No. 9 Lansing defeated No. 8 Highland Park 61-45 in the 5A sub-state semifinal Wednesday night.

The Lions improved to 9-11.

Lady Lions junior Jailynn Brooks was hot from behind the arc, hitting four 3-pointers, three which came in the first half. Brooks was the top scorer for the night with 21 points. Freshmen Caitlyn Bishop also added two 3-pointers in the first half which gave Lansing a spark and the momentum. Bishop finished with seven. Lansing only lost the lead once and that came early in the first quarter at the 3:35 mark. By the end of the first quarter, Lansing was up 13-8 and by halftime, Highland Park closed the gap to within three, 25-22.  

The second half was led by senior Gerenda Smith who finished with 20 points, 15 in the second half.   

Lions head coach KC Simmons commended senior Kennedy Farris for her tough defense on the Scots’ junior Ariyana Grassity, who was averaging 17 points per game. Farris was able to hold her to six points. Junior Caroline Crawford put the stop on the Scots, leading the Lions in blocked shots and rebounds. Crawford finished the night with seven points.

Lansing was only up by four at the start of the fourth quarter. However, the Lions’ four-point lead just kept growing in the final few minutes.

Sophomore JaiMya Lyons lead Highland Park with 10 points.

Lansing will advance to face No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Jennifer Smith is the Lansing assistant girls’ basketball coach