Breslin Bound: Girls Report Post-Break

January 4, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Some of the most telling regular season basketball is played over holiday break.

And a number of teams expected to contend when February comes to a close made big impressions over the last two weeks with school out but hoops still in session.

Each week during the regular season, we’ll glance at four teams from each class that have caught our attention. Results and records below are based on schedules posted at

Class A

Clarkston (7-0) – After a middling 12-9 last winter, the Wolves are back on the rise with only two wins so far (by eight over Lake Orion and three over North Farmington) coming by fewer than 10 points.  

DeWitt (7-0) – The reigning Class A runner-up has matched last season’s 7-0 start, with the most recent victory 67-45 over revamped Wayne Memorial at the Motor City Roundball Classic.

Marquette (7-1) – The Redettes fell to Class C contender St. Ignace in overtime during the first week, but have surged since with wins over Traverse City West (45-30) and Central (60-38) over the break.

Saginaw Heritage (6-0) – The Hawks earned the best win arguably of any team in the state, girls or boys, over the break, 39-29 over reigning Class B champion Detroit Country Day at the Roundball Classic. Heritage won its first 11 last season on the way to the Class A Semifinals.

Class B

Kalkaska (5-0) – After tying for the league championship a year ago, Kalkaska should again be in the mix for first in the Lake Michigan Conference, with only Northwest Conference contender Maple City Glen Lake coming closer than 25 points so far.

Kingsford (6-1) – The Flivvers will hope for better in the rematch against Great Northern Conference rival Marquette after losing to the Redettes 66-27 on Dec. 17, but early on Kingsford looks like the next best in the league and a possibility to do more.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central (6-0) – The Cougars’ opening run has included a 69-62 win over Class A contender Southfield-Lathrup and then three more over the break over Rockford (77-47), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (64-42) and Ann Arbor Huron (49-39).

Stockbridge (5-2) – The Panthers are another team on the rise after finishing 10-11 a year ago; they beat Concord 58-54 in overtime to win the Parma Western Invitational coming off a tough loss to league foe Perry.

Class C

Blissfield (6-0) – This start isn’t surprising given the team’s 22 wins a year ago, but Blissfield did have one of the best holiday runs of any girls team, regardless of class, with a 47-42 win over Waterford Our Lady and a 48-42 victory over Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

Calumet (6-0) – The reigning Class C champion has won 15 straight games dating to last season and is giving up an average of only 31 points per in dominating this winter.

Ithaca (5-0) – The Yellowjackets opened with a nice 59-53 win over Pewamo-Westphalia and haven’t slowed as they seek to build on last year’s 21-3 record.

Millington (5-1) – A six-point loss to Birch Run aside, the Cardinals are cruising this season and handed Essexville Garber its only loss after having to battle back from an 0-4 start a year ago.

Class D

Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner (6-0) – The Storm have stormed to a nice early run after having to battle back from 0-3 a year ago to win the Mid-South Conference; no opponent has come closer than 19 points this winter.

Bay City All Saints (6-1) – All Saints bounced back nicely after a 1-3 start last season, but kicked off much more quickly this time with its only loss to Class B Pinconning and a solid 40-35 win over Warren Michigan Collegiate at the Roundball Classic.

Newberry (5-0) – The Indians are off to another great start after winning nine of their first 10 in 2014-15, and this time beat Munising, 45-33, after Munising prevented the perfect first half a year ago.

Waldron (5-0) – The Spartans won by 19 and 17 in their two Hillsdale Tournament games as they prepared to provide what could be the greatest challenge to reigning Class D runner-up Pittsford in the Southern Central Athletic Association East.

PHOTO: Ithaca and Blanchard Montabella players battle for a loose ball during the Yellowjackets’ 55-26 win on Dec. 21. (Click for more photos from 

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.