Bucs Earn Shot at Grand Finale

March 15, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – Grand Haven’s girls basketball players toppled over each other on the Breslin Center floor Friday afternoon just as they did in celebrating their first Class A championship here a year before.

But the Buccaneers also realized they have one more game to win to finish one of the finest seasons in MHSAA girls basketball history.

Grand Haven earned that opportunity by coming back to defeat Westland John Glenn 55-46 after trailing in the Semifinal with a quarter to play.

The Bucs might not have been expected to put this run together after graduating most of last season’s team. But led by senior Abby Cole – who had a triple-double before the end of Thursday’s third quarter – they not only are in position to repeat, but also to finish undefeated this winter.

“Especially for the seniors, everyone wanted to come back and do what the seniors did for us last year,” Bucs senior Hannah Wilkerson said. “For the juniors now on the team, we wanted them to experience it. It’s still the best memory I have, ever.”

Grand Haven (27-0) will face No. 2 Grosse Pointe South at noon Saturday. The Bucs edged South 54-53 in last season’s Class A Final and have won 50 straight games. 

John Glenn came into Thursday with similar credentials to Grand Haven a year ago – carrying only one loss and seeking its first championship game berth. The No. 6 Rockets (24-2) actually were undefeated in Michigan, with their only loss to Toledo Rogers from Ohio. 

Pressuring and fastbreaking, John Glenn jumped to a 14-10 lead to end the first quarter after forcing Grand Haven into most of its 10 turnovers in the period and scoring 10 points off the fastbreak. 

But Cole was just getting started on a performance that will be remembered among the best of her all-state career.

The 6-foot-5 center finished with 23 points, 19 rebounds and 12 blocked shots, and even hit the first 3-pointer of her career – she had air-balled her only other attempt, earlier this season. 

Cole finished third in the Miss Basketball voting on Monday after finishing second in the Miss Volleyball voting at the end of the fall. She was named Class A basketball Player of the Year by The Associated Press, and will play volleyball at the University of Michigan next season.

“She’s the biggest impact player in the state,” Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “Just with her ability to block shots, rebound and score around the rim, and she makes everybody on our team better.” 

But the Bucs likely wouldn’t have moved on without some help. Junior forward Taylor Craymer scored 20 points, with half of those coming during the fourth quarter including the final go-ahead basket with 5:21 to play. Sophomore guard Amanda Merz had seven assists as the team steadied itself after the early Rockets rush. 

John Glenn senior guard Raven Bankston – who with sister Raine has signed with Delaware State – filled the stat sheet with 23 points, five rebounds, three assists and 11 steals, and senior guard Sha’Keya Graves scored 12 points. But although the Rockets launched 71 shots, they were able to connect on only 17 for the game and 2 of 18 shots during the fourth quarter. 

“Bottom line, Abby Cole disrupted everything we wanted to do,” John Glenn coach Eric Kovatch said. “She’s one heck of a ballplayer, and I’m sure a lot of college coaches wish she was playing college basketball instead of volleyball. 

“I think that got a little into our heads in the first half. Shots weren’t falling, and a lot of times this year those shots were falling. We want to put up a lot of shots. We just weren’t making as many as we usually do.”

Grand Haven entered the postseason ranked No. 3 in Class A, behind Detroit Martin Luther King and Grosse Pointe South.

Unlike a year ago, the Bucs were undefeated during the regular season after folding in a number of talented contributors from last season’s junior varsity team.

“We have such a good program at Grand Haven. We’re continually getting better, and the coaching staff is a huge part of it,” Cole said. “A lot of people doubted our team this year because we lost so many seniors. But I don’t know that many people knew we had an almost-undefeated team coming up from JV.”

Click for a full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Westland John Glenn's Raine Bankston (1), attempts to drive past Grand Haven's Amanda Merz during Friday's Semifinal. (Middle) Merz pushes the ball upcourt during the 55-46 win  (Photos by Hockey Weekly Action Photo.)

St. George's Senior Season Filled with Historic Trip, Sizzling 3-Point Shooting

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 21, 2024

Delaney St. George helped Kingston reach its first MHSAA Girls Basketball Final this winter – and along the way finished her high school career among the most prolific 3-point shooters in state history.

The four-year varsity senior made 87 3-pointers this season for the Division 4 runner-up Cardinals, good to tie for 10th on the single-season list after she made 93 as a junior to rank fourth all-time.

She finished her Kingston career with 290 3-pointers in 793 attempts over 94 games – good for second on the career 3-pointers list.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click on the heading to see the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Hemlock’s 18-6 run this season was fueled in part by more successful 3-point shooting. The Huskies made single-season lists with 170 3-pointers and 552 attempts, and also for making 14 3-pointers Jan. 5 against St. Louis.

Senior Mia McLaughlin made nine of 15 3-point shots for Frankenmuth in a Feb. 6 win over Birch Run as the Eagles made the team record book list with 15 3-pointers total. They also were added for 14 3-pointers in a Feb. 20 win over Bay City John Glenn. McLaughlin will continue her career at Ferris State.

McBain sophomore Peyton Grant scored all 27 of her points Jan. 17 against Houghton Lake on nine 3-pointers to make the single-game list in that category.

Seniors Autumn Tremblay and Ceara LeBlanc earned Brimley’s first girls basketball record book listings this season. Both made single-game lists in a Feb. 27 win over Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian – Tremblay scored 21 points during the first quarter and LeBlanc had 16 steals for the game – and LeBlanc also was added for 141 steals total over 25 games this past winter.

Reed City’s run at the Central State Activities Association title this winter was fueled in part by 3-point shooting. The Coyotes finished one game out of first, but made the records with 517 3-point attempts over 24 games – and just missed the made 3-pointers list connecting on 143.

Howell sophomore Gabrielle Piepho added her third record book listing over her first two seasons this winter making 89.2 percent of her free throw attempts to rank eighth on that single-season list. Howell as a team also made the 3-point attempts list with 536 over 25 games, and also just missed the 3-pointers made list with 146.

Saline finished the 2023-24 season among the all-time leading 3-point shooters again, this time with 192 – 14th-most for one season – in 587 attempts over 24 games. Sophomore Keira Roehm led the way with 78 3-pointers, tying for 21st on that list.

Junior Tamerah Peterson led Sterling Heights Parkway Christian to a District title this season, providing a record-setting defensive boost in addition to her offensive skills. She finished with 173 steals – eighth-most for one season – over 21 games.

Niles Brandywine reached Breslin Center this season with another stellar distance shooting display, making the record book with both 186 3-pointers and 610 attempts from beyond the arc in finishing Division 3 runner-up.

Alie Bisballe capped her career at Lake City this winter by helping her team reach the Division 3 Semifinal at Breslin Center – and by reaching the MHSAA girls basketball record book in two categories. The 6-foot-4 post player made the lists with 329 rebounds and 188 blocked shots, both in 28 games as Lake City finished 25-3. She will continue her career at Wisconsin.

Ironwood junior Hanna Vaughn will enter her final season next winter already on the career 3-pointers list. She’s made 155 3-pointers over her first three seasons and 70 games on varsity.

PHOTO Kingston’s Delaney St. George (10) pulls up for a shot during the Division 4 Final against Ishpeming.