D4 Preview: Prepared for Finals Tests

March 20, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

There is at least one similarity that ties together all four Division 4 teams making the trip to Calvin College this weekend.

All four semifinalists have seen their shares of tough opponents this season and shouldn’t be wowed by the competition beginning Thursday night at Van Noord Arena.

St. Ignace, Adrian Lenawee Christian and Kingston navigated those schedules to finish among the top-ranked teams by The Associated Press at the end of the regular season. Fowler, in part a result of playing mostly larger opponents, had a few more losses entering the playoffs – but has shown the last three weeks it belongs among the best in the smallest classification as well.

Division 4 Semifinals  Thursday
St. Ignace (26-0) vs. Kingston (24-2), 5:30 p.m. 
Fowler (17-7) vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian (24-2), 7:30 p.m.

Division 4 Final – Saturday, 10 a.m.

Tickets cost $10 per pair of Semifinals and $10 per two-game Finals session (Divisions 4 and 1). All Semifinals will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv and viewable on a pay-per-view basis. All four Finals will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit and streamed live on FoxSportsDetroit.com and the FOX Sports app. Free radio broadcasts of all weekend games will be available on MHSAANetwork.com.

Below is a glance at all four semifinalists. Click on the name of the school to see that team’s full schedule and results from this season. (Statistics are through teams' Regional Finals.)

24-2, No. 2
League finish: Does not play in a league.
Coach: Jamie Salenbien, second season (50-3)
Championship history: Class D champion 2018, runner-up 2010.
Best wins: 65-40 over No. 9 Athens in Regional Semifinal, 53-38 over Bay City John Glenn, 47-41 over Carleton Airport, 73-66 (OT) over Ann Arbor Pioneer.
Players to watch: Bree Salenbien, 6-2 soph. F (23.6 ppg, 42 3-pointers, 9.0 rpg, 3.6 spg, 3.7 bpg); Dani Salenbien, 5-9 jr. G (13.6 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.2 spg).
Outlook: After storming onto the scene last season, Lenawee Christian and now-sophomore Bree Salenbien haven’t snuck up on anyone this winter. It hasn’t mattered. The Cougars’ only losses came to Division 3 Michigan Center and Grass Lake, which finished their seasons a combined 40-6. Bree was the Class D Player of the Year by The Associated Press as a freshman, and Dani Salenbien made the all-state second team. Junior guard Libby Miller is another major offensive contributor, averaging 9.5 points per game with 65 3-pointers entering this week.

17-7, unranked
League finish: Fifth in Central Michigan Athletic Conference 
Coach: Nathan Goerge, ninth season (98-102)
Championship history: Class D champion 1991, runner-up 1990 & 1999.
Best wins: 48-34 over No. 5 Gaylord St. Mary in Quarterfinal, 49-29 over Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Regional Final, 43-38 over Bath, 57-25 over Portland St. Patrick.
Players to watch: Sarah Veale, 5-8 soph. G (11.3 ppg, 49 3-pointers); Mia Riley, 5-6 fr. G (11.7 ppg).
Outlook: Fowler has reached the Semifinals for the first time since 1999 after navigating a league won by Division 3 contender Pewamo-Westphalia and with three other teams that won at least 14 games this season. The Eagles finished below .500 the last two before taking a jump, and Veale and Riley are among reasons for Fowler to be excited about the future as well. Riley actually comes off the bench – three seniors and a junior join Veale in a veteran starting lineup.

24-2, No. 4
League finish: First in North Central Thumb League Stars 
Coach: Jay Green, 12th season (240-46)
Championship history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 55-34 over Croswell-Lexington, 43-30 over Brown City, 51-31 over Peck, 49-31 over Saginaw Nouvel.
Players to watch: Carley Smith, 5-10 sr. F (9.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg); Lily Lyons, 5-6 sr. G (11.2 ppg).
Outlook: After losing in Quarterfinals three times over the last four seasons, Kingston has broken through to make the Semifinals for the first time. The Cardinals have prepared all season facing larger opponents; in addition to those listed above, Kingston also has wins over Lapeer and Saginaw Swan Valley among others and losses to Division 1 Oxford and Utica Eisenhower. Smith, Lyons and 5-11 senior center Jillyan Dinsmore (6.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) all earned all-state honorable mentions as juniors and help make up an all-senior starting lineup.

26-0, No. 1
League finish: First in Straits Area Conference
Coach: Dorene Ingalls, 20th season (431-73)
Championship history: Five MHSAA titles (most recent 2015), three runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 76-45 over No. 10 Baraga in Quarterfinal, 52-44 over Goodrich, 68-37 over Division 2 honorable mention Kingsley, 55-53 over Detroit Mumford, 63-59 (OT) over Division 3 honorable mention Reese.
Players to watch: Emily Coveyou, 6-0 sr. F (22.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.8 spg); Hallie Marshall, 5-5 soph. G (7.7 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.4 spg).
Outlook: St. Ignace has reached the final week of the season every season this decade, and is back at the Semifinals for the first time since 2015 coming off three seasons in Class C. Coveyou earned a Class C all-state honorable mention a year ago and puts up the biggest numbers, but eight Saints total score at least 4.8 ppg and she’s one of only two seniors on the roster. The defensive showing has been especially memorable – as a team, St. Ignace gives up only 31.1 points per game and takes away an incredible 22.5 steals per contest.

PHOTO: Lenawee Christian's Bree Salenbien brings the ball upcourt during Tuesday's Quarterfinal win over Fruitport Calvary Christian. (Photo by Mike Dickie Photography.) 

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.