EAST LANSING -- A Class D state title will be awarded on Saturday, but it won't be going to the top-ranked team or the No. 1 player.
Central Lake's perfect season came to a close on Thursday as Adrian Lenawee Christian earned a 54-39 state semifinal win over the Trojans at Michigan State's Breslin Center.
"That's a good ball club right there," Central Lake coach Al Becker said. "They took away what we do best. We got in some foul trouble in the second half, but we fought to the very end."
Adrian Lenawee Christian (19-7) will take on Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes for the state championship.
Central Lake's season ended at 26-1.
For the second straight game, the Trojans were plagued by shooting woes. As a team, Central Lake shot 16-for-51 from the floor and was 0-for-14 from 3-point range.
"A whole lot of nerves," Becker said. "The last couple ballgames, (we played in) a whole lot bigger gyms, bigger crowds, that all plays a big part. A lot of young kids, a whole lot of nerves just doesn't add up to a good combination."
Trojan junior Jasmine Hines, the Class D Player of the Year, did her part, going 13-for-20 from the floor for 31 of the team's 39 points. She also had 20 rebounds.
"You don't stop a player like Jasmine, you limit the amount of touches she gets," Cougars coach Joe Long said. "Most of her touches came off of offensive rebounds. She's a great player."
Hines made it through the first half without a foul and started the fourth quarter with only two.
But that went away in a hurry.
Hines got her third foul a minute into the fourth quarter, picked up another one a minute later and saw her game -- and season -- come to an end with 2:29 to play.
"We just got caught up in the second half," Becker said. "A couple of kids got out of position, she stepped up to help and got the cheap fouls. We can't do that."
The fifth foul came after Hines missed a shot and Lenawee Christian's Tenille Marowelli pulled a rebound from behind her. Hines turned to the official as she took a step up-court, but Marowelli stopped, Hines bumped into her and was called for the foul as both players hit the floor.
"She was looking back at the referee wanting a foul on her shot, and the girl stopped right in front of her," Becker said. "Should she have looked back? Probably not. But the girl played smart. They knew she had four and they were trying to get her fifth."
The Cougars led 41-37 when Hines fouled out. Central Lake couldn't get anything going as two Tasha Crouse free throws accounted for all of the Trojans' scoring after Hines left.
Adrian Lenawee Christian started the game hot and took a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. It was a lead it never relinquished.
"It pumped us up and picked up the tempo for sure," Cougars junior Andrea Sebby said of the quick start.
Nerves were a factor for the Trojans.
"Obviously that's a big part of it," Hines said. "We had volleyball regionals that we experienced, but a lot of the other girls hadn't experienced going to the playoffs or anything. I was nervous, so I can't even imagine how nervous they were."
Turnovers also played a part for Central Lake. The Trojans gave the ball away eight times in the first quarter and 12 times by the half as Adrian Lenawee Christian took a 26-18 lead into the break.
"We came up against a great Adrian team tonight," Becker said. "They're the first full-court press that got us this year. We prided ourselves on our full-court press (break), but they took some passing lanes away. They hassled us with it."
For the night, Central Lake finished with 25 turnovers.
"That's typically what our games always look like," Long said. "We turn the ball over, we force other teams to turn the ball over. We play defense as a committee, we get in other team's snot boxes. That's exactly what we've taught all season."
Hines got Central Lake rolling in the fourth quarter as the Trojans cut a 37-30 deficit to a 39-37 with 4 minutes to go.
Adrian Lenawee Christian then finished out the game from the free-throw line, going 10-for-16 from the stripe.
Marowelli finished with 20 points while Heidi Stultz added 19 for the Cougars.
Hines finished the season with nearly 900 points and is now over 2,300 for her career. And, she'll be back again next year.
"I can't wait to do it again," Becker said. "We've got four of our five starters back. With some younger kids, we'll develop them and we'll be off again."
Junior guard Heidi Hicks agreed.
"I don't want to say I never thought we'd go this far, but going into the season, I knew we had a younger, more inexperienced team," Hicks said. "I was just hoping to get some of the girls playing together as a team. As the season went on, we got more and more together. This season has helped us become better friends and a better team. I'm just looking forward to next year."