Many Gators Chip In As Arbor Prep Earns Championship Game Return
By Dean Holzwarth
Special for MHSAA.com
March 17, 2022
EAST LANSING – Mya Petticord finished as the leading scorer for top-ranked Ypsilanti Arbor Prep in Thursday's Division 3 Semifinal at the Breslin Center.
But key contributions from her teammates also helped pave the way in a 57-44 victory over Maple City Glen Lake.
Arbor Prep (24-2) handed the Lakers (25-1) their lone loss of the season, and will play Kent City in Saturday’s Division 2 Final at 4 p.m.
“One of the TV reporters asked me before the game what one player did I need to score for us to win the game, and I didn’t have an answer,” Gators coach Scott Stine said. “Mya can score 12 and we can still win this game, because every night somebody steps up. We’re really tough to guard because any of the girls in the rotation can score.”
Petticord, a Miss Basketball Award finalist who will play next season at Texas A&M, scored a game-high 20 points, only three below her average, despite shooting an uncharacteristic 5-of-18 from the field – entering this week she was connecting on 52 percent of her shots.
Senior Karianne Woods, a Bethune-Cookman commit, added 10 points and six assists.
“I didn’t feel like I had to score for us to win, not at all,” Petticord said. “I feel like all my teammates have scoring abilities.”
Stephanie and Stacy Utomi combined for 14 points and 17 rebounds, while sophomore Taylor Wallace pitched in with eight points and two steals.
“Stacy from the tip rebounded for us and brought energy,” said Stine, whose team was making its first appearance in the Semifinals since 2019. “Her and her sister are tough, and they live in the gym.”
The Gators’ defense forced 11 first-half turnovers as they led 26-21 at the half before pulling away in the third quarter with an inspired 12-0 run sparked by defense and 3-point shooting.
Wallace drained a pair of 3-pointers from the corner to make it 34-24. Ensuing layups by Jazmin Chupp and Woods pushed the lead to 38-24.
“We were a little bit nervous and rattled to begin the game,” Stine said. “We were fumbling the ball and missing defensive assignments, and our shooting was uncharacteristically terrible in the first half. But we weathered through it and played a little more like Arbor Prep is supposed to play.”
Glen Lake cut the deficit to 51-41 with less than three minutes remaining, but Petticord went 6-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal it.
This was Glen Lake’s third trip to the Semifinals over the last six years, but first since 2018.
Senior all-state guard Grace Bradford led the Lakers with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Ruby Hogan added 10 points.
“We knew it was going to be physical coming out, and the biggest thing was if we could get past that trap then we would be fine, but we had a hiccup there not being able to get through and take care of the ball,” Glen Lake coach Jason Bradford said. “We struggled setting up our offense due to their pressure.”
The loss was only the second for Glen Lake over the last two seasons.
“Every one of these girls have been together since the third grade, and that’s a special thing,” Bradford said. “They step on the floor and they know what the meaning of winning is, and this team leaned on each other.”
PHOTOS (Top) Arbor Prep's Mya Petticord (1) makes a move toward the basket with Glen Lake's Jessica Robbins defending. (Middle) The Lakers' Maddie Bradford (10) gets up a shot over Petticord's outstretched arm. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner
March 24, 2023
Regan 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.
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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
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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.)