Southfield — Detroit Renaissance used its quickness and talented backcourt to dominate Farmington Hills Mercy in the second half to earn a 56-33 win in a Division 1 regional semifinal Tuesday night.
Renaissance — the PSL champions and No. 3 team in The News Super 20 poll — will face Catholic League runner-up Birmingham Marian for the regional championship Thursday at 6 at Southfield A&T.
Renaissance (22-2) forced multiple turnovers out of its press in the third quarter to use a 13-0 run to open up a 46-23 lead. And, No. 9 Mercy — the Catholic League champions — couldn’t recover.
The teams played in the Operation Friendship game back on Feb. 27 with Renaissance earning a 44-32 win.
Mercy (20-4) again kept things close early on with the game even at 8 after one quarter before Renaissance opened a 28-17 halftime lead with junior guard Mikyah Finley knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in the second and standout junior point guard Kailee Davis getting on track and scoring nine, including three transition baskets after missing all four of her shots in the opening quarter.
Then, Renaissance forced six turnovers in the third quarter with Davis and Finley each scoring nine.
After Mercy pulled within 33-23, Finley scored the first seven of the 13-0 run, including her fourth 3-pointer for a 40-23 advantage.
“For me, when I first shoot my 3s I get the team going and all week we’ve been working on our 3-point shooting,” said Finley, who scored 22 with Davis contributing 18 points with all of Davis’ points coming during the middle two quarters.
“We knew we had to stop their energy, so we stepped it up,” said Davis of Renaissance’s pressure defense. “We work hard in practice, it’s all about us being in shape, so we can run the floor (and score in transition).”
Davis scored her 1,000th career point in the game, making a free throw during the third quarter.
Renaissance first-year coach Shane Lawal was happy to see Finley taking the 3-point shots.
“She has the ultimate green light with me, I try to get her to learn how to be a true shooter and which shots to pass up, and I think she passed up a couple extra swing ones. That makes the ones she shoots even better,” Lawal said. “She made a lot of big shots and she can fill up the stat sheet.”
Mercy limited Finley to nine points in the first game.
“I think the big thing tonight was they shot the ball better than the first time we played them, especially Finley,” Mercy coach Gary Morris said. “We fought really hard, were really hard on the boards, turned the ball over more than they did, and in a lot of ways I felt we handled their presses well, but we could not hit shots (26 percent shooting). Like I told the girls, sometimes it’s not your night.
“I’m proud of the girls. We fought to the end. We were Catholic League champions, won 20 games and have everybody back.
“If Renaissance shoots the ball like that, they will be a tough out, and No. 3 (Davis) is just really, really good, tough to keep in front of you and she’s unselfish too.”
Junior Julia Bishop had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Mercy.
More girls regional semifinals
Birmingham Marian 41, Grosse Pointe North 37: Grace Rotter kept Birmingham Marian close in the first half and then it was her teammate, Shannon Kennedy who made big plays in the second half to help Marian pull out a Division 1 regional semifinal victory.
Rotter, a sophomore guard, came off the bench to score 14 first-half points, including 11 in the opening quarter, making 5 of her first 7 shots from the field while the rest of Marian’s player combined for just 2-of-21 shooting.
It was in that first half when Grosse Pointe North’s defense gave Marian (19-5) little room to operate, forcing four turnovers in the first four minutes to take an 8-0 lead.
North (16-7) forced 11 turnovers in the opening half, scoring multiple baskets in transition to go along with 11 points from junior point guard Madeline Kohler, including three 3-pointers for a 27-20 North halftime lead.
Marian had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, several coming from 6-foot-3 sophomore Sarah Sylvester, but only cashed in on four second-chance points.
Marian coach Mary Cicerone sent her team out with a 1-2-2 zone and trapping defense in the second half. The change resulted in multiple North turnovers and a 12-0 Marian run, including a steal and transition basket by Kennedy for a 28-27 lead.
Marian’s guards were also making things tougher for Kohler with senior Sophia Mancini playing on top of the zone and defending her, then switching off with Rotter at times in the fourth quarter.
Kohler finished with a team-high 15 points, but was held scoreless in the third quarter and limited to four in the fourth, finishing the second half with 2 of 8 shooting.
Kennedy finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, including a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 37-35 lead with 5:50 left to start a 7-0 run.
“I just came out and play the best defense I ever played, and I just tried to really go after it,” said Kennedy of her three steals in the fourth quarter. “As for my shooting, I missed my first couple really big, and then I decided I just needed to shoot with confidence and I made that one (3-pointer) and it got the ball rolling.”
And, on the zone defense to start the second half?
“The team definitely loves playing the 33 (zone), it’s kind of a trap defense and we got some tips on the ball early and I kind of think that messed with the other team a bit, so it worked for us,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy was proud of Rotter, saying: “I’ve been telling her the best shooter on this team and to shoot the ball. If we get the ball to Grace in the corner she’s going to make them, and she did her job tonight.”
Detroit Cass Tech 57, Riverview 55: Precious Fields scored 21 with 12 rebounds, Kennedy Tidwell scored 10 with seven assists and Desiree Jackson scored 11 for Cass Tech (19-5). Riverview finished at 16-8.
Hartland 61, West Bloomfield 52: Whitney Sollom had 19 points and Amanda Roach had 12 points for Hartland (23-1). Myonna Hooper had 14 points and Logan Lewis had 13 points for West Bloomfield (17-7).
Macomb Dakota 50, Utica Ford 40: Cameron Grant scored 23 with 20 rebounds and seven blocks for Dakota (20-4). Olivia Kubik scored 19 for Utica Ford (15-9).
Girls regional semifinals scores
Davison 54, Flint Carman-Ainsworth 49
Midland Dow 63, Marquette 54
Regional 2 at Walled Lake Western
Hartland 61, West Bloomfield 52
Walled Lake Western 54, Clarkston 47
Regional 3 at Holland West Ottawa
East Grand Rapids 49, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 35
Hudsonville 56, Rockford 41
Regional 4 at Holt
East Lansing 54, Portage Central 33
Holt 51, Battle Creek Central 40
Regional 5 at Dexter
Brighton 53, Plymouth 43
Saline 51, Wayne Memorial 40
Regional 6 at Dearborn Edsel Ford
Detroit Cass Tech 57, Riverview 55
Temperance Bedford 55, Dearborn 43
Regional 7 at Southfield A&T
Birmingham Marian 41, Grosse Pointe North 37
Detroit Renaissance 56, Farmington Hills Mercy 33
Regional 8 at Utica Ford
Macomb Dakota 50, Utica Ford 40
Utica Eisenhower 52, St. Clair Shores Lakeview 35
Cadillac 40, Standish-Sterling 37
Sault St. Marie 62, Escanaba 51
Regional 10 at Owosso
Frankenmuth 52, Portland 43
Freeland 62, Chesaning 32
Regional 11 at Sparta
Grand Rapids West Catholic 62, Spring Lake 37
Newaygo 47, Grand Rapids Christian 46
Regional 12 at Otsego
Hamilton 45, Battle Creek Harper 36
Three Rivers 49, Grand Rapids South Christian 36
Regional 13 at Fowlerville
Marshall 53, Ida 46
Parma Western 45, Haslett 34
Regional 14 at Carleton Airport
Detroit Edison 67, Dearborn Divine Child 42
Flat Rock 65, Dearborn Heights Annapolis 40
Regional 15 at Livonia Clarenceville
Harper Woods Chandler Park 86, Detroit Cody 24
Wixom St. Catherine 58, Warren Lincoln 31
Regional 16 at Goodrich
Imlay City 51, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 32
Lake Fenton 74, Marine City 31
Charlevoix 65, Oscoda 22
Ishpeming Westwood 51, Calumet 26
Regional 18 at Grayling
Manton 51, Hart 36
Maple City Glen Lake 61, Pinconning 31
Regional 19 at Morley Stanwood
Ithaca 44, Muskegon Western Michigan 35
Pewamo-Westphalia 40, Kent City 37
Regional 20 at Schoolcraft
Kalamazoo Hackett 49, Niles Brandywine 43
Schoolcraft 42, Gobles 41
Regional 21 at Brooklyn Columbia Central
Byron 58, Bronson 21
Michigan Center 61, Jackson Lumen Christi 28
Regional 22 at Sand Creek
Blissfield 55, Ecorse 49
Ypsilanti Arbor 59, Sand Creek 17
Regional 23 at Madison Heights Bishop Foley
RH Lutheran Northwest 56, GP Woods Liggett 34
Royal Oak Shrine 55, Dearborn Advanced 14
Regional 24 at Unionville-Sebewaing
Flint Hamady 46, Bad Axe 18
Hemlock 48, Sandusky 30
Regional 25 at Kingsford
Baraga 51, Munising 49
L'Anse 53, Carney-Nadeau 47
Regional 26 at Pellston
Engadine 64, Mackinaw City 29
St. Ignace 65, Posen 23
Regional 27 at Traverse City Central
Bellaire 48, Onekama 34
McBain Northern Michigan 48, Suttons Bay 43
Regional 28 at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
Saginaw Nouvel 74, Mio 26
Ubly 45, Mt. Peasant Sacred Heart 33
Regional 29 at Martin
Martin 40, Colon 23
St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran 54, Fruitport Calvary 20
Regional 30 at Lansing Christian
Battle Creek Calhoun 62, Litchfield 35
Fowler 48, Camden-Frontier 29
Regional 31 at Adrian Lenawee
Adrian Lenawee 50, Westland Huron Valley 29
Allen Park Inter-City 56, Southfield Christian 35
Regional 32 at Sterling Heights Parkway
Genesee Christian 45, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 32
Waterford Lakes 47, Deckerville 39
email@example.com; Detroit News staff contributed