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Second-half surge powers Cal-Mum to semifinals

By: Mike Rose

Cal-Mum in its 'huddle' pregame in Friday's win over Alexander. (Photo Credit: Dylan O'Loughlin, 89.1 the Point)

Powered by Olivia Amorese and Hazell Nickerson, No. 5 Caledonia-Mumford used a 17-3 second-half run to blow the game open and knock off the No. 4 Alexander Trojans 56-39. With the win, the Raiders advance to the girls' Class C2 semifinals for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Cal-Mum head coach Mike Reed pointed to Olivia Amorese as the one who ignited the team.

"I really think it was just Olivia Amorese hitting a couple of shots," Reed said. "We've said all year we know we're gonna see a lot of stuff on Hazel defensively, a lot of ways to try and limit her touches and I told the kids if you get that opportunity to shoot you gotta be ready to shoot the basketball and the kid stepped up."

Early on the two teams traded buckets with Alexander maintaining a slim lead for most of the opening quarter. Alyssa Kramer chipped in four of her game-high 19 points in the opening eight minutes for the Trojans. Eventually, Olivia Amorese checked into the game and knocked down a jumper to end the quarter with Cal-Mum taking its first lead of the night.

The second quarter saw much of the same as the teams went blow for blow. The lead changed hands four times in the quarter but ultimately Cal-Mum's Shea Drazkowski delivered the last blow, drilling two consecutive three-pointers to end the half. The Raiders went into the break holding a 26-23 edge.

Early in the third quarter, the see-saw affair continued. Kramer tallied the first seven points for the Trojans while Nickerson scored the opening four for the Raiders. With the game tied at 30, Olivia Amorese made her imprint on the game.

The freshman drilled three triples for Cal-Mum to blow the game out to a 39-32 game at the end of the third, the largest lead of the night for either team. She finished the night with 13 points and her shooting performance helped jump-start the 17-3 burst that spanned into the early stages of the fourth quarter and put the game away.

"I just wanted to contribute, we were already doing so good and I just wanted to continue doing that as a team," Olivia Amorese said.

The perimeter shooting opened the door for Nickerson to take over inside, tallying eight of her 16 points in the final quarter as the Raiders ran away. She would add eight rebounds and five blocks to her final stat line on the night.

"I trust my team, they were going to make shots eventually and that just really opens it up for me and allows me to work," Nickerson said. "When they're doing their thing I can do my thing better."

Ava Amorese added seven points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Drazkowski ended with 10 points and four rebounds. Hayden Bezon tallied 12 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans.

Cal-Mum will take on No. 1 Dundee/Bradford in the semifinal matchup Monday night in a rematch of last season's Class C2 quarterfinals, which the BraveScots ultimately won 51-47.

"They're very good, we bottled them up last year and they found a way to overcome us," Reed said. "We're looking to get that shot this year to see if we can do it again and finish it off."

Tip-off Monday in the Class C2 semifinals is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. from Marcus Whitman.

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Susan Bauer
Susan Bauer
24 февр.

Awesome Picture!!!

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