Big second quarter helps Southfield A&T defeat Grosse Pointe North in regional final

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published March 13, 2019

 The Southfield A&T girls basketball team stands with the trophy after knocking off Grosse Pointe North a Division 1 regional final game. A&T won the game 67-36

The Southfield A&T girls basketball team stands with the trophy after knocking off Grosse Pointe North a Division 1 regional final game. A&T won the game 67-36

Photo by Donna Agusti

SOUTHFIELD –– In front of its home crowd, Southfield A&T girls basketball was able to knock off Grosse Pointe North and advance to the quarterfinal round of play in the Division 1 tournament. 

It was tight through one quarter of play, with the Warriors holding a 14-9 lead. But in the second quarter, A&T’s defense ramped up and able to hold the Norsemen scoreless, which allowed the Warriors to build a 26-9 halftime lead.

North showed some fight in the third quarter but was only able to shave two points off the lead. In the fourth, the Warriors poured it on, cruising to a 67-36 victory. 

“I’m so proud of them. These kids started as separated pieces, and to see them grow and develop throughout the season is just amazing,” A&T coach Michele Marshall said. “They’ve bought into playing together, and I’m just so proud of them." 

The Warriors were led by Alexis Johnson, Jasmine Worthy and Soleil Barnes. Johnson had 22 points and nine rebounds, while Worthy and Barnes combined for 26 points and 10 rebounds. 

“Jasmine’s been big in these regionals, big time. She’s watched as Soleil, (Cheyenne McEvans) and Alexis have really led us in scoring, but we kept telling her, ‘You’re going to mean something big for this team,’” Marshall said. “Last game and this game, we needed her so badly, and she showed up big. I’m so proud of her. She’s finally understanding her importance on this team.”

For North, it was led by Julia Ayrault, who scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Maddie Mills also chipped in 6 points and five rebounds, while Christina Braker added 4 points.

The Norsemen will lose seven seniors from this year’s team but will return two starters in Maddie Kohler and Braker. 

“Next year will be a real challenge to get kids to learn about the system, and it’ll be a challenge just to be patient with them and not expect too much right off the bat, because it’s going to be a real building process,” North coach Gary Bennett said.