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Margo Brown’s seven 3-pointers, 23 points carry St. Igance past Frankfort, 59-50, in a Class D semifinal

By: Scott Burnstein, March 19, 2015, 11:10 pm

East Lansing – St. Ignace’s Margo Brown is nicknamed “Downtown Brown,” according to her coach, Dorene Ingalls.

The crowed at the Breslin Center in East Lansing saw why on Thursday in the Class D semifinals.

Brown, a senior guard, caught fire in the second half, making all six of her attempts from 3-point range, including four in less than a three-minute span, to rally the Saints from an eight-point halftime deficit to a 59-50 victory over Frankfort.

Brown’s 3-pointer beat the third-quarter buzzer to tie the game, 38-38. Her first of three consecutive 3s opened the fourth to vault St. Ignace to its second lead of the night, 41-38.

It was one the Saints never let go of and continued to build on the rest of the way. The final three in her barrage came from the top of the key and made it 49-40 at the 5:20 mark.

“That was a huge momentum shift,” said Brown of her late-game outside shooting display. “Those threes got us rolling, got us pumped it. For me and the rest of the seniors, it was now or never.”

Two free throws by teammate Abbey Ostman made it 52-42 with 3:02 remaining. Brown’s pair of free throws with 12 seconds left sealed the win.

Brown finished with 23 points and her seven 3-pointers were two short of the record for the state tournament’s final three rounds.

“Margo’s showed that she can turn a game around with her shooting, her range is practically from half court,” Ingalls said. “That’s why we call her Downtown Brown. I wanted to give her a big hug after what she did today. That was a very special performance.”

Frankfort coach Tim Reznich, whose club held a 28-20 lead at the half and was on top for most of the third quarter, could hardly believe his eyes.

“We were doing fine until Margo Brown went nuclear on us,” he joked. “What she was able to do was really something else. She was beyond hot. We felt pretty good about how we played in the first half, but they brought real good pressure in the second half and Margo just took over.”

Next year Brown, who is also an all-state golfer, will be playing basketball at Ferris State. Earlier this season, she set the Upper Peninsula single-game record for threes with 11.

Ostman had 20 points to augment Brown in the St. Ignace score sheet. Ingalls and the Saints are 21-5 heading into Saturday’s 10 a.m. state championship game against Pittsford (26-0).

St. Ignace won the Class D crown in 2013, then moved up to Class C last year and fell in the state final to Saginaw Nouvel. Both Brown and Ostman won were on the 2013 club.

Junior center and Central Michigan-commit Mackenna Kelly paced Frankfort (24-2) with 18 points and 10 rebounds.