Freeland Finds Way to Season's Last Day

March 22, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

GRAND RAPIDS – Freeland was doubled up in rebounding, shot 14 fewer free throws and had one more turnover than Hamilton during Friday’s first Division 2 Semifinal at Van Noord Arena.

But the Falcons won out in experience and accuracy – and those made the differences in earning their first MHSAA championship game berth since winning the Class C title in 1998.

Hitting 60 percent of its shots during the second half, and nearly half of its 3-pointers for the game, Freeland was able to come back from a double-digit second-half deficit and down previously-unbeaten Hamilton 71-66.

The Falcons trailed from the 4-minute mark of the second quarter until 5:13 remained in the game. But they were never out, even as Hamilton 6-foot-2 sophomore A.J. Ediger went for 33 points and 17 rebounds while controlling the paint most of the game.

“We always said we would go as far as we can, go out with a bang,” said Alyssa Argyle, who with Autumn Kloha and Lily Beyer will finish her fourth varsity season in Saturday’s Division 2 Final.

“We’ve always had that mentality to finish out hard and not give up.”

That came in especially handy as the Falcons (24-2) played in their second Semifinal in three seasons.

Hamilton (25-1) was playing in its first ever, adding to the best two-year run in program history. And in addition to Ediger’s post power and a team 42-20 scoring advantage in the paint, the Hawkeyes made 9-of-13 shots from the floor during the second quarter to turn a one-point deficit into an eight-point halftime lead.

But that was nothing new for the Falcons. They also had trailed at halftime in both Regional games and the Quarterfinal.

“I can’t say enough about these three girls and this team,” Freeland coach Tom Zolinski said, referring to his four-year seniors. “They have won in their careers 92 games, which is unbelievable, and they just wouldn’t let it happen tonight.

“We fell down quite a bit. We were undersized. Everything was against us. The crowd was huge for them. And (we) did it.”

Hawkeyes senior guard Bria Schrotenboer put her team ahead 34-23 with a free throw 58 seconds into the third quarter. They led by at least 11 as late as 2:48 to go in the period.

But over the next 5½ minutes, Freeland rambled through a 24-11 run with junior Kadyn Blanchard sinking 10 points and Beyer seven.

“Obviously that little run there where they caught fire, that’s what we saw from them every single game we’ve seen,” Hamilton coach Dan VanHekken said. “We knew they’d been down a few games here at halftime and didn’t quit. They again replicated that tonight. They’ve got a lot of heart and didn’t give up. They don’t get rattled. … Their body language, they were not rattled.”

The teams traded leads one more time before Argyle put Freeland ahead for good with a 3-pointer with 4:30 left.

“We worked so hard in the fourth quarter. We came back, and we had our heart in the game,” Kloha said. “And we knew we were down in the first half, but at halftime we needed to pick it up and keep our heads up, and we came back. And we came back strong, and we stayed together as a team.”

Argyle also scored her 1,000th career point during the fourth quarter and finished with 17 on the night. Blanchard led with 23 points, seven rebounds and four steals, and Beyer added 13 points.

Schrotenboer added 13 points and six rebounds, and senior guard Riki Ediger had nine points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals.

Hamilton capped a three-year run with a combined 71-5 record, also making its first Quarterfinal in 2018.

“Especially just being a four-year senior, I’ve been playing with these girls a long time,” Schrotenboer said. “It’s sad to go out this way, but we had the best record Hamilton ever had, and I will remember that forever.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Freeland’s Autumn Kloha works to get past Hamilton’s Riki Ediger during Friday’s Division 2 Semifinal at Van Noord Arena. (Middle) Hamilton’s A.J. Ediger gets up a shot on the way to scoring 33 points.

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.