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Haslett switches defenses in second quarter, stymies G.R. Catholic Central’s offense, wins B quarterfinal 48-38

By: Jeff Chaney, March 18, 2015, 8:17 am

        Wayland — Sometimes coaches out-think themselves.

     That was the case on Tuesday at the Class B quarterfinal at Wayland High School.

     Haslett (21-5) came out playing a man-to-man defense in the first quarter, and Grand Rapids Catholic Central took advantage of that, putting up 18 points in the first quarter and taking a 10-point lead.

     Then Haslett coach Bon Currier put his team into a 1-3-1 zone defense, a defense that has been a staple for the Vikings all year long.

     That worked as Haslett held the Cougars to just 20 points the rest of the game for a 48-38 win and a trip to the Breslin Center on Friday for a semifinal game against Benton Harbor, which beat Flat Rock 77-51 in its quarterfinal.

     "I don’t know who the idiot was who left us in man-to-man for most of the first part of the game," said Currier. "(Catholic Central) came out so strong, and then we got into (the 1-3-1) and had great success with it. We always change into it, but I was a little obstinate tonight and stayed in man-to-man a little too long. And the 1-3-1 is something we have been doing all year long and do well."

     Catholic Central coach Trevor Hinshaw was impressed.

     "We didn’t get the ball where we wanted to get it," said Hinshaw. "The ball, for a variety of reasons, didn’t get to where we wanted to get it and get it to in time. And you have to give them credit, they are long in that zone, and they caused us some problems with it."

     And just when Haslett was shutting down the Cougars, they began to find their touch on offense.

     Led by junior forward Megan Mowid, who scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half, the Vikings kept chipping away at the Cougars, who held a 22-17 lead at the break, but lost that lead four minutes in the third quarter.

     Haslett would not give it back the rest of the game.

     "Our execution wasn’t great, but I say that, and you have to give them credit, because their rotations were good," Hinshaw said. "Both teams competed on the defensive end, and then when we got behind, we got a little loose. They defended well all year, and with their full healthy lineup, they have one loss on the year. They are a good team."

     Catholic Central (23-3) was led by junior forward Megan Belke with 14 and sophomore center Kyra Russell with eight. 

     "Three of our best scorers were two for 16 in the first half, and we went into halftime and said that was our worst half," Currier said. "Credit to them totally, they are a wonderful team and were so grateful to beat them. We refocused at halftime."