CADILLAC — Traverse City West fought to the end.
Midland (21-2) jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter Tuesday night and then held off Traverse City West 39-29 in a Class A regional basketball game at Cadillac.
The Titans (11-12), who never led, pulled to within three midway through the third quarter, but could get no closer.
“We played them twice last year and they killed us twice,” West coach Dave Ginsberg said. “They ran us out of the gym. We were determined to not let that happen. And we didn’t let it happen. We fought hard.”
The Titans, though, could not overcome a sluggish first quarter. West only put up three shots in the quarter — hitting one and drawing a shooting foul on another. Seven turnovers kept the Titans from developing any flow.
“I thought they set us on our heels at the start,” Ginsberg said. “They just played harder. We were hesitant. After that, I thought we competed.”
The Titans pulled to within five at half, 18-13, and to within three, 23-20, midway through the third period. Midland responded with a 12-4 run to open some breathing room. The Chemics, who struggled from the perimeter, turned to the offensive glass to thwart any hope of a Titan comeback.
“We came up with some big boards that turned into easy points that we needed when we made that little run,” Midland coach Elaine Mahabir said. “Rebounds will keep you in a game when you’re not shooting particularly well.”
Lily Hami, a 5-10 center, led the way, scoring 10 of her game-high 13 points in the second half.
“They had to have 10 to 12 offensive rebounds,” Ginsberg said. “Those putbacks they had were key.”
Junior center Paris Wagner paced the Titans with 10 points. Seniors Kiley Kreple and Kimmy Bilinski added nine and seven points, respectively.
“Once we settled down, we played very well,” Ginsberg said.