Manchester Earns First Final Berth

March 14, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – This season isn’t the first that Manchester has looked like an MHSAA championship contender. 

Big things were expected a year ago as well – but the Lady Dutch panicked in a Regional Final against Riverview Gabriel Richard and saw their season end that day. 

Manchester met Gabriel Richard again in Thursday’s opening Class C Semifinal at the Breslin Center. But this time, and despite an early deficit, there was no panic. Instead, a number of players worked to overcome the early disadvantage as they collectively resolved to earn their first berth in an MHSAA Final. 

The No. 3-ranked Dutch held off Gabriel Richard 53-46 and will play for their first MHSAA championship against Saginaw Nouvel at 4 p.m. Saturday. 

“With them ending our season last year, and one person showed up, we knew this game we all needed to show up,” Manchester sophomore guard Jesse Manders said. “Even if it’s not scoring, it’s playing defense. … We didn’t start out great, but we overcame that and played a good game all-around.” 

That “one person,” senior forward McKenna Erkfritz, had scored 23 of her team’s points in that 39-33 loss to Gabriel Richard last season. She had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three steals Thursday, but got plenty of help with Manders scoring 16 points and senior Taylor Manders adding 11. 

Total, Manchester (26-1) outrebounded Gabriel Richard 38-30 and forced a share of 23 Pioneers turnovers. 

“They know they can get it done. We always knew the potential this group could grow into, and I knew from this summer that this is where we wanted to be,” Manchester coach Cori Kastel said. 

“Our District Final (57-42 over Ypsilanti Arbor Prep) was a very tough game and probably some of the best defense we’ve seen all season. But when we were able to handle that, it gave us a confidence boost. Our Regional (58-51 over Adrian Madison) was the first time in a long time we were playing from behind, and we’re not used to that. That’s what broke us last year. But this year we have more veteran players … and they weren't going to let that happen again.”

Gabriel Richard – also seeking its first championship game berth – jumped out to an eight-point lead just five minutes into the game, and still led by a basket two minutes into the second quarter before Taylor Manders drilled a 3-pointer to give Manchester a 10-9 lead. 

The Pioneers (16-8) briefly regained the advantage, 27-25, with 3:44 left in the third quarter. But 10 of those turnovers came during the final 12 minutes, thanks in part to Manchester’s stingy pressure. 

“I guess the purpose of the press is to make teams you’re pressing make mental mistakes, and that’s what we did. We over-thought it, and the turnovers affected the way we played and took us out of our game a little bit,” Gabriel Richard senior guard Ashley Henderson said. 

“I think we had a lot of turnovers too because a lot of girls had never played in this big of a game before. They were nervous, and I think that adds onto it too.”

Henderson finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and three steals. 

As well as earning its first championship game berth, Manchester is playing during the season’s final week for the first time. 

“They have confidence in themselves, their teammates and our coaching staff. Not just one person is going to lead us to victory,” Kastel said. “We had an off shooting night, and we persevered. We buckled down, our defense held us in the game, and now we’re playing for a championship.

We've played here once. Now it’s not new. The newness has worn off. We know we belong here."

Click for full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Manchester guard Taylor Manders brings the ball upcourt on a fastbreak during Thursday's Semifinal win. (Middle) Gabriel Richard sophomore Casey Lyons works to get around Manders on the way to the basket. (Photos by Hockey Weekly Action Photo.)

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.