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Cousino makes late free throws, upsets Grosse Pointe South

Basketball   | Alysia Babcock

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Warren – Kierra Fletcher made two free throws with eight seconds left and Warren Cousino held on to upset Grosse Pointe South, ranked No. 3 in Class A, 45-43 in a Macomb Area Conference Red Division game on Tuesday at Cousino.

South (6-3, 2-1) committed a turnover following Fletcher’s free throws ending the game.

“This was a great top-five, state win,” Cousino coach Mike Lee said. “We will take the unnecessary errors as a learning experience.”

Seconds before Fletcher’s winning free throws South’s Anna Carmody made a free to tie the score at 43-43.

With less than a minute to play Fletcher made a free throw giving Cousino (10-1, 4-9) a 43-40 lead.

Fletcher, a sophomore, had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Patriots.

“I played my game and coach told me not to be nervous and I was just trying to get the win,” Fletcher said.

The game went back-and-forth in the early going. A Cierra Rice steal and layup gave South an 11-10 lead but the Patriots scored the last six points in the quarter to take a five-point lead.

Rice led South with 24 points and Benna Ames added 10.

South’s defense forced a handful of turnovers and the Blue Devils had chances from the perimeter but couldn’t hit the open shot.

South’s defensive pressure would continue to hound the Patriots and this time the Blue Devils were able to convert and took an 18-16 lead with just under five minutes left in the half.

A Fletcher jumper would end the drought and South would soon become frustrated on offense and watch its lead slip away as Cousino took a 23-21 lead at half.

“People stepped up when Fletcher was in foul trouble, and it all fell into place,” Lee said.

South controlled play in the third quarter and led 34-32 heading to the fourth.

“In practice coach told us it was going to come down to this and we just had to execute it,” Fletcher said.

South committed turnovers on each of its first four possessions and Cousino took advantage scoring the first six points to take a 38-34 with less than six minutes left.

Rice led South back with her ball-handling skills and ability to find the open players and South pulled within 42-40 with a little over a minute to go.

“Our defensive intensity and heart helped us to pull away in the final seconds,” Fletcher said.