Macomb — Brooke Daniels and Macomb L’Anse Creuse North were well on their way to pulling off the biggest upset of the girls basketball state tournament Wednesday night in a Division 1 district semifinal at North High School.
But, Port Huron — which was 20-0 and ranked No. 8 in The News Super 20 poll — would have nothing of it, battling back from a 23-12 third quarter deficit to defeat L’Anse Creuse North 44-41 and move on to face Macomb Dakota in Friday’s 6 p.m. title game.
Daniels, a sophomore point guard, scored 26, including 13 during the fourth quarter.
Daniels tried to force overtime, but her 3-pointer fell short. She came up big time after time in the final minute, driving and making a three-point play (basket and free throw) with 25.4 seconds left to pull her team within 39-38, then scored off a putback to cut the deficit to 41-40.
After Emma Trombly missed the second of two free throws, giving Port Huron a 42-40 lead, Daniels grabbed the rebound and went to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity, after getting fouled, with 8.7 seconds remaining.
Daniels made the first and missed the second, allowing Port Huron junior guard Madison Landschoot to go to the line, after getting fouled, where she cashed in on both for the three-point win.
Port Huron made six of eight free throws during the final 32 seconds while L’Anse Creuse North (16-5) made 6-of-11 during the final six minutes.
It took Port Huron nearly 20 minutes before taking its first lead on Landschoot’s 3-pointer from the right corner for a 34-31 lead with 4:30 left in the third.
“I just shot it and it went in and I’m really proud of my team and everybody, we played hard, it wasn’t one of our better games, but we pulled through,” said Landschoot who scored a team-high 16 points, 12 of them in the second half. “We just came out of the locker room (after halftime) and said we had to finish it. We had come so far, and we knew we wouldn’t have it end like this.”
L’Anse Creuse North — which competes in the MAC Blue, the third toughest division in the league — came out playing strong man defense, giving Port Huron little room to operate.
L’Anse Creuse North led 7-2 after one, extending the lead to 18-12 at halftime.
Port Huron was 1-of-8 from the floor and turned the ball over seven times in the opening quarter, shooting just 25% from the field (4-of-16) in the first half.
But Port Huron ended the third quarter on a 13-4 run to pull within 27-25, including a layup by Morgan James off an inbounds pass from Landschoot and a baseline jumper from Landschoot in the final minute of the quarter.
Trombly, a junior post player, had 11 points for Port Huron, including a coast-to-coast layup to cut the deficit to 27-23 late in the third quarter and an inside basket to pull Port Huron even at 29 early in the fourth, and blocked a shot just before Landschoot’s 3-pointer to take the lead.
James, a junior guard, scored 13 on 6-of-11 shooting.
Port Huron — which won the MAC Red/White tournament championship with wins over Macomb Dakota and Grosse Pointe North — did a much better job in the second half when it shot 50% from the field (10-of-20) and took care of the basketball.
Macomb Dakota 50, Port Huron Northern 25: Cam Grant scored 20 to lead Dakota (18-4) to a 50-25 win over Port Huron Northern to move to Friday’s title game.
Grant, who will play next year at Ball State, scored nine in the opening quarter to give Dakota an 18-7 lead.
Dakota extended the lead to 29-13 at halftime and 36-19 after three quarters.
“We went out there and played as a team, got those extra passes and that really hurts the other team instead of playing just one-on-one ball,” said Grant who averages 15 points and 13 rebounds.
“We wanted to come back and play Port Huron (for district championship). It was a really tough game when we played them (60-56 loss on Feb. 18). We played our best offensive game and it came down to a couple last possessions which shouldn’t have happened, and it was at their place and I’m just excited to have it close to home.”
More girls basketball
Detroit Cass Tech 68, Melvindale 11: Desiree Jackson scored 20 and Gabrielle Wainwright 12 for Cass Tech (17-5). Melvindale finished 2-19.
Farmington Hills Mercy 57, Novi 48: Maya White scored 17, Ellie Tisko 12 and Julia Bishop 11 for Mercy (19-3). Hannah Verbracken scored 17 for Novi (10-11).
Grosse Pointe North 47, Hamtramck 10: Christina Braker scored 15 and Sophia Borowski 12 for North (15-6). Aniysia Lewis scored eight for Hamtramck (8-11).
Hartland 66, Linden 10: Whitney Sollom scored 18, surpassing 1,000 points in her career for Hartland (21-1). Sollom is committed to play basketball at Michigan next year. Linden finished 6-15.
Plymouth 41, Northville 24: Ainsley Florence scored 17 and Ella Riley eight for Plymouth (13-8). Northville finished 8-13.
River Rouge 44, Southgate Anderson 34: Curtisey Willims had 13 points and five rebounds, Detorri Hall 12 points points, five steals and seven assists and Nautica Holmes 10 points and 13 rebounds for River Rouge (11-7). Anderson finished 4-17.
Riverview 78, Wyandotte 46: Rayah Kolbusz scored 17 for Riverview (15-7). Samantha Smith scored 27 for Wyandotte (11-10).
Rochester Adams 58, Waterford Kettering 42: Amelia Drahrak scored 18, Lauren Petersmark 16 and Nicole Clearhout 14 for Adams (14-8). Izzy Dugal scored 17 for Kettering (10-11).
Royal Oak 30, Southfield A&T 26: Sarah Soraghan scored 13, and Sarah Ammon had seven points and 11 rebounds for Royal Oak (10-11). Cheyenne McEvans scored 13 for A&T (13-8).
St. Clair Shores Lakeview 63, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 24: Tricia Sankiewicz scored 19 and Taedom Stein 14 for Lakeview (19-3). Lake Shore finished 7-14.
Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 41, Romulus 22: Ciara Hardy scored 13 for Romulus (15-6). Gabriel Richard is 13-8.
Detroit CMA 55, Old Redford 12: Kamry Hill scored 15 and Shayla Ramsey 12 for CMA (9-8). Old Redford finished 0-11.
Detroit Cody 59, Ferndale 44: Aiyanna Tanksley had 36 points and 14 rebounds and Aaliyah Scott 12 points for Cody (14-5). Keneisha Williams scored 29 for Ferndale (4-14).
Ecorse 67, Taylor Prep 27: Aqierra Hinton had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Alliyah Davis 17 points for Ecorse (17-2). Taylor Prep finished 11-8.
Girls basketball district scores
District 5 at Waterford Kettering
Clarkston 54, Lake Orion 37
District 6 at Bloomfield Hills
Auburn Hills Avondale 58, Pontiac 18
West Bloomfield 50, Waterford Mott 41
District 7 at White Lake Lakeland
Walled Lake Central 24, Walled Lake Northern 15
Walled Lake Western 53, White Lake Lakeland 18
District 8 at Holly
Hartland 66, Linden 10
Howell 65, Holly 28
District 17 at Brighton
Brighton 59, Ann Arbor Skyline 16
South Lyon East 53, Dexter 39
District 18 at Ypsilanti Lincoln
Ann Arbor Huron 44, Ann Arbor Pioneer 40
Saline 60, Ypsilanti Lincoln 17
District 19 at Northville
Plymouth 41, Northville 24
Salem 34, Livonia Churchill 32
District 20 at Wayne Memorial
Livonia Franklin 56, Redford Thurston 17
Wayne Memorial 66, Westland John Glenn 31
District 21 at Monroe
Gibraltar Carlson 55, Trenton 34
Temperance Bedford 58, Monroe 34
District 22 at Riverview
River Rouge 44, Southgate Anderson 34
Riverview 78, Wyandotte 46
District 23 at Dearborn
Dearborn 64, Taylor 23
Dearborn Heights Crestwood 41, Dearborn Edsel Ford 26
District 24 at Dearborn Fordson
Detroit Cass Tech 68, Melvindale 12
Detroit King 59, Detroit Western 14
District 25 at Farmington
Farmington Hills Mercy 57, Novi 48
North Farmington 56, Livonia Stevenson 42
District 26 at Birmingham Marian
Birmingham Marian 60, Berkley 19
Royal Oak 30, Southfield A&T 26
District 27 at Detroit Mumford
Detroit Mumford 61, Warren Fitzgerald 16
Detroit Renaissance 72, Warren Mott 17
District 28 at Grosse Pointe North
Grosse Pointe North 47, Hamtramck 10
Grosse Pointe South 60, Warren Woods Tower 19
District 29 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek
Rochester 40, Utica 36
Utica Eisenhower 42, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 30
District 30 at Warren Cousino
Utica Ford 48, Sterling Heights 18
Warren Regina 29, Sterling Heights Stevenson 26
District 31 at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore
Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse 46, Roseville 15
District 32 at Macomb L'Anse Creuse North
Macomb Dakota 50, Port Huron Northern 25
Port Huron 44, Macomb L'Anse Creuse North 41
District 52 at Dundee
Ida 56, Milan 26
District 53 at Monroe Jefferson
Carleton Airport 68, Monroe Jefferson 30
Flat Rock 54, New Boston Huron 24
District 54 at Dearborn Divine Child
Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 41, Romulus 22
Dearborn Divine Child 64, Romulus Summit North 24
District 55 at Dearborn Heights Annapolis
Dearborn Heights Annapolis 47, Detroit Collegiate 17
Dearborn Henry Ford 60, Detroit West Side 10
District 56 at Detroit Edison
Detroit Univer.Prep 65, Detroit Univer. Prep Art & Design 19
Detroit Edison 2, Detroit Univer. Prep Science & Math 0 (forfeit)
District 57 at Redford Union
Redford Union 45, Livonia Clarenceville 40
Wixom St. Catherine 2, Detroit Henry Ford 0 (forfeit)
District 58 at Detroit Cody
Detroit CMA 55, Detroit Old Redford 12
Detroit Cody 59, Ferndale 44
District 59 at Detroit Osborn
Ferndale University 56, Detroit Osborn 26
Warren Lincoln 38, Hazel Park 19
District 60 at Harper Woods Chandler Park
Harper Woods vs. Harper Woods Chandler Park, n
St. Clair Shores South Lake vs. Detroit East English, n
District 61 at Detroit Country Day
BH Cranbrook Kingswood 43, Madison Heights Lamphere 30
Pontiac Notre Dame 60, Clawson 56
District 62 at Marine City
Algonac vs. Richmond, n
Marine City 51, St. Clair 45
District 63 at Almont
Imlay City 48, Almont 33
Marysville 42, Yale 29
District 64 at Lake Fenton
Lake Fenton 51, Ortonville Brandon 38
District 88 at Ecorse
Ecorse 67, Taylor Prep 27
Riverview Gabriel Richard 36, Allen Park Cabrini 26
District 89 at Detroit Voyageur
Dearborn Advanced 2, Detroit Cristo Rey 0 (forfeit)
Detroit Voyageur 59, Hope of Detroit 17
District 90 at Detroit Pershing
Detroit Rose vs. Detroit Pershing, n
Grosse Pointe Woods Liggett 52, Detroit Community 17
District 91 at Royal Oak Shrine
Madison Heights Bishop Foley 70, MH Madison 12
Royal Oak Shrine 58, Warren Collegiate 28
District 92 at Clinton Township Clintondale
Mount Clemens 52, New Haven 39
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 64, Pontiac A&T 23
District 125 at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian
Marine City Cardinal Mooney 61, Warren Math & Science 25
District 126 at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian
Waterford Lakes 47, Clarkston Everest 29
Detroit Edison 73, Grosse Pointe South 70: Calvin Marshall won the game with a 3-pointer with three seconds left. Jaylen Flanigan scored 16, Marshall 12 and David Hughes 11 for Edison. Matt Edwards scored 16 and Anthony Bernard 13 for South. Both teams are 16-4.
Harper Woods Chandler Park 62, Birmingham Brother Rice 58: Tamario Adley had 21points and six rebounds, and Angelo Vega had 15 points and four assists for Chandler Park (17-2). Brother Rice is 12-8.
Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse 76, Warren Mott 72: Marsae Joseph had 27 points and 15 rebounds, Ryan Brown and Jordan Johnson both scored 13, and Joshua Neville scored 11 for L’Anse Creuse (8-12). Dennis Mayfield scored 22 for Mott (7-13).
Boys basketball scores
Detroit Edison 73, Grosse Pointe South 70
Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse 76, Warren Mott 72
Livonia Clarenceville 87, Garden City 71
Taylor Trillium Academy 63, Dearborn Advanced Tech Academy 62
Waterford Mott 77, White Lake Lakeland 51
Detroit News staff contributed