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West Bloomfield Defeats Salem; Moving on to the Finals

The reigning Division 1 champion West Bloomfield Lakers faced off against the Salem High School Rocks in the Semifinals of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Championship. The Lakers would show dominance against the Salem Rocks as they won the game 78-53.

Salem High School out of Canton, MI enters this game looking to stop the champs from even making it to another finale. Salem (21-6) struggled to really get things going early and found themselves fighting uphill for most of the game. 

Aggressive Start

The Lakers immediately showed that they’ve been here before as Sydney Hendrix mentioned post-game, “It definitely makes a difference this being our second time coming here.”

Right from the start and throughout the entire game the Lakers continued to show a tight and strong defense combined with even stronger attacks to the basket. Although Salem was able to find the first few baskets, once the Lakers got the lead they never let go.

Hendrix found herself with multiple wide-open scoring opportunities and she mentioned after the game that there was no plan for this, but she “might as well take it,” and boy did she. 

The Lakers found themselves closing the first quarter off with a 16-8 run and it just kept coming from there. 

Much of the second was a repeat of the first for West Bloomfield as they continued using the aggressive drive as the main part of their offense as they tried to extend their lead. 

Salem however, could not seem to find that much on offense as they were only able to score nine points. 

The Lakers would take the lead going into the half, 33-19. 

A fight till the end

The Rocks tried to make things a little more interesting in the third but were constantly being hounded by the tight defense of the Lakers. Add in the physical attack and drive that the Lakers continued to show and things become that much more difficult. 

Morson continued to fight for Salem, as she drove through contact and added some soft touch to her floater to bring Salem within half of the lead, but another three-pointer by the Lakers created a bigger lead once more.

Back-to-back threes for the rocks and then a strong defensive stop that led into a transition bucket created an eight-point stretch for Salem. Immediately after, Morson caused a jump ball to give Salem the ball back again. 

However, they are unable to capitalize and turn over the ball, allowing the Lakers to put a halt to Salem’s rising momentum. 

Salem would not give up however, they continued to fight for any opportunity they could find and with 6:19 left in the fourth they actually closed the gap a little, but each and every time the reigning champs would shut it down. 

Although the Lakers had no real defensive answer for Morson, they had all kinds of weapons on offense to overpower the Salem scoring load. By this point in the game West Bloomfield already had multiple players in double digits. 

In the end, the Lakers’ offensive weapons just became too much for Salem and the West Bloomfield Lakers win, 78-53. 

They will face off against the winner of the Renaissance and Rockford matchup, on Saturday, March 18, 2023. 

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