East Lansing — Detroit Country Day found itself in familiar territory Friday at Breslin Center, trailing by double figures and needing a comeback to pull out a victory.
And it would have to do it with its best player, Destiny Pitts, on the bench for a long period of time after picking up her third and fourth fouls early in the third quarter.
Country Day, however, couldn’t recover from its terrible start (11 turnovers, 2-for-20 shooting) in a 57-46 loss to Grand Rapids South Christian in the Class B girls basketball semifinals.
Country Day, which returned four starters from its Class B state championship team, earned multiple comeback wins this season, including a 23-0 run to close out a four-point victory over Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, a team that will play for the Class C championship today.
Pitts, a 5-foot-10 junior all-state guard, missed her first four shots and was limited to four first-half points as Country Day went into halftime trailing 24-14.
“They played very good defense, but for some unknown reason we were hurrying and that wasn’t us all year,” Country Day coach Frank Orlando said. “We had some key players get into foul trouble (Pitts and 6-4 junior Tylar Bennett had four fouls apiece in third) and that took us out of what we were trying to do.”
Pitts finished with 14 points (5-for-11), including a 3-pointer that pulled Country Day to within four points (41-37) with 4 minutes 40 seconds left. That would be as close as Country Day would get.
“I pretty much tried to get in her head, take her out of her game, just with my physical appearance,” said South Christian senior forward Markayla Vander, who was assigned to defend Pitts and finished with 14 points and five rebounds. “They were beating themselves up (mentally in first half). It didn’t seem like they wanted it as much as we did.”
Senior guard Jennifer DeBoer scored 18 for South Christian (25-2), which also received 10 points from Mariel Bruxvoort and 11 rebounds from Sydney DeYoung.