DETROIT — Two CHSL teams remain in the hunt for a girls state basketball championship.
And, no, Bloomfield Hills Marian is not one of them. The Mustangs, season-long highly ranked in Division 1, were eliminated by Grosse Pointe North in a regional final.
Now, it’s up to Royal Oak Shrine and Clarkston Everest Collegiate to carry the Catholic League banner at the quarterfinal level: Shrine in Division 3, Everest in Division 4.
Both are in action Tuesday, March 19. Both games start at 6 p.m.
The CHSL Division C-D champion Knights (20-5) will travel about 50 miles to Lapeer to play Flint Hamady (19-5).
Everest Collegiate (13-8) will have a 30-mile sojourn to Burton Bendle to play Kingston (23-2).
Shrine last won a regional trophy in 1995. They were a Class C state finalist in 1979. But, first things first.
Coach Wayne Gigante’s team powered past New Haven, 52-27, for the regional title behind 25 points by senior Grace Murray.
“This group has come together like no other. To win this is an incredible feeling,” she said afterward.
“She’s a top kid,” Gigante said. “Togetherness is the key.”
Defense is another key to the Lady Knights’ success, evidenced in the 51-18 average score of the five victories so far in state tournament play.
Everest has had a couple of close calls on its trail is to the regional title, its first since 2014. The Mountaineers slipped past Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes by a point in the district semi-final, and by two points against Allen Park Intercity Baptist on a buzzer-beater basket by junior Annelise James.
Coach Erin Van Wagoner could breathe a little easier in the 59-39 victory over New Haven for the regional championship. Senior Katelyn Allen led the way with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 blocks. The James sisters were a step behind: Annelise with 12 points and 7 rebounds, and her younger sister, Celeste, a freshman, 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Winners move on to Calvin College where the semi-finals are scheduled for Thursday-Friday, March 21-22, and finals on Saturday, March 23.