Class A Champs Repeat in Grand Fashion

March 16, 2013

By Bill Khan
Special to Second Half

EAST LANSING — With the cameras capturing Grand Haven’s championship celebration, Abby Cole successfully avoided an emotional meltdown.

That changed in the privacy of the Bucs’ locker room deep inside the Breslin Center.

It was there that the 6-foot-5 senior center was struck by the realization that she would never play a meaningful basketball game again. It certainly didn’t help during a postgame tribute to her seniors that coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer uttered the words, “Abby, I love you. I’m going to miss you.”

That’s when the tears flowed. At least Cole held it together for the photographers.

“I promised myself this year if we won that I wouldn’t cry, because I looked awful in all the pictures last year,” Cole said following Grand Haven’s 60-54 overtime victory over Grosse Pointe South in the MHSAA
Class A championship game on Saturday. “The honor of getting this medal put on my neck, holding up the trophy with my team, singing to our student section … then we go in the locker room.”

Cole said she has played basketball since she was 5 or 6 years old. She has known Kowalczyk-Fulmer that entire time. Now Cole will never again play for her long-time mentor, moving on to play volleyball at
the University of Michigan.

“Once she got to me (in the locker room), I couldn’t handle it,” Cole said. “I’m done with basketball. That’s so hard for me. It’s been a huge part of my life, definitely helped shape me as a person. I’m really going to miss it.”

And Grand Haven fans definitely will miss Cole.

The program had reached the MHSAA Semifinals only once (1981) before getting at least that far the last three seasons and winning 51 straight games. The Bucs lost 39-38 to Detroit Renaissance in the 2011
Semifinals, then won a 54-53 thriller over Grosse Pointe South in last year’s Final.

The rematch was as good as advertised, although it took time for the drama to build.

Grand Haven (28-0), which rallied from 18 points down to beat South last season, led 40-29 with 34 seconds left in the third quarter. With Cole on the bench with four fouls, the Blue Devils (25-2) began
cutting into the lead. They went ahead for the first time since early in the first quarter, 49-48, when sophomore Cierra Rice scored with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter.

That would be South’s only lead, as Grand Haven’s Hannah Wilkerson responded with a basket eight seconds later. There was no more scoring in the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by South’s Gretchen Shirar
tied the game 52-52 with 1:52 left in regulation.

The Blue Devils held for the final shot after getting the ball with 45.9 seconds left. A pass down low went out of bounds with 6.4 seconds left.

South attempted the same play that worked for a back-door bucket by Rice on the Blue Devils’ go-ahead basket three minutes earlier.

“I think they saw it coming,” Rice said. “They had a bunch of defenders there ready to take the ball. It just bobbled everywhere once we tried to run it again.”

Grand Haven scored the first five points of overtime, including four on back-to-back baskets by Cole. The margin was never closer than three points after that. Cole, who finished third in Miss Basketball voting, was only 2 for 5 with seven points during regulation time. She finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and eight blocks.

“Abby can score inside, but they weren’t just going to let us lob it in,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “She wasn’t going to be able to score 30 points or anything. We just had so many contributions from so many

Grand Haven shot 75.9 percent from the field to overcome an otherwise bizarre stat sheet. South took 78 field goal attempts to Grand Haven’s 29 and had only five turnovers while forcing the Bucs into 32.

“Having lost for the second straight year to the same team, obviously it hurts,” South coach Kevin Richards said. “But I just love the way our girls competed. Even at halftime, I like how we played hard. We
had the tempo we wanted. Give Grand Haven credit — they made some plays when they needed to.”

Cole was only Grand Haven’s third-leading scorer in the championship game, as senior Wilkerson shot 8 for 8 while scoring 17 points and junior Taylor Craymer shot 5 for 7 in a 14-point effort.

“Last year we had a lot of talent,” Wilkerson said. “This year a lot of girls stepped up. We worked hard for this one.”

Click for the full box score. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Grand Haven's Abby Cole blocks a shot during Saturday's Class A Final; she had eight blocks in the game. (Middle) Grosse Pointe South's Cierra Rice (5) attempts to drive past Cole. (Click to see more at

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.