With 2:52 to play in the game, Dexter’s Sammi Corcoran found herself on the wing with the ball in her hands. With 2:50 left, she no longer had the ball the ball in her hands – and everyone in the gym knew exactly where it was headed.
The senior guard didn’t miss her shot to give her team the lead and Dexter didn’t miss its shot to knock off Ann Arbor Huron in Monday’s exciting Division 1 District opener at Pioneer High School.
Corcoran scored 10 of her team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to help lead the Dreadnaughts to a 41-36 victory over the River Rats. She hit two triples in the final quarter – including that big one with under 3 minutes to play – and knocked down two free throws with 33.5 seconds left to make it a four-point game.
Sophomore Kylie Cabana had eight points and freshman Kylee Niswonger scored six for Dexter.
Huron was led by Shamim Wambere and Siena Smith with 11 points apiece.
Dexter advances to play Skyline on Wednesday at Pioneer HS. Pioneer defeated Romulus in the other game and will play Pinckney in a semifinal on Wednesday. The finals are at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Vegas doesn’t give odds to high school basketball games but there is little doubt that the River Rats were the favorite in this District. Huron bounced into the state playoffs riding a 17-game winning streak after losing its first game of the year to defending state champion Detroit Edison. They were 12-0 in the SEC White Division, well coached and loaded with depth.
The Dreadnaughts’ record wasn’t nearly as impressive at 12-9. But Dexter has plenty of experience with seven seniors on the roster and also are well coached so on paper Huron was the favorite. On the court, it was pretty even the entire way.
Huron took a 31-26 lead into the fourth quarter but the Dreadnaughts were not going away. In fact, they took control early in the final period and made Huron do the chasing.
Corcoran scored inside and Kaila Simpson hit a jumper from the wing to give Dexter a 32-31 lead with 5:40 left in the game. Huron’s Jadyn Smith answered with a triple to push the River Rats back into the lead at 34-32 with 5 minutes to play.
But Corcoran hit her first of two triples in the fourth to put Dexter back on top at 35-34. Smith then made a nice drive down the middle of the lane and rolled in two more points for Huron to give her team a 36-35 lead.
And that’s when Corcoran hit the shot. This time, Huron couldn’t answer at the other end.
The Dreads, who led 8-5 after one quarter, led 10-5 early in the second after a basket by Niswonger. But Siena Smith knocked down consecutive triples to five Huron a 14-12 lead. A triple by Niswonger brought Dexter back into the lead at 15-14. A jumper by Siena Smith and a runner by Michaela Glenn gave Huron an 18-15 halftime lead.
Jadyn Smith’s triple made it 25-21 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter and Alexa Lyon’s layup off the break gave Huron a 27-21 lead with 3:53 to play in the quarter.
Corcoran hit a triple to cut the lead to 28-24. After a three-point play by Huron’s Wambere, Dexter’s Cabana scored inside right before the buzzer to cut the Dreads’ deficit to 31-26.