2017-03-15 / Sports

Lady ‘Skins’ great season ended by Hamady

Sandusky edged in regional finals
BY DALE BALL
Sports Editor


Redskin sophomore Gabby Gough applies defensive pressure on Hamady’s Deajah Cofield in the Class regional championship game Thursday night. Photo by Dale Ball Redskin sophomore Gabby Gough applies defensive pressure on Hamady’s Deajah Cofield in the Class regional championship game Thursday night. Photo by Dale Ball FLINT – Coach Al DeMott and his Sandusky Redskins were living a dream season. But then, an old nemesis stepped in the way.

The No. 1 ranked Lady Redskins, previously undefeated, lost in the MHSAA Class C regional championship to Flint Hamady, 38-36, on Thursday night, ending their bid for the school’s first state title. While Sandusky finished 24-1, DeMott, in 38 seasons, is just four wins away from 700 in his career, all at SHS.

The veteran coach will reach that plateau early next season, but that was not his concern on Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinals, with this team, was.

“We knew playing Hamady, at Hamady, would be tough,” remarked the DeMott. “These girls don’t realize how great a season they just had. And, I couldn’t be prouder of the way they represented our team, our school, and community all year long.”

The Hawks of Hamady (18-4), which have won three state championships, improved to 18-4 and were set to face Hemlock (21-4) in last night’s (Tuesday) quarterfinal game at Saginaw Heritage. The Hawks’, who lost All-state guard Crystal Rice to a knee injury earlier in the season, suffered defeats in the regular season to Detroit Country Day (ranked No. 1 in Class B), Class A Flushing (a quarter-finalist), and a strong Goodrich team that lost to Country Day in the regional championship game.

The Lady ‘Skins, though, were not challenged often in the regular season. Their closest games were both against GTC East rival Harbor Beach, the same team that Hamady pulled away from late in Tuesday’s regional semifinals.

DeMott knew that Hamady could be their biggest challenge of the season. His ‘Skins lost to the Hawks in regional play the last two years.

On Thursday night, Sandusky grabbed a, 12-9, lead in the first quarter, getting six points each from junior guard Madysen Jansen and sophomore forward Gabby Gough.

The next quarter, though, belonged to Hamady, thanks to a 12-0 run that propelled the Hawks to a nine-point, 26-17, lead at halftime. Freshman center Aryana Naylor and senior guard Jasmine Robinson combined for 15 points in the quarter.

“In the second quarter, we rushed everything we were doing and it resulted in turnovers and easy baskets for them, which really hurt,” DeMott noted. “We had to use three timeouts early and didn’t have any left at the end. We outscored (Hamady) in every quarter but the second quarter.”

Sandusky came out in the second half and negated Hamady’s quickness that was somewhat of an issue in the second quarter. The Lady ‘Skins cut the deficit to five, 31-26, in that quarter and then to three, to start the fourth on as pair of free throws from junior Haley Nelson.

Naylor (6’2’), though, countered with a pair of buckets and senior guard Jasmine Robinson added another to extend the margin back to nine, 37-28, with 4:48 left.

But, the Lady ‘Skins were not done. They went on an, 8-1, run, behind five points from junior guard Madysen Jansen and three from Nelson, to pull within two, 38-36.

In the last 20 seconds, Sandusky had a chance to tie it up but missed a pair of free throws and then saw Jansen’s last-second 10-foot jumper from the right side bounce of the rim.

While Naylor led the Hawks with 16 points, the ‘Skins had 14 points from Jansen (4 assts., 3 st.), 11 points and eight rebounds from Nelson, nine points from Gough, and eight rebounds from senior Jessica Kursinsky. Gough also held Hamady’s Deajah Cofield to just two points – Cofield netted 32 points in the semifinals against Harbor Beach.

“(Hamady’s) defense made it tough for us to score, but our girls never quit …….. even trailing by double digits (26-15, late in 2nd qt.), on their court, and we still had chances to steal it from them at the end” added DeMott.

“It was a disappointing end to a great season,” added DeMott. But, he also noted, “We appreciate the crowd we had that traveled all the way to Hamady to support us.

“These girls are just a great bunch of kids. We lose five great seniors, who were a large part of this team, all in their own way, that we all love and will miss dearly.”

SEMIFINALS

Sandusky 49 Brown City 34: As they have done often this season, the Lady Redskins stormed out to a big lead in the first quarter in Tuesday night’s contest against the Green Devils.

Sandusky had a trio of three-pointers, from three different players, to help spark a, 22-7, advantage over BC.

Despite a strong, offensive performance by sophomore Kendal Muxlow, the Lady Devils could not overcome the early deficit. The ‘Skins were up by 13, 31-18, at the half and by 15, 39-24, after three quarters.

While Muxlow poured in a game-high 25 points and added six rebounds and five steals, Sandusky had a balanced attack. Gough led with 13 points while Jansen was right behind with 12. ‘The Lady ‘Skins also had nine points from Nelson.

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