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DYNAMIC DUEL: PCEP rivals stage dramatic down-to-the-wire show

 DYNAMIC DUEL: PCEP rivals stage dramatic down-to-the-wire show

Canton’s Justice Tramble powers up a shot against Plymouth’s Evelyn Stiglish.

Showcasing two in-sync, on-a-roll girls basketball teams with combined records of 13-1, Friday night’s cross-campus encounter between Plymouth and host Canton promised to be compelling.

It didn’t disappoint.

Leading P-CEP rival Plymouth 43-41 with just over three minutes to play, unbeaten Canton finished a back-and-forth contest with a 6-0 run to outlast the Wildcats 49-41.

The Chiefs, who were ranked No. 9 in the state by MaxPreps.com heading into the game, improved to 8-0 overall and 2-0 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association’s West Division. Plymouth slipped to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the West.

The winners were paced by senior Justice Tramble, who accounted for 24 points and 12 rebounds despite drawing two or three Wildcats defenders whenever she ventured into the paint.

Crunch-time stars

Plymouth guard Mackenzie Dicken lays the ball off the glass
Plymouth guard Mackenzie Dicken lays the ball off the glass

Seniors Maya Joiner (10 points), Marisa Cribari (eight points) and freshman McKinsey Berlin (five points, four blocks) also shined for the Chiefs — both during crunch-time and in momentum-shifting moments leading up to the final exciting moments.

Plymouth senior Elena DiMaria nearly matched Tramble’s heroics, as she contributed 18 points, eight rebounds and stellar interior defense for the Wildcats.

Also turning in sterling efforts for Plymouth were sophomore Evelyn Stiglish (eight points), Zaynab Saab (six points), and the trio of Mackenzie Dicken, Olivia Maciag and Annie Flavin, who combined for nine points while helping the ‘Cats stay close with a series of non-scoring plays.

Canton senior Marisa Cribari launches a three over the outstretched hand of Evelyn Stiglish
Canton senior Marisa Cribari launches a three over the outstretched hand of Evelyn Stiglish

Fueled by nine points from Tramble, the Chiefs powered their way to a 14-9 first-quarter lead before Plymouth clawed back to seize a 25-24 half-time lead thanks in part to a pair of long triples from Stiglish.

Momentum swings

The Chiefs regained their first-quarter momentum during the early stages of the third quarter thanks to three quick buckets from Tramble.

Undaunted, Plymouth roared back to take a 33-32 with 3:42 left in the period thanks largely to Saab, who drained a three-point shot from the right wing seconds after drawing a team-energizing charge against Tramble.

The rollercoaster ride continued as the Chiefs broke off a 7-0 run to end the third quarter. The stretch was sparked by a steal from Joiner, who finished the play with a sweet left-handed and-one layup at the other end.

DiMaria almost single-handedly erased a 43-35 Plymouth deficit mid-way through the final quarter when she hit back-to-back shots before knocking down two free throws to bring the visitors to within 43-41 with 3:14 left.

Huge hustle play

However, Canton sealed the deal with a huge hustle play by Cribari.

McKinsey Berlin defends Elena DiMaria
McKinsey Berlin defends Elena DiMaria

The senior gave the Chiefs a 44-41 advantage with just over a minute to go by swishing the first of two free throws. After missing the second freebie, she converted the second of her two offensive put-backs to make it 46-41.

Berlin, who was a shot-altering force throughout the game for Canton, contributed a late-game steal to erase the Wildcats’ hopes of a dramatic comeback.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

Maya Joiner guards Zaynab Saab
Maya Joiner guards Zaynab Saab

 

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Ed Wright

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