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King tops Mercy in two OTs, 44-39

Leah Mathis of King (23) shoots over FH Mercy players at last week’s Class A Regional Final at Southfield High.

Leah Mathis of King (23) shoots over FH Mercy players at last week’s Class A Regional Final at Southfield High.

Class A girls regional at Southfield

By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — King’s Lady Crusaders (22-0) remain unbeaten and continue towards their goal to the State Class A Title. However, it wasn’t easy March 7 in the Class A Regional Final at Southfield High as it took the Lady Crusaders two overtimes to defeat Catholic League power Farmington Hills Mercy, 44-39, to advance to this week’s MHSAA Quarterfinals at Western International. The Marlins finished their season at 20-6.

“It was an up and down game,” said King head coach William Winfield. “I knew it was going to be a game based on defense.

“At this time of the season you play hard on the defensive end and that’s what we stress —defense. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Most game’s scores are in the mid-40s or 50s because they’re playing hard not to lose. Nobody wants to hang up their uniforms and put away their sneakers for the last time.

“We spend a lot more time on defense than offense.”

With the game tied at 39, a technical foul was called on Mercy for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“(Antania) Hayes was at the line and one of the Mercy players stepped into the lane too soon,” Winfield explained. “The referee made the call and one of the Mercy players said something inappropriate to the referee and was assessed a technical foul.”

Hayes made the technical foul shot to gave King a 40-39 lead. Hayes and LaQuita Hart sunk two more free throws each in the second overtime to extend the Lady Crusaders’ lead to 44-39 and clinch the win. Hayes led King with 16 points while Marte Grays added 11.

Results of the Lady Crusaders during this week’s state playoffs will be in the next issue of the Citizen.

 

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