St. Philip eliminates Mendon

VICKSBURG — The postseason came to an end for Mendon’s girls’ basketball team with a heartbreaking 42-39 Class B regional semifinals loss to Battle Creek St. Philip Tuesday at Vicksburg.
Mendon, which finishes the season at 10-12, had its chances to beat St. Philip, which moves on to face St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran, a 56-51 winner over Athens, in Thursday’s 7 p.m. championship game.
Mendon fell behind early and trailed St. Philip, now 16-7, 11-6 after the first quarter and 23-12 at halftime.
Mendon found more success at the offensive end during the second half to put itself back in the contest and in a position to win the game.
A 9-5 run by Mendon in the third quarter pulled the Lady Hornets to within seven, 28-21, entering the fourth quarter. Mendon outscored St. Philip 18-14 in the final eight minutes but was unable to close the cap any further.
“We came out flat in the first half and a little nervous, but those who stayed for the entire game got their money’s worth,” said Mendon coach Leasa Griffith. 
“The girls fought until the very end and never gave up. We had our chances to win the game, but ultimately the 11-point deficit at the end of the first half came back to haunt us.”
No Mendon player reached double-digits in scoring, but the Lady Hornets got nine points apiece out of senior guard Mary Leighton and senior forward Julia Sutter. Aubrey Crotser added seven points to Mendon’s cause, Hayley Kramer six and Alyssa Kramer and Nancy Steinacker four apiece.
Mendon made 17 field-goal attempts and 3-of-10 free-throw attempts.
Sutter added nine rebounds, while Hayley Kramer and Leighton had four each.
Leighton also had two steals. Sutter blocked three shots and Alyssa Kramer had two.
St. Philip was led in scoring by Taylor Pessetti with 10 points. Kirstin Finnila added nine and Abby Lahr eight for Fighting Lady Tigers.
St. Philip made 14 field goals, including four three pointers, and made 10-of-19 free-throw attempts.
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or sports@threeriversnews.com.

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