Class C: Victory like no other

March 17, 2012

EAST LANSING – Alexis Huntey had never cried after winning a game. And it’s not like she and her teammates were new to the feeling.

Morley-Stanwood girls teams have achieved their share of significant milestones the last few years. And seniors Huntey, Bailey Cairnduff and Elyse Starck have been big parts of many of them.

But earning the Mohawks’ first-ever MHSAA basketball championship Saturday at the Breslin Center was like nothing those stars had experienced in sports before.

Huntey and Cairnduff also led the school’s volleyball team to the Class C title in the fall. And that was an emotional win. But there was just something different this time, evidenced by what fell with the final buzzer of the Mohawks’ 61-57 win over Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and Miss Basketball Madison Ristovski.

“Basketball is just such an emotional sport out there. Every basket and every play is so key,” Huntey said. “I can’t even describe it. ... I cried today."

Cairndorff added, “We all cried like babies out there.”  

No doubt, a decade of just-misses dissolved with those tears.

Morley-Stanwood had won 11 straight league titles and seven straight Districts heading into this March. But the Mohawks had never reached the Semifinals – and needed a two-point win over frequent power Kent City in the Regional Final to keep this run alive.

Morley-Stanwood coach Bob Raven told his players he’d kiss the Spartan head at center court if the team got to Breslin. They did, and then went a step further by beating reigning champion St. Ignace in Thursday’s Semifinal. When the Mohawks finished their 28-0 run Saturday afternoon, Raven kept that promise.

 “I’ve been coming to these state Finals for a lot of years as a spectator. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better Class C game than that one,” Morley-Stanwood coach Bob Raven said. “I’ve know there have been some good ones over the years. (Flint) Hamady and St. Ignace a few years ago. But this one ranks right up there with them.”

Much of the credit fell to Miss Basketball.

University Liggett’s Ristovski, who has signed with the University of Michigan, scored 42 points – second most in MHSAA girls basketball championship game history to Peggy Evans’ 47 for Detroit Country Day in 1989. Ristovski did so on an impressive 15 of 29 shooting from the floor despite drawing attention from multiple defenders, just as she has all season.

The only defender who didn’t help on Ristovski was Starck, who instead focused fully on younger sister Haleigh Ristovski. Haleigh hit six 3-pointers in the Knights’ Semifinal win over Concord, and Raven knew that couldn’t happen again if his team was to come out on top. The plan worked – Haleigh Ristovski had only three points in the Final. But University Liggett also struggled to find additional help for their star, which might’ve cost the Knights in the end.

“We talked about it at halftime, and timeouts. We were stagnant, did a lot of standing around and stuff,” Knights coach Joe LaMagno said. “We showed signs of people moving, then went right back into it again. It was a trap we fell into ourselves.”

Madison Ristovski scored all 11 of her University Liggett's points in the fourth quarter as the teams remained within three points of each other throughout. Morley-Stanwood held a 59-57 lead after Starck split a pair of free throws with 37 seconds to play, giving Liggett another chance to tie or take a late advantage.

Ristovski moved around the 3-point arc looking for a shot, and settled for one from near the elbow at the top of the key. It missed – only the second miss on seven shots in the quarter. Two more free throw makes put the game out of reach.

“These girls don’t get rattled like their coach does,” Raven said. “They’re pretty low-key. We don’t have that rah-rah, fired-up girl on the team, and I think that helps us. They are so even-keeled when things are going great and then when they aren’t going great. I think that helps us battle through those situations.”

Huntey, Cairndorff and Starck combined for 55 points – Huntey had 27 and 16 rebounds, Cairnduff scored 18 with nine rebounds, and Starck added 10 points and five assists.

University Liggett also finished runner-up in 2011. For the second straight season, Madison and Haleigh Ristovski had to leave the Breslin floor with tears in their eyes as well – although not without plenty to be proud off in the days ahead.

“It's worse the second time,” Haleigh Ristovski said. “I'm still proud of her though. Madison played awesome.

Click for the box score. Watch the game and both teams' postgame press conferences at 

PHOTOS: (Top) Morley-Stanwood celebrates its first MHSAA championship. (Photo courtesy of Terry McNamara Photography.)

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

By Geoff Kimmerly 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.