Nine Washtenaw County girls basketball teams advance out of nine district semifinals
This file will be updated throughout the night with playoff basketball results:
AnnArbor.com Washtenaw County district scoreboard:
Melissa Needham had 15 points and three steals, and Caitlin Ellis had 17 rebounds, 13 points, and two blocks for Saline (13-8).
Jaslynn Rollins led Lincoln (13-8) with 12 points, followed by Arie Cargor with eight.
“Melissa is our go-to scorer, and tonight was no different,” Saline coach Jeff Waltz said. ”She was very aggressive.”
Waltz said that Saline’s focus kept it in the game in the closely-disputed fourth quarter.
“At that point, we had the press off, and we needed to slow down,” he said. “The game was within six points, so we kept our heads about us really well and handled the ball well to settle things down and keep our composure."
Saline will face Temperance Bedford at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in a rematch of last year’s district finals.
“We have a good rivalry with Bedford, and I’ve got a lot of respect for them,”
Chelsea outscored Napoleon 22-2 in the first quarter, and the Bulldogs built a 22-point halftime lead to advance to their third consecutive district final.
"Defense was our focus, certainly," Chelsea coach Todd Blomquist said. "We came out and really pressured the basketball, played them full court and made them run their stuff as far from the basket as possible.
"We really set the pace of the game. We took the press off after the first quarter and really concentrated on half-court defense and getting good looks on offense, as well."
Bailey Darwin led Chelsea (15-6) with 16 points and nine rebounds, and Riley Singleton added 15 points and seven rebounds. Grace Sauers rounded out the Chelsea double-digit scorers with 11.
Napoleon's Mackenzie Fairbanks led the Pirates with seven points, and Kaylee Jester and Bethany Heckaman each added five.
Chelsea plays Jackson Lumen Christi in the district finals on Friday at Onsted High School.
"I think my three seniors, Bailey, Grace, and Riley really played well tonight," Blomquist said. "They've been there before, this is not new to them. They have an expectation, and they don't want to play their last game."
Trailing 35-29 with six minutes remaining, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard scored the final eight points to advance to the Class B district final Friday at South Lyon East.
Gabriel Richard (3-15) led by one at the half, but Detroit Community held a four-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
“We led most of the first half, but not by more than three points,” Richard coach Matt Carroll said. “It was a really slow and sloppy game by both teams.”
Gabriel Richard’s Kora Dreffs was 8 of 11 from the free-throw line, and finished with a game-high 18 points.
“(Dreffs) was really a beast for us,” Carroll said.
Micah McCullough led Detroit Community with 10 points, while Carmisha Legion added nine.
Gabriel Richard plays Livonia Ladywood in the district final at 6 p.m. Friday at South Lyon East.
Anika Sproull led Steiner with 14 points, and Tessa Belanger added 12 points, six steals and three blocks. Abby Andrews had eight points, eight rebounds, six blocks, three steals and three assists.
Steiner’s Maggie Schultz scored four points off the bench, but her impact was deeper than that, Jim Belanger said.
“We asked (Shultz) to really focus and get more offensive minded,” Steiner coach Jim Belanger said. “It was a big game for her, offensively, and she played really nice defense.”
Kate Duran led Livingston Christian with 13 points, including four 3-pointers.
Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner (13-3) will face host Saline Washtenaw Christian (12-6) at 7 p.m., Friday.
“They are a really nice rival for us,” Belanger said. “I look forward to it, and we have a lot of respect for them.
Washtenaw Christian (12-6) led 27-6 at halftime, and outscored Meadow Montessori 17-4 in the third quarter to maintain its lead.
“We came out and put some pressure on them,” Washtenaw Christian coach Bob Trevino said. “We got some turnovers and ran our offense.”
Washtenaw Christian’s Kara Goss scored a game-high 16 points, while Rachel Ballantyne grabbed 17 rebounds. Elizabeth Burroughs of Meadow Montessori scored six.
“We’re pretty happy about tonight’s effort and hope this springboards us for Friday’s game,” Trevino said.