CASS CITY — After losing to Bad Axe in the last two district tournaments, Cass City decided to return the favor here Monday night.
The Red Hawks started strong, muddled in the middle, and flourished at the finish of an exciting 50-48 victory over the Hatchets in the opening round of the Class C girls basketball district tournament.
McKensie Parrish’s layup with 20 seconds to play was the difference for the Red Hawks, who then had to dodge Bad Axe’s final shot, which hit the rim and bounded away as time expired.
“It’s tournament time, that’s kind of what you expect,” said Cass City coach Lloyd Schinnerer. “It was two teams who wanted to win and wanted to play another night.”
In 2010, Bad Axe picked up a 37-30 win over the Red Hawks in the districts. In 2009, the Hatchets rallied for a 40-38 victory.
It didn’t happen this season.
“We couldn’t get a key stop or a key rebound at the end,” said Bad Axe coach Bob Breault. “That’s kind of been our story the whole year. We just couldn’t get the one or two key plays when we needed them.”
Cass City’s Logan Rowell certainly made several key plays for her team, pouring in a season-high 27 points. She added seven rebounds, five blocks, and the assist on the game-winning play. Parrish notched 12 points while freshman Shania Chambers came off the bench and buried a pair of important three-pointers en route to tying her season-high with eight points.
The Red Hawks finished the game on an 8-3 spurt over the final 3:25.
With it tied at 48 with 1:20 to play, Rowell came up with a steal, setting up the game-winning shot. After a timeout, the Red Hawks got the ball at the free throw line to Rowell, who hit a back-cutting Parrish with a nice pass resulting in an easy layup.
“To be honest, I think we ran that the first play of the game and we didn’t execute it at all, so... We’ll take it,” Schinnerer said.
The Hatchets still had time for a game-saver of their own. After a timeout with 9.6 seconds left, Bad Axe got the ball up the court with a long pass to its best shooter, Justine Morneau, whose 19-footer just missed as the horn sounded.
“The last shot was a good shot,” Breault said. “We switched up the inbounds play a bit, and we got it up the court and into the hands of our best shooter. It just didn’t go in. What can you do?”
Added Schinnerer: “I liked their play at the end. They drew it up very nicely, they executed, and they got a pretty nice shot up. It just didn’t go.”
For the Hatchets, Taylor Breault had 12 points and 11 rebounds while Morneau chipped in 11 points and six assists.
Bad Axe trailed by 12 points at the half, and by five after three quarters. Each time, the Hatchets came back to take the lead, but couldn’t hold it.
“We got down and we battled back, so that was nice to see,” Breault said. “We got a lot of contributions from everyone in their own way.”
Tori Orban, Rachel Breault and Alyssa Kociba netted six points each for Bad Axe while Shelby Fligger added five.
“Bad Axe played well,” Schinnerer said. “They had kids step up and hit some shots for them.”
The Hatchets finish 6-14 overall, but Breault sees a bright future.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction,” he said. “I think we are farther ahead than the wins and losses indicate, but I know everyone looks at that.
“The way we battled tonight shows the kind of players we have. We have some good players coming up and down through the program. We’ll miss our seniors, but we have some other people who can step in.
“I would have hoped for more as far as wins, but I think we’re going in the right direction and we might surprise some people next year.”
As for the 9-11 Red Hawks, they will move on to Wednesday’s district semifinal against 10-9 Unionville-Sebewaing Area. Cass City owns a 43-39 victory over the Patriots in the teams’ only meeting this season.
“It will be a good game,” Schinnerer said. “I am hoping we can play well. They play hard and they play aggressive. I think it might be a similar game like tonight.”
The Red Hawks were red-hot in the opening quarter, flying out to a 24-12 lead. Bad Axe, though, kept its composure and rallied, using a Morneau three-pointer with two seconds left to take a 30-28 edge at the half.
“We scored 24 points in that first quarter, and it seemed to me like we should have been ahead by 15 or 20,” Schinnerer said. “But you look and we’re only up 12, and the next thing you know we’re down at halftime.
“The way we shot in the first quarter wasn’t going to happen the whole game.”
|Bad Axe’s Taylor Breault goes up for two points against Cass City’s Logan Rowell in the second half Monday night.|
|Bad Axe’s Rachel Breault is surrounded by Red Hawks, including Amanda Clifton (14) and Carley Hendrick (32).|
|Bad Axe’s Amanda Hind (40) and Cass City’s Megan Parrish (2) battle for a rebound in the paint Monday night.|
|Cass City’s Logan Rowell goes up for two of her 27 points for the Red Hawks against Bad Axe’s Rachel Breault.|
Class C hosted by Harbor Beach
Sandusky 41, Harbor Beach 26
EPBP 62, Ubly 34
Cass City 50, Bad Axe 48
Games at Harbor Beach
Sandusky vs. EPBP, 6 p.m.
USA vs. Bad Axe, 7:45 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.
Winner advances to the Bad Axe regional to take on the Montrose district winner.
Class C hosted by Mayville
Vassar 55, Mayville 16
Marlette 70, Dryden 6
Brown City 61, Memphis 48
Games at Mayville
Vassar vs. Marlette, TBA
New Haven vs. Brown City, TBA
Winner advances to the Bad Axe regional to take on the Saginaw Nouvel district winner.
Class C hosted by Montrose
Reese 67, Saginaw Arts 28
New Lothrop 74, Genesee 14
Montrose 61, Saginaw BV 36
Saginaw Valley Lutheran vs. Reese
New Lothrop vs. Montrose
Winner advances to the Bad Axe regional to take on the Harbor Beach district winner.
Class D hosted by Port Hope
Port Hope 53, Caseville 42
Owen-Gage vs. A-Fairgrove, 6 p.m.
Port Hope vs. North Huron, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.
Winner advances to the BCAS regional to take on the Saginaw MLS district winner.
Class D hosted by Peck
Deckerville 47, Peck 31
Kimball New Life 46, Kimball Landmark Academy 26
Deckerville vs. CPS, 6 p.m.
Kimball New Life vs. Kingston, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.
Winner advances to the BCAS regional to take on the Flint-Michigan School for the Deaf district winner.