Focused on Finish, West Bloomfield Completes Run to Reign Again

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

March 23, 2024

EAST LANSING — Following Friday’s overtime Semifinal win over Rockford – a rematch of last season’s Division 1 championship game – many may have thought West Bloomfield already had clinched this year’s title.

But the deciding matchup with Grand Blanc still loomed Saturday, and trying to get over Friday’s emotional high was a bit of a task for the Lakers. 

“A little bit,” West Bloomfield senior Summer Davis said. “But we came here for one goal, and that was to win a state championship. I think everybody got that.” 

Several players including the Lakers’ Kendall Hendrix (11) challenge for a loose ball. West Bloomfield left no doubt that there wouldn’t be a letdown from the start Saturday, holding Grand Blanc to just one point in the first quarter and ultimately cruising to a 60-30 win. 

It was the second championship in three years for the Lakers, who finished a mission that began following a tough loss to Rockford in last year’s championship game.

The Lakers finished this season 27-1, unbeaten in Michigan with their only loss to an Ohio opponent.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our players,” West Bloomfield head coach Darrin McAllister said. “I’m super proud of our seniors. I’ve had them since they were sophomores. I kind of watched them grow up. They turned out to be two-time champions today, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.” 

West Bloomfield wouldn’t have been in the title game if not for senior Indya Davis banking in a 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer Friday, forcing overtime in the Lakers’ eventual 55-47 win over the Rams.

West Bloomfield continued to roll right into Saturday, scoring the first 10 points against the Bobcats and ultimately leading 15-1 going into the second quarter. 

Indya Davis (24) pulls up for a jumper with Grand Blanc’s Kate DeWitt (20) defending. “We had to have the mentality coming out of ‘don’t underestimate them,’” Summer Davis said. “Just play hard.” 

The Lakers built their lead to 33-17 by halftime, and then all but put the game away outscoring Grand Blanc 18-8 in the third quarter and taking a 51-25 lead into the fourth. 

The game was a rematch of a regular-season finale between the teams, which West Bloomfield won by 39 points. 

Summer Davis scored 14 points, senior Kendall Hendrix had 13 and Indya Davis had 11 points and eight rebounds for West Bloomfield, which shot 53.7 percent from the field and 8 of 18 from 3-point range. 

Grand Blanc was making its first appearance in a Final and finished its season 23-5. Senior Chelsea Bishop scored 20 points to lead the Bobcats, which shot 26.2 percent from the field and made just 2 of 15 shots from 3-point range. 

Grand Blanc also turned the ball over 19 times, and West Bloomfield capitalized with 12 points off those changes in possession. 

“We thought we had to get a good start out of the gate, and we just didn’t,” Grand Blanc head coach Bob Taylor said. “We got behind early, and it seemed like it was all uphill.

“That team is very, very good. Every time they had a shot, they made it. They got the ball into the high post, they moved the ball and they played good defense. When we got behind, it was just hard.”

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PHOTOS (Top) West Bloomfield players celebrate their Division 1 championship Saturday at Breslin Center. (Middle) Several players including the Lakers’ Kendall Hendrix (11) challenge for a loose ball. (Below) Indya Davis (24) pulls up for a jumper with Grand Blanc’s Kate DeWitt (20) defending. (Photos by Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)