Saginaw Heritage knocks off Southfield A&T in D-1 state championship

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published March 23, 2019

 The Southfield A&T girls basketball team stands with the D-1 state runner-up trophy after falling to Saginaw Heritage. The Warriors finished the season with a 24-2 record.

The Southfield A&T girls basketball team stands with the D-1 state runner-up trophy after falling to Saginaw Heritage. The Warriors finished the season with a 24-2 record.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Advertisement

GRAND RAPIDS –– Saginaw Heritage and Southfield A&T entered the Division 1 girls basketball state championship March 23 at Calvin College with a lot on the line.

Outside of winning a state championship, A&T was looking to avenge a loss to Heritage earlier this season and the Hawks were trying to repeat as champions.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Heritage was able to outscore the Warriors 12-4 in the second period to pull away. Heritage went on to down the Warriors 55-40.

“We pretty much just knew what we wanted, and everybody wants to win it back-to-back. Who doesn’t? We already knew our goals and what we had to do. It feels really good. It’s like surreal that we did it again together, but I’m happy. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else,” Heritage’s Shine Strickland-Gills said.

Heritage was in control for a majority of the contest, and Moira Joiner and Strickland-Gills were a big reason why. Joiner collected a game-high 17 points to go along with eight assists and eight rebounds, while Strickland-Gills scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

Heritage also received contributions from Keyonie Champion, who scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds, while going 6 of 7 from the field. The Hawks shot 41.7 percent form the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc. 

For the Warriors, offense was hard to come by throughout the game. This was the lowest scoring output of the season for A&T. As a team, the Warriors shot 34 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep.

Soleil Barnes led the way for the Warriors, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds. Cheyenne McEvans added 13 points, five rebounds and two assists.

“They were in a zone, and the zone packed it in a little bit, and we were struggling to find some gaps in order to attack,” A&T coach Michele Marshall said. “They really did pack it in on the drive and that kind of made it difficult to get open shots.”

With the loss, A&T ends the season with a 24-2 record. They were also able to win the Oakland Activities Association Red Division, along with D-1 district and regional titles.

“I’m very proud of these young ladies. They have had an amazing season. They’ve played really hard and done everything that I’ve asked them to do,” Marshall said.

 

Advertisement