East Lansing girls basketball upsets no. 5 Parma westerns

MATTAWAN — Soraya Timms and the East Lansing girls basketball knew their state tournament would present possibilities to get redemption for some of their early losses.

And the Trojans have made the most of those in what has been a big last few days.

Timms added to her strong senior season while helping East Lansing seize the moment and earn an opportunity to capture a second straight regional.

Timms scored 20 points while helping the Trojans to a 54-46 victory over No. 5-ranked Parma Western in a Division 1 regional semifinal at Mattawan High School.

East Lansing avenged a one-point December loss to Parma Western while earning a spot in Thursday’s regional final to face Battle Creek Lakeview.

Tuesday marked the second straight game the Trojans have avenged one of their regular-season losses. East Lansing avenged a December setback to Haslett on Friday to claim a district title and reach the regional.

East Lansing senior Soraya Timms (11) scores a 3-pointer as Parma Western sophomore Palmer Fortress (5) covers her at Mattawan High School on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

“We’ve been saying (we wanted) to go on our revenge tour this whole postseason,” Timms said. “We played them earlier this season and we lost at the buzzer. We were super motivated to just come out and just assert the team we know we were.”

Timms has played a big part in both revenge wins while adding to a strong bounce-back season after being limited as a junior by a foot injury. She’s averaged 19.3 points during the Trojans’ three state tournament wins.

“She did so great today,” East Lansing senior Payton Baker said. “She’s just such a great ballhandler and she knows how to do everything from playing amazing defense and getting all these steals to be able to transport it back on the offensive side and score when we need her to score and make great passes and find open people .”

Timms, who is the Trojans’ leading scorer with an average of 13.8 points per game, displayed those things while being consistent throughout Tuesday’s tight contest. She had 14 points in the opening half and was big down the stretch to help East Lansing close out the win.

Ella Miller and Baker each added 12 points to help the Trojans (18-4) move a win away from their 10th regional title under coach Rob Smith, who is stepping down at the season’s conclusion.

Baker hit the go-ahead 3 with 5:12 remaining to break a 40-40 tie, giving the Trojans the lead for good. Miller fouled out less than a minute later, but East Lansing overcame the adversity by getting a big basket by Baker and then making free throws down the stretch.

“That just shows how determined we are a as a team,” Timms said. “That takes such mental toughness. I’m just so proud of all the people who hit those free throws.”

East Lansing made 8 of 10 from the line in the final 1:06 to hang on. Sophie Klinger, Corinne Jones and Timms all made free throws in the closing stages.

“I just really believe in our kids at the free-throw line,” Smith said. “Defense wins championships, but it’s also nice to have free-throw shooters who seal the deal. Timms and Klinger and Jones got it done there at the end.”

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Contact Brian Calloway at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

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