East Lansing — Maddie Clark and Pittsford continued to be a nightmare for Waterford Lakes, which was ousted in the Class D girls basketball semifinals Thursday at Breslin Center, 62-43.
Thursday, she powered her way inside for 24 points (9-for-10) and 16 rebounds (seven offensive) despite several double-teams.
Clark, a 5-foot-10 junior forward, had 26 points and 15 rebounds (10 offensive) in last year’s 57-26 semifinal victory.
Pittsford (26-0) gets a second chance to win the title — it let a 20-point fourth-quarter lead slip away in last year’s loss to St. Ignace — when it faces Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart Saturday.
“We just ran into an excellent team,” said coach Steve Robak, who guided Lakes (20-5) to Breslin for the Final Four for the sixth time in seven years. “Maddie’s a player you don’t run into very often. She’s such a smart player, incredibly strong and really doesn’t miss when she gets the ball around the basket.
“What we were trying to do is find a Pittsford player to sag off of so we could double on her (Clark), but we let her get free more than we should have.”
Clark was a physical presence throughout. She scored in transition during a 9-0 run to end the first quarter for a 17-10 lead, then scored off a putback to close the half with a 10-2 run to open up a 31-19 advantage. She had 14 points and nine rebounds in the second half.
“They double-teamed me and it worked for a while,” Clark said.
Pittsford junior guard Jaycie Burger finished with 15 points, 10-for-14 on free throws.
“We needed her tonight since we didn’t shoot it well,” Pittsford coach Chris Hodos said.
Pittsford held a 46-28 rebounding advantage.
“Defense is definitely a key thing for our team because when you can’t find the basket it’s important the other team can’t, too,” Burger said.
Sophomore forward Tiffany Senerius (20 points, 6-for-19) kept Lakes close in the first half, scoring 13.