Country Day Follows Freshman to Title

March 21, 2015

By Bill Khan
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING — Detroit Country Day knew it had a potential star on its hands when Kaela Webb arrived as a freshman in the fall.

But regardless of her status as the latest prodigy for one of Michigan's most successful programs, Webb didn't receive preferential treatment.

She was treated just like any other ninth-grader, which meant knowing her place in the team's pecking order at the beginning of the season.

"It was weird, because freshmen had to get the water, and I just wasn't used to that," Webb said. "We had to get the jerseys and everything."

Freshman initiation didn't last long for Webb and Country Day's four other ninth-graders, who eventually blended seamlessly into the team and left their mark in the school's rich history.

Webb stepped into a leadership role on the biggest stage in the sport, scoring a game-high 20 points to lead Country Day to a 49-41 victory over Haslett in the MHSAA Class B girls basketball championship game Saturday night at the Breslin Center.

It was the 11th MHSAA title for Country Day (22-4), but its first since 2009. The Yellowjackets hadn't gone six years between titles since a similar drought between 1989 and 1995.

Some of the greatest players in Country Day history came and went without winning a championship since the 2009 title. The Yellowjackets restored their tradition by playing four freshmen, two sophomores, a junior and two seniors against Haslett.

"It's an honor to bring back the legacy after six years," senior Kristina Grace said. "It's an 'awe' moment. You wouldn't expect for a team like us who is so young to make it all the way. We were the underdogs and we did it; it's amazing."

After losing in the 2010 title game, Country Day was eliminated in the Quarterfinals each of the last five years, the first three by Goodrich, the last two by Flint Powers Catholic.

"The biggest joy of all is to see these young women be proud Lady Jackets and keep the legacy of our program," veteran Country Day coach Frank Orlando said. "I know we are so blessed to win a state championship. I don't care about the number; I care about these kids."

Country Day's all-stater is a sophomore, Destiny Pitts. She finished with 12 points, but was held to four in the second half. Webb came through with 11 points after halftime, going 6 for 6 from the line during the final 1:28 to put the game away.

"For a freshman, that's phenomenal, but for anybody that's phenomenal," Orlando said.

Haslett (22-6), which lost 57-43 to Country Day late in the regular season, was able to limit Pitts, but couldn't find an answer for Webb.

"(Webb) had a stellar night tonight," Haslett coach Bob Currier said. "Boy, for a freshman, what a nice player with quickness, control, good defense. She did a great job. They don't play like freshmen and sophomores, that's for sure, but they have such great physical attributes that it kind of makes up for that some."

Country Day broke away from a 10-10 tie after one quarter to take a 23-17 halftime lead. The Yellowjackets expanded that lead to 30-20 on a basket by Arika Tolbert with 3:02 left in the third quarter.

With the game possibly slipping away from them, the Vikings fought back to within striking distance. A layup by Kenzie DeCook off a turnover got Haslett within 37-35 with 2:52 remaining in the game. Haslett was again within two points when two free throws by DeCook made it 39-37 with 2:14 to go.

Country Day scored the next six points and went 12 for 14 from the line in the fourth quarter. Webb showed no signs of freshman jitters, hitting all six of her free throws.

"I just went up there confident I was going to make them," said Webb, a 77-percent free throw shooter who averages eight points a game. "My coaches said to stick 'em and make sure my wrist is straight. I believed them, and that's what I did."

Haslett may have worn down at the end, not using a player off the bench in the second half until DeCook fouled out with 1:28 left in the fourth quarter.

For DeCook, Makenna Ott and Adrianna Stolicker, it meant the end of four-year careers during which they helped Haslett post a 78-20 (.796) record and reach its first MHSAA Final. The Vikings' longest postseason run prior to this season was in 1995 when they lost in the Class B Semifinals. They made the 1975 and 1976 Class C Quarterfinals.

Haslett was 10-11 the season before those three arrived.

"Their record is wonderful for the four years we've had them," Currier said. "The three girls have done everything we've asked. They changed Haslett, I hope for good. I hope we're on that path. The work outside of practice, working on your game, the good attitude, the total teamwork — they brought all that to us."

Ott had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while DeCook had 17 points for Haslett.

Click for a full box score and video from the postgame press conference.

PHOTO: Detroit Country Day accepts is championship trophy to finish the girls basketball season Saturday night at the Breslin Center.

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.