Birmingham — Two of the best teams in the state squared off and fought to the wire Thursday, with Birmingham Marian's Kara Holinski sinking a jumper with seven seconds remaining to lift her team over previously unbeaten Detroit King, 50-49.
The matchup, dubbed Operation Friendship, was a pairing of Detroit Public School champion King (18-1) and Catholic League champion Marian (19-1).
Marian took the ball out of bounds with 15 seconds left, trailing 49-48, and had not led since the second quarter. The pass went to Holinski, who made her way through traffic and into the middle of the lane. With nowhere to go, she took a dribble that almost got away from her, corralled the ball and hit a turnaround jumper.
King got the ball in immediately and point guard Alicia Norman sprinted the length of the floor and got a shot up inside the free throw line that went off the rim and backboard as the buzzer sounded.
"We were trying to run a set and they denied the pass," Marian coach Mary Cicerone said of the winner. "The play broke down but Kara created for us."
"It's one of those things (where) you don't think you're going to make it in the heat of the moment," Holinski said. "When you do, it's like, 'Wow.' "
Holinski finished with 16 points to pace Marian.
Despite allowing Marian to go on an 11-0 run between the first and second quarters, King took a 21-17 lead into halftime, thanks in part to two big 3-pointers from junior guard Micaela Kelly.
Senior guard Janae Williams led King with 17 points, including 11 in the second half as it held on until the final seconds.
King forward Leah Mathis, usually a game-changer on the boards, was on the bench for most of the night with foul trouble. She sat out most of the third quarter, came in to start the fourth and fouled out with 7:13 left to play. She finished with two rebounds.
Brittany Gray had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Marian, including six boards in the final quarter.
"This is one of those game we really wanted to win," Holinski said. "King is one of the most competitive teams in the state and I'm sure we'll be seeing them again in the state playoffs."
Operation Friendship served as the final game for both teams heading into next week's state tournament.
Clinton Township Clintondale 55, Warren Lincoln 47: CHina Hazard had 28 points for Clintondale (7-11, 6-7 MAC Silver).
Detroit Country Day 57, Haslett 43: Destiny Pitts had 25 points for Country Day (14-4). Mackennzie DeCook scored 13 for Haslett.
Detroit Edison 60, Waterford Lakes 28: Ashley Perry had 17 points and India Hawkins had 14 for Edison (10-6).
Detroit Osborn 33, Plymouth Educational 25: Jakyla Jones scored 12 and Faith Weaver had 15 rebounds for Osborn (4-12).
Detroit University Prep Science and Math 43, Detroit YES Academy 14: Sandra Gulford had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Science and Math (14-5).
Farmington Hills Harrison 52, Clarkston 40: Kristen Nelson scored 18, Katie Conrad 15 and Olivia Perkins 13 for Harrison (12-8). Kayla Luchetath scored 13 for Clarkston (12-8).
Farmington Hills Mercy 74, Dearborn Heights Robichaud 57: Taylor Jones had 29 points, Zora Pullen had 22 and Sierra Wangler had 13 for Mercy (16-4). Kamaria McDaniel had 19 points for Robichaud (17-2).
Grosse Ile 59, Woodhaven 56: Kate Tobin had 18 points, and Morgan Swick (16 rebounds) and Margaret Scordi (14 rebounds) each had 14 for Grosse Ile (16-4). Hailey Leidel scored 32 for Woodhaven (14-4).
Grosse Pointe North 62, St. Clair Shores Lakeview 31: Katelyn Carney had 20 points and Erin Armbruster had 10 for North (10-10). Nicole Austin scored 10 for Lakeview (8-12).
Grosse Pointe South 65, Utica Ford 37: Aliezza Brown scored 26 for South (16-4, 11-1 MAC Red), which clinched its seventh straight league title. Cierra Rice added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Alex Sorgi led Utica Ford (9-10) with 10 points.
Hartland 58, South Lyon East 34: Natalie Halonen had 13 points for Hartland (14-6). Gabi Bird had 14 points for East (11-9).
Madison Heights Lamphere 50, Madison Heights Madison 41: Allison Denmark had 16 points and Allison Berger had 10 points for Lamphere (11-8, 9-4 MAC Silver). Michelle Vaughn had 15 points for Madison (10-9, 9-4).
Northville 70, Walled Lake Northern 13: Emily Merish had 12 points and Mariah Modkins had 11 for Northville (13-7). Northern is 6-13.
Oak Park 59, Birmingham Groves 47 (2OT): Amber Davis scored 19 and Landace Johnson 11 for Oak Park (13-7), which outscored Groves in the second overtime, 12-0. Sha Carter scored 27 and Jenna Weed 14 for Groves (3-17).
St. Clair Shores South Lake 76, New Haven 19: NaKyra Jordan scored 42 and Khadajah Williams 13 points South Lake (14-2, 13-0 MAC Silver). Alicia Papuga had 10 points for New Haven.
Utica 52, Roseville 26: Jordan Biancha had 12 points and Ashley Spagnuolo had 10 for Utica (13-7). Roseville is 9-11.
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 66, Harper Woods 25: Rozhane Wells and Lauren Carroll scored 14 each for Arbor Prep (16-3).
Belleville 51, Allen Park 32: Damion Williams had 12 points for Belleville (11-8). Antonio Revere had 10 points for Allen Park (12-7).
Dearborn Fordson 49, Southgate Anderson 47: Muhammed Zahr had 23 points for Fordson. Dejon Matthews scored 23 for Southgate (9-9).
Detroit East English Village Prep 85, Detroit JFK 62: Karmari Newman had 23 points and Fred Wright-Jones had 17 for East English (16-4). Andre Marsh scored 22 for JFK.
Detroit Henry Ford 82, Detroit Northwestern 39: Antoine Johnson had 14 points and Austin Hunter had 11 for Henry Ford (14-5). Ketquan Gatewood had 13 points for Northwestern.
Gibraltar Carlson 94, Melvindale 71: Jarrett Atkinson-Warren had 35 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Carlson (12-7, 7-7 Downriver), while Prince Ideozu scored 28. Montrez Fuster led Melvindale with 29 points, and Koby Boynton added 22.
Highland Park 81, Detroit Public Safety Academy 77: Demaris Wilson led Highland Park (11-7) with 24 points, and Keondre Carter scored 19. Michael Smith had 20 points for PSA.
Inkster Petersen Warren Academy 55, Detroit Jalen Rose Academy 46: Derek Walker Jr. had 24 points for Petersen Warren (9-5). Juwaun Casey scored 18 for Jalen Rose.
Macomb Dakota 60, Macomb Township L'Anse Creuse North 32: Jermaine Jackson Jr. had 19 points and seven rebounds and Alex Hagel had 12 points and six rebounds for Dakota (17-2, 12-0 MAC Red).
Redford Thurston 75, Trenton 28: Brandon Marshall had 23 points and Marquie'l Thomas had 17 for Thurston (16-2).
Warren Michigan Collegiate 85, Detroit Cristo Rey 55: Damon Osley had 22 points, Jamell Green had 13 and Malcolm Cohen 12 for Michigan Collegiate (13-5). Travis Watson had 10 points for Cristo Rey (5-10).
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer; News staff contributed