dominated the second half and rolled to a 56-40 victory over Melvindale and the Falcons’ fourth straight girls basketball district championship.
DC had to overcome a 24-14 lead by the Downriver League champions from Melvindale in the Class B tournament game played at Riverview High School. The Falcons held the Cardinals for seven straight minutes, outscored them 20-4 in the third quarter and led by as many as 23 in the fourth quarter.
In the second half, “we knew we had to pick up the intensity or the game was over,” said Falcons junior guard Rosanna Reynolds, who led all scorers with 18 points.
The DC girls upped their record to 18-5 for the year. They advance to play Flat Rock in the regional tournament opener at Divine Child. Flat Rock defeated Grosse Ile to win a district title.
“It feels good,” said Reynolds, who hit two buzzer-beaters for key baskets to end the first and third quarters. “Everyone contributed. I can’t wait to go to the regional and play in our gym.”
Melvindale was the hot team to start the game, taking a 10-1 lead just past the four-minute mark. The Cardinals (19-4) led 24-19 at halftime.
But in the third quarter, Divine Child put heavy pressure on the Melvindale girls, who committed turnovers on their first seven possessions of the third quarter.
Meanwhile, back-to-back baskets by DC sophomore guard Morgan Blair, a three-pointer and another basket by junior guard Cara Miller and two free throws by Reynolds put the Falcons up to stay, 30-24. Miller sunk another triple and Reynolds added two three-pointers before the quarter was over.
“Thank God for second halves,” said Divine Child coach Mary Laney. “It’s a game of two halves, isn’t it? It was all about coming out strong in the third quarter and keeping the momentum going our way.”
Laney, in her seventh year, said she felt her players would hit their shots in the third quarter and they did. Just as key was picking up the intensity on defense, she said.
“I actually saw fire in the girls’ eyes,” Laney said.
Blair and Miller had 10 points apiece for the winners. Sophomore forward Mallory Myler added eight.
Freshman guard Nicole Urbanick chipped in four points. Senior guards Brittney Malinowski and Alicia Morrone and junior center Malaysha Cammon added two points apiece.
Melvindale had three players in double figures: Sophomore Auriel Harris had 13, senior Toi Brown had 11–all in the first half–and junior Alycia Webster scored 10.
Divine Child won all three of its district tournament games, beating Riverview and Annapolis earlier in the week.