Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Falls to Pittsford in Class D State Final
EAST LANSING – A six-minute scoring drought across two quarters proved too much for the Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart girls basketball team to overcome Saturday at Michigan State’s Breslin Center.
Playing in its second MHSAA Class D state final since winning the title in 2014, the third-ranked Irish fell to undefeated and top-ranked Pittsford, 48-31.
With the game tied at 13-13 with less than four minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Wildcats (27-0) went on a 9-0 run to carry a 22-13 lead into the locker room.
“Hats off to them, their pressure really caused us to move a little faster than what we wanted to,” Sacred Heart head coach Damon Brown said. “They made it difficult for us to get into our offense and when you can’t get into your offense, it’s difficult to be effective. I thought several times in the second half we were able to get into our offense and unfortunately there was, again, things out of our control that we couldn’t control.
“I thought their defensive pressure on the front end was really good. I thought we did a good job in the first half of managing that. Then they had that run, right there at halftime, I think that kind of got us on our heels and we were scrambling a bit to try and adjust from there.”
Pittsford extended its offensive spark in the second half before a Scout Nelson 3-pointer with 5:31 remaining in the third ended the six-minute scoring drought for the Irish (24-2) as Pittsford held a 29-16 lead, extending the deficit to 20 (40-20) after three quarters.
“They battled as a team,” Brown said. “They experienced a championship two years ago and they knew what it took to get here. They sacrificed, they committed themselves, and they worked hard.”
Pittsford’s press caused Sacred Heart fits throughout the game as the Wildcats converted 29 turnovers into 37 points.
Nelson led the Sacred Heart with nine points, while senior and Class D Player of the Year Averi Gamble concluded her prep career with eight points and seven rebounds.
Pittsford’s Maddie Clark led all scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Jaycie Burger tallied 11 points.
Saturday’s game also marked the final contest for seniors Kimberly Boulier, Julie Hopp, Megan English and Gamble.
“It doesn’t always have to be about winning, just being with these girls is just a blessing in itself,” Gamble said.