Belles Rings Loudly in Freshman Season
May 15, 2015
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Kayla Belles had a memorable freshman season this winter for the Ithaca girls basketball team. And her performance against Sanford-Meridian on March 4 is one she’ll never forget.
Belles, a 6-foot-3 center, grabbed 36 rebounds to go with 25 points and six blocked shots in the Yellowjackets’ 75-28 victory. Her rebounds tied for second-most grabbed in one game in MHSAA girls basketball history and most in a game since 1997.
She averaged 14.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game during the regular season, per a Lansing State Journal report, and helped her team to its first District title since 2000. Ithaca finished 21-3, falling to eventual Class C semifinalist Saginaw Nouvel 69-66 in their Regional Semifinal.
Click the “Girls Basketball” heading below to see that sport’s record listings in full, and read on for more of this week’s record additions.
- A handful of names from Saline’s successful recent history were added to an already strong representation. Brad Guenther was included for his 21 doubles in 2009, 66 hits total that season and 13 career triples from 2007-09. Garrett Gordon and Korey Gainey both made the single-season triples list with seven apiece in 2011 and 2009, respectively, and Jordan Walker was added for his 20 times hit by pitch in 2001 and 40 total over a two-season career that ended that spring. Bobby Korecky, already listed for multiple hitting categories, was added with a 0.99 ERA in 1998 and 1.50 from 1995-98, and Joe Finnerty was added for a 1.34 ERA from 1998-2000. Eric Ichesco made the career batting average list hitting .461 from 1998-2001. Saline as a team was added for a number of single-season accomplishments as well, most notably its .403 average in 2009.
- Dennis Starkey earned his milestone 500th victory this season in leading Petoskey to a 16-6 finish. He started his varsity coaching career at Boyne City during the 1982-83 season, then coached three at Vanderbilt before starting his Petoskey tenure in 1986-87. He has a career record of 502-247.
- Dundee senior Aaron Anthony capped his high school career with a second entry for free throws made, following up his 150 as a junior with 156 (in 191 attempts – 82 percent success) this winter. The 6-foot-2 Anthony also averaged 20.9 points, six rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and scored the 1,000th point of his career.
- Wilson Nah Tah Wahsh achieved three record-book listings for 3-pointers, making 18 in a 74-20 win over Paradise Whitefish on Jan. 23 after making 15 in an 81-42 win over Burt Township Grand Marais on Jan. 13. Whitefish also made four in that second game, with 22 between the teams making the list for 3-pointers made by two teams combined. In both games, Nah Tah Wahsh had more 3-pointers than 2-point field goals. Justin Larson made nine of the 15 and eight of the 18 to lead the team in both games.
- Hailey Leidel scored 29 points in a 65-47 win for Brownstown-Woodhaven over Southgate Anderson on Jan. 23, including 15 free throws to make the single-game list in that category. She attempted 17 overall and made all 10 she took in scoring 14 points total during the second quarter.
- Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy quarterback Marcus Lester became the 11th in MHSAA history to throw for at least 500 yards in a game when he connected on 33 of 65 passes for 541 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-28 win over Dearborn Heights Star International on Sept. 26. The yardage and attempts both tied for fourth-most for one game.
- Flint Kearsley’s Shawn Larsen earned two entries with high-scoring first periods this season. He scored four goals in the first period against Grand Rapids Union/Ottawa Hills on Dec. 20, then four again in the first period against Fenton/Linden on Jan. 7. He also just missed the single-game scoring list, which has a minimum of eight goals; he had seven against Union/Ottawa Hills on Jan. 17.
- A pair of Reese standouts both were added for hitting 16 doubles last spring – Cassidy Reif and Carlee Selle. Selle, a sophomore this season, hit .475 for 2014, and senior Reif hit .431 in her final high school campaign last spring.
- Abby Krzywiecki smacked two home runs – including a grand slam – and a double to drive in eight of her team’s runs in Farmington Hills Mercy’s 14-4 victory over Livonia Ladywood on April 21. Her total tied for seventh-most RBI in one game.
PHOTO: Ithaca’s Kayla Belles prepares to make a move toward the basket during a game this season. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)