DAVISON — The numbers say Carman-Ainsworth doesn’t have a chance to win the Class A district girls’ basketball tournament next week at Davison.
The Lady Cavs think otherwise.
They know they’ll have to beat long odds to get past the host Cardinals and win the district title. The Cavs have been soundly defeated by Davison twice this season, 61-33 on Jan. 8 and 64-45 just last Thursday. The Cardinals are 16-2 overall and champions of the Saginaw Valley League-South Division at 11-0, while Carman-Ainsworth is 8- 11 and 6-6.
But the Cavs were encouraged by last week’s game against Davison and came out of it believing they can win a third meeting.
“We were down 20 at halftime and marched back to within eight,” said Lady Cavs assistant coach Tory Stinnett. “The girls just ran out of gas, but they felt pretty good after that game. They’re convinced they can beat Davison.”
First things first. Carman-Ainsworth has to get past Kearsley in the tournament opener at 5:30 p.m. Monday, but the numbers favor the Cavs in this one. Kearsley is 2-17 and mired in the basement of the Metro League at 1-14. The winner takes on Davison at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Carman-Ainsworth has endured a tumultuous season, losing R’Keshia Smith to a knee injury and seeing two other players leave the team. The Cavs had to bring up replacements from the junior varsity and freshman teams.
“We had a lot of ups and downs,” said Stinnett. “But the core girls we have right now is a good group. They want to play, then want to win and they’re finally buying into our system. That’s a big turnaround right there.”
The other half of the bracket has Metro League rivals Lapeer West and Lapeer East in their own rematch. West, 10-8 overall and 7-7 Metro, has won twice against East, 45-30 on Dec. 14 and 49-27 on Feb. 1. East is 1-18. The winner of their 7 p.m. Monday game will play against Swartz Creek at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Creek, 5-13 and 5-9 Metro, has beaten both East and West this season.
The district final is at 7 p.m. March 2. The champion will move on to the Kearsley regional to play the winner of the Grand Blanc district on March 5.
Carman-Ainsworth got its second look at Davison last Friday in a Valley game at home. The Cavs fell to the Cardinals, 64-45, as Davison jumped out to a 23-6 lead in the first quarter and led, 36-14, at halftime. A 19-12 Carman-Ainsworth rally in the third cut the margin to 48-33, but the Cardinals put it away with a 16-12 fourth quarter. Kinterra Tomlin led the Cavs with 23 points and Ashley Hall scored 14.
The Lady Cavs thumped Flint Southwestern, 50-30, in a Valley game Feb. 12. Carman-Ainsworth put it away early with an 18-5 first quarter and slowly widened the margin to 28-12 by halftime and 35-17 after three quarters. Ashley Hall had 15 points and Montreca Mull eight, as nine Lady Cavs got into the scoring column.
Saginaw Valley League South Division