Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 3
December 17, 2012
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
As a general rule, basketball teams evolve plenty between the first games of December through the final regular-season contests in February.
But these pre-break matchups matter just as much in the win-loss columns. And a number of games are being played right now that will surely make a difference as this season draws to a close.
This week's report includes some of the teams that have came out on the winning ends of key December battles. (Results and records based on those reported to Score Center at MHSAA.com)
1. Inkster (4-0) – The Vikings are a regular at Breslin Center and made the Class A Semifinals last season, so another great start is hardly surprising. But it's proof why Inkster remains a force – last week’s wins were 51-45 over improved Detroit Mumford and 57-51 over always-powerful Detroit Pershing.
2. Waterford Our Lady (3-1) – The reigning Class D champion has bounced back quickly from an opening-night loss to West Bloomfield. Last week, Our Lady beat Livonia Ladywood 50-38 and Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart by the same score.
3. Detroit Martin Luther King (3-0) – This is another team always in the Class A mix, and it got a big win Saturday – 56-48 over returning Class A Semifinalist Ann Arbor Huron, which earlier in the week had defeated Detroit Country Day 65-58. King also beat Detroit East English 61-7.
4. Johannesburg-Lewiston (5-0) – The Cardinals lost only two regular-season games last season, both times to Ski Valley Conference rival Gaylord St. Mary. But they got a little bit of revenge last week with a 50-48 win over St. Mary after also beating East Jordan 57-43.
5. Holt (5-0) – The Rams are again setting up nicely to contend in the strong Capital Area Activities Conference Blue. They beat nonleague foe St. Johns 52-48 and then Lansing Everett 48-39 to keep early pace with other frontrunners Grand Ledge and East Lansing.
6. Napoleon (5-1) – Napoleon’s 15-7 finish in 2011-12 included splits against Michigan Center and Grass Lake. The Pirates got an early upper hand on both last week, beating Michigan Center 49-45 and Grass Lake 47-42.
7. Traverse City St. Francis (4-1) – The Gladiators opened last season 14-1, with that lone loss to Cadillac – which they beat last week 55-50. St. Francis also defeated Kalkaska 44-36 on Friday.
8. Pewamo-Westphalia (3-2) – The Pirates got off to a rough start with opening-week losses to Class B Williamston and Lakewood. But back in familiar territory in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, they've won three straight – including 51-42 last week over returning Class D Semifinalist Portland St. Patrick.
9. North Farmington (3-1) – The Raiders are coming off a 10-12 season that included a pair of losses to Pontiac. But North Farmington earned the early edge this time with a 59-58 win over Pontiac, followed by a 58-48 win over West Bloomfield.
10. Powers North Central (5-1) – After opening with a 13-point loss to returning Class D Semifinalist Crystal Falls Forest Park, North Central hasn't fallen again. The Jets beat Stephenson 62-51 and Munising 50-22 to get nearly halfway to last season’s win total of 11.
PHOTO: Big Rapids Crossroads (in red) defeated Baldwin on Thursday to move to 4-0 this season. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Lansing Catholic Closes Season With Memorable Victory Close to Home
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
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.
“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.
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.”
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.