Faltering fourth period drops King
Slow start defeats DCP-Northwestern in Class B
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
The King girls’ basketball squad hasn’t won a state championship since 2006. Despite the Crusaders’ gallant work to get back to the Class A State Finals, this season’s effort has also come up short. Despite leading the majority of the game, King fell 58-46 to Farmington Hills Mercy in the MHSAA Class A Region 4 Championship at Farmington High School, March 4.
The Crusaders (22-2), who executed a dominating game of inside play on both ends of the floor and quick jumpers, led 13-12 after one period, 28-23 at the half and 37-34 after three periods of play. But then the roof gave in and the bottom fell out, when they were outscored by the Marlins 24-9 in the fourth period. During the fourth period, shots that scored for the Crusaders earlier in the game, just didn’t fall in the basket.
“We had too many turnovers in second half,” said King head coach William Whitfield. “We also didn’t make enough plays on offense.”
Whitfield said the game changed when the team received their seventh foul in the second half.
“We were playing with initiative and skill, but we also made too many mistakes. However, the girls gave it their all this year,” he said.
Senior forward/center Marte’ Grays’ who played a strong inside game, led the Crusaders with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Senior center LaShai Geeter, who only scored eight points, led the King in rebounds with 18. Sophomore guard Micaela Kelly also scored eight points.
“I believe we had a good season,” said Grays, who was trying to hold back her tears in defeat. “We were growing as a team. We played and we fought hard.”
Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern had a slow start in the first period and tried to recover. However, the Colts’ positive energy couldn’t overcome the deficit and fell 71-57 to Ferndale at the MHSAA Class B Region 13 semi-final, March 4 at Clawson High School. The Colts started off on the wrong foot.
“We came out flat, scoring only six points,” said DCP-Northwestern Head Coach Orlando Watkins. “We couldn’t buy a basket. We put up a lot of shots. By the time they were falling and we started to score, it was too late.”
The Eagles outscored the Colts 15-6 in the first period. However, the Colts turned it around in the second period and was only down 25-19 at the half. Blame the loss on a slow start. The Colts ended their season at 18-3.
Junior guard/forward Icesis Chandler-Poole led the DCP-NW with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Her twin sister, junior forward/center Iresis Chandler-Poole scored 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Senior guard Jasmine Conner added 14 points.
Despite the loss, Watkins feels the girls’ basketball program at DCP-NW made some strides this year: making the PSL playoffs and winning their first district crown.
“This season was a step in the right direction,” he said. “We’re only losing two seniors (Conner and Alissa Pankston) and our core is coming back.
“The twins are going to be stronger next year and we might get back two players (Martiazia Walker-Scott and Juanisha King) who we lost during the season due to personal problems. Our junior varsity only lost one game this year and we’re moving up at least two players from that squad.”