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 Members of the Bloomfield Hills Marian basketball team celebrate with the district championship trophy after knocking off Royal Oak High 50-39. The Mustangs now advance to a Division 1 regional semifinal game with Grosse Pointe North at 4:30 p.m. March 10.

Members of the Bloomfield Hills Marian basketball team celebrate with the district championship trophy after knocking off Royal Oak High 50-39. The Mustangs now advance to a Division 1 regional semifinal game with Grosse Pointe North at 4:30 p.m. March 10.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Marian grinds past Royal Oak High to win D-1 district final

By: Jacob Herbert | Online Only | Published March 6, 2020

 Royal Oak High's Sarah Soraghan handles the ball in a district final game against Marian on the road. The junior lead all scorers with 26 points.

Royal Oak High's Sarah Soraghan handles the ball in a district final game against Marian on the road. The junior lead all scorers with 26 points.

Photo by Deb Jacques

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Bloomfield Hills Marian girls basketball team added yet another Division 1 district championship trophy to the trophy case with a 50-39 win over Royal Oak High March 6 at home. The win marks Marian’s ninth consecutive district title and 16th in the past 17 years.

“It’s good because we didn’t win the Catholic League championship so this is our first championship this year,” Marian coach Mary Cicerone said. “It was a good game for us, I don’t think we played particularly well at either end. I think Royal Oak had a good game plan.”

The Mustangs used defense early on to overwhelm Royal Oak and as a result only allowed the Ravens to score 4 points in the opening quarter, all off free throws.

Despite holding the Ravens to 14 points in the first half, Cicerone said her team’s defense could have been a little better. The veteran coach noted that the defensive performance would have been good if not for the plethora of fouls committed by her team.

Mustang sophomore Sarah Sylvester led Marian in scoring with 21 points and Junior Shannon Kennedy was the next highest scorer with 11. Sophomore’s Grace Rotter and Anna Herberholz both chipped in with 6.

“I thought my kids played hard, and I thought they played tough as a group,” Cicerone said. “I think they stayed mentally tough which is a good sign. They stayed mentally tough even though we weren’t putting the ball in the basket very much."

Marian now advances to a regional tournament hosted by Southfield A&T and will get a playoff rematch with Grosse Pointe North at 4:30 p.m. March 10. The Noresmen eliminated Marian from the playoffs last season with a 60-48 win in a regional semifinal.

Sarah Soraghan was the star of the show for the Ravens, who held off the D-1 state runner-up Southfield A&T 30-26 March 4 to advance to the final.

The junior showed little to no quit in the loss and still managed to outscore all players with 26 points. She was 16 of 18 from the free-throw line. Junior Kira Vance and Sophomore Reagan Blackwell both finished with 4 points.

In lieu of the effort from Soraghan, a combination of tough defense and a lack of secondary scoring were some of the ingredients that ended the Ravens' season. 

The Ravens finished the year 10-12 overall and 3-9 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

“Last year we graduated seven seniors, and we brought back a team that learned and grew playing in the Red division, every night we competed,” Ravens coach Brian Sopata said. "To get the win Wednesday and to have this experience in this environment, it’s going to do wonders for us next season."

Royal Oak will depart with two seniors in Elinor Kochanski and Alia Devantier, both players were instrumental in helping out the program.

“I’d love to acknowledge that we just had two seniors who played their last game,” Sopata said. “Those two were tremendous in terms of the leadership they provided.”