Monday’s roundup: Walled Lake Central earns 1st win
The long wait and hard work finally paid off for the Walled Lake Central girls basketball team.
Jordan Bross hit the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Walled Lake Central its first win of the season, 40-39, over Livonia Franklin in a Kensington Lakes Activities Association crossover game Monday night.
After a missed Franklin free-throw attempt with 12 seconds remaining, Central (1-18) had one last chance to make a play. Coach Robert Schopf’s girls executed to perfection, reversing the ball and finding the open shooter on the left wing, where Bross’ shot capped and improbable comeback and set off a celebration.
“It was a great moment for the kids,” Schopf said. “After we collected ourselves and shook hands, we went back to the locker room and celebrated together.”
The fitting end to a 20-game losing streak that dates to last season was made all the more impressive by the fact that Central seemingly couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half. It went into the locker room at halftime trailing 24-11 and staring 0-19 in the face.
The comeback appeared to be on early in the third quarter when Central cut the Franklin lead to four. But Franklin was able to push it back out to 12 heading into the fourth.
Central was able to get four 3-pointers to drop in the final quarter, and went 4-for-6 from the free-throw line before Bross’ heroics, numbers that jump off the page to a coach that knows what it’s like to watch offensive struggles.
“The kids dug themselves a hole,” Schopf said. “But we showed poise and didn’t panic. Most of these kids have been with us for two years, and they’re all smiles right now.”
The win was the first for Central since it beat Franklin nearly one year ago. The only other win for Central during that season was a forfeited game that was never played.
Sarah Garbaring led Franklin (1-18) with 14 points.
More girls basketball
Hartland 49, Howell 24: Lexey Tobel had 24 points and Whitney Sollom 14 as Hartland (18-1) won the KLAA’s Lakes Conference championship. Hartland will meet Wayne Memorial in Thursday’s KLAA championship game.
Plymouth 50, Walled Lake Northern 34: Chantal LeDoux had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Becca Przybylo scored 10 for Plymouth (9-10). Grace Fredericks had 16 points for Northern (6-13).
Peck 57, Memphis 53: Dylan Dankenbring had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Kody LaFleur and Cole Hendley scored 13 apiece for Peck (10-8, 7-5 North Central Thumb League).
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer