Breslin Bound: Girls District Preview

March 2, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The first games of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament tip off Monday evening, a restart for every team after three months of grinding toward these final three weeks of the season. 

To kick off Districts, this week's Breslin Bound report looks at five teams in each class that have made some of the biggest waves throughout this winter. 

Click to “track the tournament,” with results as we receive them and interactive brackets.


Bloomfield Hills Marian (19-1) – The reigning Class A champion remains undefeated against Michigan competition; its lone loss was Jan. 17 to Chicago Whitney Young, which finished its season 27-2. The Mustangs handed Detroit Martin Luther King its only loss, 50-49 in Thursday’s Operation Friendship game, and also own wins over Farmington Hills Mercy, Flint Powers Catholic, Benton Harbor and Class C contender Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.

Detroit Martin Luther King (19-1) – As noted above, King didn’t fall this season until Thursday against Marian, and then by only one point – giving the Crusaders only two regular-season losses total over the last three winters. King earned a 25-point win during holiday break over Port Huron Northern, now 17-3, and continued to build strength through a perfect Detroit Public School League run.

Flushing (20-0) – The Raiders opened strong with wins over eventual league champions Flint Powers Catholic and Midland Dow and kept on cruising to improve significantly on last season’s 13-9 finish. Flushing added another big victory last week – 50-48 in overtime over Saginaw Heritage, which is 17-3 – and should enjoy that momentum heading into the tournament.   

Marquette (20-0) – The Redettes built on a great 19-3 finish a year ago to end up even better this regular season. In addition to again winning the Great Northern Upper Peninsula Conference title, Marquette shined against strong competition from downstate, beating Brighton (16-4) and Traverse City West (17-3) during the first month. 

Southfield Lathrup (19-1) – Only a two-point loss to Toledo Rogers (Ohio) on Dec. 13 has kept the Chargers from a perfect record. Lathrup sandwiched that loss with impressive wins over the PSL’s Detroit Cass Tech and Renaissance during the first two weeks and have since added impressive victories over Arbor Prep (17-3), Southfield (18-2) and Grosse Pointe South (16-4).


Midland Bullock Creek (20-0) – The Lancers have added to their two straight MHSAA Semifinals runs with a perfect regular season keyed by a trio of 1,000-point scoring seniors in Halee Nieman, Ellie Juengel and Hannah Heldt (read more from the Midland Daily News). Bullock Creek dominated a Tri-Valley Conference Central with six teams that have at least 10 wins, plus won its crossovers against Frankenmuth and Ithaca – both are 18-2.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central (18-2) – The Cougars earned a share of the Ottawa-Kent Conference title on Feb. 20 with a 22-point win over Wayland that avenged an earlier double-overtime loss to their league rival. The only other loss was to Arbor Prep – which came at the end of a two-week run that featured impressive wins over Sparta (18-2) and Class A Grand Rapids Christian (16-4) by 37 points.

Plainwell (20-0) – The Trojans’ perfect run has included three wins over Class A opponents and a Wolverine Conference East championship after they tied for second in the league last season. Plainwell has won six straight by double digits including over Paw Paw and Otsego – the two teams that each beat the Trojans twice during last season’s 18-4 finish.

Spring Lake (20-0) – The Lakers jumped from 13-8 last season to win the Lakes 8 Activities Conference title outright and 17 games by double figures. Spring Lake was 7-15 only two seasons ago, but this winter won 10 games against teams that sit .500 or better.

Wayland (19-1) – The Wildcats split the O-K Gold with Grand Rapids Catholic Central (see above). But Wayland bounced back with two big wins last week and still should carry some confidence from an early slate of victories over Class A Grand Rapids Christian (16-4), Caledonia (14-6) and Wyoming (16-4) and then a one-point win over GRCC on Jan. 23.


Blissfield (19-1): The Royals closed the regular season with a 47-41 win last week over Tri-County Conference runner-up Britton Deerfield, also tonight’s District opponent. Blissfield split the Lenawee County Activities Association championship with Class B Brooklyn Columbia Central, which also gave Blissfield its only loss this season. It may been two months ago, but the Royals also picked up a nice win over Class D contender St. Ignace, 46-33.

Gobles (20-0) – The Tigers, MHSAA semifinalists last season – cruised through their second straight perfect regular season. Gobles won the Southwestern Athletic Conference South title, then beat North champion Decatur 51-35 in their crossover game. Gobles also added a nice one-point victory last week over Class B Otsego, runner-up in the Wolverine Conference East.

Laingsburg (20-0) – The Wolfpack have improved from 13 to 15 to 20 wins over the last three seasons, winning a Central Michigan Athletic Conference with another strong Class C contender in Pewamo-Westphalia (17-3) and a Class D hopeful in Portland St. Patrick (14-6). Laingsburg also added a nice pair of wins over Class B Durand (13-7) in the season opener and Perry (15-5) near the midpoint.

Niles Brandywine (19-1) – The Bobcats' only loss this season was to 17-win Class A Kalamazoo Central, and that came in double overtime. Brandywine won seven games over teams with at least 13 wins this winter and went 7-1 against Class A and Class B opponents. 

Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (17-3) – Arbor Prep’s list of wins this winter provide plenty of confidence the team will eclipse last season’s Quarterfinal run: 59-55 over Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 52-39 over Flint Powers Catholic, 54-39 over Detroit Country Day, to name a few. The losses were to Class A Southfield Lathrup, Marian (both mentioned above) and Ann Arbor Huron (18-2).


Bellaire (19-1) – The Eagles won the Ski Valley Conference despite splitting with rival Johannesburg-Lewiston, a Class C team that's 18-2. One win this week will give Bellaire more than 20 for the second straight season, with 10 this winter coming against teams above .500.

Frankfort (18-1) – An MHSAA quarterfinalist a year ago, Frankfort has continued its stellar play with five wins over Class B teams and four over Class C this winter – the only loss was to Class B Portland during holiday break. The Panthers finished perfect in the Northwest Conference, sweeping runner-up Maple City Glen Lake, a Class C team that sits 14-6.

Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (16-4) – The Irish, last season’s Class D champion, should be more than prepared for another run featuring some of last season’s heroes – center Averi Gamble and guard Riley Terwilliger among them – and after playing only three Class D opponents during the regular season. The losses were to Class C Carson City-Crystal (18-2) twice, Morley Stanwood (16-4) and Saginaw Nouvel (14-6) – and two Class D wins were over Gaylord St. Mary (16-4) and Big Rapids Crossroads Academy (19-1).

Pittsford (20-0) – The Wildcats finished their second straight perfect regular season as the only undefeated team in Class D. In addition to winning the Southern Central Athletic Association East title for the second straight season, Pittsford added wins against solid Class C teams Sand Creek (14-6), Manchester (17-3) and Britton Deerfield (16-4) and held opponents to fewer than 20 points in 10 victories.

St. Ignace (15-5) – The Saints are another team with a few more losses but expectations of being around at the end of the Class D tournament after winning Class D in 2013 and finishing runner-up in Class C last winter. They opened with a loss to Class A Brighton and all of their losses were to larger schools with between 12-16 wins this winter. All but four of St. Ignace’s games were against teams that finished with at least 11 wins.

PHOTO: Class A contenders Bloomfield Hills Marian and Detroit Martin Luther King met last week in a regular-season finale; Marian prevailed 50-49. (Photo courtesy of the Detroit Public School League.)

Lansing Catholic Closes Season With Memorable Victory Close to Home

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

March 18, 2023

EAST LANSING – The Lansing Catholic girls basketball team took a short drive to end a long wait.

Playing just three miles from their high school, the Cougars defeated Frankenmuth 43-29 Saturday at the Breslin Center to win the MHSAA Division 2 Final. It was the first Finals title for the program since 1995.

“It felt like homecourt advantage a little bit,” Lansing Catholic senior guard Hannah Pricco said. “Our bus trip wasn’t super long. It just kind of felt like we were coming to our own court.”

The Cougars treated it that way, dominating from the beginning of the matchup in their first Finals trip since that 1995 title. They scored the game’s first 11 points and never looked back.

The Cougars’ Anna Richards (10) attempts to get a shot up over Frankenmuth’s Lexi Boyke.“This is, as you can imagine, extremely surreal,” Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid said. “You’re going through literally every emotion on the bench, especially in a game like that. Frankenmuth is making such a great comeback, and we knew they were going to fight to the end. To go through the anger and sadness and happiness, and now it’s over and we’ve won it. It’s just been a rollercoaster of emotions, and I can’t describe the pride I have in these girls.”

It was the second meeting between the two teams, with Lansing Catholic taking the first 74-42 on Feb. 2. But Reid wasn’t going to let her team come in overconfident.

“They didn’t get here by accident,” Reid said. “They’re in the state championship because they’re playing their best ball of the year. We played them a month and a half ago. … We’re a totally different team, and we knew they were a totally different team. We knew they had been playing some really good basketball, and it didn’t matter at all what that first outcome was. We knew this was going to be a battle.”

Lansing Catholic (24-5) never trailed, and led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter. Leah Richards led the Cougars with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Anna Richards had 14 points. Gabby Halliwill added seven.

The Cougars were spurred by their defense throughout, holding Frankenmuth to 9 of 36 shooting from the field and forcing 13 turnovers.

“For us, defensively, we had to switch it up,” Reid said. “We had to keep switching up between man and zone. They were making adjustments and we couldn’t really sit in one thing for too long; they got comfortable. That’s a credit to their coaching staff always making adjustments. We had to continue to switch things up defensively and try to hopefully make their shooters second-guess their shot, or maybe not know where we were coming from.”

Frankenmuth (25-3) didn’t go away, despite trailing by double digits for the majority of the game. 

That was helped by Lansing Catholic shooting 1 of 11 from the field in the third quarter, and going scoreless for the final 5:26 of the frame.

Tessa Roe (12) works to get past Clare Conzelmann and to the basket.The Eagles cut the lead to seven with 2:45 to play on a steal and layup from Clare Conzelmann, but never got closer.

“There was always belief no matter what detriment we got ourselves in,” Frankenmuth senior Lexi Boyke said. “I wouldn’t want to choose any other girls to play with and be in with at that point. I think we fought back and really prided ourselves on, ‘We can still do it.’ We didn’t stop fighting until the end.”

Lansing Catholic always figured Frankenmuth would make a run to get into the game, but was ready when it came.

“We knew they were going to make runs, we knew we weren’t going to hold them to seven points the whole game,” Anna Richards said. “We knew in the third quarter they were going to score, so we just had to stay composed, work the ball around on offense to get the good shots that we wanted.”

Boyke, who scored Frankenmuth’s first 10 points and was its only scorer well into the third quarter, finished with 16. She also reached 1,000 career points in the game, and had six rebounds, while Izzy Bernthal had seven.

Frankenmuth was making its first Finals appearance since winning the Class C title in 1996, one year after Lansing Catholic. 

“That’s a really good Lansing Catholic team, and you’ve seen that from their postseason run and beating an undefeated West Catholic team, and tonight finishing their season off with a state championship. So, congratulations to them,” Frankenmuth coach Joe Jacobs said. “I’m super proud of our kids. They didn’t quit tonight. They could have. … Fun experience, one that we want to treasure forever, but the motivation to come back again is here after tonight’s loss.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Lansing Catholic celebrates its Division 2 championship Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) The Cougars’ Anna Richards (10) attempts to get a shot up over Frankenmuth’s Lexi Boyke. (Below) Tessa Roe (12) works to get past Clare Conzelmann and to the basket.