Mikayla Duflo had a good feeling as soon as the ball left her hand.
The rest of her Carson City-Crystal teammates did as well.
Duflo’s buzzer-beater from just inside the 3-point line Friday helped the Eagles pull out a 38-37 win over Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart in a clash of the No. 1-ranked teams in Class C and Class D.
The shot gave Carson City-Crystal an early leg up in the Mid-State Activities Conference and was its second narrow win over a quality team.
“As soon as they caught up to us it started getting more intense,” Duflo said of Friday’s game. “We started freaking out a little bit. After the in-bounds play when I got the ball and I shot it, we all knew that it was going to go in. And after that went in, it was the best moment of our lives.”
Duflo, a senior who is drawing college interest from the likes of Albion, Alma Adrian and Northwood, is comfortable in clutch situations and has hit big shots in the past to lift the Carson City-Crystal to wins. And she hopes the Eagles (8-0, 3-0 MSAC) can keep the momentum going from her latest clutch shot in Tuesday’s contest against Morley Stanwood and beyond.
“Our biggest thing is we need to just relax and keep flowing with what we’re doing,” Duflo said. “If we relax, our games are 10 times easier to do. If we tense up, we can’t shoot well, we can’t do offense that well or we can’t play defense that well. If we relax, we’ll be fine.”
• DEWITT BREAKS THROUGH: DeWitt has come close to getting its first win a few different occasions.
The Panthers finally broke through Friday against previously unbeaten Haslett, and in the process tightened the CAAC Red race.
“We needed this one,” said DeWitt coach Ron Marlan, whose team had lost three games by six points or less. “We’ve been close and we talked about in those last timeouts to finish this one. The kids did and give them a lot of credit.”
DeWitt overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to stun the Vikings, who dropped into a four-way tie with Owosso, St. Johns and Waverly in the Red at 2-1. The win put the Panthers (1-4, 1-2) a game back of the leaders.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Marlan said. “It really evens the league back up. We’ve got two more (games) before we make our second trip through and now it’s wide open for everybody so it was a good win for us.”
• BANNER DAY FOR CAAC RED: The area’s toughest girls basketball conference this season is the CAAC Red and Friday was a big day for it with Class A No. 1-ranked DeWitt and Class B top-ranked Haslett meeting in front of a big crowd.
“It was an awesome statement for the CAAC Red that we’ve got two teams in one conference that are both ranked No. 1 playing each other on the same night,” said DeWitt coach Bill McCullen, whose team was handed its first loss by Haslett. “It was very, very cool to see that many people stick around and watch the girls game. It’s been awhile since we’ve had that many people in this gym, and this is a pretty big house.”
DeWitt and Haslett are among the three teams from the Red ranked in last week’s state basketball poll. Waverly (8-1) was one of the top teams receiving votes in Class A that’s outside the top 10.
Laingsburg at Saranac, 7 p.m.
Jackson Northwest at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Webberville at Bendle, 7 p.m.
Everett at East Lansing, 7 p.m.
Holt at Sexton, 7 p.m.
Perry at Olivet, 7 p.m.
Portland St. Patrick at Potterville, 7 p.m.
Haslett at Williamston, 7 p.m.
Leslie at Stockbridge, 7 p.m.
Portland at St. Johns, 7 p.m.
Durand at Corunna, 7 p.m.
Eaton Rapids at Mason, 7 p.m.
Dryden at Morrice, 7 p.m.
Lansing Christian at Maple Valley, 7 p.m.
DeWitt at Lansing Catholic, 7 p.m.
Ovid-Elsie at Bullock Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Eastern at Grand Ledge, 7:30 p.m.
Dansville at Fulton, 7:30 p.m.
Ithaca at Valley Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.
Bath at Fowler, 7:30 p.m.
Jackson at Okemos, 7:30 p.m.
Belding at Lakewood
Swan Valley at Alma, 7:30 p.m.
Bendle at Webberville, 5:30 p.m.
Swan Valley at Alma, 6 p.m.
Ithaca at Valley Lutheran, 6 p.m.
Ovid-Elsie at Bullock Creek, 6 p.m.
Charlotte at Jackson Northwest 7 p.m.
St. Johns at Portland, 7 p.m.
Mason at Eaton Rapids, 7 p.m.
Corunna at Durand, 7 p.m.
Stockbridge at Leslie, 7 p.m.
East Lansing at Everett, 7 p.m.
Sexton at Holt, 7 p.m.
Lakewood at Bath, 7 p.m.
Lansing Catholic at DeWitt, 7 p.m.
Morrice at Dryden, 7 p.m.
Williamston at Haslett, 7 p.m.
Olivet at Perry, 7 p.m.
Maple Valley at Lansing Christian, 7 p.m.
Morley Stanwood at Carson City-Crystal, 7:30 p.m.
Grand Ledge at Eastern, 7:30 p.m.
Okemos at Jackson, 7:30 p.m.