GIRLS BASKETBALL: From downtown … Voss’ nine triples leads Stoney Creek past Pontiac
BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Unconscious. Simply unconscious.
That simply describes the shooting touch of Rochester Stoney Creek 5-foot-10 junior Lauren Voss on Thursday night.
Ridiculous, eye-popping and insane also fit the bill.
Voss, averaging around 10 points and outing, scored a game-high 29 points in leading the Cougars to a 42-34 OAA red Division home win over Pontiac.
Voss was dead-on from outside the arc, connecting on 9-of-11 shots from beyond the arc — for those keeping track, that’s a school record .818 percentage from 3-ppint range — and her nine treys tied a school record set by Gabby Yurik against Rochester in December, 2009.
“It was fun. I was just feeling it I guess,” said Voss, who was 10-for-16 overall from the floor.
With her team protecting a39-34 lead with under 40 seconds to play, Voss still let one fly from downtown and found nothing but the bottom of the net with 31 ticks remaining to seal the game.
“I feel a little pressure because we kind of need a (go-to player),” added Voss. “We lost some players (to graduation and injury). We needed for someone to step up.”
Not only did the Cougars (8-3, 3-0) graduate a solid cast of players, including All-State standout Gabby Yurik (Michigan State, but Stoney Creek has missed the services of juniors Natalie Voss and Amanda Johnston the past four games due to injuries.
“I knew she was capable of having a big game. She’s been able to get on a roll in practice,” said Stoney Creek coach Brad Crighton. “I think it’s just been a case of confidence. Having a game like this will really help her confidence. I knew she could score, but going (9-for-11) from three-point range…who would have known?”
Pontiac (4-6, 1-5) opened the game with a 13-6 lead after the first quarter and the Phoenix led 18-14 at the half. The visitors cooled down in the second half and scored only 16 more points.
The Phoenix went on a 7-3 run to close the gap down to 39-34 inside the final minute, but they were silenced by the deadly venom of Voss one last time to push the final margin back up to eight points.
“We’re struggling right now,” admitted Pontiac coach Lance Davis. “We don’t have very many girls right now. We lost of couple of kids to grades. We had a couple of players move away, we had a couple of girls not come out this year. All of that hurts, because a couple of those girls would have been starters and we’re not very deep. But we are working hard and trying.
“It really hurts what (Voss) was able to do,” continued Davis. “Sure, she’s in her own gym and you always want to shoot well in your own gym. But unfortunately for us, she was able to shoot like that against us.”
Amanda Miller scored 15 for Pontiac and Sky Alexander added seven points for the Phoenix, who converted just 12 of 38 shots from the floor (31.6 percent).
Mari Zandi added five points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals for Stoney Creek, while Karice Campbell scored six with eight rebounds for the Cougars, who made 16 of 48 shots (33 percent) but did not attempt a single free throw.
ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK 42, PONTIAC 34
STONEY CREEK (42): Lauren Voss 1 (9) 0-0 29; Laura Johnston 0 0-0 0; Marie Zandi 1 (1) 0-0 5; Courtney Eckhoust 0 0-0- 0; Laura Johnston 0 0-0 0; Cary Cerny 0 0-0 0; Emma Sobczynski 1 0-0 2; Karice Campbell 3 0-0 6; Sam Seidell 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 7 (10) 0-0 42.
PONTIAC (34): Tashiqua Hardy 1 0-0 2; Tori Grant 1 0-0 2; Amanda Miller 2 (3) 0-0 15; Mariah Trish-Owen 0 0-0 0; Deja Cato 0 (2) 0-0 6; Sky Alexander 3 1-2 7; Lyncia Hunter 0 2-6 2; TOTALS: 7 (5) 3-8 34.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Stoney Creek 6 8 14 14
Pontiac 13 5 7 9
(Dan Stickradt is Senior Editor for Digital Daily www.northoaklandsports.com and The Real Deal sports and coupons magazine, as well as a freelance writer for multiple media outlets, including State Champs! High School Sports Show website. He is a 20-year veteran sports journalist based in Oakland County, Mich. He can be reached by email at [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans.)