There is no doubt that things are rolling for the Haslett ladies varsity basketball team, but sometimes the road to get there hasn’t been easy. Yes, they remain undefeated in the CAAC Red at 8-0, and yes, they won their sixth game in a row defeating the visiting Lansing Catholic Cougars 47-41, but as they’ve seen throughout the season every game will be a challenge and the matchup with the Cougars was no different.
Falling behind early in the game and seemingly a step behind, Haslett knew that something was going to have to break their way and it was going to take patience and execution.” I think we finally got the ball moving in the 4th quarter, we were pretty stagnated after our start.” Haslett head coach Ross Baker said after the game. “The second quarter I made them move the ball really well, and then the third quarter we got a little bit better, but then by the fourth quarter we started attacking and getting the ball – seeing multiple sides. Until then their zone game gave us fits.”
What changed for the Vikings was Olivia Green took control of the middle of the court, and as the Cougars collapsed for the double teams Green found her way back to the basket. Green led all scorers with 16 points, including eight points in the 4th quarter. Coach was impressed not with Oliva’s scoring but the little things she did to turn the tide of the game. “It was big, I think she had eight or nine rebounds, five on the offensive glass which were huge!” Baker said of Green. “She did a good job of finding the openings in the zone and made a couple of great finishes to get us going. Without her it would have been a different story.”
If Green bookended the game with her outstanding effort, it was a single play that turned the game around. The Vikings were behind by four and couldn’t catch any momentum against Lansing Catholic. Then in the closing seconds of the first half, and with the play broken down the team found senior Tori Martin wide open in the corner. She stepped up calmly and drained the three. The Vikings used that spark to head into the half with a new determination and momentum.
“We’ve found ourselves in that position quite a bit this season so we’ve gotten kind of used to it. We always bring out that energy in the fourth quarter and we always know how to pick ourselves up and we know what we have to do to start the fourth and I’m really proud of them to get that extra oomph to actually get us there tonight.” Tori Martin commented after the game. “It felt great though to come back from that and pick it up.”
This wasn’t the first time Martin has made the difference for her team as Coach Baker explained. “Tori is kind of our big shot maker. She did the same thing last Friday at St. Johns. We were trailing heading into the fourth, and to start the fourth she hits the big three and then a possession later she hits another big three. All of sudden we went from a one-point deficit to a five-point lead. She just has a knack for hitting those big shots. She’s obviously one of the best shooters in the area, and I think she’s one of the best shooters in the state. She’s always positive and she’s harder on herself than she needs to be, but with the other players she’s very uplifting. When she comes out, she’s one of the loudest girls on the bench, cheering the other girls on. She’s everything you’d want in a senior.”
Next up for the Lady Vikings is a CAAC Red match up with Fowlerville at home, then they take on Holt on the road before the big showdown next Friday night against Williamston on the road. If they’ve proven anything this year, the challenge might be daunting, but the Vikings will be ready.