Lakers' Historical Runs Lives On

March 14, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – One way or another, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes was going to be one of the most intriguing stories from this weekend’s MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals at the Breslin Center.

But with a quarter to play in Thursday’s last Class D Semifinal, it wasn’t going to be for the reason the Lakers would’ve liked.

Our Lady will play Saturday to become only the second team in MHSAA girls basketball history to win four straight Finals championships. But it’s an opportunity that came about only because the team survived arguably its greatest scare since starting this incredible run in 2010.

The Lakers didn’t score in the second quarter and trailed Athens by seven with a eight minutes to play before emerging with a 35-27 victory over the team they also beat in last season’s championship game.

“I was just kinda waiting for when it was going to happen,” Our Lady senior guard Ava Doetsch said. “I knew it was going to happen. After halftime came, (I thought) it has to be the third quarter. Then, it has to be the fourth quarter. And then it did.”

The No. 9 Lakers (21-4) will face top-ranked St. Ignace in Saturday’s first championship game, at 10 a.m. The Saints, like Our Lady, have made it to the Breslin Center each of the last three seasons. They won Class C in 2011 and fell in that class’ Semifinals a year ago.

Another championship would tie the Lakers with Flint Northern’s 1978-81 teams for the longest girls basketball streak in MHSAA history. Only four teams, boys or girls, have won four or more consecutive MHSAA titles – on the boys side, River Rouge won four from 1969-72 and five from 1961-65, and Crystal Falls Forest Park won four straight Upper Peninsula championships from 1938-41 during the era when separate tournaments were held for each peninsula.

But before Our Lady could consider any of that, it had to get past Athens again. And that proved much tougher than in last winter’s 53-37 Finals victory.

After senior guard Lexie Robak hit a 3-pointer with 3:37 to go in the first quarter to give the Lakers a 9-3 lead, they didn’t make another field goal until 3:10 into the third quarter – a stretch of nearly 15 minutes.

That shot cut Athens’ lead to 18-13. The Indians (22-4) went into the fourth quarter up 22-15.  

“We knew we had to come out and play our game and not worry about the other team,” said Robak, who with Doetsch has started all four of the team’s Finals wins. “I don't know why we were nervous, but we were. When we got rid of those, we started playing our game.”

Both teams struggled to find the basket – Our Lady shot only 26 percent from the floor for the game, and Athens came in at 19 percent.

But the Lakers found their sharpness in the fourth, hitting 5 of 7 shots from the floor and 8 of 15 free throw attempts to finish on a 20-5 run that was nearly as shocking as the drought had been earlier.

Meanwhile, Athens had 11 of its 21 turnovers over the final 7:41 as the Lakers turned up the pressure.

“I don’t think we got in the positions that we should’ve gotten in to be successful in breaking that press,” Indians coach Calvin Quist said. “We’ve been pressed during this season, but not a whole lot because we usually handle it well. We didn’t handle it well, and that was the difference in the game.”

Lexie Robak finished with 13 points and Doetsch had eight and five steals. But the key may have been junior forward Anna Robb, who made 3 of 5 shots for seven points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds as well.

Senior Chantel Davenport led Athens with 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and junior Audrey Oswalt grabbed 11 rebounds.

“It’s probably not the way we imagined it might go,” Our Lady coach Steve Robak said. “But when the fourth quarter rolled around, and this group’s backs were against the wall, there was never any doubt in our huddle. And certainly (not) with this group.”

Click for a full box score. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Waterford Our Lady's Ava Doetsch (20) works to drive around Athens' Allison Fuller during Thursday's Class D Semifinal. (Middle) Athens' Audrey Oswalt (22) make a strong move to the basket. (Photos by 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.