Hudsonville Holds On to Clinch 1st Finals Championship

By Jason Schmitt
Special for

April 9, 2021

EAST LANSING — To say Hudsonville’s Jaci Tubergen and Alaina Diaz were locked in during Friday’s Division 1 Final would be an extreme understatement. 

One of them went on an 11-0 personal run, while the other had ice water in her veins during a three-minute stretch that helped her team fend off Detroit Renaissance, 65-61, to capture the first girls basketball state championship in Hudsonville history.

Tubergen broke open what had been a tie game just minutes earlier. The junior took a pass from senior Ashlynn Bailey and drilled a 3-pointer from the wing to give her team a five-point lead with 4:37 remaining in the first half. On their next possession, the Eagles once again found Turbergan open, this time from the opposite wing. She hit another 3-pointer to push the lead to eight. A traditional three-point play and baseline jumper by Tubergen capped off a personal 11-point run to push Hudsonville’s lead to 47-34.

“To see shots go in, it’s a good feeling,” said Tubergen, who finished with a game-high 28 points. “Alaina handling the pressure as the point guard and other girls attacking and kicking (out), they got me pretty open. I’m lucky to have teammates who are willing to drive in and draw the defenders, leaving people open on the wings.”

Tubergen would finish with 16 points in the third quarter alone, as the Eagles saw a one-point halftime lead balloon to 14 points heading into the fourth.

But Renaissance, which battled back from a big deficit in Wednesday’s Semifinal against Wayne Memorial to make it to Friday’s Final, wasn’t finished. The Phoenix scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to cut the Eagles’ lead to two points at 54-52. Senior Shannon Wheeler had three steals and senior Mikyah Finley had two herself during the run to help their team get back into the game. Senior Kailee Davis had five of her team-high 26 points over that stretch.

“They did a great job of mixing up defenses,” Hudsonville head coach Casey Glass said. “I think when you play in the moment like that, you let one thing lead to another. The big thing for us was to weather the storm. We knew that they were going to apply pressure. We knew there were going to be spurts in the game.”

The Eagles certainly did weather the storm. Moments after missing the front end of a one-and-one, Diaz calmly stepped back up to the line and sank a pair of free throws which gave her team a 56-52 lead with 2:44 to play. Those were the first points of the fourth quarter for Hudsonville.

Diaz wasn’t done. She would go on to make six more free throws without a miss to help her team pull out the victory.

2021 D1 Girls Basketball Final

“I’m just used to the pressure because at practice we usually have pressure free throws and I’m just thinking that I have to do it for my family, my teammates,” said Diaz, who finished 9 of 10 from the line. “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.” 

Renaissance would make another late push, but came up short. The Phoenix were just 18 of 30 from the free throw line.

“The press eventually starts to get to you, and it eventually started to get to them,” Lawal said. “I just think that we had a few chances after they turned it over (to us), or when we kind of got them to take a rushed shot that led to a rebound and fast break, we weren’t able to convert like we did Wednesday (against Wayne Memorial). I think that’s the biggest difference.”

And he did touch on his team’s missed opportunities at the line:

“I’m not going to give coach (Greg) Kampe credit for this quote, because I’m sure he stole it from someone, but he said, ‘Two things in this world that don’t last, dogs that chase cars and teams that don’t make free throws.’ We didn’t make free throws, so we didn’t last. We got away with it Wednesday against Wayne Memorial. God said you’re not going to get away with it twice.”

Finley finished with 13 points and Wheeler added nine points and eight rebounds for Renaissance, which finished 13-5.

Hudsonville capped off a magical season which saw it finish 23-1. Diaz ended the day with 15 points and seven rebounds, while junior Eva Joldersma had four points and 11 rebounds in her team’s win.

“Going into tonight, I said to myself, ‘I’m the luckiest coach in the state of Michigan,’ ” Glass said. “I’ve gotten more time with my team this year, being in a state championship (game), than any other coach. When you coach, you’re looking for how much time you can spend with your players, or how much impact you can make as a coach. Our team has always been like family. We play together, we push each other.”

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PHOTOS: (Top) Hudsonville's Emmalynn Costen (5) establishes position in the post during Friday's Division 1 Final. (Middle) Renaissance's Nika Dorsey (12) works to get the ball upcourt. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)

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

By Geoff Kimmerly 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.