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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Grosse Pointe South Escapes Season Opener With A 61-58 Win Over Chandler Park Academy

   | Branden Hunter

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Grosse Pointe South Escapes Season Opener With A 61-58 Win Over Chandler Park Academy

Harper Woods,Mich. - Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South were Class A state runner-ups each of the last two seasons, losing to Grand Haven on both trips to the Breslin Center.

The Lady Blue Devils return most of their nucleus from last year's team, and begin the season ranked as the No.2 team in the state.

They opened their 2013-2014 campaign against Harper Woods (Mich.) Chandler Park Academy, escaping with a nail biting 61-58 victory.

"It was really important for us to get that first win, because we know everyone is gunning for us,"said junior guard Bre'nae Andrews. "So we really wanted to come out and set the tone."

Grosse Pointe South (1-0) scored the first points of the game on a three-pointer by junior Cierra Rice, and maintained their lead throughout the entire game. They held a slim, 16-13 lead over Chandler Park Academy after one quarter.

A 12-5 run by Grosse Pointe South to open the second gave them a 28-18 lead with 3:20 left before the half, and they looked like they has shook off their offseason rustiness.

But Chandler Park Academy (0-1) would go on their own run, and cut it to 30-27 with 1:04 left in the quarter. Free throws by Jada Ivy for Chandler Park made it 30-29 with  18.8 seconds left, but a crucial three just before the buzzard went off, gave Grosse Pointe South the 33-29 lead at half.

"We really didn't know what to expect," said Ivy.  "All we knew was that they were a great team and we had to come play."

The game remained close throughout the final two quarters, with both teams trading runs, and not wanting the other to gain momentum. Down 49-47 with 4:57 remaining, Chandler Park grabbed their first lead of the game, 50-49, on a three-pointer by Iyana Tucker.

Grosse Pointe South responded on the next trip down, when Andrews launched a three-pointer of her own to make it 52-50 and finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

They never relinquished the lead after that basket, but Chandler Park refused to go away. 

Down 57-53 now, a lay-up by Ivy cut it to 57-55 with 1:23 remaining, but crucial turnovers by the Lady Eagles wouldn't allow them to regain the lead late.

Aliezza Brown put Grosse Pointe South up 59-55, after they forced a turnover on Chandler Park, and Rice iced the game, sinking two free throws with 12.3 seconds remaining. 

Ivy would hit a three-pointer to lead Chandler Park Academy with 17 points, but it was much too late. With 2.2 left on the clock, Grosse Pointe South inbounded the ball, and watched the clock expire for the 61-58 victory.

Brown finished with 16 points for Grosse Pointe South, and Breanna Lamar chipped in 11 points for Chandler Park Academy.

"We knew it'd be a tough game, mainly because we are the team to beat," Andrews said. "So I expect everyone to come at us with their best & then some."