The Huron River Rats defeated the Belleville Tigers, 50-47, in a District semifinals behind impressive play from Devin Womack and Kingsley Perkins. The duo combined for 19 points in the second half to propel their team to the District championship game. Huron improved to 21-1 with the victory, while Belleville finishes the season at 16-5.
Huron will face Lincoln, the defending state champions, on Friday at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. Lincoln defeated Ypsilanti on Wednesday night to advance to the finals.
The River Rats didn’t exactly get off to a quick start. They fell down early and found themselves trailing 30-21 at halftime. Everything changed in the second half, though, which began with a Perkins put-back layup to cut Belleville’s lead to 30-23.
A few moments later, Womack finished a layup of his own, before Julian Lewis knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key. And just like that, Huron was back in the game. Trailing 34-28, Mike Robinson drove baseline and finished a two-handed dunk, which got the Huron crowd on their feet.
Lorenzo Wright was the only Belleville player who was able to score consistently in the second half as he connected on a smooth step-back jumper to put the Tigers up six points. Huron refused to go away and Perkins began to take over near the end of the third quarter. Womack found Perkins on a pick-and-roll and he finished an and-one with authority.
Perkins finished the 3-point play as he knocked down the free throw, cutting Belleville’s lead to 36-35 with 3:49 left in the quarter. On Huron’s next possession, Perkins scored another and-one, but this time he wasn’t able to tack on the free throw. Womack gave Huron their first lead of the second half on a layup with 6:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Robinson continued to give Huron momentum as he made a pair of free throws. Wright scored on the other end to keep the Tigers within striking distance but Womack created separation and made a jumper of his own to put Huron up 43-40. A little less than a minute later, Robinson had another dunk to give the River Rats a five-point cushion.
Wright kept at it for the Tigers, hitting a deep 3-pointer, but Womack responded with two clutch free throws to give Huron a 47-43 lead with 1:25 left. Lewis, who was in foul trouble for the majority of the second half, made one of two free throws to put Huron up four points with less than a minute remaining.
With the game all but over, Womack made two more free throws for good measure, sealing the victory and sending the River Rats to the district championship game.