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 Rochester High’s Megan Lorenzo gets around a Utica High defender in a Division 1 district semifinal March 4 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek. The Falcons beat Utica 40-36, but fell to Utica Eisenhower in the district final two days later.

Rochester High’s Megan Lorenzo gets around a Utica High defender in a Division 1 district semifinal March 4 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek. The Falcons beat Utica 40-36, but fell to Utica Eisenhower in the district final two days later.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Local teams wrap up play in district tournament

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published March 10, 2020

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ROCHESTER HILLS/ROCHESTER — The curtain has closed on the district portion of the girls basketball state playoffs.

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest came away with a Division 3 district title March 6, besting Mount Clemens High 59-35 at Clinton Township Clintondale.

The Crusaders were scheduled to play Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a regional semifinal after press time. Visit candgnews.com/sports for updates.

In D-1, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and Rochester High both fell to Utica Eisenhower.

Stoney Creek lost 42-30 in a semifinal March 4 at home. The Cougars, who trailed at the end of each quarter, tightened the gap in the fourth, but were never able to pull ahead.

Stoney Creek got past Troy Athens 40-36 in the first round.

“I give them all the credit in the world. I thought they had a really good game plan in the second half,” Stoney Creek coach Kellen James said of Eisenhower’s ability to keep the ball away from Lily DiPanni.

James characterized DiPanni as gritty and said the senior acted as another coach, as opposed to just a player.

“She’s hardworking, never complains and is a silent leader,” James said. “She’s not going to be easily replaced.”

Along with DiPanni, seniors Kailey Shanahan, Maddie Rizzo and Megan Colburn are all set to depart from the program.

The Cougars ended the season at 7-15 overall and 3-9 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

Rochester lost to Eisenhower 47-42 in the district final March 6. Rochester’s route to the final included a 40-36 win over Utica High in the semis.

Just like in its win over Stoney Creek, Ike used its full-court pressure to overwhelm Rochester.

“The defense that Eisenhower put on with the full-court pressure all game long, the girls adjusted and came back,” Falcons coach Bill Thurston said. “The biggest thing was just handling that Eisenhower pressure. They did a much better job than they did earlier in the season. They grew and understood how to handle it, for the most part.”

In Thurston’s first year leading the program, the Falcons accomplished two goals: winning a share of the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division title and winning a district game. Overall, Rochester finished at 13-9.

Anna Winkler, Mary Derkacz, Sidney Swart, Sophia Williams, Laura Kucera, Brianna Mazur and Alice Kuitula made up the senior class.

“I think the girls have bought into the culture and the girls coming up have bought into the culture,” Thurston said. “It’s fun to be a part of it, and a lot of it I owe to (previous coach) Jeff Haney and the coaching staff with Allyssa Copley. She did an awesome job.”

Also in D-1, Rochester Adams was bested by Clarkston High in a district final 58-49 March 6 at Waterford Kettering. The Highlanders beat Oxford High 53-34 and Kettering 58-42 on their way to the title game.

Adams finished the season at 14-9 overall and will lose seniors Aniah Howard, Nicole Claerhout, Amelia Drahnak and Emily Abramczyk.

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