Makenna Ott and Haslett turn back Williamston, 53-43, in a Class B district opener
Fowlerville – No matter how painful it is to come back from an injury, there’s no better tonic than a victory.
Makenna Ott missed five weeks after suffering a fracture of the left tibia and Tuesday’s Class B district opener at Fowlerville represented her third game back.
Ott said she’s not 100 percent but her effort was 100 percent, especially down the stretch as Ott and her teammates gained some revenge and defeated Williamston 53-43 in a game matching two of the state’s top 10 teams.
“We’re a veteran team,” Ott said. “We have four seniors and some of us have played four years here. Keeping our composure at the end was huge. Last time we played them we had a lot of turnovers. And those free throws we made at the end, that’s part of being a veteran team.”
Three seniors teamed for 29 points with Ott leading that group with 11 points and six rebounds. Junior Megan Mowid led Haslett with 15 points and five rebounds. Seniors Adrianna Stolicker and MacKenzie DeCook each added nine points.
Jessica Lycos led Williamston (19-2), which was ranked No. 5, with 18 points on six 3-pointers.
Haslett (16-5), ranked No. 9, advances to Wednesday district semifinal against Perry (15-5) at 6 p.m.
Haslett competed in Class A last season and reached a regional final.
The Vikings could go further this season, especially with a veteran club that knows how to win.
Haslett led 22-21 at halftime and pushed its lead to 26-22 before Renee Sturm converted a 3-point play and Lycos made her third 3-pointer for a 28-26 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
Otts’ two baskets ignited an 8-3 run to end the quarter and the Vikings held on to the lead.
Williamston closed to within 39-36 on Lycos’ fifth 3-pointer with 3:19 left but Haslett closed out the game by making nine of 10 from the free throw line in the final 2:08.
Haslett had nine turnovers in the first half but had just four in the second. Its defense forced 12 turnovers in the second half, seven in the fourth.
“We struggled for a few minutes,” Williamston coach Pete Cool said. “We struggled to score. They made a long tournament run last year and played a dynamite schedule this season. They played a lot of good teams. I think they’ll make another long run.”
On Jan. 13 Williamston defeated Haslett, at Haslett, 54-50. It’s other four losses were also to state-ranked teams, two (DeWitt, Ann Arbor Huron) in Class A and another was to Goodrich, ranked No. 1 in Class B.
“That was momentum for them, when they beat us,” Ott said. “We knew they had a lot of confidence. We have a few seniors and we don’t want our season to end.”
Lycos and Sarah Schultz are the only seniors in Williamston’s starting lineup. The Hornets also start two freshmen. Schultz was held to five points and nine rebounds.