The Macomb Daily
Lutheran North posts quarterfinal win
>> Orchard Lake St. Mary’s coach Dan Heath spent the duration of the Catholic League postseason last year thinking ‘Why not us?’
He’ll probably spend the rest of this year’s postseason thinking the same thing.
While the Eaglets weren’t yet eligible for the CHSL playoffs last year, as a new program, they were invited to the dance this season, but lost in their first tournament game, as Macomb Lutheran North won Saturday’s Cardinal Division tournament quarterfinal, 57-49.
“I mean, we’re freshmen and sophomore heavy. I think, to start the game, we were a little tentative, and, you know, that really plays into their side of things. I liked our effort throughout the game. We just weren’t in the right spots a lot of times and kind of was just out of sorts. And I think that hurt us, you know, and I think it definitely is a learning experience, something that — we’re all coming back next year. So it was good for us to get out here,” Heath said. “I’m disappointed because I thought that was a game we could have won. We just couldn’t put the puzzle together.”
It was a learning experience, as well, for the Mustangs (13-3), who move on to Tuesday’s semifinals, where they’ll take on defending CHSL Cardinal champion Madison Heights Bishop Foley, a
42-21 winner over rival Royal Oak Shrine in another of Saturday’s quarterfinals.
“All season long, we’ve been focusing on one game at a time, really. But now that it’s playoff time it’s a fun time of the year — it’s like watching March Madness and just seeing, ‘Is the underdog gonna take it?’” Lutheran North coach Andrea Avery-Tiedt said. “You have to step up your game because it’s one or done and we’re
a younger team. And we’re excited for this opportunity to be in the playoffs now. It’ll give us a lot more practice and playoff time here for districts so it’s a little bit of a practice but gets us ready.”
While the Mustangs did start two seniors and a junior in Saturday’s game, they also relied heavily on sophomore Claire Leinberger (18 points) and freshman Emma Rosenow (13 points) for scoring punch inside against the Eaglets (8-9).
“We had a hard time — they killed us in the boards, and that hurt real bad,” Heath said. “I really thought what hurt was they switched defenses a lot. And my girls were having a hard time recognizing it. So that’s definitely where the learning curve comes in. Basketball IQ’s got to grow a little bit, but I’m proud of how my team played. They worked hard. And you know, we go back to the drawing board.”
The Mustangs led 12-10 after one quarter, but used a 12-2 run to double up the Eaglets three minutes into the second quarter, leading 24-12. OLSM ended the first half on a 15-6 run — punctuated by an Alencia Mace 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer — to trail by just three at the half, 30-27, but the Mustangs would push it back up to double digits in the third, leading 46-35 headed to the fourth.
The Eaglets got the deficit down to eight points again, at 48-41, but Leinberger answered with a threepoint play with 4:25 left, ending the final push by the Eaglets.
With nine points in the fourthquarter push, Brooke Shockey finished with 19 points for the Eaglets, while Stella Poota had 16.
In addition to the 31 points from the underclassmen, Madeline DiLella had 14 for Lutheran North, while Ava Herbst and Lindsey LaBara had six points each.
After the loss, the Eaglets picked up a game against Oxford on Monday.