2018-03-08 / Sports

Defending state champs fall to Carman-Ainsworth

By Lisa Paine
810-452-2626 • lpaine@mihomepaper.com

Flushing’s Thailyia Christensen drives around a Carman-Ainsworth defender in the district final last Friday. 
Photo by Todd Boone Flushing’s Thailyia Christensen drives around a Carman-Ainsworth defender in the district final last Friday. Photo by Todd Boone FLINT TWP. – Despite putting up one of its best shooting nights on the season, the Flushing girls’ basketball team lost the Class A district title to host Carman-Ainsworth 63-45 Friday.

Flushing shot 51 percent and the Lady Cavs 46 percent. The difference came down to eight 3-pointers from Carman-Ainsworth and its 9-of-13 performance at the charity stripe. Flushing hit just 2-of-5. Add to that the super night that Carman-Ainsworth’s Destiny Strother had with 27 points and the No. 7-ranked Cavaliers did just enough to bring home the title. Xeryia Tartt also added 15 points.

Flushing knew it could have a good season with just one starter remaining from last year’s state championship team, but Shelby Morrow had to undergo foot surgery in October and didn’t return to the lineup until January. That left a young squad to pick up the reins and press on. It was a good year for the Lady Raiders who went on a 50-plus Flint Metro League winning streak that dates back to its entry into the Metro in 2014. Flushing also claimed its fourth outright Metro League title.

Still, the girls desperately wanted to continue the success it had last year, but fell just short. In the title game Friday, Flushing led 2-0, then 4-3 at the 5:30 mark into the game. Carman-Ainsworth then went on a scoring barrage and by 7:30 and in the second quarter had put Flushing in a 20-6 hole that it dug deeper to 22-10. Flushing began to chip away at the deficit, trimming the lead to 23-14 at 3:58 in the second. The Lady Cavs were still ahead by 10, 26-16 at the 2:00 mark before intermission.

Carman-Ainsworth continued to carry the momentum into the third and at 7:35 still led, 30-21. Flushing wasn’t going down without a fight and clawed to within 32-26 at 5:29, but by the six-minute mark in the fourth found itself still trailing by 10, 52-42. With 4:30 remaining on the clock, Carman- Ainsworth was still breathing easy 54-45 and kept Flushing at bay.

Morrow had 14 points, three assists and seven rebounds. Thailyia Christensen had 10 points, three assists, one steal, four boards and two blocks. And Alex Long, who as a freshman stepped quickly and successfully into one of the team’s scoring leaders had nine points, two assists and two rebounds. Maddie Morrison add six points and two rebounds, Mackenzie Pemberton had four points, two assists and four rebounds and Quincy Davis had two points.

Carman-Ainsworth advanced to Tuesday’s regional to take on Davison, which won the Kearsley district title Friday, with Carman-Ainsworth winning 63-44. Mt. Pleasant hosts the regional and finals are today at 7:30 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant.

In last Wednesday’s semifinal against Swartz Creek, Flushing came out on top 42-28.

Flushing jumped out to the 10-4 first-quarter lead, but Swartz Creek was determined and cut the lead to three, 17-14 by halftime. Creek stalled in the second half and Flushing came out of the break ready to do battle outscoring the Dragons 13-2. Both teams scored 12 apiece in the fourth quarter.

Long had 12 points, one assist, two steals and four rebounds and Morrow had nine points, three assists, four steals and seven rebounds. Morrison had seven points, one steal and two rebounds and Davis six points, two assists, a steal and eight boards. Christensen had four points, six assists and two steals and Pemberton four points.

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