Grosse Ile was within a point with 15 seconds left in overtime and had the ball when Flat Rock’s Alexi Highers made her move on the ball handler near the baseline.
“We had a trap in the corner, and I knew we had to get the ball back,” Highers said. “I was hoping to get a steal. I just kind of went in for it without fouling and hoped for the best, and it was our possession.”
Highers forced a jump ball, Flat Rock got the ball, and Grosse Ile immediately fouled Kassidy Wilson, who went to the free-throw line for two shots with 8 seconds left.
“Yeah, I was really nervous,” said Wilson, who described her success at the line as: “Not usually.”
Highers begged to differ.
“You’re probably a good 50%,” Highers said.
There is no such thing as a “good 50%” when it comes to free-throw shooting, especially in a close game.
“I just knew we had to knock them down to win the game,” Wilson said. “We wanted this league title really bad, so I had to make them.”
Wilson did knock down both free throws Thursday, giving Flat Rock a heart-stopping 51-50 overtime victory over Grosse Ile to claim its fourth straight Huron League championship.
But even after Wilson’s free throws had given her a career-high 16 points, the visiting Rams (15-5, 13-1) had to survive one more Kate Tobin moment before claiming the title.
Tobin had sent the game to overtime when she nailed a three-point shot with 2 seconds left.
“We have our trap when she hit the three,” Highers said. “There were three of us on her, actually. It was a great shot.”
With 2 seconds left in overtime and trailing by three, Tobin was fouled and given two free throws. She made the first and tried to miss the second, but that one went in, too.
It was that kind of night for Tobin, who was brilliant with 26 points in her final game at Grosse Ile, the place where her mother, now the coach, earned all-state honors.
“I’m sooo proud of her because she’s had a lot of pressure,” coach Sandy Tobin said. “She’s our point guard, and she’s been around the program as long as she’s been alive. I think she’s very proud to be a part of it and the tradition, and she does take it hard when we lose.”
But Grosse Ile (15-3, 11-3) didn’t lose this game as much as Flat Rock won it. Paige Nemeth added 15 points for the Rams, and 6-foot-1 Morgan Villemure, who has signed with Lake Superior State, added 12 and finished her four-year varsity career with a 55-1 record in Huron League play.
“It’s hard to believe we could have that many wins,” said Flat Rock coach Marc Villemure, Morgan’s dad. “But the girls work really hard, and we have a lot of support at the youth level. Our AAU coaches and our junior high coaches helped put us in this situation for sure.”
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.