Girls regionals: Ann Arbor Huron cruises past Woodhaven, 65-39

Girls regionals: Ann Arbor Huron cruises past Woodhaven, 65-39

Gallery

Girls regionals: Ann Arbor Huron cruises past Woodhaven, 65-39

By

Ann Arbor Huron’s Cheah Rael-Whitsitt shoots against Woodhaven on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in a regional semifinal at Belleville. She scored 18 in the 65-39 win.

Ann Arbor Huron’s Cheah Rael-Whitsitt shoots against Woodhaven on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in a regional semifinal at Belleville. She scored 18 in the 65-39 win.

The girls on the Ann Arbor Huron basketball team get it.

They just get it.

In an era where girls basketball has become a game of wild three-point misses as the players try to imitate the Golden State Warriors, these River Rats pass on more open shots than any team in the Western Hemisphere.

“We believe in team,” said senior guard Mia Long. “We like to spread the points around the whole team. Open shots are way better than a contested ‘three.’ Even if it’s wide-open, you should pass it one more time to someone who you know has a higher percentage of making it.”

That brings us to Huron’s 5-foot-11 post player Cheah Rael-Whitsitt, whose shooting percentage seems uncommonly high.

“It’s 100%,” Long said assuredly.

Rael-Whitsitt may have missed a shot or two along the way Tuesday, but she didn’t miss many as Huron steamrolled Woodhaven, 65-39, in a Class A regional semifinal at Belleville.

There is a logical reason why Rael-Whitsitt, who scored 18 points, rarely misses when she gets the ball inside.

“She works hard,” said Long. “Her athleticism is apparent. She’s more athletic than any other post I’ve seen her play against.”

Real-Whitsitt understands passing angles and realizes a post player needs to do more than just stick her hand into the air and demand the ball.

“It’s kind of where the ball is and I have to pivot myself to fill where the defense is and see where my guards are as well,” she said. “It wouldn’t be good position if the guards can’t get it to me. So I kind of base it off of that.”

Working hard to get open is a two-way street. There are a lot of post players who work to get open, but still don’t get the ball.

“They probably don’t talk or their team doesn’t trust them,” said Rael-Whitsitt. “Or they don’t trust their team, which is not a good thing.”

The good thing about Huron is everyone trusts everyone, including the coaches, who demand that the players play unselfishly and not jack up shot after shot from behind the three-point arc.

“Anybody can come down and shoot a ‘three’ and they do and it’s not good,” said Huron coach Steve Vinson. “Too many people watch the Golden State Warriors and think they can shoot like that and you can’t — nobody can shoot like that.

“I don’t want them to be concerned about shooting an open ‘three,’ because if we got it, I definitely want to take it. But I want good to great shots.”

No. 4 Huron (19-4) got terrific shots thanks to its full-court press, sparked by Long (12 points). Woodhaven (20-3) committed eight turnovers on its first 10 possessions and fell behind, 12-0.

And Woodhaven didn’t have much success defending Huron’s half-court offense.

“We get a lot of traps and take away a lot of passes,” said Woodhaven coach Rod Scharboneau. “But they’re able to skip the pass across the court just like a guys team and that’s tough to deal with in the girls game.

“They’re very good and I think they’ll go a long way.”

Michigan girls basketball regionals schedule

Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or mmccabe@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1

More USA TODAY High School Sports
Home
https://usatodayhss.com/2016/girls-regionals-ann-arbor-huron-cruises-past-woodhaven-6539
Girls regionals: Ann Arbor Huron cruises past Woodhaven, 65-39

Cheah Rael-Whitsitt scored 18 points in the River Rats’ win

I found this story on USA TODAY High School Sports and wanted to share it with you: %link% For more high school stories, stats and videos, visit http://usatodayhss.com.