Lenawee Christian's Title Time Arrives

March 17, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

GRAND RAPIDS – As daughter of the coach and sister of the star, sophomore Dani Salenbien was in unique position to forecast the success of this season’s Adrian Lenawee Christian girls basketball team.

She knew one thing for sure.

“I know we can do anything when we play together,” Salenbien said. “We’re fighters and we haven’t stopped fighting this whole season, so I’m proud of every single one of them.”

Two days after freshman sister Bree sank a last-second overtime shot to send their team to the championship game, Lenawee Christian won it. The Cougars caught fire during Saturday’s second half to claim their first MHSAA girls basketball title with a 57-36 win over Chassell at Van Noord Arena.

Lenawee Christian previously had finished Class D runner-up in 2010 and was making its first trip to Finals weekend since that title game run. The Cougars capped a season that saw them finish 26-1, with their only loss by one point to Class A Monroe.

They had only one senior on the roster, and 51 of their points Saturday were scored by Bree Salenbien or sophomores.

“Three or four weeks ago, we started hitting our stride a bit,” said Lenawee Christian coach Jamie Salenbien, who’s also Bree and Dani’s father. “And I told Coach, ‘Wow, something good is happening.’ They’re jelling well, the chemistry’s good, they’re sacrificing for each other, and to boot we were getting a lot of progress as far as the skill level goes – shooting, ball handling and passing. It all got crisper.

“And we peaked at the right time, so we’re just really thankful for that.”

Leading by a point at the break Saturday, Lenawee Christian went on a 19-7 run over the final 7½ minutes of the third quarter to build a 13-point lead. The Cougars then held Chassell to only four points – on 20 percent shooting – during the fourth quarter.

Bree Salenbien, the team’s leading scorer this winter at more than 21 points per game, left the floor briefly during the first half after twisting an ankle. The 6-foot-2 guard finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds – and despite hitting only 7 of 21 shots from the floor. She disrupted Chassell’s defense just by being out there and opening up space for teammates.

Sophomore Libby Miller added 11 points, while Dani Salenbien and sophomore Caitlin Anderson both scored 10. Salenbien had six assists and five steals, and Anderson grabbed seven rebounds.

“We kinda let her control a little bit of the second half. I felt like we scrambled a little bit, over-helping and not getting back where we needed to be – we had too much help and not enough on-the-ball defense,” Chassell coach Brandi Hainault said.

“I felt we had momentum from the first half into the second half. They hit some big shots, and we weren’t hitting ours, and eventually you dig yourself a hole.”

Senior center Sydney Danison led Chassell (26-2) with 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, showing sharp post moves especially early on. Senior guard Milly Allen, also a Semifinal star Thursday, added 10 points.

Chassell was making its first MHSAA championship game appearance in girls basketball and first in either girls or boys since 1958.

“They’ve done something no other Chassell team had done,” Hainault said. “They’re a team that deserves to be here, and I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve done.

“The first time being here, it’s a great thing. I couldn’t ask for anything more, except maybe the win. It’s a hard thing – these girls played with a lot of heart, played with a lot of hustle and did the right things. A lot of our mistakes just cost us the game today.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Lenawee Christian celebrates its first MHSAA girls basketball championship after claiming Saturday's Class D Final. (Middle) Chassell’s Sydney Danison and Lenawee Christian’s Brooke Brinning battle for possession.

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.