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Shelby Township, Utica

January 4, 2014

Utica girls edge Eisenhower

Clutch free throw shooting propels Chieftains

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Utica High's and Eisenhower's girls hoops teams met Jan. 3. Pictured, Eisenhower's Alissa August (10) tries to find an open teammate. The players on both teams played in honor of a family member or friend affected by cancer.

Utica shot 11-for-14 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to secure a 42-35 victory against Utica Eisenhower on Saturday afternoon.

Ivana Marceta scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Utica (3-5, 1-0). Cierra vonZittwitz scored half of her eight points in the fourth quarter, and sophomore Kim Wierzbicki scored all of Utica's eight points in the second quarter, and she also added five rebounds.

"We shoot free throws pretty well, and I was really impressed by their composure and how they didn't let the pressure get to them. Everything fundamentally was very good," Utica coach Tom McDonald said.

Eisenhower trailed 34-26 and cut the lead to four with one minute and 40 seconds to go, but Utica made six free throws to ice the game.

Sophomore Nicole Meyer scored 14 points and secured 15 rebounds to lead Eisenhower. Sophomore Katie Hayes scored nine points for the Eagles, who dropped to 0-6 on the season.

"Usually, our first half has been our stronger half in our first five games, but today was the first time our second half was stronger than our first, and that goes back to what we've been talking about trying to play a complete game," Eisenhower coach Michael Satawa said. "In the second half, we picked it up and played a little harder, but we didn't shoot the ball well."

Utica will travel to Port Huron Northern for its next game on Jan. 7; Eisenhower will visit Port Huron the same evening.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.