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.
PHOTO: Goodrich freshman Tania Davis drives between Divine Child defenders Friday. (Photo courtesy of Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
Hemlock and Rockford's drives to their first Girls Basketball Finals championships in March were paced in part by some of the strongest 3-point shooting in MHSAA history.
The Division 1 title-winning Rams connected on 243 3-pointers – third-most all-time – over 29 games in tying the single-season wins record while finishing 28-1. Grace Lyons, a senior this fall, made the single-season individual list with 70 3-pointers.
The Huskies won in Division 3 having connected on 229 3-pointers over 29 games, seventh-most in MHSAA history, on 678 attempts, which ranks 12th on that list. Chloe Watson made the single-season list with 75 3-pointers, and Regan Finkbeiner did as well connecting on 67.
Watson also made the career 3-pointers list with 224 and Finkbeiner with 194, and 2017 Hemlock graduate Samantha Krauss was added for 65 3-pointers as a junior in 2015-16 and 188 for her career. Additionally, past Hemlock standout Karli Herrington was added for her 317 rebounds in 2012-13, and Peyton Apsey was added for 144 steals in 2010-11.
Watson is continuing her career at Mid-Michigan College, and Finkbeiner is playing softball at Madonna. Herrington went on to play at Central Michigan and Northwood, Krauss played at Ferris State and Apsey played at Oakland.
Read on for more recent record book additions for girls basketball:
Hudsonville’s Maddie Petroelje joined the list of top 3-point shooters in MHSAA history as a junior in 2021-22, when she connected on 70 (in just 147 attempts) to make the single-season list. She graduated this spring 16th on the career list as well with 226 3-pointers in 512 attempts over 92 games and four seasons. She is continuing at Loyola (Ill.).
Byron Center’s Avery Zeinstra also finished her career among those top 3-point shooters. She also made the single-season list with 70 in 147 attempts as a freshman in 2018-19, and she capped her career in 2021-22 with 206 3-pointers (tied for 20th-most) in 502 attempts over four seasons and 80 career games. She is continuing at Grand Valley State.
Hannah Thompson was best known for her soccer scoring at Schoolcraft. But she’s made a second MHSAA record book for her 15 steals in a Jan. 28, 2022, basketball win over Galesburg-Augusta. She’s continuing her soccer career at Eastern Michigan.
Baraga’s run to the Division 4 Semifinals in 2022 received big boosts from Corina Jahfetson’s 3-point shooting and Reide Osterman’s defense. Jahfetson was added to the record book with 66 3-pointers over 25 games, including nine in a game against Carney Nadeau – when Baraga as a team made the record book with 14 3-pointers total. Osterman made the record book with 153 steals. Jahfetson graduated this spring, and Osterman is playing at Northern Michigan.
Grand Rapids West Michigan Aviation Academy’s Audrey Mileski had one of the busiest games at the free throw line in MHSAA history Dec. 14, 2021. She made 23 free throws – third-most in a single game – against Wyoming Kelloggsville. Mileski graduated this spring.
Sophia Bussell had set Monroe’s single-game 3-pointers record of eight as a freshman two seasons ago, and she bettered it last Dec. 13 by tying for the 10th-most in MHSAA history. She made 10-pointers including the game-winner of a 58-56 victory over Ypsilanti Lincoln. A little less than 10 months earlier, Adrian Lenawee Christian then-senior Kylie Summer also made 10, on 17 attempts, during a 57-34 win over Lansing Christian on Feb. 24, 2022.
Lydia Meredith enjoyed a memorable senior season for Portland St. Patrick in 2021-22, finishing her four-year varsity career with 453 steals over just 80 games. She also was added for drilling 17 free throws in 22 attempts against Fowler. She plays now at Saginaw Valley State.
Gabby Piepho got off to a fast start at Howell as a freshman last season, and at a record-setting pace at the free-throw line. She made 93 of 107 attempts over 25 games, for an .869 percentage that made the single-season list. That included a string of 47 straight free throws that ranks as the second-longest in MHSAA history. As a team, Howell tied for sixth all-time with 301 free throws over 25 games, on 439 attempts.
Kent City’s Lexie Bowers reached the single-season 3-pointers list for the second time last season, connecting on 72 of 233 tries over 26 games (after making 77 as a junior), and finished her four-season varsity career 16th on that 3-pointers list with 225 in 693 attempts over 99 games. She’s continuing her career at Northwood. Kent City as a team also reached the single-season 3-pointers made and attempted lists again, ranking fourth with 753 attempts and tying for eighth all-time by connecting on 202.
Posen then-junior Faith Cousins earned a par of record book entries during 2021-22 for assists. Her 16 in a District Final win on March 4, 2022, remain tied for fifth-most in one game, and she finished with 165 over 22 games for the season. She’s set to begin her softball career at Alma College.
Niles Brandywine went over 20 wins again this past season, finishing 21-3, and again the 3-pointer was a key tool in that pursuit. Brandywine made the record book with back-to-back games of 13 3-pointers to close the regular season, and finished with 175 3-pointers in 592 attempts over 23 games (with one won by forfeit).
Greenville’s Megan Leslie averaged more than two 3-pointers a game during her four-season varsity career, making the record list with 153 total over 76 games through graduation this spring. She’s continuing her career at Alma College.
Successful 3-point shooting played a major role in Saline finishing 21-4 with league and District titles last winter. The Hornets attempted 704 3-pointers – ninth-most all-time for one season – and connected on 191, which is 12th on that list. They made a season-high 14 against Ypsilanti Lincoln on Nov. 29 to make the single-game list.
Marcellus senior Brooklyn VanTilburg enjoyed a big finish to her high school career last winter, making the record book with 16 blocked shots in a game against Centreville and 135 blocks total for the season. She’ll continue at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Kennedy Gustafson made headlines last winter as a sophomore and earned a pair of record listings for her rebounding. She grabbed 26 in a March 3 District Final win over Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, and she finished with 376 rebounds over 25 games for the season.
PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner, left, follows through on a free throw attempt during last season's Division 3 Final, and Rockford's Grace Lyons launches the game-winning 3-pointer in Division 1.