—Submitted by Coach Todd Gudith
Northville hosted its third annual Holiday tournament with a semi-final game vs. Harper Woods Friday, who came into the game with a 5-1 record. The Holiday Tournament has created many exciting games over the past two seasons. Northville lost in the first Holiday Tournament Championship in 2010 in double overtime vs. Farmington Hills Harrison, only to beat them in double overtime of the 2011 championship. Northville made things exciting once again this year with a buzzer beater 3-pointer by junior Anna Giacomini to win 58-57 on Friday.
Northville came out slow in the first quarter as Harper Woods hit three 3-pointers in the quarter and opened up an early 8-2 lead. Northville settled down and senior Brittany Berehulka made three 3's of her own to get the Mustangs a 1-point lead after one quarter.
Northville extended the lead to 11 in the second quarter on two more 3-pointers by Berehulka and two by Kendra Brenner. Northville, up 7 at the half, got the lead back up to 11 in the third quarter only to have the Pioneers hit a triple at the buzzer to cut the lead to just 8 going in the final quarter.
Northville squandered their lead in the fourth as they struggled to keep up with the slashing guards of Harper Woods. The Pioneers went to the foul line 16 times in the fourth quarter mixed in with two 3-point baskets to come all the way back and take a 4-point lead at 56-52.
With the Mustangs desperate to score, hot-shooting Berehulka took another 3-point attempt and missed but was fouled with 9.2 seconds left. After sinking all 3 free throws to cut the Pioneer lead to one, Northville was forced to foul. Harper Woods missed their first attempt but made their second to go up 57-55.
With just 7.3 seconds left, Northville had to go the distance of the floor to get one final shot to win the game. Point guard Diane Myers weaved her way around a double team and found Anna Giacomini alone on the left side where she took a 3-point shot with .5 seconds left. Her shot fell through the hoop at the buzzer to give the Mustangs the come from behind win and put them in the championship game on Saturday.
It was an exciting finish. Harper Woods did a great job covering Kendra and Brittany who hit multiple 3's so that's who they were worried about. They forgot about Anna and she knew there wasn't much time left and had to take the shot. I couldn't be happier for her. It was good that we were able to fight back after giving up the lead. A lot of kids stepped up tonight and played more time than they have because we had some players out. We did just enough to pull this one out. As much as I like the result of this game, we shouldn't have let it get to that point and that's where our team has to grow and learn.
Northville, 4-1 overall, plays undefeated Dexter in the championship of the Holiday Tournament Saturday at 5 p.m.