Less than two weeks ago Roseville outscored Dakota 79-78, but Monday Night it was all defense as Dakota defeated Roseville 44-39 in a regional semifinal at Dakota. After taking a 12-8 first quarter lead the Cougars would hold the Panthers to two second quarter points to open up a 28-10 lead and Dakota would never look back.
The Cougars were in command throughout the second half as Roseville would close the gap with three late triples as Dakota would go on and win by five.
Dakota Head Coach Paul Tocco said "We played so much better defensively, we had fourteen steals which lead to points in transition". "We look forward to hosting in the regional final,De La Salle is well coached by Greg Esler" added Tocco. "Defense wins championships" said Mark Tocco son of the head coach and guard on the team. "The last time we played Roseville and lost by one it left a bad taste in our mouth and we were glad to get another shot at them". "I always wanted to play De La Salle and we look forward to the opportunity" concluded Tocco who finished with 10 points.
Ryan Rollins talked about the team playing as one. "It was a team effort and we still have business to take care of on Wednesday" said Rollins who was the games top scorer with 23 points.
Dakota now hosts De La Salle Wednesday Night for the Regional Championship at 6 pm.
Roseville was led by John Ukomandu who had 9 points for the Panthers.
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SOUTH LAKE WINS AGAIN
The South Lake Cavaliers trailed most of the night and then hung on to beat Chandler Park for their seventeenth straight win 60-58.in an opening round district matchup at South Lake.
Amier Gilmore and Robert Davis combined for forty points for South Lake who tailed by as many as 11 in the first half.
Gilmore who scored 23 points said "his team would not be denied" 'This is our senior year and we would not quit and my teammates played hard" added Gilmore. Gilmore concluded "Tyree Moore hit some huge three pointers". Davis who added seventeen talked about "sharing the ball and his team hitting key shots down the stretch'. "We came up big when we had to"added Davis.
Coach Kurt Wilson Sr. said "we talked at halftime about sharing the ball and playing a more team game" "We got away from that in the first half ,but did a much better job in the second half" added Wilson.
The Cavaliers now advance to play Lincoln Wednesday Night, a team they have best three times. When asked about the fourth time Wilson calmly said "no comment".
South Lake improved to 19-2 on the season.
Chandler Park who finished 14-5 was lead by Marlon Crawford who had sixteen points.
Once again De La Salle and Warren Woods Tower played a classic in the state tournament as the Pilots held on to defeat the Titans 68-65.
DLS took a 31-25 lead to the locker room, but it was W.W. T. that came out on fire in the third quarter out scoring the Pilots 23-11 to take a 48-42 advantage entering the final quarter.
In the wild fourth period the teams would trade baskets, but none bigger than the steal and slam dunk by point guard Justin Fischer that seemed to ignite his teammates and the Pilot crowd.
De La Salle turned up the pressure late in the game forcing several key turnovers that would lead to multiple transition baskets.
Tower continued to fight back with great three point shooting hitting nearly 50 percent from downtown, but it would not be enough.
Luke Pfromm who scored 24 points for DLS said "we just kept playing and we would not be denied" Pilot point guard Justin Fischer who added 17 points said "even though we fell behind we didn't panic" "Now we play for a championship" added Fischer.
De La Salle Head Coach Greg Esler praised Tower for their great play and three point shooting. "Nick Evola had his team ready like he always does" said Esler. Nick is not just one of the best coaches in the county he's one of the best in the state" added Esler. I'm proud of our kids and now we get to play for a championship on our home court, so I hope the Pilot fans come out in a big way" concluded Esler. The Pilots improved to 15-7.
W. W. Tower was lead Charles Anderson -Louie with 22 points and Mathew Byrd who had 18.
The Titans finished the season 13-8.
After a very competitive and high scoring first quarter which saw the De La Salle Pilots take a 21-19 lead, they would turn up the defensive pressure on their way to a 75-60 victory over L'anse Creuse. DLS went a 19-10 run in the second quarter to take a 40-29 advantage at the half.
La Salle senior Jordan Winowiecki hit a two point basket early in the third quarter giving the Pilots a 47-35 lead. After a timeout L'anse Creuse would cut the deficit to 55-45, but the Lancers would get no closer.
The Pilots would take the fourth quarter 21-18 on their way to the regional final as they battle Dakota Wednesday Night on Dakota's home floor at 6 pm with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals.
Winowiecki said after the game, "the pressure defense was the key and playing in the Catholic League brings out the best in the Pilots" Kole Gjonaj. added "our team played well and said he personally was feeling better after an injury" "We will be ready and prepared for the championship game on Wednesday" added Gjonaj.
De La Salle Head Coach Greg Esler.was not happy with his teams first period defense but added " we played much better in quarters 2 thru 4". "If we are going to advance we will have to play a better and complete game" said Esler " I feel this team can make a long run in the tournament, but we have to limit our mistakes "added Esler. I like how our starters played and I'm also proud of my bench, Michael Sherman, Blaine Flanigan and Keith Larson gave us big minutes." concluded Esler.
Luke Pfromm led all scores with 18 points while Gjonaj and Winowiecki each added 14 points as the Pilots improved to 17-7..
L'anse Creuse was led by Brett Watts with 12 points as the Lancers concluded their season at 13-10.
Spotlighting Macomb County High School Sports and Athletes.
The Cousino Lady Patriots once again have advanced to the sweet sixteen with a come from behind victory over the Stevenson Lady Titans 40-31.
Cousino trailed at the half 17-13, but rallied in the second have led by sophomore forward Rachael Adewussi (16 points) and Mackenzie Cook (14 points).
During one stretch Adewussi scored 14 of Cousino's 16 points that saw the Lady Patriots go from 4 down to up 5.
Adewussi said" the team came out more aggressive in the second half especially on the glass and came up with some key rebounds"." It was a team effort and it's great to advance to the regional final".
Patriot Coach Mike Lee who has taken his team to back to back final fours including a State Title said "it was a hard fought victory ,but we're back in the sweet sixteen". "The girls would not quit" added Lee.
Cousino advances to play G.P. North at Anchor Bay. The two teams split during the regular season. The Lady Patriots moved their record to 16-7 overall. Stevenson was led by Tori Beers (9 points). The Lady Titans closed out their season at 11-13.
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G.P. North raced out to a 32-20 halftime lead, but Dakota came storming back to take a 41-38 fourth quarter advantage behind some brilliant three point shooting from senior Tara Bieniewicz.. During the rally Bieniewicz would hit four threes to finish with twenty six points. But not to be outdone North junior Julia Ayrault tallied 27 points including two game winning free throws with four seconds remaining to seal the deal 53-51.
The game was tied at 38-38 after three quarters as Bieniewicz hit a FG with two seconds left in the period.
The teams would trade baskets throughout the fourth quarter until Bieniewicz fouled Ayrault with four tics left on the clock. When asked about hitting the free throws Ayrault said " I just focused, we wanted this game bad and are not ready for our season to end" "This was a team effort" added Ayrault.
North Head Coach Gary Bennett had high praise for Dakota won had won two of the earlier three meetings between the two teams. "That is a great team we beat tonight". "I'm so proud of our girls, a lot of times teams give up the lead and fold, but we just would not quit and we were able to come back and get the win". added Bennett.
Freshman Madeline Kohler added 9 points for North ( 18-5) who advance to the regional final to play Cousino at Anchor Bay at 7pm Thursday Night.
MAC Red Champion Dakota finishes the season at 19-4.
De LaSalle Beats Dakota To Win Regional Title
After three quarters of a defensive struggle both offenses exploded in the fourth with De La Salle and Dakota combining for 43 points. The Pilots outscored the Cougars 24-19 for what would be the difference in a 56-51 victory at Dakota. The teams were tied 32-32 after three quarters.
La Salle lead by as many as seven, 18-11 in the first half, but the Cougars would cut the lead to three 20-17 at the half.
With the teams tied entering the final quarter Luke Pfromm drilled a three pointer putting DLS up 35-32, but it would be Dakota that would go on a 8-2 run capped off by a Ryan Rollins free throw putting the Cougars up 40-37.
Pilot Coach Greg Esler called timeout and his team responded with a 15-7 run led by Pfromm and point guard Justin Fischer who combined for 12 of the points.to take a 50-44 lead and with some clutch free throws from Fischer, Promm and senior Jordan Winowiecki the Pilots would hold for the win and clinch Eslers seventh regional championship ( five at Warren De La Salle).
Pfromm led all scorers with 16. Fischer added 13.
A very happy Esler talked about the composure of his team especially the seniors. "We hit free throws down the stretch and Easton Sikorski came up huge on defense all night"said Esler. "Overall I'm happy for our kids, it was a team win all the way" added Esler whose Pilots advance to the quarterfinals to take on Catholic League rival U of D Tuesday Night at Callahan Hall. The Pilots improved their record to 18-7.
Dakota was led by Rollins who had 12 points as Dakota closed out their season.at 17-8
The Cousino Patriots punched their ticket to the district final beating Warren Con Rival Warren Mott 49-35.
The Patriots jumped out to a 23-14 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Justin Chambers who scored six quick points finished with eight as did teammates Nathan Frazier and Jackson Dych. Jeremy Kitka led Cousino with nine points.
Frazier said " it's great to get the win and play for a district championship". Coach Derek LeFevre said " the team has been playing well and thats what you want when you get into March". The kids played hard and earned this chance to play for a championship and we look forward to it." added LeFevre.
Warren Mott was lead by Darius Willis who had 10 Points. The Marauders closed out the season at 10-11.
Cousino improved to 13-9 and advance to Friday's title game vs De La Salle on the Pilots home court.
In a fast tempo game that never slowed down the Roseville Panthers held on to defeat the Lake Shore Shorians 80-77 to advance to the Regional at Dakota as they will take on the host Cougars at 7pm Monday Night.
Roseville guard Darien Banks would lead his team with 22 first half points on his way to a 27 point night.
Afterwards Banks credited his teammates and home crowd. "My teammates were great and our fans were awesome"said Banks. "We just refused to lose" added Banks.
After the Panthers got off to a quick 12-2 lead the Shorians stormed back to take a 22-20 lead after one.
The teams would trade hoops throughout the second quarter with Roseville regaining the lead 38-37 at the break.
Roseville started the third quarter like the first, on fire and jumped out to a thirteen point advantage 50-37 led by John Ukomado who would score 7 of Roseville's next 12 points. Lake Shore would not quit. The Shorians led by Kaleb Bates would outscore Roseville 27-17 to cut the deficit to 67-64 early in the fourth quarter.
Lazell Judge would hit his fourth three pointer to put Roseville up 70-64 midway through the fourth quarter.
But Lake Shore continued to fight back as Jessie Creamer hit a shot to cut the lead to one 78-77. Then with five seconds remaining Darien Banks would nail two free throws. Lake Shore had one last chance, but could not get off a shot and the Panthers would hang on for the district championship.
After the game Roseville Head Coach Hassan Nizam said "I thought I was going to have a heart attack".
"My kids played so hard and I'm so proud of them, but we still have worked to do. We haven't reached all of our goals yet, we want to keep playing and now it's on to the regional"added Nizam.
Martel Turner added 15 points for Roseville who improved to 16-6 on the season.
Lake Shore was led by Bates who had 27 points as the Shorians closed out their season at 13-9.