Logan Lewis nails late 3 to lift West Bloomfield past Auburn Hills Avondale, 50-47, in D1 district opener
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Logan Lewis hadn’t hit a game-winner since elementary school, but with Monday’s Division 1 district opener on the line, the West Bloomfield sophomore didn’t blink, nailing the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds left.
“Last time I hit one was fifth grade, championships for AAU. So this is my first time,” said Lewis, who’d earlier tied the game with a 3 with 3:06 left. “I just knew it was going to go in. … I knew the girl was kind of laid off me, so I had my hands ready as soon as she brought it down, so when she gave it to me, I just caught it and just — I pulled. And we pulled through with the win.”
With 3.2 seconds left to tie it after a timeout, Auburn Hills Avondale got a half-court heave that hit iron, but rimmed out, giving West Bloomfield a 50-47 victory.
“(My heart) was actually in the middle of my throat,” Lakers coach Bert Mosley said of the final three seconds, watching the potential game-tying shot just barely miss. “I just wanted them to pressure and make it tough. It’s hard to get a 3-point shot off, full-court, with three seconds to go. It was just about pressure up, keep them in front of you, don’t foul in that situation.
“They threw up a little Hail Mary, and it almost went in.”
West Bloomfield (18-2) advances to Wednesday’s second district semifinal, where the Lakers will take on Waterford Mott (12-7) at 7 p.m. Bloomfield Hills (11-9) and North Farmington (2-16) play in the early semifinal at 5 p.m.
[For the full district pairings, CLICK HERE.]
Using a size advantage, Auburn Hills Avondale (18-3) dominated on the offensive glass, using that advantage to lead 13-10 after one quarter, and 25-21 at the half, maintaining that four-point margin (36-32) headed to the fourth.
It was back-and-forth in the final quarter, with five ties and four lead changes.
“It’s tough to beat a team three times, and they did a great job game-planning, so we had some adjustments we had to make at halftime,” Mosley said. “I applaud the girls, man, because we had a real tough work of practice, and they came out, and they just bought in, and really fixed it in the second half, made the necessary adjustments to win.”
But they’d been there before, trailing at the half of the second meeting of the two teams in the Oakland Activities Association White Division regular season, only to rally and win. The Lakers were the only team to beat Avondale this season.
“That pretty much says it. They are a terrific team. They’ve got really good players, and they’re way deeper than we are,” said Avondale coach Bob Lees, who only went six deep in Monday’s contest. “That was a terrific basketball game. We battled, and we did what we needed to do. We let them get away from us early in the quarter, and they made a couple of 3s where we didn’t get to them. It could’ve been fatigue, where we didn’t close out quick enough.”
On the game-winning 3-pointer, West Bloomfield point guard Mya Bobo drove down the right side of the lane, and drew Lewis’ defender, leaving the sophomore wide open.
“We wanted to go with like 10 seconds left on the clock, just to give ourselves time to potentially get the ball back, or get a defensive stop. And, based off the way they were playing us, we knew we’d get that look. We did what we needed to: We made a hard drive, kicked it, and she (Lewis) was wide open, and did her job,” Mosley said. “Based off the way she’s been shooting it, I had a lot of confidence in that shot going in. I did.”
One of the adjustments the Yellow Jackets had made after the first two games was how they handled defending a penetrating ball-handler.
“All year, we teach them to come off and help early, and then recover. In this game, we changed what we were doing, and we wanted to stay on their shooter. We’d give them a hard two, but they’re just so ingrained in doing it the other way, several times tonight, they came off, and it cost us,” Lees said, unsurprised that Lewis took the wide-open shot with that much time left. “She’s a big-time player, and she’s a terrific wide-open shooter, and I’d have been disappointed with her, if I was coaching, and she didn’t take it.”
Lewis led all scorers with 19 points, while Bobo had 13. Olivia Russell led three Avondale players in double figures with 17 points,, Keiori Lee had 11 and Raigan Lawrence 10.