Marian starts fast, cruises past Seaholm to win fifth straight district title
Bloomfield Hills – After her team’s first two district games, Birmingham Marian coach Mary Cicerone left Wednesday’s district semifinal win over Birmingham Groves with a bit of an uncertain feeling.
While Marian had won its first two playoff games, Cicerone was concerned that her team wasn’t playing at its best as the postseason began.
But just minutes into Friday night’s district final game against Birmingham Seaholm it became clear that Marian was back to firing on all cylinders.
The Mustangs jumped out to an early 13-2 lead and never looked back as Marian won its fifth consecutive district title, beating Seaholm, 53-24.
Cicerone said that she could tell from the start of Friday’s game her team was on a mission.
“Hannah (Redoute) hit that first shot and I said it was going to be nothing but confidence, we had a couple plans on how to stop Mackenzie (Harbort), but we didn’t need to do anything other than our first plan,” she said. “The girls played some serious defense and when you get some stops and you hit a jumper, you could tell, we’re here to play. This is not the same team I had on Monday night and not the same team I had on Wednesday, because I left on Wednesday with the feeling like we just were not clicking and this was night and day from the other two days. These guys came to play today and they kicked some butt. It was almost perfect.”
Coming out of halftime facing a 30-11 deficit, Seaholm managed to cut the Marian lead down to as low as 12 after a basket from Dana Hoerman made it 30-18 with 3:45 left to play in the third quarter.
Seaholm coach January Hladki said that the key to the run to start the second half was her team’s ability to switch up its defenses, but after climbing its way back into the game, Marian was able to pull away again.
“We just came out of halftime knowing that we were going to have to give everything we had to close a gap like that,” she said. “We put our diamond press on and once we fell back, we tried to trap again, anything to try and get a steal or make them shoot over somebody so we could get a rebound.”
But Marian would respond as the Mustangs closed out the third quarter on an 8-2 run, highlighted by four points from Olivia Zardus.
Marian would then seal the win in the fourth quarter as the Mustangs would rattle off 14 of the first 16 points in the final frame, including eight from junior Hannah Redoute and six points from senior Elizabeth Grobbel to give their team a late 52-22 lead.
Redoute said that with how well she and her teammates were playing from the start, it’s hard for teams to try and slow Marian down and added that she and her teammates were able to regroup after Seaholm’s run to start the second half.
“Once we get into that groove, it’s hard to stop us,” she said. “We might fall off for 10 seconds, but we get right back into it and just keep going hard for the rest of the game.”
Redoute scored a game-high 21 points to lead the way for Marian on Friday, while Grobbel recorded 13 more points in the win.
After Marian took a 16-8 lead after one quarter, Grobbel took over in the second quarter as she recorded nine of Marian’s 14 points as the Mustangs widened their lead to 30-11 heading into halftime.
Grobbel said that after slow starts to Marian’s first two postseason games, the fast start on Friday night gave the Mustangs a confidence boost early on.
“I think the energy and the confidence out there early on in the game,” she said. “We had flat starts in the first two games, but in this game we came out of the gates full speed ahead and also our shooters were knocking down all of their shots, they had confidence and once they get going, everyone else does and defense spurs that and I just think that as a team we had more confidence and energy today.”
Marian now advances to the regional semifinal where it will face St. Clair Shores Lakeview on Tuesday at 7:00 pm at Roseville high school