Davis Adding to Pittsford Winning Ways

December 13, 2019

By Doug Donnelly
Special for Second Half

PITTSFORD – Aaron Davis doesn’t have to worry about rebuilding Pittsford girls basketball.

While Davis is putting his own stamp on the program that has won two MHSAA Finals championships over the past five seasons, he knows the pieces already were in place when he was named the varsity head coach in June.

“There is a lot of ground work already in place at Pittsford,” said Davis. “It all starts with the youth level, and that’s already there. That is a blessing.”

Davis is in his first season at Pittsford and has the Wildcats off to a 3-0 start. He took over for Chris Hodos, who helped make Pittsford a household name in Class D girls basketball circles over the past decade.

“There are things that I do differently, but Chris and I shared a lot of the same philosophies about basketball,” said Davis, a 2007 graduate of North Adams-Jerome. “There are some things that we do that are from Chris. We still run some of the same presses.”

Davis was a three-sport athlete at North Adams-Jerome, playing basketball, football and baseball. He was a four-year varsity baseball player and spent a year on the Adrian College diamond, but an injury that dated back to his high school days cut his college career short.

“I tried it for a year, but it got to be too much stress on my body and arm,” he said.

Davis said that while growing up, his dad coached him in multiple sports. Davis also learned a lot from his high school coaches while playing at North Adams.

“My wife and I had always talked about me getting into coaching someday,” he said.

Davis got his start in coaching at his alma mater. He coached the junior varsity boys basketball team and had coached baseball with Hodos. In fact, when Hodos contacted him about coaching at Pittsford, Davis thought he was talking about baseball.

“After a few minutes, I was like, ‘Oh, you are talking about basketball,’” Davis said. “Chris was a great mentor. He helped me become a better coach.”

Davis spent three seasons as the Wildcats JV girls basketball coach. Hodos, he said, let him run the JV team as he wanted. That valuable experience has paid off in multiple ways early this winter.

Pittsford’s 3-0 start includes wins over Hudson (41-25), Tekonsha (50-12) and Waldron (68-15). Thus far, the Wildcats are giving up just 17.3 points a game. That’s by design.

“We’re real athletic, and we play good defense,” Davis said. “I have a lot of great defenders. Everything starts with our defense.”

Davis said the team presses, often full-court, and likes to create havoc for the other team as it works to just get the ball over the timeline.

“We are built to run, pressure and play fast,” he said. “We do a lot of trapping and try and force the other team into making bad passes. We like to try and create our offense with our defense.”

The Wildcats have 11 players: five seniors, four juniors and two sophomores. Jordyn Cole has been the team’s top scorer through three games. Another senior, Sara Cole, is right behind her. The other seniors are MaKayla McDaniel, Sam Leggett and Brooke Campbell.

“Jordyn and Sara, I’d say, take the majority of our shots,” Davis said, “but we really don’t have just one girl who can score for us. We don’t have that one player we rely on. We have girls up and down the line who are comfortable shooting. We like to spread it out.”

One thing that has helped in his transition is that every girl on the varsity roster played for Davis for at least a season. They all are familiar with him and his systems. He also brought on Greg Mallar to coach the Pittsford JV team. Mallar is also familiar to the girls because he has been coaching in the Wildcats youth program.

“He’s actually helped develop a lot of the girls,” Davis said.

Pittsford became a state power under Hodos. In his seven seasons as the head coach, the Wildcats went 156-14, including five consecutive 20-0 regular seasons and the Class D titles in 2016 and 2017. They fell just shy of Michigan’s record of 78 consecutive wins during that time frame.

Pittsford athletic director Mike Burger said the program is in good hands.

"I think that the way that he approaches coaching girls basketball fits quite nicely with the overall small-school athletics philosophy we have here at Pittsford,” Burger said.

The Wildcats play in the Southern Central Athletic Association with North Adams-Jerome, Jackson Christian, Hillsdale Academy and Camden-Frontier. Camden-Frontier and Hillsdale Academy both return several players from quality teams and also will play in the same District as Pittsford.

“It’s still early,” Davis said. “We’ve struggled at times offensively, but I’m not worried about that at this point. If we play up to our potential, we can make a run. But, like I said, it’s early. We’ll see what happens.”

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) First-year Pittsford varsity girls basketball coach Aaron Davis talks things over with his team during a practice this season. (Middle) Davis and his team are off to a 3-0 start. (Top photo courtesy of James Gensterblum; middle photo provided by Pittsford girls basketball program.)

Jahfetson Makes History from 3-Point Range in Taking Baraga to 2023 Finals

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 23, 2024

Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson graduated in 2023 as one of the most accomplished 3-point shooters in MHSAA history and coming off one of the most impressive single seasons from beyond the arc.

Her 103 3-pointers as a senior over 29 games were the second-most for one season and included eight in a Quarterfinal win over Mackinaw City – the second-most in an MHSAA Quarterfinal, Semifinal or Final.

She finished with 236 3-pointers over 96 games and four seasons, ranking 12th on that career list, and Baraga finished the season as Division 4 runner-up. She’s continuing her career at Northern Michigan.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click the heading to view the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Alma junior Bailey Walkington earned her school’s first single-season individual record book entry for girls basketball in 2022-23. She made the steals list with 143 over 23 games.

Dalton DeBoer became the latest Midland Dow long-range shooting ace to make the records after she drained 70 of 206 3-point attempts over 24 games in 2022-23. DeBoer is a junior this school year.

Durand senior Jordyn Lawrence earned her school’s first girls basketball individual record book entry with 15 steals in her team’s 44-31 win over Flint Kearsley on Dec. 2, 2022. She’s continuing at Mid-Michigan College.

Leah French finished her Engadine career in 2023 with a series of game, season and career record book entries detailing her scoring and defensive skills. She earned single-game listings for 54 points and 19 free throws against St. Ignace on Feb. 6, 2023, and nine 3-pointers against Manistique that Jan. 9. She made the single-season list with 81 3-pointers, 177 free throws and 168 steals over 25 games as a senior. And she made the career lists with 171 3-pointers, 354 free throws and 405 steals over 85 games and four seasons. She’s continuing her career at Aquinas College.

Arieonna Ware earned Battle Creek Central's first girls basketball record book entry with 51 points in a Feb. 11, 2020, win over Portage Northern. She actually finished with a triple-double, adding 12 rebounds and 12 steals. Ware also was added for 47 points in a March 6, 2019, District game against Sturgis.

Mesick senior Kayla McCoy made the MHSAA record in 2022-23 as a junior, totaling 144 steals over 23 games. It was Mesick’s first individual entry in the girls basketball record book.

Coldwater’s Carlee Crabtree made a career-high 52 3-pointers during her senior season of 2019-20 on the way to making the MHSAA career list for long-distance shots with 163, in 469 attempts, over four seasons and 88 games total. She went on to play at Central Michigan and Hope College.

Battle Creek Pennfield’s Kaylee Glidden capped her three-year varsity career in 2023 among the most accurate free-throw shooters in MHSAA history – and also among top 3-point aces. She made 90.6 percent of her free-throw attempts as a senior, good for fifth-highest percentage all-time for one season, and her 84.4-percent success rate ranks fourth on the career list. She also made the single-season 3-pointers list with 67 that winter and the career list with 168. She continued at Kellogg Community College and has committed to Great Lakes Christian College.

Larissa Huffman made a pair of career lists upon completing her four-year varsity career in 2023 at Mackinaw City. She was added for 468 assists and 411 steals, both over 92 games, and she’s continuing her career at St. Norbert (Wis.). Additionally, Mackinaw City was added to the single-game field goals list as a team for making at least 39 in a game six times over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, with a high of 45.

Lansing Christian earned a listing on the team 3-pointers list when it sank 14 on 32 attempts against Webberville on Jan. 20, 2023. Seven players drained at least one of the long-distance shots.  

Grayling’s 66-49 win over Houghton Lake on Dec. 19 included one of the most impressive defensive performances of all-time as senior Makayla Watkins had 19 steals – tying for third-most in one game.

Brooklyn Columbia Central’s Zoandria Bamm grabbed 28 rebounds during a Feb. 14, 2023, game against Clinton to make the single-game list in that category and on the way to finishing her senior season with 380 rebounds over 25 games – tying for 13th most on that list. She’s playing at Jackson College.

Riley Abney became the first player to be listed for points scored in a quarter of a girls basketball game when she sank 21 of her 36 total during the fourth quarter of a 64-47 loss to Linden on Jan. 16. The Ortonville Brandon senior has committed to be a preferred walk-on at Oakland.

A pair of Paw Paw standouts earned single-game accomplishments within three days of each other in January. On Jan. 26 against Sturgis, junior AJ Rickli grabbed 31 rebounds, tied for seventh-most for one game. On Jan. 29 against Three Rivers, sophomore Stella Shaefer made the single-game assists list with 14.

Keira Maki joined the single-game points list on Feb. 22 when she scored 47 in Escanaba’s 64-49 win over Sault Ste. Marie. The senior will continue at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

PHOTO Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson (22) brings the ball upcourt during the 2023 Division 4 Final against Glen Lake at Breslin Center.