Portland hits clutch free throws to top Haslett; Lansing Catholic retires late against Holt
LANSING, me. (WLNS) – As if Friday night wasn’t exciting enough for high school basketball with COVID-19 affecting the 2020-21 season, Saturday got just as exciting.
The Red Division leaders of the Capital Area Activities Conference, the Haslett Vikings (11-1) welcomed the Portland Raiders (11-2), the leaders of the CAAC White Division, to an action for girls on Saturday.
The Raiders came with a five-game winning streak, and the Vikings had a chance to extend their winning streak to three.
Portland entered halftime at 23:30, thanks to a 7-0 run towards the end of the second quarter.
There were free throws in the second half. After 44.5 seconds and a 35 tie, Portland’s Ava Guilford was fouled, creating a free throw opportunity for the Junior Guard.
With the Raiders’ past at the free throw line, Portland coach Jason Haid had reason to reconsider.
“We haven’t shot the ball off the line very well in the past few weeks. It’s just a mental thing that we have to try to get over it. I think we took our first couple of games off the line 100% and now we are in a phase where we just have to fix it, ”said Haid after the game.
Past fights were with Guilford’s turn out the door. She knocked out both of them and put Portland in the lead 37-35. And then she added another free throw to secure the 38:36 win for the Raiders.
Guilford finished the race with 15 points at team level.
“Ashley (Bower) is relieved a little. Ashley took on the burden for us for most of the season. We know we do our best when two, three, four girls are in the double digits, and we just haven’t had that lately. When Ava rises like that, Ashley gets a bit of relief, it opens things up to everyone else and I’m just very proud of the way it came out tonight, ”said Haid.
“I just knew our team wanted so badly to win and I will do everything I can to make the team win,” said Guilford. “When I first got to college, I knew this was a shot I could take because nobody was protecting me. I focus on it every day. ”
In the high school boys’ action, Lansing Catholic was in an inter-division showdown with Holt.
The Cougars played their second game in as many nights. On Friday, the Cougars defeated Lansing Sexton in overtime (79-74) to improve to 7-1 in the conference.
Lansing Catholic was 39:37 ahead of the Rams at halftime, and in the second half the two teams continued to decline to finish fourth.
After a lay-up by Jacob Howard, Holt took the lead with 4:59 in the fourth quarter with 67-66. Howard led the Rams with 21 points.
After that bucket, however, it was only cougars.
Lansing Catholic finished the game 15-5 and won the game 81-72. Junior Brody Kirkpatrick led the Cougars with 25 points and Senior DJ Ferguson was right behind with 21 points. Senior Sammy Jacobs added ten points and eight assists, and Quinn Dartt walked 3-3 out of three-point country, resulting in a 14-point performance.
“They are really talented young men,” said Brian Dartt, Lansing’s Catholic coach. “The kids are just really good leaders and supporters, which is an important part of a team. We have a lot of interchangeable parts that just care about the team and it’s team first. We’re in a good place right now. ”
One of Lansing Catholic’s top players, Junior Guard Alex Watters, is recovering from an ankle sprain. And even though Watters can’t help on the pitch, he does everything he can to help the team on the bench.
“Alex steps forward. He’s just as committed as a player. He speaks to our boys, helps them. Talk to me, help me, ”said Brian Dartt. “And of course the boys are on the rise. Brody Kirkpatrick is incredibly tall to us. Sammy Jacobs was a true leader for us. And Matt DeLuca came on for Alex. He is a four year old high school basketball player who is just taking his shot. ”