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Hamilton beats Lancers, one step closer to GMC title

Feb. 24, 2012

Sussex Hamilton beat the Lancers, 37-32, Friday night at Brookfield Central and set up a championship showdown with Divine Savior Holy Angels next Thursday.

The Chargers and DSHA are both 11-2 and they will meet March 1, with the winner earning an undisputed Greater Metro Conference Championship, an honor held by Central the past four years. The Lancers fell to 8-5, fourth place in the GMC.

Central won the first half with a 12-11 first quarter and then terrible second quarter saw both teams unable to score, with the Lancers holding a 4-3 advantage for a 16-14 lead at intermission.

All-Stars Anna Liewen of Central had 10 and the Chargers Mackenzie Latt had nine points.

But the Chargers then came out and ran their offense in the third quarter, instead of just throwing out jump shots like they did in the first half, outscoring Central, 14-3, to take a 28-19 lead into the final period.

"Coach told us we had to play more physical, get the ball inside," Latt said. "I took a lot of shots in the first half, but didn't hit many of them. So we in the second half, we freed up underneath."

The Chargers went on a 10-1 run to start the second half.

Danielle Latt, Shernell and Mackenzie Latt scored to open the second half and give the Chargers a 20-17 lead. After Liewen hit 1-of-2 free throws, Shernell and Mackenzie Latt added two more lay-ups for a 24-17 lead.

BC's Lydia Rohde, who struggled all night, hit two free throws to cut the lead to 24-19, before Mackenzie Latt scored a lay-up and Danielle Latt put in a rebound to end the quarter.

Ten of the Chargers' 14 points were layups as they ran their offense to perfection.

"Their bigs - Liewen and Fotsch - are good around the basket," Hamilton coach Dan Carey said. "They are as hard as anyone to defend.

"We tried to make it more difficult in the second half. I have to give coach (Vance) Forrest credit for our second half, getting the ball inside. We also tried to play good defense without fouling."

Just when it looked like the Lancers would call it a night, they came storming back and cut the Chargers lead to 34-32 with 2:32 left to play.

Central opened the fourth period with a 13-6 run, as Liewen had eight points, Sarah Fotsch had a 3-pointer and Rohde two free throws.

The Chargers were leading 34-32. Central coach Dan Wandrey, who told his team during the timeout not to foul Mackenzie Latt, but then saw Fotsch foul Latt at center court with no one around her.

Mackenzie sank two free throws for a 36-32 lead with 1 minute to play and Central did not come close to scoring the rest of the game as Hannah Menzia managed 1-of-2 free throws with 10.6 seconds to play.

Liewen finished with 19 points but had almost no help, as three other players scored - Rohde (8), Fotsch (3) and Debbie Entzminger (2).

"It wasn't the 1-for-20 shooting that bothered me," Wandrey said. "It was the type of shots we took. But I give them credit for putting us in a position to take poor shots."

The Latt sisters led Hamilton with Mackenzie's 19 and Danielle's 10.

Wandrey praised Mackenzie Latt and the Chargers afterwards.

"She uses her body well," he said. "They execute, they are disciplined and they are intense. They fly around for 30 mintues and we do it for about 10 minutes."

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