byes.

Check out our website for a full recap of the game, including photos.

But the young squad couldn’t maintain its advantage against the Ramblers, eventually falling and finishing the season 10-11 overall after going 4-8 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.

“I thought the difference was they had a lot of seniors out on the floor,” L’Anse Creuse coach Lisa Downey said about Fraser.

By contrast, the Lancers had just one senior starter in guard Jessica Baarck. The junior class, backed up by some sophomores, made up the most of the Lancers’ contributions on the floor in the contest.

“They were so excited; they wanted it so bad,” Downey said of her younger players. “I thought we played so hard. They couldn’t have played any harder.

“That’s what you really want,” the coach continued. “We wanted to leave everything on the floor. And I felt the girls did.”

Junior forward Carly D’Almeida and Baarck led the Lancers with six points apiece against the Ramblers.

“Our team, I don’t think anyone else could have as much heart as we do,” D’Almeida said. “We play with so much heart, and it just wasn’t in the cards for us, I guess. I don’t know what else we could have done. We put everything we had into it, and that’s all you could ask for.”

Downey said she wouldn’t trade her players for anyone.

“I told the girls, I would rather be 0-20 and coach the kind of kids that I had this year than win a state championship,” she said. “I’ve just got great kids. They work hard. They get along. They’re unselfish.

The coach described the program has having “really a great family atmosphere” with the students and community rallying behind them all season long.

“It just makes you very proud,” she said. “They’re just quality kids.”

With just two seniors on the roster, Baarck and guard Amanda Bonner, the young Lancers hope to use this experience as a foundation to build off.

“Next year, we have to use this as a motivator to help us work harder and get ourselves to do the things we need to do,” Downey said. “And I believe they’ll do it. I really believe in these kids. They’re really amazing young ladies.”

D’Almeida called the contest a “learning experience,” and one the Lancers won’t easily forget.

“It really hurts to lose,” she said. “All the younger players, including myself, when you lose like that, you just remember that, and you don’t forget it.

“And next year is a new year.”

 

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