News

Basketball

D2 SEMIS: Freeland gets hot, rallies from double-digit deficit to knock off previously-unbeaten Hamilton

D2 SEMIS: Freeland gets hot, rallies from double-digit deficit to knock off previously-unbeaten Hamilton
BY: MATTHEW B. MOWERY Mar 22, 10:40pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Freeland was going to get hot.

It was just a question of when.

Trailing unbeaten Hamilton by as many as 11 points with less than three minutes left in the third, the battle-tested Falcons shot their way back into it, hitting for 60 percent from the floor in the second half, and — once they had the lead — hitting just enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 71-66 win.

Freeland (24-2) will face the two-time reigning Class C champions Detroit Edison in the D2 championship game Saturday at 6:45 p.m.

While Hamilton (25-1) controlled the glass — outrebounding Freeland, 40-23 — and the paint — outscoring the Falcons 42-20 in the lane — Freeland was 9-for-21 from 3-point range to help chop away at the Hawkeyes’ lead.

A jumper by Kadyn Blanchard (23 points) cut the deficit to five points, 51-46, headed into the fourth, and three minutes later, after a 3-pointer by Autumn Kloha, they had the lead at 58-56.

A.J. Edinger (33 points, 17 rebounds) gave the Hawkeyes the lead back 30 seconds later, with a three-point play, but Alyssa Argyle hit a 3-pointer with 4:30 left to put the Falcons back ahead, 61-59, giving them the lead for good.

Freeland would lead by as much as five three different times the rest of the way, hitting 8 of 15 free throws down the stretch to keep the lead just out of reach. Hamilton got it back to one, 66-65, with 39 seconds left on two free throws by Bria Schrotenboer (13 points), but would only get one more free throw the rest of the way.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a preliminary version of the final story. Click back later for the final version, which will include details and quotes.]