Countdown to Calvin: Girls Report Week 8
January 28, 2019
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Everyone loves snow days. But here’s hoping the frigid weather warms up quickly enough to make way for the start of the final month of girls basketball season.
This week is filled with titanic matchups that will end up helping to decide league championships – and likely foreshadow a number of key postseason duels as well.
Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or fill in scores we’re missing, email me at Geoff@mhsaa.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Detroit Edison 53, Pewamo-Westphalia 39 – This was the third straight season these powers had met, with Edison adding to its wins in the 2016 Class C Final and 2017 Semifinals.
2. Detroit Cass Tech 61, Detroit Martin Luther King 59 – Cass Tech avenged a three-point loss to King on Jan. 9 to join the Crusaders in a first-place tie in the Detroit Public School League Midtown with one league game left for both.
3. Grand Haven 78, East Kentwood 55 – After falling twice to East Kentwood last season, Grand Haven took over first alone in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red with this big win.
4. Flint Kearsley 55, Flushing 50 – This close win pulled Kearsley into a first-place tie in the Flint Metro League with Fenton just ahead of Flushing, which beat Fenton two weeks ago.
5. New Lothrop 47, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 41 – After a rough start, the Hornets finished the first half of the regular season with four straight wins, this one over an annual championship contender the most encouraging.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Bloomfield Hills Marian (11-0) – Two wins in two weeks over rival Farmington Hills Mercy has Marian comfortably atop the Detroit Catholic League Central after Marian and Mercy shared the title a year ago. Marian added a District title last season and could be line for more – the Mustangs remain the only team to defeat 2018 Class A semifinalist Grosse Pointe North this winter.
• Walled Lake Western (12-0) – We featured Western on Second Half two weeks ago, and the Warriors have added two more wins since to remain the only team unbeaten in Lakes Valley Conference play. A league title would be the program’s third straight, and Western has won 21 straight LVC games since falling in the season opener last winter.
• Corunna (12-0) – The Cavaliers have won nine straight by double digits and can all but lock up the Genesee Area Conference Red title with another victory Friday over second-place Flint Hamady, which Corunna beat in overtime on Dec. 14. Corunna had finished third in the league the last two seasons but did earn a District title to close last winter.
• Stanton Central Montcalm (11-0) – The Hornets have run their regular-season winning streak to 31 and hold a slim lead over Fremont in the Central State Activities Association Gold after a 30-point win in their first meeting Jan. 4. Central Montcalm has won all six of its 2019 games by at least 30 points, showing plenty of bounce-back after last season’s run was stopped abruptly by a first-round District loss.
• Brown City (11-1) – The Green Devils have climbed to the top of the Greater Thumb Conference East thanks in part to last week’s overtime win over second-place Sandusky. They then matched last season’s win total with another victory Friday over Capac (after going 11-10 in 2017-18), and the lone defeat this winter came over holiday break to one-loss Kingston.
• Carson City-Crystal (8-3) – The Eagles have three defeats, but to teams that are a combed 29-5 including Central Montcalm (mentioned above). Carson City-Crystal sits atop the Mid-State Activities Conference after ending Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart’s 24-game league winning streak last week, 31-27. They meet again in the regular-season finale, Feb. 28.
• Camden-Frontier (9-4) – The Redskins are tied for first in the Southern Central Athletic Association East with annual power Pittsford and already have avenged two early losses with rematch wins over Reading and Waldron. Camden-Frontier improved to finish 14-9 a year ago and closed with a District title, and could be on the verge of another step up.
• Kingston (11-1) – The Cardinals are eyeing a seventh-straight league title, with a slight lead on Deckerville in the North Central Thumb League Stars. They’ve won 53 straight league games going back to 2012-13 and are trying to build on last season’s Quarterfinal run. The only defeat this winter was by four to Division 1 Utica Eisenhower, and Kingston beat Deckerville by 29 in their first meeting.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – East Lansing (12-0) at DeWitt (11-1) – The Trojans hold a slim lead on the Panthers in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue thanks to a 45-41 win in their first meeting Dec. 14.
Tuesday – Southfield Arts & Technology (12-1) at Royal Oak (12-0) – The winner will finish the first run through Oakland Activities Association Red play alone in first; the rematch is Feb. 28.
Friday – Midland Dow (10-1) at Saginaw Heritage (10-0) – This will be a full house for much more than the MHSAA’s Battle of the Fans visit; these two are tied for first in the Saginaw Valley League Red, and Heritage also beat Dow in a District Final last year on the way to winning the Class A title.
Friday – Flint Hamady (10-1) at Corunna (12-0) – Some of the details are noted above; Hamady also will be coming off a Tuesday matchup with Detroit Country Day.
Saturday – Stanton Central Montcalm (11-0) vs. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (9-4) at Northwood University – This stacks up as Central Montcalm’s toughest test as it looks to finish a second straight regular season unbeaten.
Second Half’s weekly “Countdown to Calvin” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
PHOTO: Negaunee's Abigail Nelson (42) tries to grab the ball away from Ishpeming's Jocelynn Nyman (10) as teammates MacKenzie Karki (3) and Chloe Norman (22) provide support. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)
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.