Kent City Finds Shooting Touch to Reach 1st Final

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for

April 7, 2021

EAST LANSING – Kent City has overcome every obstacle this season, and Friday the undefeated Eagles will play Grass Lake for the Division 3 girls basketball championship after defeating Calumet 59-53 in a Semifinal on Wednesday at the Breslin Center.

Grass Lake (19-1) advanced to Friday’s championship game when Hemlock opted out of the tournament Wednesday morning. Both Kent City and Grass Lake will be playing in a Final for the first time.

The Eagles (21-0) opened up an 11-point lead to start the fourth quarter Wednesday and held on despite the Copper Kings getting to within 54-50.

Kent City had a balanced offensive attack with Jenna Harrison scoring 15 points, Madelyn Geers 14, Kenzie Bowers 13, and sister Lexie Bowers 10.

“We just had to take a deep breath and relax,’’ said Harrison. “We knew eventually the shots would start falling.’’

Elli Djerf led the Copper Kings (20-1) with 22 points.

“She kept us in the game; she played her heart out,’’ said Calumet coach Matt Laho. “We needed to have a couple more players go with her, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

“We had some defensive breakdowns in the third quarter, some bad rotations. It’s easy to make shots when you’re wide open.’’

Kent City pressured Calumet from the start as both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter. Both teams were under 25-percent shooting over those first eight minutes as the teams managed just 14 points for a 7-7 tie.

2021 D3 Girls Basketball Semifinal - Kent CityGeers, who scored four points in the first quarter, picked up her second foul with 9.8 seconds left in the period. Calumet then went on an 8-3 run to start the second quarter, using a triple from Djerf to take a 15-10 lead and force Kent City coach Scott Carlson to call a timeout.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Lexie Bowers got the Eagles back to within two of the lead, 17-15, as the offenses heated up.

A 10-0 run including consecutive threes from Bowers gave the Eagles a 24-19 advantage. But Djerf scored the last three points of the quarter to get the Copper Kings to within 24-22 at halftime.

“We knew eventually we’d make shots,’’ said Carlson.

Strom and Djerf scored the first six points of the third quarter to give Calumet a 28-24 lead, but Kent City’s offense, led by Geers, responded with a 20-9 run to take a 44-37 lead on a triple and floater by Kenzie Bowers.

Harrison finished the frantic quarter with a triple to give Kent City a 49-41 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

When Geers scored to start the fourth quarter, the Eagles had their largest lead of the game, 51-41.

Up 11, 52-41, Kent City went to its delay game, forcing the Copper Kings to foul.

“We have enough ball-handlers to run clock for five minutes.’’ said Carlson. “They were tired, and playing defense that long wears you out.’’

Lexie Bowers led Kent City with 10 points while Marybeth Halonen had seven for the Copper Kings.

“We’re living the dream right now on the big stage,” Carlson said. “I think it’s a huge advantage for us having played today (while Grass Lake didn’t).’’

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Kent City's Jenna Harrison (4) makes her way around a Calumet defender Wednesday at Breslin Center. (Middle) Madelyn Geers (24) defends as Calumet's Jana Loukus looks for an opening. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)

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.