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Howell — Hartland and Howell have developed a great rivalry in girls basketball over the past few years.

So it came to no surprise that the Class A district semifinal between the teams wasn’t decided until Alexis Miller missed a 3-pointer as time expired, resulting in Hartland’s 40-37 victory Wednesday night.

Hartland handed Howell’s its lone four losses last season after Howell did the same to Hartland the previous season. This season, the teams split the previous two games it met.

Hartland (17-5) moves on to a district final Friday night against South Lyon East, while Howell’s season ends at 17-4.

Emily Messner, a 6-foot senior center who is headed for the Army this summer, showed she would be a factor from the start, grabbing six first-quarter rebounds. Messner finished with a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds), scoring the majority of her baskets off of putbacks. She made big play after big play during the fourth quarter to make sure Hartland would move on.

“This is the team that we love to play, every year we say we’re going to beat Howell and it feels so exciting that I can’t even explain the high it feels to beat that team to go on in districts,” said Messner, who was able to stay on the court despite picking up her fourth foul with 4:06 left.

“That’s the type of game you play the sport for. You play basketball because you don’t want to blow out teams, nobody wants to do that, you want to have those competitive games and I give credit to Howell because they are such an amazing team, but I give more credit to us because we just beat them.”

After Howell missed a 3-pointer that would have pulled it even, Messner scored inside at the other end off a pass from Graysen Cockerham for a 35-30 cushion with 5:20 left.

Howell had a chance to pull even again in the final minute, but Cockerham made a steal to prevent a basket, then found Messner at the other end for a lay-up and 38-34 lead with 30 seconds left.

“It was all Graysen,” Messner said of Cockerham, who had nine points and six rebounds. “I give all the credit to my teammates. I have never had such great teammates. She gave me the ball and I scored, but I feel that’s her two points.”

Whitney Sollom, a 6-4 sophomore who has multiple Big Ten offers, also had a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) for Hartland, making two free throws with 9.1 seconds left after Messner grabbed an offensive rebound after a teammate missed the front end of a 1-1.

Sollom made another huge play just prior to halftime. Hartland had the ball sideline left with 0.5 seconds left. Sollom received the pass, turned and tossed in a 25-footer off the backboard and through the net for a 21-11 halftime lead.

Miller, a senior guard, scored 18 for Howell, making 11-of-18 free throws. Senior forward Leah Weslock was limited to four points on 1-of-13 shooting.

Howell battled back from its double-digit deficit by forcing turnovers out of its fullcourt pressure, but Hartland converted just enough free throws (3-of-6) during the fourth quarter.

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MORE GIRLS BASKETBALL

Allen Park 60, Lincoln Park 31: Abbie Slate had 27 points and seven rebounds for Allen Park (13-8). Karrington Gordon scored 15 for Lincoln Park (6-16).

Dearborn Edsel Ford 73, Taylor Truman 37: Brooke Gailliard had 21 points for Edsel Ford. Orthea Cooper scored 22 for Truman.

Dearborn Fordson 54, Detroit Cody 33: Rana El-Husseini had 23 points and eight assists and Kiki Darwiche 16 points and 12 rebounds for Fordson (20-2). Jamya Richardson scored 16 for Cody.

Detroit Collegiate Prep 69, Detroit Henry Ford Academy 32: Ajanae Horton had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Sapphire Dawson 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikiya Cordell and Ericka Smith scored 12 for Detroit Collegiate Prep (13-4). Jamel Buskin scored 12 and Diamond Long 11 for Ford (4-14).

Detroit Country Day 88, Ferndale University 16: Kaela Webb had 16 points, Adrian Folks 14 and Morgan Morrison 12 for Country Day (17-4).

Detroit Jalen Rose Academy 41, Detroit Community 24: Danaeja Brown had 18 points and Anaya Bouyer 15 for Jalen Rose Academy (4-11).

Detroit King 71, Detroit Western 21: Mariah Mitchell had 15 points, Del’janae Williams 14 points, five assists and five steals, Diamond Cannon had 13 points and seven rebounds, and Jordan Lewis had 12 points and five assists for King (17-3). Western is 4-18.

Detroit Renaissance 60, Hazel Park 11: Mikyah Finley had 10 points for Renaissance (14-7). Hazel Park is 6-13.

Farmington Hills Mercy 44, North Farmington 38: Bella Dugas had 20 points for Mercy (19-3). Sam Cherney scored 11 and Maya Kelly 10 for North Farmington (13-8)

Grosse Pointe North 44, St. Clair Shores Lakeview 32: Julia Ayrault had 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals for North (16-5). Seanna Saccone scored 14 and Lauren Wynn 11 for Lakeview (20-2).

Macomb Dakota 41, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 32: Taylor Williams and Cam Grant had 11 points for Dakota (18-3). L’Anse Creuse North is 7-14.

Macomb Lutheran North 34, Algonac 22: Hannah Milligan had 12 points and Savanah Holmes seven for Lutheran North (8-13). Emily Nugent scored 11 for Algonac.

Madison Heights Lamphere 49, Ferndale 22: Nadia Shumate had 12 points and 16 rebounds and Diaja Ray scored 11 for Lamphere (11-11). Keneisha Williams scored 12 for Ferndale.

Roseville 42, Eastpointe 23: Maddy Lagassa had 19 points and Debraya Edwards 17 for Roseville. Eastpointe is 1-17.

Royal Oak 52, Birmingham Seaholm 21: Jessica Adams had 19 points and Anna Ross nine for Royal Oak (19-2). Seaholm is 3-18.

Sterling Heights 59, Warren Woods Tower 57: Brenna Kassad had 20 points and five rebounds, Katie Schultz 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals and Tatuana Hardwick 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for Sterling Heights (8-14). Leeann Wilson scored 18 points and Alyssa Agueros 17 for Warren Woods Tower (8-13).

Trenton 51, Woodhaven 41: Sydney Voss had 15 points and Therese Hebda 14 for Trenton (19-2). Bri Campbell scored 13 for Woodhaven (13-8).

Waterford Lakes 70, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 18: Tiffany Senerius had 16 points, and Kayla Sanders and Brooklyn Robak each scored 12 for Lakes (17-4).

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dearborn Heights Robichaud 73, Livonia Clarenceville 56: Jeremy Flex had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and David Newsome had 10 points and 10 assists for Robichaud (6-13).

Detroit Cass Tech 64, Dearborn Divine Child 41: Randy Gilbert had 14 points, Kalil Whitehead 13, Chris Murry 11 and Matt Richmond 10 for Cass Tech (15-4). Divine Child is 14-6.

Detroit Loyola 74, Detroit Denby 64: Myron Gardner had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Mark Mayberry scored 21 for Loyola (9-11). Denby is 11-7.

Detroit News staff contributed.

david.goricki@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/DavidGoricki

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