With the district tournament starting on Monday, senior guard Alexie Flaminio and the Dow High girls’ basketball team got a good test from visiting Flint Powers and responded with a 59-52 victory Friday afternoon.
The game, postponed from Thursday, was a Saginaw Valley League crossover between the second-place teams in the North Division (Dow) and the South Division (Powers). Dow (17-3) actually tied Saginaw Heritage for first place in the North and Powers (11-8) tied Flint Carman-Ainsworth for first in the South, but Dow and Powers both lost the tiebreakers.
Flaminio said this wasn’t Dow’s best effort defensively, but it was still a good victory.
“They were a really good shooting team,” she said of Powers. “We had a little trouble in the beginning trying to find their shooters in transition, but even though we didn’t have our best night, we played pretty well and we beat a pretty good team.”
Dow’s Ellie Taylor made four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 22 points, including 11 in the third quarter when Dow took the lead for good.
Dow’s Kaylee Wasco scored 12 points, Molly Davis scored eight of her 10 points in the second half, and Flaminio added eight points.
Powers had two sharp-shooting guards: Francesca Coury scored 19 points including four 3-pointers, and Rachel Phillpotts poured in 17 points.
In a fast-paced first quarter, both teams shot around 50 percent and played to a 16-16 tie after eight minutes.
The solid shooting kept up in the second quarter, and Dow eventually built a 29-23 lead with 2:30 to go on back-to-back baskets by Flaminio and Wasco.
But Powers closed the half strong with eight straight points, capped by Madeline Mathenia’s 3-point play, to take a 31-29 lead into halftime.
Coury and Phillpotts combined for 29 points in the first half for Powers.
“Our defense in the first half was pretty suspect,” said Dow coach Kyle Theisen. “But they’re a good team with good shooters, and we left them open too many times.”
The third quarter continued to be back-and-forth until the tide finally turned and Dow took the lead for good.
Dow’s Nadia Atton intercepted a pass under the Dow basket and a few moments later set a screen for Taylor, who hit an open 3-pointer to give Dow a 45-42 lead at 2:57, prompting a Powers timeout.
Taylor hit another 3 just 18 seconds later to give Dow a six-point lead, and the home team went into the fourth with a 48-44 advantage.
Theisen said the big key in the second half for Dow was pushing the ball up the court after misses by Powers.
“Once we started getting a few stops, then we could run out in transition and that’s where we’re always at our best,” he said. “That was what it came down to. If we could get them to miss, we could rebound and run.”
“In the second half we started finding their shooters,” Flaminio noted.
Five points by Davis early in the fourth stretched Dow’s lead to 53-46, and then neither team scored for almost 2 ½ minutes before Powers broke the drought on Anna Ruhstorfer’s shot with 3:48 to go to make it 53-48.
Powers eventually pulled within three at 55-52 with 1:18 left, but Dow’s Wasco answered with a 3-point play to make it 58-52 with 54 seconds left, and Powers could not score again.
Theisen was grateful that the game was able to be played on Friday after being postponed due to weather on Thursday.
“It was a nice warmup after not having a game (earlier) this week,” he said. “If we hadn’t had this one, it would have been tough having districts on Monday. I’m glad we got to play it.”
Dow will play Bay City Central on Monday in Class A district play at Mount Pleasant.
“We beat (Central) twice by fairly wide margins (in the regular season), but they almost took Midland High to overtime the other night,” Theisen noted. “They must be playing some good basketball right now, so we’ve got to be ready for them.”
“We want to try to go as far as we can (in the state tournament),” Flaminio said.
Flint Powers 16 15 13 8 — 52
Dow High 16 13 19 11 — 59
POWERS – Ruhstorfer 3-0-7; Mathenia 1-1-3; Clothier 1-0-2; Coury 6-3-19; Lang 0-0-0; Phillpotts 7-2-17; Peabody 1-0-2; Rousseau 1-0-2; Totals 20-6-52. 3-point field goals – Coury 4, Ruhstorfer, Phillpotts.
DOW – E. Taylor 8-2-22; Atton 2-0-4; Flaminio 4-0-8; M. Taylor 1-1-3; Blanton 0-0-0; Davis 4-0-10 ; Wasco 5-2-12; Totals 24-5-59. 3-point field goals – E. Taylor 4, Davis 2.