Manchester Celebrates 1st Championship

March 16, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – Taylor Manders placed a hand on each side of her head Saturday, not entirely sure what to say when her sister Jessie ran up and gave her a huge hug.

A few seconds later, they and their teammates would celebrate the first MHSAA Finals championship in Manchester High School history.

Manders’ speechlessness probably had something to do with simple joy – before this season, Manchester had never even played in a Quarterfinal. There might’ve been some disbelief in there too after a start that made this look early like a Saginaw Nouvel win going away.

And don’t forget a little anticipation. The Lady Dutch had built for this season throughout Manders’ high school career and improved throughout. This winter they picked up a final edge, and it might’ve been the difference-maker in a 57-52 championship game win over the Panthers.

“When I was a freshman, we had a pretty good team. But we lacked chemistry. Sophomore year definitely was a rebuilding year,” Manders said. “Junior year, we were there. But we didn’t have the mental (side). This year we gained all the mentality. The biggest difference was our mentality in us being so strong this year.”

Manchester finished 27-1, its only loss to Class A Semifinalist Dexter. The Dutch entered postseason play ranked No. 3 in Class C, while Nouvel was No. 4.

Along the way the last three weeks, Manchester also eliminated No. 2 Niles Brandywine and two more teams that had received votes in the final Associated Press poll, Ypsilanti Arbor and Adrian Madison.

The Dutch knew how to beat strong teams. But the good news Saturday is they also knew how to climb out of a deficit.

Manchester had gotten down early against Michigan Center in the Regional Semifinal and trailed Riverview Gabriel Richard by eight just minutes into Thursday’s eventual seven-point win. This time, the Dutch found themselves down 14-2 to Nouvel with less than a minute to go in the first quarter.

“The thing is, we’ve seen more pressure defense before. … We just weren’t moving to the seams they gave us,” Manchester coach Cori Kastel said. “We were forcing things. We weren’t patient. And when we try to force and make things happen, that’s when we fall apart instead of maintaining our composure.”

But where other teams might have, Manchester didn’t lose it.

Nouvel had eliminated two top-10 teams during the tournament, including No. 1 Reese. The Panthers closed out a number of elite squads throughout the season. 

The Dutch didn’t become the last.

Nouvel outrebounded Manchester 12-4 during the first quarter; Manchester outrebounded Nouvel 31-16 the rest of the game. Nouvel shot six free throws and made two during the first quarter, while Manchester didn’t have an attempt. Nouvel made two free throws on seven tries the rest of the game; Manchester made 17 of 21.

“Somehow, offensively, we really struggled. We weren’t executing the way we did in the first quarter. For whatever reason, we just lost that flow in our offense,” Nouvel coach Kris Hengesbach said. “And then, coupled with them making big 3-point shots, when we did make a stop they’d get an offensive rebound and put it back in. That did us in.”

“We didn’t play like we were down either. We were just playing our game,” said Dutch senior center McKenna Erkfritz, who had game highs of 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. “When we had a chance to push the ball, we pushed the ball. We really composed ourselves. We used what we’ve been using all season, and it worked for us.”

When Manchester took its first lead of the game on an Erkfritz jumped with 2:48 to play in the third quarter, more than a thousand maroon-clad fans in Breslin’s northeast corner erupted.

The Dutch pushed the lead to 35-32 by the end of the quarter. And only a jumper by Nouvel senior Taylor Hengesbach with two seconds to play brought the final margin back to five.

She finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists in her final game of an all-state career playing for her mother Kris. Junior Rachel McInerney added 15 points and six rebounds.

“Our student body is really close; our school is kinda like a family, and I knew they were still proud of us in the end even though we didn’t come out with the number one trophy,” Taylor Hengesbach said. “They’re still proud of us, and I’m still proud of our team.”

Click for a full box score. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Manchester players prepare to embrace senior McKenna Erkfritz during Saturday's medal ceremony after winning their first Class B championship. (Middle) Lady Dutch senior guard  Taylor Manders finished with nine points, five rebounds and six assists. (Click to see more at

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.