Pittsford takes down Lakes, returns to state final
East Lansing – Pittsford continued to decimate the competition on Thursday as the Wildcats blew past Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 63-42 in a Class D semifinal at the Breslin Center.
It was a rematch of last season’s semifinal also won by Pittsford.
Pittsford (26-0) has been in blowout mode all season. The Wildcats’ smallest margin of victory this season is 12 points (Class A Belleville, 53-41). On most occasions the Wildcats’ games exceeded a 20-point chasm. They’ve limited five opponents to single-digit outputs.
“Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes is the best team we’ve faced all year,” Pittsford coach Chris Hodos said. “We had to come out and play a great game and we did.”
Pittsford leaped out in front 31-19 at the half and never looked back.
Wildcats’ star junior center, Maddie Clark, scored on a put-back in the lane to beat the halftime buzzer. In the third quarter, Pittsford locked down on defense as Lakes didn’t score until the 2:32 mark. For the game, the Lakers (20-5) shot just 23 percent from the field.
Free throws from junior guard Jaycie Burger and another offensive rebound, and basket by Clark to open the third quarter had Pittsford on the move in the second half.
Clark torched Lakes in the post for the second consecutive season. Her 24 points (9-of-10 from the field) and 16 rebounds filled the Wildcats’ stat sheet. Last season Clark tallied 26 points and 15 boards. Burger went for 15 points (10-of-14 from the free throw line) on Thursday.
Appearing in the semifinals for the sixth time in the last seven, Lakes’ received 20 points from sophomore forward Tiffany Senerius.
“It was a tough day,” Lakers coach Steve Robak said. “We had dreamed of doing more but we ran into an excellent team tonight and it just wasn’t in the cards.”
Robak-coached clubs won three straight Class D state crowns in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was shy in lauding Pittsford’s Clark.
“Maddie’s got a long list of attributes,” he said. “She’s such a smart player, she’s got soft hands, a soft touch around the rim and knows how to use her body to take up space when she doesn’t have the ball in her hands. She’s the kind of player that’s hard to prepare for because her presence is difficult to duplicate in a practice situation.”
Pittsford will now turn its attention to the winner of the Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart-Stephenson semifinal. Last year, the Wildcats blew a big fourth-quarter lead before falling 64-60 in overtime to St. Ignace LaSalle.
"We’ve got some unfinished business to attend to," Hodos said.