A memorable turnaround season for West Bloomfield came to an end with a 67-54 loss to Farmington Hills Mercy in a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class A district semi-final at Farmington on Wednesday, March 2.
“Give credit to Mercy for being a fundamentally sound, well-coached team. They play in a tough conference and were prepared to meet the challenges you face in the playoffs,” said West Bloomfield Head Coach Steve Larkin. “We had a great game plan and were prepared, but didn’t start the game with a sense of urgency you need to have when paying a team like Mercy.”
The Lakers (17-5) fell behind 13-2 early in the game, and trailed 23-13 after the first quarter and 39-26 at halftime.
West Bloomfield was outscored 15-9 in the third quarter and outscored Mercy 19-13 in the fourth before falling short.
Sydni Davis had 18 points to lead West Bloomfield, while senior Jailynn Hamilton scored 17 points in her final game as a Laker.
Janelle McQueen led Mercy (17-5) with 22 points.
“They wore us down with their work in the low post and we simply didn’t have answers,” Larkin said.
Mercy went on to defeat Farmington Hills Mercy, 46-24, in the district final two nights later.
The Lakers started the district tournament on the right foot with a 49-30 victory over North Farmington (10-11) on Monday, Feb. 28 at Farmington.
“This was perhaps our best win of the season in that we defended well and everyone was on the same page. This was a total team effort,” Larkin said.
The score was tied at 11-11 after the first quarter and the Lakers led 21-18 at halftime before going on a 17-2 run in the third quarter to take control of the game.
Hamilton led all scorers with 20 points and 7 rebounds while Davis had 15 points.
This season saw West Bloomfield rebound from last year’s 3-17 record to finish 17-5 and finish in second-place in the tough Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White Division.
“I thought this was the most talented team I have coached in terms of depth to our lineup,” Larkin said.
The Lakers will graduate eight seniors, including Hamilton, Taylor Gunn and Kylia Perryman, but will look forward to Davis and a talented corps of sophomores and juniors returning next season.
“I am saddened to see our eight seniors go, but I am also excited in looking to our future as next year we return three starters who will only be juniors,” Larkin said. “The future looks bright for West Bloomfield girls basketball.”