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.)

Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner

March 24, 2023

Regan FinkbeinerRegan Finkbeiner ♦ Hemlock
Senior ♦ Basketball

The 5-foot-6 guard capped her high school career at Breslin Center over the weekend with team highs of 24 points and four steals in Thursday’s 57-26 Division 3 Semifinal win over Hart and the team-leading 19 points and four assists in the 59-43 win over Blissfield on Saturday that clinched the Huskies their first MHSAA Finals championship in girls basketball.

Finkbeiner played all but four minutes of 64 total over the two games, and she made a combined 15 of her 27 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throw attempts, plus four 3-pointers in the Final. She had entered the season’s final week averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.8 steals per game and in February became the program’s all-time leading scorer breaking the previous record of 1,302. A standout in multiple sports, she’s committed to continue playing softball after high school at Madonna University. Her basketball team finished 26-3 this winter.

@mhsaasports 🏀POW: Regan Finkbeiner #performanceoftheweek #basketball #champion #congrats #huskies #hemlock #letsgo #moana #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.

MI Student Aid's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

2022-23 Honorees

March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner drives to the basket during her team's Semifinal win over Hart. (Photos courtesy of the Hemlock girls basketball program.)