Manchester Girls Basketball Season Ends in Districts

By: Seth Kinker,

The Manchester Lady Dutch girls basketball team (15-7) saw their season come to an end in a District 3 semifinal against the Michigan Center Cardinals (18-3), falling 58-28. 

The Lady Dutch jumped out to an early lead but a strong first quarter finish and a second quarter spurt gave the Cardinals the impetus it needed to come away with the win.

To start the game the Lady Dutch came out in their 1-3-1 defense with a high press up the court and a half-court trap as soon as the ball got there. Early on, the pressure forced errant Cardinal passes leading to turnovers. 

As the  half progressed, however, the Cardinals adjusted. 

“We needed to make more baskets so we could get into (our defense), so that kind of hurt us,” said Lady Dutch head coach Corey Fether. “They caught us out of position on misses and that led to easy buckets.” 

After the first four minutes the Lady Dutch led 6-0 with three different players scoring. The Cardinals, however, would end the quarter on a 12-1 run to take a 12-7 lead. Cardinal junior guard Alize Tripp had five of the team’s 12 points in the first and finished with a team high 17 points   

In the second quarter Tripp had two three-pointers in the first minute to stretch the Cardinal lead to 18-7 and force a Lady Dutch timeout. The Cardinals outscored the Lady Dutch 19-8 in the second quarter. A driving layup from Lady Dutch senior guard Mackenzie Pietrzyk before the buzzer cut the Cardinal lead to 31-15. Pietrzyk led the Lady Dutch with seven points in her final outing.

“They got the ball in the high post,” said Fether. “And that broke down everything. That’s the perfect offense to beat it. Get the ball in the high post and your options are unlimited.” 

Coming out of the break Cardinal junior forward Kaycee Shannon went on a 5-0 run by herself to stretch the Cardinal lead to 21. Shannon finished with 15 points as she and Tripp were the two Cardinals in double digits. 

Both offenses struggled as the Lady Dutch only had five points in the third and the Cardinals, seven. 

The Cardinals had seven players score in the final quarter as they came away with the 58-28 win. 

After Pietrzyk, junior forward Megan Mann and junior guard Natalie Bargardi both added 6 points, senior forward Jayden Humphrey had 4, senior guard Avery Collins had 3, and freshman forward Mia Steele had 2. 

“Real proud of the way they came together,” said Fether on what he told his team after the game. “After playing almost a perfect week last week, made districts an exciting week.” 

When asked what he would remember most about this group, Fether said it was their love for the game. “They love the game,” said Fether. “They get after it, they never give up. Just the drive

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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