Class B: Martians land in title game
March 16, 2012
EAST LANSING – Hugs and huge smiles dominated Goodrich’s side of the Breslin Center floor Friday night after a moment the Martians have worked for since losing in the Quarterfinals two seasons ago.
Avenging a loss to the reigning Class B champion made that moment a little bit sweeter.
Goodrich missed its first MHSAA Final last season by losing in double overtime to Dearborn Divine Child, which then went on to win the title. This time, the Martians will get their first shot ever at a championship, thanks to a 68-53 victory over Divine Child in Friday’s second B Semifinal.
“They always say revenge is nice. And I must say it was nice,” Goodrich senior Frankie Joubran said. “We came out with our heads straight on and we were ready to go.”
Top-ranked Goodrich (27-0) will face No. 10 Grand Rapids Catholic Central (24-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday in the final championship game of this girls basketball season.
The Martians have won at least 20 games in nine of coach Jason Gray’s 13 seasons, including the last three. But it was a 64-49 Quarterfinal loss to Detroit Country Day in 2010 that made Gray realize his program was ready to make a run at Breslin.
“Apparently I’m not really good at judging these sorts of things. I always don’t think we’re very good,” Gray said. “(But) when we got to the Country Day game two years ago, we had a lead early. We’re in the game at halftime. Down five in the fourth quarter. And then I recognized that I guess we’re as good as some of these top teams in the state. I guess that was the beginning of it.
“From that point on, we’ve been rolling pretty good. … That’s how you judge yourself, against those sorts of teams.”
Of course, include No. 6 Divine Child in that category as well. The Falcons (24-3) remained within two of the lead as late as 1:13 to go in the third quarter. But an 11-2 run over the first half of the fourth gave Goodrich some breathing room it didn’t relinquish.
“This is certainly a different feeling than last year. In my mind, we’re a great team that lost to another great team,” Divine Child coach Mary Laney said. “They definitely deserved this win. We turned the ball over one too many times and didn’t box out enough. It wasn’t a case of effort, hard work or heart. These girls wanted it just as bad. It came down to a few fundamentals that didn’t go our way.”
Although Goodrich outrebounded Divine Child only 36-34, the Martians grabbed 19 off the offensive glass – and scored 15 second-chance points to the Falcons’ seven. Goodrich also turned 24 Divine Child turnovers into 37 points.
“I think they had a lot more intensity. They were up in our faces more,” Divine Child senior guard Rosanna Reynolds said, comparing this Goodrich team to last season's squad. “They were just all over the ball.”
Junior guard Taylor Gleason led Goodrich with 18 points and five steals. Senior guard Destiny Stephens had 13 points, Joubran had 12 and junior guard Aketra Sullivan added 10. Senior forward Cara Miller had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Falcons, and Reynolds had 13 points.
Click for the box score. Watch the game and both teams' postgame press conferences at MHSAA.tv.
PHOTO: Goodrich freshman Tania Davis drives between Divine Child defenders Friday. (Photo courtesy of Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
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.