Cousino Makes Name in Semifinal Debut

March 18, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – By at least some in the know, little was expected of Warren Cousino and Hudsonville heading into this MHSAA Tournament – both entered unranked.

Both then won Regional titles for the first time last week, and extended dream seasons with a Semifinal matchup Friday that was going to end with one getting to play for the ultimate goal for the first time. 

By the end of the first quarter, Cousino – often mispronounced, but reads like a member of a family – left little doubt which team would get that opportunity.

Riding the powerful drives of junior guard Kierra Fletcher – whose 37 points tied for third most in MHSAA Semifinals history – the Patriots carried that early jumpstart to a 60-45 win and a return trip to East Lansing on Saturday.

“We came into this tournament and we knew we were sleepers,” Fletcher said. “We just wanted to prove everyone in the state wrong because half of Michigan calls our school ‘casino’ or ‘coosino,’ so we’re happy getting Cousino on map. I think we’ll go far … next year and years on because of this.”

Cousino will take on No. 4 Detroit Martin Luther King at noon Saturday in the Class A Final, facing a program seeking its sixth title and with much more experience at this late date in the season. 

But it was impossible to tell the Patriots (22-4) were newcomers in their Breslin debut.

Fletcher made 14 of 20 shots from the floor as her team connected on 50 percent as a whole. She also grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists, driving and dishing to shooters on the perimeter who took advantage.

Freshman guard Kate McArthur added 13 points and made three 3-pointers, and freshman guard Mackenzie Cook made her only try from beyond the arc. 

With Fletcher scoring eight points, Cousino as a team jumped to an 11-0 lead off the tip. Hudsonville sophomore Kasey DeSmit’s 3-pointer with 2:29 to play in the first quarter cut a 10-point lead to seven – but that was the last time the margin was in single digits.

“We set the tone early on as far as defensively, and it helps when you hit your first four shots you take,” Cousino coach Mike Lee said. “Kate set the tone especially from the outside range, and Kierra set the tone from the inside part of it.”

He could tell the afternoon might turn out well after his team brought a focused but light approach to the bus ride to Breslin. 

Lee told his players that Hudsonville would be just as nervous. But Cousino seemed to turn any anxiety into intensity. 

“We set that aggressive tone because we were faster and we had more athletes,” Fletcher said. “And I think our mindsets were just right at the time.”

The teams played nearly evenly after Cousino finished the first quarter with a 21-8 lead. Hudsonville took advantage of its size in the post, with 5-foot-10 senior forward Shaina DenBesten finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds and 6-0 junior center Chloe Guingrich adding 12 and 10, respectively.

Friday’s end was an incredible one for the Eagles (23-4), who were 2-19 two seasons ago and then 15-9 last winter. 

“For us, we’ve been in situations where we’ve had to play from behind, but I don’t know if we’ve ever had a situation where we’ve been that far behind and had to come back,” Hudsonville coach Casey Glass said. “I’m just proud of these kids, because I think at the beginning of the year no one would have ever given us a chance to be right here.”

Probably not Cousino either. But Friday showed the Patriots have the ability to achieve more. 

“For a little school like Warren Cousino to finally get over that hurdle,” Lee said, “I’m pretty proud today.”

Click for the full box score.

The Girls Basketball Finals are presented by Sparrow Health System. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Warren Cousino players celebrate at the end of their Class A Semifinal win Friday. (Middle) Cousino’s Kierra Fletcher (3) bursts into the lane while a Hudsonville player defends.

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.