Michigan's Best Reach Higher at Milford

August 4, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP – Mackenna Kelly led her basketball team to last season’s MHSAA Semifinals and knows where she’ll eventually end up – playing for Central Michigan University in two years.

But having played on a big stage with her next destination decided didn’t keep the Frankfort senior-to-be from gaining valuable insight during this summer’s Reaching Higher showcase at Milford High School.

While most of the 200 players who participated in July’s girls and boys events sponsored by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and MHSAA did so in part to train and play in front of the numerous college coaches gathered, Kelly was able to experience a little bit of a primer for her summer 2016.

“(Reaching Higher) is a great opportunity to get noticed, show off your skills and work with different people,” said Kelly, who will sign with the Chippewas this fall. “When you go to college you’re unfamiliar with all of your teammates at first. It’s good to start working with other people.”

The Reaching Higher events, in their seventh year, again featured many of the top 100 girls and boys college prospects as selected by a BCAM committee. College coaches representing more than 30 programs combined (men’s and women’s) and all levels attended the sessions. 

Former Detroit Cooley standout and current Orlando Magic guard Willie Green spoke with the boys, while former Grosse Pointe North star and University of Notre Dame captain Ariel Braker discussed with the girls some of the challenges that come with being a college athlete. Participants also learned about NCAA eligibility, and parents attended sessions on college recruiting. Meanwhile, groups of officials learned from experienced mentors and then were evaluated during games later in the events.  

Players left Milford with plenty to take home not only from a personal standpoint, but to assist their teammates as well.

For Kelly, it was the potential value of the pick-and-roll game for the Panthers, who fell to St. Ignace one game from the Class D Final in March. For Munising junior Marissa Immel, it was the variety of drills she and her teammates can add to work on their skills.

Belleville sophomore Davion Williams is considered one of the state’s top prospects in his class, but saw that he needs to step up his pull-up shooting. Senior teammate Calvin Blaydes appreciated the opportunity to play with such a strong group of players – and also the necessity to adjust his game to fit theirs and a different coach’s style during the three scrimmage sessions. Jackson junior Shonte Suddeth listened closely to the Magic’s Green; “Everything he said he was doing, I’ve got to do if I want to make it to the next level,” Suddeth said.

“If you're a state’s top-100 player, you need to be here,” said Muskegon boys coach Keith Guy, who has assisted with the event since its start and led the Big Reds to the Class A title in 2014. “I think it’s a great way the state is trying to give back to these athletes ... and I think kids need to take more advantage of this opportunity.”

Click for photos of the girls event and photos from the boys event, and see below for video explaining the Reaching Higher events. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Fruitport's Iyana Brown (92) and Temperance Bedford's Kendall Anderson prepare to launch for the jump ball during a Reaching Higher scrimmage. (Middle) Southfield Christian's Brock Washington prepares for a free throw.

Jahfetson Makes History from 3-Point Range in Taking Baraga to 2023 Finals

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 23, 2024

Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson graduated in 2023 as one of the most accomplished 3-point shooters in MHSAA history and coming off one of the most impressive single seasons from beyond the arc.

Her 103 3-pointers as a senior over 29 games were the second-most for one season and included eight in a Quarterfinal win over Mackinaw City – the second-most in an MHSAA Quarterfinal, Semifinal or Final.

She finished with 236 3-pointers over 96 games and four seasons, ranking 12th on that career list, and Baraga finished the season as Division 4 runner-up. She’s continuing her career at Northern Michigan.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click the heading to view the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Alma junior Bailey Walkington earned her school’s first single-season individual record book entry for girls basketball in 2022-23. She made the steals list with 143 over 23 games.

Dalton DeBoer became the latest Midland Dow long-range shooting ace to make the records after she drained 70 of 206 3-point attempts over 24 games in 2022-23. DeBoer is a junior this school year.

Durand senior Jordyn Lawrence earned her school’s first girls basketball individual record book entry with 15 steals in her team’s 44-31 win over Flint Kearsley on Dec. 2, 2022. She’s continuing at Mid-Michigan College.

Leah French finished her Engadine career in 2023 with a series of game, season and career record book entries detailing her scoring and defensive skills. She earned single-game listings for 54 points and 19 free throws against St. Ignace on Feb. 6, 2023, and nine 3-pointers against Manistique that Jan. 9. She made the single-season list with 81 3-pointers, 177 free throws and 168 steals over 25 games as a senior. And she made the career lists with 171 3-pointers, 354 free throws and 405 steals over 85 games and four seasons. She’s continuing her career at Aquinas College.

Arieonna Ware earned Battle Creek Central's first girls basketball record book entry with 51 points in a Feb. 11, 2020, win over Portage Northern. She actually finished with a triple-double, adding 12 rebounds and 12 steals. Ware also was added for 47 points in a March 6, 2019, District game against Sturgis.

Mesick senior Kayla McCoy made the MHSAA record in 2022-23 as a junior, totaling 144 steals over 23 games. It was Mesick’s first individual entry in the girls basketball record book.

Coldwater’s Carlee Crabtree made a career-high 52 3-pointers during her senior season of 2019-20 on the way to making the MHSAA career list for long-distance shots with 163, in 469 attempts, over four seasons and 88 games total. She went on to play at Central Michigan and Hope College.

Battle Creek Pennfield’s Kaylee Glidden capped her three-year varsity career in 2023 among the most accurate free-throw shooters in MHSAA history – and also among top 3-point aces. She made 90.6 percent of her free-throw attempts as a senior, good for fifth-highest percentage all-time for one season, and her 84.4-percent success rate ranks fourth on the career list. She also made the single-season 3-pointers list with 67 that winter and the career list with 168. She continued at Kellogg Community College and has committed to Great Lakes Christian College.

Larissa Huffman made a pair of career lists upon completing her four-year varsity career in 2023 at Mackinaw City. She was added for 468 assists and 411 steals, both over 92 games, and she’s continuing her career at St. Norbert (Wis.). Additionally, Mackinaw City was added to the single-game field goals list as a team for making at least 39 in a game six times over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, with a high of 45.

Lansing Christian earned a listing on the team 3-pointers list when it sank 14 on 32 attempts against Webberville on Jan. 20, 2023. Seven players drained at least one of the long-distance shots.  

Grayling’s 66-49 win over Houghton Lake on Dec. 19 included one of the most impressive defensive performances of all-time as senior Makayla Watkins had 19 steals – tying for third-most in one game.

Brooklyn Columbia Central’s Zoandria Bamm grabbed 28 rebounds during a Feb. 14, 2023, game against Clinton to make the single-game list in that category and on the way to finishing her senior season with 380 rebounds over 25 games – tying for 13th most on that list. She’s playing at Jackson College.

Riley Abney became the first player to be listed for points scored in a quarter of a girls basketball game when she sank 21 of her 36 total during the fourth quarter of a 64-47 loss to Linden on Jan. 16. The Ortonville Brandon senior has committed to be a preferred walk-on at Oakland.

A pair of Paw Paw standouts earned single-game accomplishments within three days of each other in January. On Jan. 26 against Sturgis, junior AJ Rickli grabbed 31 rebounds, tied for seventh-most for one game. On Jan. 29 against Three Rivers, sophomore Stella Shaefer made the single-game assists list with 14.

Keira Maki joined the single-game points list on Feb. 22 when she scored 47 in Escanaba’s 64-49 win over Sault Ste. Marie. The senior will continue at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

PHOTO Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson (22) brings the ball upcourt during the 2023 Division 4 Final against Glen Lake at Breslin Center.