Baraga Returns, Avenges & Books Another History-Making Opportunity

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

March 16, 2023

EAST LANSING — At first, Baraga thought its last chance to win its Division 4 Semifinal against Fowler on Thursday had slipped away.

But suddenly it was restored, and Vikings’ senior Corina Jahfetson took advantage. 

Jahfetson connected on two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining for what turned out to be the winning points in a 46-44 Baraga victory that advanced the Vikings to their first championship game while avenging last season’s six-point Semifinal loss to the Eagles.

Jahfetson’s successful shots also ensured there will be a new Division 4 champion, as the Vikings’ win ended Fowler’s hopes of extending its two-year title reign to three.

“I had to put these in,” Jahfetson said of her mindset at that key moment. “I knew this was going to be our last chance to get shots up.”

With the game tied 44-44 during the final minute, Baraga tried to hold for a final shot, but was called for an illegal screen to give the ball to Fowler with 9.9 seconds left.

After a timeout, Fowler tried to get the ball inbounds, and after a scramble eventually a foul was called that sent Jahfetson to the line. 

Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson (22) works to get past Fowler’s Grace O’Hare.

She then did what Baraga hadn’t during the rest of the final 2:30 — make consecutive free throws — to give her team the lead. Up until that point, Baraga had gone 5-of-11 from the line over that closing span.

Following the free throws, Fowler (20-7) had one last chance to win, but a long 3-point attempt missed the rim and fell out of bounds as time expired. 

“Incredible game against an incredible program,” Baraga head coach Tyler Larson said. “That’s the standard that has been set in this division. We had 364 days since we played them, if my math is correct. These kids have been putting in countless hours over the past year. Not the best basketball we’ve played, but it was good enough.”

Makenna Hendrickson scored 17 points, Kylie Michaelson had 10 and Jahfetson added nine points to lead Baraga (22-5). 

Senior Emma Riley finished a stellar Fowler career by scoring 21 points to lead all scorers.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game,” Fowler head coach Nathan George said. “I thought we worked hard in the second half and battled. I thought we executed pretty well. But give them credit. Their role players made shots, and they made free throws down the stretch. We just couldn’t capitalize.

“I’m proud of the girls. They have worked hard and done so much, especially the seniors. They’ve done so much for this program the last four years. I can’t thank them enough, and they have a lot to be proud of.”

Trailing 43-39 with 50.5 seconds left, Fowler cut its deficit to 43-42 with 41.9 seconds remaining after a three-point play by Riley. 

Hendrickson was fouled and made a free throw to put the Vikings up 44-42 with 39.6 seconds left, but Fowler then tied the game at 44-44 with 28 seconds remaining on a layup by Taylor Weber.

The reigning champion jumped out to a 15-10 advantage with 5:10 left in the second quarter. But the Vikings held Fowler scoreless for the rest of the second quarter and took a 17-15 lead into halftime.

Fowler appeared to gain some separation late in the third quarter when it scored six straight points to take a 25-19 lead with 1:15 left in that period, but Baraga countered with a 7-0 run to take a 26-25 lead going into the fourth.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Baraga players begin to celebrate their team’s 46-44 win over Fowler on Thursday at Breslin Center. (Middle) Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson (22) works to get past Fowler’s Grace O’Hare.

Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner

March 24, 2023

Regan FinkbeinerRegan Finkbeiner ♦ Hemlock
Senior ♦ Basketball

The 5-foot-6 guard capped her high school career at Breslin Center over the weekend with team highs of 24 points and four steals in Thursday’s 57-26 Division 3 Semifinal win over Hart and the team-leading 19 points and four assists in the 59-43 win over Blissfield on Saturday that clinched the Huskies their first MHSAA Finals championship in girls basketball.

Finkbeiner played all but four minutes of 64 total over the two games, and she made a combined 15 of her 27 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throw attempts, plus four 3-pointers in the Final. She had entered the season’s final week averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.8 steals per game and in February became the program’s all-time leading scorer breaking the previous record of 1,302. A standout in multiple sports, she’s committed to continue playing softball after high school at Madonna University. Her basketball team finished 26-3 this winter.

@mhsaasports 🏀POW: Regan Finkbeiner #performanceoftheweek #basketball #champion #congrats #huskies #hemlock #letsgo #moana #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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MI Student Aid's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

2022-23 Honorees

March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner drives to the basket during her team's Semifinal win over Hart. (Photos courtesy of the Hemlock girls basketball program.)