Four straight conference wins have the Charlotte High School girls varsity basketball team in prime position for the Capital Area Activities Conference Gold title. One major hurdle, however, remains in Eaton Rapids, where the Orioles were scheduled to play on Friday, Feb. 7.
Charlotte and Eaton Rapids were tied atop the league standings at 6-2 heading into the game. The winner would be in the driver’s seat heading into the homestretch of conference play.
Charlotte has already cleared one hurdle this season, picking up two big wins against Waverly during their four-game streak. The latest came Tuesday, Feb. 4 on the road. Both wins came in come-from-behind fashion and coach Steve Myers came away proud of his team’s perseverance in each win.
“We haven’t been able to beat Waverly in several years and it’s a huge win for us keeping us in contention for the conference championship,” Myers said. “These girls are relentless, they have no quit in them.”
The Orioles easily could have let the Feb. 4 game slip away as they trailed Waverly for nearly the entire game. Leading Charlotte by five at halftime, the Warriors extended their lead to 11 in the third quarter before Charlotte made its final charge.
“We were able to create a lot of problems for them with our trapping zone and it got us back in the game,” Myers said.
Charlotte finally caught Waverly in the final two minutes, tying the score with 1:40 in the game. However, Waverly’s Breanna Mobley converted a three-point play, giving the Warriors a three-point lead heading into the final minute. Charlotte’e Lucy Sare sank two free throws to cut the lead to one and the Orioles put on their full-court press, coming away with three big steals in the final minute.
All Waverly could do was foul and Sare and Ayren Parrish made big free throws in the final minute to give Charlotte the 60-56 win.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how they played through a poor shooting night to find a way to win,” Myers said.
Sare stepped up big for Charlotte in the win, scoring a career-high 18 points, including a 5-for-6 performance at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Parrish scored 16 for Charlotte, all in the second half. She scored a career-high 32 points in the Oriole’s first win over Waverly.
The Orioles had a number of players step up during the current win streak. Annie Keenan scored 17 points in a win over Lumen Christi on Friday. Jan. 24. Hannah Smith scored 15 in the same game and Danii Sleight pulled down 10 rebounds in the win over the Titans. Smith led the way against Parma Western on Friday, Feb. 31, scoring 22 points, which included four three pointers.