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Grosse Pointe South comes alive in the second half, runs past Cass Tech

By: Jeff Dullack, December 7, 2014, 11:50 pm

Detroit – While Grosse Pointe South didn’t get out to the best of starts in the first half, it managed to settle down and in the second half, the Blue Devil’s depth proved to be too much for Cass Tech, playing its second game against a top 10 team in the state in as many nights.

After a first half struggle, Grosse Pointe South came alive in the second half and turned a three-point halftime lead into a 69-47 win over Cass Tech at the DC Elite Tournament.

South coach Kevin Richards said he felt his team was rushing things a bit on the offensive end in the first half and managed to slow things down a bit in the second half as the Blue Devils pulled away.

“We play so hard on defense and I think we’re trying to play too fast on offense,” he said. “As soon as we kind of slowed down, we scored points and that’s what we talked about at halftime, we don’t want to hurry, we want to play fast, but we don’t want to hurry and we were hurrying in that first half. There were a lot of turnovers and Aliezza Brown one of our guards settled down, hit a couple 3-pointers and made some great defensive plays in the second half and we got loose and out in transition, which is what we thought we could take advantage of, but we just had to slow down.”

Cass Tech started out the second half on fire, as the Technicians jumped out to a 32-29 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Candis Tate and another basket by Zoey Oatis, but the Blue Devils responded with an Anna Carmoody triple to knot the game up at 32-32.

Grosse Pointe South would then take a 45-38 lead into the fourth quarter after Brown scored each of the last nine Blue Devil points of the third quarter to give her team its largest lead since the first quarter.

“We went into the locker room at halftime and we knew we needed to pick it up,” said Brown. “I just knew I needed to knock more shots down than I did and that’s what I tried to do.”

In the fourth quarter, Grosse Pointe South’s depth, a rotation of 10 players, began wearing down Cass Tech as the Blue Devils continued to widen their lead as back to back baskets from Brenna Ames and another basket from Ciera Rice pushed the Grosse Pointe South lead to 52-39, its largest lead of the game.

Richards said that he felt his team’s depth did play a factor in the fourth quarter as his team pulled away and added that this year’s Grosse Pointe South team is the deepest he’s had.

“No question, and Cass played yesterday, but we play a lot of kids, 10, 11, sometimes 12 kids so this is definitely the deepest team I’ve had at South,” he said. “That’s our plan, to run kids in and out and it may not happen in the first two quarters, but they made their run in the third, but once we made out run, I think they were a little gassed.”

Rice finished with a game-high 20 points, while Brown chipped in with 17 more to lead the charge for the Blue Devils.

Rice said that the biggest difference for her and her teammates between the second quarter and the second half was its defensive play, which led to turnovers and fast break points as the Blue Devils pulled away.

“I think it was our defense,” she said. “We picked up our defense and we got a lot of steals and layups and lots of deflections and turnovers.”

In the first half, Grosse Pointe South jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter, but the Technicians came alive at the start of the second quarter, going on a 9-0 run, led by 3-pointers from K’Lynn Willis and Taylor Parker to tie the game up at 16-16.

Late baskets from Rice and Elizabeth Rauh gave the Blue Devils a 27-24 lead heading into halftime.