BY ED WRIGHT
March 4, 2010, 9 a.m.
For the first 15 minutes of Wednesday night's Class A District girls basketball semifinal at Novi High School, Plymouth gave Northville fits.
However, a 15-0 run by the Mustangs that stretched from the final minute of the first half through the first six minutes of the third quarter sealed the youthful Wildcats' fate in Northville's 46-30 victory.
Plymouth, which played the latter part of the season without the services of senior captains Stacey Klonowski and Troi Davis, finished 6-15.
"We started the season as a young, inexperienced varsity team and finished tonight with our young sophomores getting valuable game experience," said Plymouth coach Ted Sturdivant. "The girls played hard all season even when -- due to injuries and illness -- we had to go without all of our senior leadership, and at times without four of our five starters.
"This is a no-excuse sport and we are not making excuses. The season was very frustrating at times, but extremely rewarding as I watched a young team grow up right on the floor. With the appropriate preparation during the off-season, by the returning players, next year's Wildcats can be even more exciting to watch and much more competitive."
Junior forward Alex Roberts turned in a strong performance for the Wildcats despite playing limited second-half minutes due to an injury. Roberts scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Katelynn Watson netted seven points and four boards, while sophomore forward Rachael Hille chipped in with five points and six rebounds.
Along with providing strong defense, senior Danielle Desilets yanked down seven rebounds.
Sophomore Alexandria Moynes paced the Mustangs with nine points. Megan Gertley and Kendra Brenner both tallied seven points for the Mustangs, who had 11 players score.
The first quarter was nip-and-tuck, closing with Northville holding an 11-10 advantage.
Plymouth seized its only lead of the game 20 seconds into the second quarter when Roberts buried a 12-foot jumper. Fifteen seconds later, Northville's Meredith Williams countered with a long triple to give the Mustangs a lead they would never relinquish.
After Northville's Beth Roach swished a jumper with 6:30 left in the half to stake her team to a 16-12 lead, Hille answered at the other end with a dead-on trey to pull the 'Cats to within 16-15 at the 5:10 mark.
Following a close to four-minute scoreless drought for both teams, Brenner tripled to extend the Mustangs' lead to 19-15.
Roberts followed with a putback with 58 seconds left in the half, but it would be the final points for the Wildcats until Watson sank two free throws with 2:05 remaining in the second quarter. By that time, the Wildcats trailed 34-19.
Plymouth displayed a lot of spunk in the fourth-quarter, closing a one-time 17-point deficit to 10 on a pair of Taylor Birman free throws with 4:46 to play. But Northville scored the next four points on an Alyssa Bates fast-break layup and Gertley's inside bucket.
The Wildcats hit just one of 11 third-quarter shots. They went 11 for 46 for the game (23 percent) from the field while hitting seven of 13 free throws.
Northville was 18 for 59 from the field (30.5 percent) and seven of 10 from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats committed 21 turnovers. Northville turned the ball over 17 times.