Few girls basketball teams in the area are hotter than Livonia Churchill, which extended its winning streak to five with Tuesday night’s 44-38 victory over Northville in a first-round KLAA Kensington Conference playoff game.
Churchill improved to 12-5 and earned a berth in Thursday’s conference semifinal contest at Plymouth.
Northville slipped to 11-7.
The Chargers’ leader on Tuesday was senior Alivia Kondrath, who scored 17 points, including a pivotal three-point basket to open the third quarter that seemed to spark her team, which trailed 16-10 at the half.
“We came out really flat in the first half; we looked like a different team than the one that had won the four previous games,” said Churchill head coach Matt McCowan. “When Alivia made that shot it seemed to give us a boost of confidence that carried over for the rest of the game.”
The Chargers, who had never won a game in the KLAA playoffs prior to Tuesday, led 24-23 heading into the fourth quarter before Kondrath (4-for-4) and Molly Pummill (2-for-2) drained critical free throws down the stretch.
The Mustangs handled the Chargers by 20 points in the two teams’ first encounter this season.
Natalie Spala tossed in 15 points for the winners, who made 6 of 8 free throws.
Hawks soar against Thurston
Huron Valley Lutheran rolled to a 21-0 lead Tuesday night against Redford Thurston before putting the wraps on a 47-28 victory.
The Hawks are now 11-5 heading into Thursday’s game against neighborly rival Lutheran Westland.
Sam Golchuk led the winners with 14 points. Jessie Strauch and Taylor Rae both added eight points.
Sydney Taylor paced the Eagles with nine points. Ivory Mamo added seven.
“We came out and played a great first quarter,” said HVL head coach Kris Ruth. “We were aggressive in our press, we played good team defense, and shot the ball really well in the first quarter.
“Overall, I was pleased with how we shot tonight [41 percent from the floor]. We still have some things to clean up in the offensive set as we finish up the regular season.”