McCullen Reaches Milestone: 300 wins

March 7, 2012

Bill McCullen truly earned his 300th coaching victory — the program’s first-ever tournament win as a Class A school — in the first round of MHSAA District action by defeating No. 4-ranked St. Johns on Feb. 27.

After the Redwings hit two free throws, McCullen called a timeout with 9.9 seconds left, down one, and the length of the floor to go. He drew up a play that was introduced to his team only the day before — senior Kalya Hanses to inbound the ball to senior Erica Goodenough, who was to get the ball to sophomore Lexi Banaszak at the division line. Banaszak was instructed to get the ball to left-handed freshmen Claudia Reid on the left wing, giving her a 2-on-1 break with junior Kaylee Schmit. 

McCullen finished drawing up the play in the team huddle by saying, “We are going to score, and this place is going to go crazy!”

The play worked as it was drawn up. Reid received the ball and saw an opening to the basket, hitting the layup with 3.3 seconds left. McCullen was exactly right; the score went in, DeWitt won 36-35, and the home crowd did go crazy.

McCullen just completed his 16th season coaching the Panthers, taking the helm of a girls basketball program in 1996 that had struggled with a 28-37 record (14-22 in league play) over its three previous seasons.

The 300-win milestone is an achievement in itself — but more amazing with a closer look.

Under McCullen’s leadership, the program has posted a 150-20 league record (.882 winning percentage) while winning 13 league championships (including seven straight through this season), seven District championships, three Regional championships, and three MHSAA Semifinals appearances. 

In a sport with a 20-game regular season, he has averaged 18.75 wins per (to just 4.25 losses). McCullen reached his 100th win in just five seasons, averaging an incredible 20 wins over that span. DeWitt has posted six 20-win seasons in the program’s history; McCullen is responsible for five of them.

In the history of MHSAA girls basketball, McCullen is the 44th coach to reach the 300-win plateau and only the sixth from the Lansing area. His win total and .815 winning percentage places him eighth and second, respectively, among active coaches.

Expectations are just as high in the classroom. McCullen’s squads have averaged a team grade-point average of 3.59 (with a 3.84 team GPA this season), earning top honors in Class B twice during the 2000 and 2010-2011 seasons. Nine players have earned academic all-state honors.

Above all the wins, McCullen is an exemplary role model for coaches, players, and parents. His behavior on the sidelines and how he talks to officials and players exemplifies what is expected of coaches. He has taken teaching and coaching beyond the classroom and hardwood and has created a “basketball family” within his program, building an uncanny rapport with what he calls “my girls.” 

McCullen would likely recognize his wife (Denise) and two sons (Carter and Jerod) for their support and countless sacrifices, and he would also quickly shift credit for his success to the many assistant coaches throughout his tenure. His mentor, Jim Lutzke (who coached at DeWitt for six seasons before succumbing to cancer in 1999), had a lasting and profound impact on McCullen; Luztke undoubtedly would be proud.

Click to see the MHSAA record book listing for girls basketball coaches, and e-mail updates to [email protected]

McCullen, by the numbers

(League record in parentheses)
         14-7     (7-5)
1997:         22-3     (10-2)
1998:         17-4     (11-1)
1999:         25-1     (12-0)
2000:         22-5     (11-1)
2001:         20-3     (10-0)
2002:         19-5     (10-0)
2003:         17-7     (7-3)
2004:         13-8     (7-3)
2005:         18-3     (9-1)
2006:         19-3     (10-0)
2007-08:   16-5     (8-2)
2008-09:   25-2     (10-0)
2009-10:   17-4     (9-1)
2010-11:   19-3     (10-0)
2011-12:   17-5     (9-1)

Totals     300-68    (150-20)

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.