Detroit — After suffering some setbacks earlier in the season, one of Birmingham Marian’s main goals remained to win the Catholic League girls basketball title.
It took some strategic planning, but Marian reached its goal Sunday, defeating Farmington Hills Mercy, 48-29, Sunday at Calihan Hall for its second straight A-B championship.
“This was one of our first goals — to win the Catholic League,” Marian coach Mary Cicerone said. “We had some breakdowns and we didn’t win the division, but we came back and played really well today.
“We had to change our strategy when we lost a couple games. What we planned worked perfectly. We figured out a game plan to stop Mercy and it worked very well.”
Part of that plan revolved heavily around senior Liz Grobbel, who finished the game with 14 points.
“This was my best game this season both offensively and defensively,” Grobbel said. “We developed a new strategy where I didn’t have to guard my girl as tight and I could help everyone else. It definitely worked to our advantage.”
Marian started the game on a 7-0 run, but Mercy answered right back with a run of its own. After Zora Pullen opened the second quarter with a quick jump shot to pull within one, though, Mercy could not make a field goal the rest of the quarter, and that one-point difference was as close as it would get.
“We were lacking energy,” Mercy coach Gary Morris said. “We were really flat the second quarter. For most of the game we didn’t play with energy. I credit Marian for lulling us into that slow tempo.”
Lauren Montalbano had 11 points and was 7-for-8 from the free throw line for Marian (13-7).
Jackie Bauer led Mercy (14-5) with eight points, while Jordyn Schluter added seven.
Marian is set to face Bloomfield Hills in the first round of the district tournament on Feb. 29.
Waterford Lakes 40, Madison Heights Bishop Foley 24: Megan Ross and Tiffany Senerius scored 12 apiece to lead Lakes (15-4) to its fifth CL championship in eight seasons.
Alex Troy added six points for Lakes, which had split its previous two games with Bishop Foley, winning the first, 45-36, and dropping the second, 57-49.
Jacki Johnson had eight points and Erin Whitman had six for Bishop Foley (10-8).
Lakes will face Livonia Ladywood in a league contest Thursday before squaring off with Bloomfield Hills Roeper in the first round of districts on Feb. 29.
Detroit Osborn 64, Flint Southwestern 56: Armonee Felder had 18 points and 10 assists to lead Osborn (8-9) at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Rashard Zimmerman had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Kenneth Holloway scored 17 for Osborn. Southwestern is 10-7.
Marissa McNees is a freelance writer; News staff contributed