Eaton Rapids Adds to History-Making Run

March 14, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – Bailey Baker plans to graduate from Eaton Rapids this spring with 16 varsity letters won in four sports. Like others on her basketball team, she’s had plenty of success on others as well.

But there’s something special about what the Greyhounds have accomplished this week during the longest run in school hoops history.

Eaton Rapids played in its first Class B Semifinal on Friday, and will try for its first MHSAA championship Saturday night after downing reigning runner-up and No. 9-ranked Flint Powers Catholic 46-36 at the Breslin Center.

The Greyhounds – an honorable mention in the final Associated Press Class B poll – have eliminated three top-10 teams during the tournament, including also No. 6 Ypsilanti Arbor Prep in the Quarterfinal and No. 9 Olivet in the District Final. And they continued another impressive postseason streak as well – they’ve beaten all of their playoff opponents by at least 10 points.

 “We all have side sports, but this is the one we’re all together,” said Baker, who also next weekend will receive an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award. “We’ve wanted this forever, and to finally have this opportunity is amazing.

“Win or lose, it’s going to be my favorite high school memory.”

Eaton Rapids can make this historical run even sweeter by getting past top-ranked and undefeated Grand Rapids South Christian in the Final at 6 p.m. Saturday.

It’s unwise to count the Greyhounds (22-5) out.

They’ve had strong teams during coach Willis Whitmyer’s 15 seasons, but the best usually ran into frequent championship contenders DeWitt, Portland or others down the road.

Eaton Rapids also is playing with some emotional edge. All five starters are seniors, and there are eight total.  Whitmyer said longtime assistant Richard Stoken will be leaving the program after 13 seasons, and Whitmyer said he’s also not sure if he’ll be back next winter.

“We’ve had five teams I thought could’ve gotten here in my tenure, but we found some way to screw it up or the other team took it from us,” Whitmyer said. “This is huge for us. It’s huge for the community. They’re wrapped up in it, and they should be. They’re a huge part of it.”

The latest stunning performance began with a 14-2 run during Friday’s first five minutes. The Greyhounds carried an eight-point lead into the final three minutes of the first half.

But Powers was not to go that quietly, especially with a lineup filled with contributors from last season’s championship game run. The Chargers (23-3) gained a one-point lead heading into the final minute of the third quarter.

It was short-lived. Eaton Rapids senior center Allie Ditmer scored at the buzzer to give the Greyhounds back the advantage, and they never trailed again.

“We battled back, but I think we started to run out of gas a little bit. I think battling back took a toll on us,” Powers coach Thom Staudacher said.

“It definitely hurts. We’re usually on the other end of the stick.”

Eaton Rapids kept Powers’ trio of senior leading scorers to 19 points, down from their combined average of 33 per game. The Greyhounds also outrebounded the Chargers 38-22, thanks in large part to Dittmer’s 14 boards to go with a game-high 15 points.

Baker provided another little surprise as well. A 54-percent free-throw shooter, she connected on 11 of 12 attempts for the majority of her 13 total points.

“Just being a senior, and with how much we wanted it this year, rather than getting me more nervous it made me more calm,” Baker said of going to the line. “I should be taking those free throws. I’m a senior now. I need to have that leadership.”

Powers will graduate six seniors who helped return the program to the state’s elite. Sara Ruhstorfer and sophomore Francesca Coury led Friday with eight points, while senior Michela Coury had 10 rebounds.

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

PHOTOS: (Top) Eaton Rapids’ Bailey Baker pushes past Powers’ Michela Coury during Friday’s Semifinal. (Middle) Coury makes her way to the basket despite being defended closely.

HIGHLIGHTS: (1) Flint Powers trailed Eaton Rapids from the beginning of the game until Ally Haran makes a midcourt steal and converts it into a basket to tie the score at 26-26. (2) After her team fell behind in the final minute of the third quarter, Eaton Rapids' Allie Dittmer scores at the buzzer to put the Greyhounds on top to stay against Flint Powers.

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.