Centreville's Road Paved with Success

February 7, 2017

By Ryan Boldrey
Special for Second Half

When the Centreville girls hoops season got underway, head coach Jill Peterson gave her players a destination for which to shoot. 

And no, it wasn’t the school’s first Regional appearance since 1998 – though after the team’s 14-1 start, that is beginning to look like a distinct possibility.

The destination was Deer Lodge, Montana.

Yet why would a girls basketball coach from southwest Michigan set her team’s collective sight on a place like Deer Lodge, Montana?  

“At the beginning of the season we compared our season to a road trip,” Peterson explained, pointing out that Deer Lodge was a spot along I-90 that just seemed the right distance away. “Every day we talk about how far we’ve traveled. If it’s a real good practice (or game) we travel a good distance. If we don’t have a good practice, we talk about it and then set a goal for the next day, which may just be getting to the next city.” 

To demonstrate how far the team has gone, Peterson hung a road map in the Bulldogs’ locker room. And while outsiders may not get to glimpse that map and see the marker making its way across South Dakota en route to Deer Lodge, they have witnessed Centreville sprint out to an undefeated start in Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference play and rise to No. 4 in The Associated Press Class C poll – the first time the program has been ranked in recent memory.

“When my girls saw the tweet recently that we were ranked, they texted me and said, ‘What does this even mean?’” said Peterson, who played basketball for the Bulldogs from 2001-2004. “They had no concept. And like I told them, it may change the perception of what other people think of us, but we should still think the same thing we did yesterday.”

Despite the level of excitement that comes with being ranked, remaining grounded has not been an issue.

“I definitely think it caught a lot of us off guard,” sad senior point guard Skyler DeMeyer, who dishes out a team-high 6.5 assists per game. “We weren’t expecting it, but we are trying not to think about it because anything can happen on any given night and we need to keep ourselves to a higher standard. We realize that we can always get better, and every practice we push each other to do so. We know every other team we are going to see is getting better too.”

DeMeyer has been a motivating force both through her words and actions for her teammates, and prides herself on strong communication, tough-nosed defense and creating for her teammates on the offensive end.

“I’m not a huge scorer, but I like to see the floor and I feel very confident with all my teammates,” she said. “If I get them the ball they are going to do something with it. Whether it’s another pass, a score or a foul drawn, they are going to do something.”

And while the offense may run through the scrappy senior, it’s the youthful power in the post on the receiving end of so many of DeMeyer’s passes that has helped propel the program to the top of the BCS Blue and give Bulldogs fans visions of Centreville’s first league title since the school last won a St. Joseph Valley title in 1989, as well as hopes for a bright future.

Freshman Joanna Larsen – who missed the team’s only loss in the season opener against Constantine – and sophomore Samara Schlabach provide a one-two punch down low, leading a balanced attack that sees no Centreville players averaging double figures in scoring this season.

Larsen was originally supposed to be on the junior varsity team this year but impressed Peterson so much during the preseason she was called up to the varsity.

“Joanna, as a freshman, is already so far up there with everything, it’s amazing,” said Schlabach, who leads the team scoring 9.5 points per game and surprised herself when she was named to the varsity club as a sophomore. “I’m really excited to see how far she’ll go, because she is crazy good. I’m really excited for the years to come to play with her.”

Schlabach hopes that they can build in the girls basketball program what the baseball program already has – expectations of success year-in and year-out, and she is excited to be a part of it.

Right now, though, the team is focused on getting from city to city. Destination Deer Lodge and a potential District tournament rematch with Constantine, something they don’t talk about – yet.

“We might get some flat tires along the way,” Peterson said. “But our goal is to just keep moving. If today is a flat tire, tomorrow is going to be a better day. We haven’t peaked yet, and we want to do that at the right time.”

Other players who have stepped up for the Bulldogs this year include Hannah Rice, Carly Todd, Brittany Morris, Carlee Odom and Kayla Gest, the latter of whom has dazzled with her outside shooting touch and lockdown defense.

PHOTOS: (Top) Centreville works to get the offense going during a 21-20 win over White Pigeon on Dec. 2. (Middle) The Bulldogs have held opponents to fewer than 25 points six times this season. (Photos courtesy of JoeInsider.com.)

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.