CHESANING — Elizabeth Coon scored 15 points with nine steals and Chesaning sidelined Owosso, 50-35, in a Division 2 district semifinal Wednesday.
The Indians (18-4) will play Ovid-Elsie (15-6) for the district championship at 7 p.m. Friday after the Marauders defeated Durand in Wednesday’s late semifinal, 51-31.
Chesaning has already beaten the Marauders twice during the regular season, 49-31, on Dec. 17 and 43-28 on Jan. 24.
“It’s what we all play for,” Coon said. “We’ve always been told to get our number up on the board so that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Haylei Drope said Chesaning will be playing in honor of the late Duane Ferry, who was a longtime teacher, coach and administrator at Chesaning and the father of head coach Ryan Ferry. Duane Ferry passed away in July.
On the back of every player’s warm-up is Duane Ferry’s name.
“I can’t even put into words how much a district championship would mean to us,” said Drope, who had six points, four rebounds and three steals. “Coach Ferry’s dad really wanted to see us play for that district championship and get that championship. We’re going to playing for him this year.”
Whichever team wins is assured of breaking at least a decade-long district title drought. Chesaning is seeking its first district title since 2009, while Ovid-Elsie last won one in 1984.
Sidnee Struck had eight points and eight rebounds against the Trojans for Chesaning, which surged to its fifth straight victory. Karissa Ferry had nine rebounds and four steals and joined Drope with six points. Lauren Schirle supplied six steals and four rebounds.
Owosso (2-19) was paced by Clover Brandt’s 18-point, seven-rebound night. Reyn Tuttle scored nine points with six rebounds and Alaynie Drury had 11 rebounds for Owosso.
Brandt said Owosso watched Chesaning’s 50-24 first-round win Monday over rival Corunna and came away impressed with the Indians’ defensive pressure.
“We got an idea of how tough they were going to be on the ball,” Brandt said. “We had our hard practices to get ready for it and we knew it was coming.”
Ryan Ferry said his Chesaning team once again played good hard-nosed defense, but struggled finding its offensive rhythm. The exception was Coon, who drained three of the team’s five 3-pointers and continued her recent hot streak.
“It was not very well executed on our part,” Ferry said of his offense. “Hats off to Owosso. They played hard and they gave us fits in certain things. Sloppy for us, however. That’s not how we play. Defensively, we had 29 steals. In a game like that, it should be a blowout normally for us. But offensively, we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. Owosso just kept hanging in there. They’re well-coached and they had a good game-plan. I’m just happy to get out of here with a win.”
Chesaning came out hot in the early going, building an 8-0 cushion. Schirle made one of two free throws before Coon sank a 3-pointer and Struck sank a baseline jumper to get the offense started.
But Owosso fought back to within 8-7, thanks to Allie Langdon’s 3-pointer and buckets from Brandt and McKenna Sovis. Chesaning eventually settled on an 11-7 lead after one quarter.
Brandt drained a 3-pointer to bring Owosso to within one early in the second quarter before Chesaning went on a 10-0 run. Baskets by Struck and Karissa Ferry and then a rare four-point play by Coon — off a 3-pointer and a free throw — made it 19-10. Schirle’s basket brought the lead to 11.
Chesaning took a 28-16 lead into the halftime break after Jordyn Bishop scored a basket as the first-half buzzer sounded.
The Indians pulled ahead 40-22 after three quarters, though Owosso cut the deficit to 13 on Tuttle’s jumper with 41/2 minutes left. That, however, would be the closest the Trojans could come.
Owosso co-coach Jeremy Dwyer said Chesaning’s defensive tenacity made it rough on his squad.
“They’re a really aggressive team and we knew we were going to have to be able to control that,” Dwyer said. “And I thought for the most part we executed really well. We were going to give up the elbows and the free-throw line jump shots. That was not part of what we wanted to defend. We wanted to play token defense on that and take away the two big girls on the block and eliminate some of the weakside rebounding that they did Monday night against Corunna.”
Dwyer said even coming into the fourth quarter, his team was in the game.
“We needed a quick basket, a turnover and a quick basket and it’s a different feel,” Dwyer said. “And that’s what I told the girls. That’s the story of our season, that one big basket … We played all the way to the end and that’s what I’m taking away. This group of girls is a team through and through.”
Division 2 District at Chesaning
CHESANING 50, OWOSSO 35
OWOSSO (2-19): McKenna Sovis 1 0-0 2, Alaynie Drury 1 1-4 3, Reyn Tuttle 3 3-5 9, Allie Langdon 1 0-0 3, Clover Brandt 5 4-4 18. Totals: 11 8-13 35.
CHESANING (18-4): Elizabeth Coon 4 4-5 15, Lauren Schirle 2 1-3 5, Jordyn Bishop 1 0-0 2, Claire Greenfelder 0 3-6 3, Lilly Cooper 2 0-0 5, Sidnee Struck 3 2-2 8, Haylei Drope 2 1-4 6, Julia Bishop 0 0-2 0, Karissa Ferry 3 0-4 6. Totals: 17 11-26 50.
Owosso 7 9 6 13 — 35
Chesaning 11 17 12 10 — 50
3-Point Goals: Chesaning 5 (Coon 3, Cooper 1, Drope 1). Owosso 5 (Brandt 4, Langdon 1). Rebounds: Chesaning (Ferry 9, Stuck 8). Owosso (Brandt 7). Assists: Chesaning (Coon 3). Steals: Chesaning (Coon 9, Schirle 6).