East Lansing appeared as if it may have won the game when senior Grace Whelan hit a 15-foot baseline jump shot with four seconds left to break a tie and put the Trojans ahead by two points.
But senior Jessica Ashby hit a 3-pointer in the corner at the buzzer to enable defending Class B state champion Goodrich to edge East Lansing 58-57 on Friday in the Portland Mid-Michigan Girls Basketball Showcase finale.
“They were concerned about the middle of the floor, because that’s where we had Taylor Gleason going,” said Goodrich coach Jason Gray, who called the play for Ashby to shoot.
Gleason, who has committed to play at Illinois, scored 18 points and passed 1,000 points for her career early in the third quarter. Sophomore Tamia Davis had a game-high 19 points for the Martians (6-0), who extended their winning streak to 34 straight games.
“Goodrich won the title last year with four or five kids that didn’t play tonight,” East Lansing coach Rob Smith said. “That means we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The Trojans trailed 13-7 after one quarter but scored the first nine points of the second quarter to pull ahead by three.
Goodrich pulled ahead 21-18 before East Lansing outscored the Martians 8-1 to end the half.
The Trojans expanded the 26-22 halftime lead to 45-36 after three quarters and were still ahead 47-40 with six minutes left.
“A few things go differently here and there, and we win that game by 15,” Smith said.
“But we got in foul trouble, and that hurt us. Meechi (Thompson) had three in the first half and Piper (Tucker) fouling out (with 42 seconds remaining) was big time.”
The 6-foot-3 Whelan scored 14 points, while 6-3 senior Kelcie Haizlip and Thompson added 13 points each for East Lansing (5-1).
“Our issue is we have size, but can we guard?” Smith said. “We have a lot of work to do in terms of our post defense.”
Haizlip, who also grabbed 15 rebounds, hit key baskets to put the Trojans back up by four at 51-47 and 53-49, and senior guard Taylor Gordon hit two free throws to make it 55-51 before Gleason and Ashby each made a pair of free throws to tie it at 55-55.