Defense pushes Lakeview girls hoops past Utica High, into regional final

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published March 11, 2019

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — St. Clair Shores Lakeview girls basketball coach Joe Charrette has never coached in a game where neither team made a 3-point shot.

That changed March 11, as neither the Huskies nor Utica High hit a 3-pointer in Lakeview's 46-26 win in a Division 1 regional semifinal.

The Huskies (18-5) advance to meet Port Huron Northern in a regional final set for 6 p.m. March 13 at Macomb Dakota.

The Chieftains (15-8) took their fare share of 3-pointers in the March 11 game. Lakeview didn't attempt a 3-pointer in the win.

"Never seen anything like it," said Charrette, who has led the Huskies to their first regional final appearance. "I thought we could beat them off the dribble so we went with that."

Everything for Lakeview in the win happened at or near the basket. The Huskies made 18 field goals, with 15 coming inside the paint. 

Lakeview also had the advantage from the foul line, going 12 of 13 from the free-throw line. Utica made 12 field goals and went 2 of 6 on free throws.

The Huskies, who won their first district title since 2016, played strong defense for the duration of the game. Lakeview forced a number of turnovers, along with recovering to stop several potential Chieftains fast breaks. Huskies junior center Joslyn Brennan was the catalyst, blocking four shots and altering several others. Brennan scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

"She's worked so hard to be a factor and it showed tonight," Charrette said. "Over the past three years, I've watched her grow as a player. She's got so much confidence now. It's good to see."

Lakeview went up for good at 4-2 on a layup from senior guard Julia Decker, who scored 10 points. The Huskies led by as many as 21 points.

"We obviously didn't want the season to end with us playing like this," Utica coach Tom McDonald said. "Tonight was the biggest deficit we faced all year. We just couldn't handle their pressure on defense. Hats off to (Lakeview), though."

Senior guard Cayley Ebeling led the Chieftains with 10 points. 

The second and third quarters proved to be the difference, as Lakeview outscored Utica 28-11 over those two quarters.

"Defense has been our strongsuit all season long," Decker said. "We wanted to come out and just keep playing hard. Being on this run means a lot to us. We don't want it to end."