Three Rivers defeated Grand Rapids South Christian 49-36 in Tuesday’s girls basketball regional semifinal at Otsego. The Ladycats now have a shot against Hamilton Thursday for TR’s second-ever regional title, which they did in the 2011 state runner-up campaign.
The Sailors had the initial lead with a 6-0 start to the game, but Three Rivers answered with an 11-2 close to the first quarter. The lead stayed at three at halftime and grew to five at the end of the third.
“Our defense was on point tonight and made things difficult for South Christian after their 6-0 start,” said TR head coach Jason Bingaman. “We didn’t panic and that is a place this group has matured over last year.”
Timely defense and free throw shooting helped the Wildcats grow their lead to double-digits in the fourth quarter.
“Kali (Heivilin) and Liv (Knapp) knocked down big free throws for us in the 4th quarter,” said Bingaman. “Gabby Charvat (five steals) has not played like a freshman the last four games defensively.”
Hadley Miller nearly picked up a triple-double for TR, finishing with team bests in points (27), rebounds (13), and steals (8). GR South Christian finishes the year 13-11. Their statistics were unavailable.
With the victory, Three Rivers improves to 21-3 and faces Hamilton in Thursday’s regional championship at 6:30 p.m. from Otsego. The Hawkeyes have won back-to-back regional titles, making it to the state semifinal last year. Hamilton defeated Harper Creek 45-36 in their regional semifinal Tuesday.
Three Rivers statistics
Hadley Miller 27 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 8 steals
Rylie Kelly 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block
Kali Heivilin 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Gabby Charvat 4 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals
Macy Ivins 2 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound
Alivia Knapp 2 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 4 steals
Natalie Barnes 1 steal