Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 8
January 27, 2015
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Just more than a month remains in the MHSAA girls basketball regular season.
After a brief midseason break, Breslin Bound is back with a look at four teams in each class to pay attention to after they served notice again over the last week.
Allen Park (9-2) – The Jaguars have raced to the top of the Downriver League at 6-0 in-conference heading into tonight’s matchup with second-place Brownstown Woodhaven to finish the first half of the league season. Allen Park finished third in the league in 2013-14.
Grand Ledge (9-2) – The Capital Area Activities Conference Blue leader graduated its two top scorers after making last season’s Class A Semifinals and took a bad loss to DeWitt during this season’s first week. But the Comets have won five straight and are 7-0 in league play after the first run through the schedule.
Kalamazoo Central (10-1) – The Maroon Giants took their first loss Saturday, 71-57 to Chicago Simeon, but remain undefeated in Michigan and atop the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East standings. Central opened last week by handing Class C Niles Brandywine its first loss, 68-65 in overtime.
Traverse City West (9-2) – The Titans' only losses came to Marquette and Midland Dow in their hometown over holiday break. They’ve won six straight to start 2015, handing Manistee its lone loss and Gaylord its only loss in league play to move to the top of the Big North Conference after finishing third a year ago.
Clare (9-3) – The Pioneers are playing from a slight deficit over the second half of the Jack Pine Conference season after losing to first and second-place Beaverton and Gladwin, respectively, by a combined three points. But they beat Central State Activities Association Gold leader Big Rapids 40-36 on Monday.
Marshall (10-1) – The Redhawks own a half-win lead on Jackson Northwest in the first-year Interstate 8 Athletic Conference, having beaten the Mounties by 11 on Jan. 16. Marshall’s only loss came to Williamston during the first week.
Perry (9-2) – The Ramblers also are surging in a first-year league, the Greater Lansing Activities Conference, going 7-0 in league play so far to move a win ahead of Olivet. Perry finished runner-up to powerhouse Goodrich last season in the Genesee Area Conference Red.
Plainwell (12-0) – The Trojans have won 18 games each of the last two seasons, but appear poised for more with a one-win lead on Otsego in the Wolverine Conference East and a defensive effort that hasn’t given up more than 35 points since Jan. 6.
Flint Hamady (9-0) – The Hawks haven’t lost a GAC Blue game in nearly two calendar years and show no sign of breaking that streak, although second-place Morrice hosts Hamady tonight. The Hawks have won all of their games by double digits, including against nonleague local rivals Flint Southwestern and Flint Northwestern.
Gobles (10-0) – Last season’s Class C semifinalist hasn’t lost a step as it has cruised back to the top of the Southwestern Athletic Conference North. The Tigers have scored more than 60 points eight times and hit 70 once; they’ve held all but one opponent to 24 or fewer points.
Kent City (11-2) – The Eagles took over first place alone in the CSAA Silver with a 58-46 win over second-place Morley Stanwood on Friday and are 7-0 in 2015. The lone losses came to Class A DeWitt during holiday break and Class B Coopersville in early December.
Saginaw Nouvel (8-3) – The Panthers’ schedule is packed with much larger opponents, with Mid-State Activities Conference leader Carson City-Crystal last week one of the few also from Class C. Nouvel beat the Eagles 48-41 and travel to reigning Class D champion Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart tonight.
Bay City All Saints (8-3) – The Michigan Summit League leader has rebounded from a 1-3 start and hasn’t lost since Dec. 11. The Cougars held on to the top spot with a 34-23 win over second-place Saginaw Arts & Sciences two weeks ago and have doubled last season’s win total of four.
Kingston (11-2) – The Cardinals sitting atop league standings is nothing new, and they’re leading the North Central Thumb League by two wins over Deckerville after beating the Eagles 44-30 on Friday. Among conference opponents, only Deckerville, in their first meeting on Dec. 9, has come within single digits of knocking Kingston from its perch.
Morrice (11-1) – Regardless of what happens against Hamady tonight, Morrice can continue to boast as a strong Class D team in a league filled mostly with Class C. The Orioles did lose to co-second-place New Lothrop by three points two weeks ago, but also beat New Lothrop by a bucket in overtime on Dec. 9.
Pittsford (12-0) – The Wildcats are the last in Class D without a loss and handed the second this season to Cascade Conference co-leader and Class C Manchester, 47-39, on Monday. That was only the second game Pittsford has won by fewer than 26 points – the other close win came against Pioneer North Central of Ohio.
PHOTO: Saginaw Nouvel earned a key win against another Class C team, Carson City-Crystal, and sits 8-3 with five weeks until the start of the MHSAA tournament. (Click for more from 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.