Marian Wins Rematch of Top-Ranked in A

March 20, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – Bloomfield Hills Marian is the reigning Class A girls basketball champion. 

But sophomore guard Samantha Thomas admitted Friday the Mustangs were nervous the first time they faced Detroit Martin Luther King this season, on Feb. 26. 

Marian didn’t see always-powerful King during its championship run. The Mustangs did win that first meeting this winter, but by only one point.

Nerves aside for their Class A Semifinal rematch, the story unfolded much differently – but with a similar ending. 

Top-ranked Marian never trailed after the first five minutes and furthered its already-impressive body of work this season by downing the No. 2 Crusaders 57-37 at the Breslin Center.  

“I think today we were ready for them. We actually played with confidence,” Williams said. “The last game we were nervous. We’d never played them. Today we went out and played the best we could.” 

On Saturday, the Mustangs can prove for the second straight season that no other team in Class A can play better. They’ll take on DeWitt in the noon Final at Michigan State.

Marian’s surge in confidence was just one change from the first meeting. Coach Mary Cicerone made some adjustments to the Mustangs’ stingy man-to-man defense designed to make life a little harder on King senior point guard Janae Williams, who had 17 points in February. 

Williams scored a game-high 18 points this time, but eight came on free throws as she had a tougher time driving to the basket against additional defensive attention.

“In this particular game, they were a little bit more aggressive,” King coach William Winfield said. “They took us out of what we wanted to do, which was good on their part. We did the same thing when we played them (the first time). 

“They put a lot of pressure on my point guard, and that was it. Any time you have a situation when they take my point guard out of the game, now we have problems.”

Thomas scored with 36 seconds left in the first quarter to launch an 11-2 run that put Marian ahead 20-11 three minutes into the second. The Crusaders cut the deficit back to seven points three minutes later, but never got closer. 

Thomas had 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds, plus three blocked shots. Senior guard Jaeda Robinson led Marian with 15 points and senior forward Brittany Gray added 14 as the team made 50 percent of its shots from the floor.

Senior center Malaysia McHenry added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Crusaders (24-2); she and Williams both were four-year varsity players for Winfield and led this first King run to the Semifinals since 2006.

Marian (25-1) is undefeated against in-state competition, its only loss to Chicago Whitney Young. The Mustangs are 50-3 over the last two seasons – and beat the team that handed them their 2013-14 losses, rival Farmington Hills Mercy, in last year’s Semifinal. 

Four starters from last season’s championship game likely will be in the lineup Saturday, and Robinson was the team’s top sub a year ago.

“This is what we planned for. Nothing else would’ve been satisfactory,” Cicerone said. “I’m sure you’d see a lot of tears if we weren’t here. But they came to play today, and I’m very proud of them.” 

Click for the full box score and video from the press conference.

PHOTOS: (Top) Marian’s Samantha Thomas works to get past King’s Leah Mathis during Friday’s Class A Semifinal. (Middle) King’s Janae Williams starts the offense; she finished with a game high 18 points. Bailey Thomas defends for Marian.

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.