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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Ventures vault past the finish line on final play, Bishop Foley upends Everest to grab CHSL crown

   | Scott Burnstein

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Ventures vault past the finish line on final play, Bishop Foley upends Everest to grab CHSL crown

DETROIT – Madison Heights Bishop Foley squeaked out its first Catholic League girls basketball championship in 16 years Sunday at Calihan Hall, getting a game-winning lay-up from junior forward Renee Fisher on a perfectly-placed pass from senior point guard Kristin Doxen with one second left on the clock to nip Clarkston Everest Collegiate 27-26 in a C-D Division thriller.

“I drove into the lane and Renee cut to the basket and I just found her,” Doxen said. “Renee didn’t hesitate, she was where she needed to be. We had the confidence in ourselves as a team to make that last play and it worked it out for the best.”

Fisher was ready when the ball came her way.

“I knew Kristin would get it to me in the right spot, I just made sure to concentrate on getting to that spot and hitting the shot. We all look out for each other on this team and believe in one another. I’m glad I could do my part.”

Doxen had 10 points, five assists and four steals, while Fisher totaled seven points and eight rebounds.

Bishop Foley led 14-9 at halftime and 21-10 going into the fourth quarter.

But Everest was scrappy and clawed its way back into the game, with defense and free throw-shooting. Lucia Westrick’s three straight free throws in the final minute gave Everest its first lead of the day at 26-25.

The play by Doxen and Fisher to win the crown came out of a timeout with 10 seconds left.

Westrick registered 10 points and nine rebounds to pace the Everest score sheet.

Everest is 13-6 following the loss.

Mountaineers head coach Erin Van Wagoner played for Bishop Foley head coach Gary Joseph as a prepster in the late 1990s and early 2000s at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. Prior to constructing the Everest program from scratch four years ago, Van Wagoner was Joseph’s top assistant at Bishop Foley.

Joseph and the Ventures improved to 12-7 with the victory. Sunday was Joseph’s sixth trip to Calihan Hall and the Catholic League Finals. He had previously been 0-5.

“These girls wanted this so bad, we zeroed in on a goal and went out and achieved it with tons of focus, dedication and desire,” Joseph said.

In their two meetings in the regular season, Class C Bishop Foley had dropped both contests to Class D Everest.

“We made a couple of adjustments, tightened some things up and then executed beautifully,” he said.