VESTABURG — With a district title on the line, Carson City-Crystal’s Mikayla Duflo decided it was her time to take over the game.
The freshman scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Carson City-Crystal Eagles from a eight-point deficit to a 46-42 win over the St. Louis Sharks in the Class C district final at Vestaburg on Friday night.
She hit three of her five triples in the fourth quarter.
“My team and I weren’t really cooperating well, so I decided to step it up, be a little selfish and just take over and be there for my teammates at the end,” she said.
Her coach, Larry Farmer, loved seeing Duflo take over.
“She really carried us offensively,” Farmer said. “I’ve never seen that but I’m kind of new to the girls game so I don’t know if that’s common or not.”
It looked like the Sharks (14-9) might shoot the Eagles (18-4) out of the building in the second quarter. CC-Crystal couldn’t contain Michaela Austin as she shot a pair of threes, and the Eagles didn’t make a basket until there was 3:30 left in the quarter.
At the half, the Eagles trailed 23-15.
“We mainly were in our zone,” Farmer said. “I had to speed the game up.”
He put on a full-court press. It didn’t work initially, as the Sharks got out to a 7-0 run over the first 5:09 of the quarter to lead by 15.
But St. Louis got only three points in the next 3:24 of the third and fourth quarters while Duflo shot the Eagles into the lead.
“We found something that disrupted them (St. Louis),” Farmer said. “We went full man, we went half-court man, and that was the only thing that was successful.”
CC-Crystal led 39-37 with 1:30 left when Shark guard Taylor Smith hit a jumper to tie the score. Duflo retook the lead with a running layup followed by another layup by Hailey Geister for a 4-point lead.
Kali Donahue made a free throw with half a minute left for a five-point lead, but it was cut to two by an Amanda Corder triple. But Duflo iced the game with two free throws with 14 seconds left.
“I feel great and I think it’s amazing how I get to have this (a district title) as a freshman and I hope I can just carry it on,” Duflo said.
Duflo’s 21 was followed by 10 from Mackenzie Geister. Austin led St. Louis with 14.
Farmer said the win ranks up there with the Central Michigan Athletic Conference title the Eagles shared this season with Laingsburg.
“This might be up there,” he said. “To win that way is really special for the girls.”