The girls basketball team is headed to the state semifinal game at the Breslin Center in East Lansing for the second consecutive year.
The Falcons (24-2) knocked off Marshall (19-7) Tuesday night 47-34 in the quarterfinals at Ann Arbor Skyline High School.
Tuesday's 13-point win was the closest margin of victory for the Falcons so far in this season’s state playoffs. In the five postseason contests the squad had played prior to Tuesday night, it had beaten opponents by an average of 27.2 points per game.
Mary Laney, Divine Child’s head coach, said her team’s strong performance in the playoffs, and throughout the season, is a testament to how well the players have remained focused, despite dealing with the pressure of being defending champs.
“After winning it last year, there’s always that underlying pressure and they’ve handled it very well,” Laney said. “They’ve handled it very well and they’ve worked hard all the way.”
That was quickly evident Tuesday night as Divine Child got out to a fast start against the Redhawks, resulting in a 12-4 Falcons' lead at the end of the first quarter. Sophomore Nicole Urbanick and junior Morgan Blair each scored four points in the quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Marshall closed the closed the gap, cutting the Divine Child lead to 12-10, scoring six unanswered points.
The Falcons’ lead never slipped away, however, as they tightened up on defense and offensive contributions began coming in from everyone on the floor.
Seniors Cara Miller, Malaysha Cammon, Rosanna Reynolds and junior Mallory Myler all had second-quarter points, along with Blair, ultimately putting Divine Child up 27-16 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Falcons pulled away, with Blair and Miller both sinking 3-pointers and Urbanick scoring four points, helping to make it 41-25 after three quarters.
An early fourth-quarter rally by the Redhawks was quickly squashed and Divine Child ultimately walked off the court with a 47-34 win.
As Divine Child now heads into the state semifinal game, Blair, who led the team with 13 points on Tuesday, said she is confident the Falcons can repeat as state champions.
“We can do anything,” she said. “We were the underdogs last year and came up on top, so I know we can do it again.”
Blair was the leading scorer on Tuesday night for the Falcons with 13 points, while Reynolds scored nine and Urbanick netted eight.
The State Finals
Divine Child takes on Goodrich (26-0) Friday night in the Class B state semifinal at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Tip-off time for the game is 7:30 p.m. and the game is a , a game won by the Falcons 54-52. If Divine Child advances, it will face either Grand Rapids Catholic Central (22-3) or Freeland (22-3) Saturday at the Breslin Center, with a tip-off time of 6 p.m.