Moore Leading Caro's Current Rise, While Helping Build Program's Future

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

December 7, 2022

Adelyn Moore had done enough, even before the start of her senior year, to leave an indelible mark on the Caro girls basketball program.

Bay & ThumbBut Moore isn’t satisfied now with simply winning games and rewriting the Tigers’ record books. She also wants to make sure girls who come through the program in the future have the chance to do the same thing.

“Definitely to build it up,” Moore said of her role in the program. “I know that it kind of sounds cliche, but I really like working with the little kids. This year, I’m coaching a sixth-grade girls travel team. … It’s so much fun.

“The program at Caro had never been a winning program, and I think this is me almost setting an example that it can happen at Caro. I love coaching the kids, and I can see the difference in them and how my class used to be. They want to win. They want to play sports, and play basketball.”

Moore is Caro’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,238 career points following the Tigers’ win Tuesday night against Memphis. She has nearly 750 career rebounds, which coach Jay Riley said is likely a school record, but hasn’t been tracked. If she can average 15 rebounds per game this season, she would certainly become the program’s first player to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

And that’s not that far-fetched. For her career, Moore has averaged 12.7 rebounds per game, including 14 per game as a sophomore.

She’s a three-time Thumb Player of the Year. She’s also been named first-team all-state in Division 3 by The Associated Press twice.

Most importantly for Moore, she’s been part of winning teams at Caro. Her freshman season, the Tigers were 18-3 and won the Greater Thumb Conference West – their first league title in 35 years. Both of the next two seasons were winning ones for the Tigers, and they’re 3-0 to start her senior year.

“Caro girls basketball had won 10 games twice in 20-some years, and she’s been part of teams that have done that in two of the last three,” Riley said. “The only other one was (the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season). I’m confident we’re going to eclipse that this year, too. When she came in, we had a good senior group, but they all knew how special she was and that she was our best player, so they accepted different roles. She’s been part of one of the winningest stretches of Caro girls basketball in a long time.”

Moore (3) drives to the basket Friday against Otisville-LakeVille. It’s winning that drives Moore the most. She said that she couldn’t fully celebrate breaking the school’s record for points, as it came in a loss against Kingston.

Thankfully, the school was able to bring in Lynette Coon, who had set the previous mark in the early 1980s, for the next game to present Moore with a commemorative basketball. That helped create a celebration, as did a win that night against Bad Axe.

“It felt really good to kind of feel like the hard work had paid off,” Moore said. “Then again, a better accomplishment for me would just be to get the win. It was super cool that (Coon) was there. She didn’t even know she had the record. That’s how not big women’s basketball was here. She only knew she had the record for like a week.”

Moore – a three-sport athlete who was also all-state in the shot put and discus as a junior – is committed to play next season at the University of Chicago. While she raved about the coaching staff, Moore was first attracted to the school because of its high academic standing. Moore is on track to be the valedictorian of Caro’s Class of 2023.

“It’s a very rigorous school, and I think that’s where I can get the best education,” Moore said. “Academics are huge for me. Right when I got there, the coaches were so cool. We really connected, and I fell in love with the program.”

Moore said she figures to play the 3 or 4 at Chicago, which she considers her natural positions. At 5-foot-9, she’s played everywhere for Caro, as Riley uses her to create mismatches whenever possible.

“She’s got the ball in her hands a lot – she’s primarily a guard,” Riley said. “If we get any mismatches, we’ll put her down in the post and let her take advantage. Not only can she shoot, but she has great post moves. She’s a mismatch nightmare for anybody.”

Riley said about half of Caro’s games a year ago featured opponents playing a box-and-1 defense to try and stop Moore. One team even played a triangle-and-2, with a pair of players constantly following her.

She still averaged 23.5 points per game to go along with 13.5 rebounds and 4.9 steals. She eclipsed 30 points in both of the Tigers’ first two games this season.

Moore thinks this year’s team can reach the heights her freshman team did, as many of them have been playing together since her sophomore season.

It’s a final chance for Moore to inspire the younger group of Caro girls basketball players with her play on the court, although she’s already done more than enough. Much like she has off it with her dedication to coaching a youth team, which includes multiple practices per week and Saturday games. She’s also a counselor at the Bayshore Basketball Camp during summer.

“She’s been a huge part of our success in turning this program around,” Riley said. “Which I think has sparked some of the younger girls to be more involved in basketball.”

Paul CostanzoPaul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Caro’s Adelyn Moore brings the ball up court last season against Unionville-Sebewaing. (Middle) Moore (3) drives to the basket Friday against Otisville-LakeVille. (Photos by Kaitlin’s Klicks.)

Hemlock, Rockford Follow 3-Point Success to 1st Titles, Record Book Fame

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 1, 2023

Hemlock and Rockford's drives to their first Girls Basketball Finals championships in March were paced in part by some of the strongest 3-point shooting in MHSAA history.

The Division 1 title-winning Rams connected on 243 3-pointers – third-most all-time – over 29 games in tying the single-season wins record while finishing 28-1. Grace Lyons, a senior this fall, made the single-season individual list with 70 3-pointers.

The Huskies won in Division 3 having connected on 229 3-pointers over 29 games, seventh-most in MHSAA history, on 678 attempts, which ranks 12th on that list. Chloe Watson made the single-season list with 75 3-pointers, and Regan Finkbeiner did as well connecting on 67.

Watson also made the career 3-pointers list with 224 and Finkbeiner with 194, and 2017 Hemlock graduate Samantha Krauss was added for 65 3-pointers as a junior in 2015-16 and 188 for her career. Additionally, past Hemlock standout Karli Herrington was added for her 317 rebounds in 2012-13, and Peyton Apsey was added for 144 steals in 2010-11.

Watson is continuing her career at Mid-Michigan College, and Finkbeiner is playing softball at Madonna. Herrington went on to play at Central Michigan and Northwood, Krauss played at Ferris State and Apsey played at Oakland.

Read on for more recent record book additions for girls basketball:

Girls Basketball

Hudsonville’s Maddie Petroelje joined the list of top 3-point shooters in MHSAA history as a junior in 2021-22, when she connected on 70 (in just 147 attempts) to make the single-season list. She graduated this spring 16th on the career list as well with 226 3-pointers in 512 attempts over 92 games and four seasons. She is continuing at Loyola (Ill.).

Byron Center’s Avery Zeinstra also finished her career among those top 3-point shooters. She also made the single-season list with 70 in 147 attempts as a freshman in 2018-19, and she capped her career in 2021-22 with 206 3-pointers (tied for 20th-most) in 502 attempts over four seasons and 80 career games. She is continuing at Grand Valley State.

Hannah Thompson was best known for her soccer scoring at Schoolcraft. But she’s made a second MHSAA record book for her 15 steals in a Jan. 28, 2022, basketball win over Galesburg-Augusta. She’s continuing her soccer career at Eastern Michigan.

Baraga’s run to the Division 4 Semifinals in 2022 received big boosts from Corina Jahfetson’s 3-point shooting and Reide Osterman’s defense. Jahfetson was added to the record book with 66 3-pointers over 25 games, including nine in a game against Carney Nadeau – when Baraga as a team made the record book with 14 3-pointers total. Osterman made the record book with 153 steals. Jahfetson graduated this spring, and Osterman is playing at Northern Michigan.

Grand Rapids West Michigan Aviation Academy’s Audrey Mileski had one of the busiest games at the free throw line in MHSAA history Dec. 14, 2021. She made 23 free throws – third-most in a single game – against Wyoming Kelloggsville. Mileski graduated this spring.

Sophia Bussell had set Monroe’s single-game 3-pointers record of eight as a freshman two seasons ago, and she bettered it last Dec. 13 by tying for the 10th-most in MHSAA history. She made 10-pointers including the game-winner of a 58-56 victory over Ypsilanti Lincoln. A little less than 10 months earlier, Adrian Lenawee Christian then-senior Kylie Summer also made 10, on 17 attempts, during a 57-34 win over Lansing Christian on Feb. 24, 2022.

Lydia Meredith enjoyed a memorable senior season for Portland St. Patrick in 2021-22, finishing her four-year varsity career with 453 steals over just 80 games. She also was added for drilling 17 free throws in 22 attempts against Fowler. She plays now at Saginaw Valley State.

Gabby Piepho got off to a fast start at Howell as a freshman last season, and at a record-setting pace at the free-throw line. She made 93 of 107 attempts over 25 games, for an .869 percentage that made the single-season list. That included a string of 47 straight free throws that ranks as the second-longest in MHSAA history. As a team, Howell tied for sixth all-time with 301 free throws over 25 games, on 439 attempts.

Kent City’s Lexie Bowers reached the single-season 3-pointers list for the second time last season, connecting on 72 of 233 tries over 26 games (after making 77 as a junior), and finished her four-season varsity career 16th on that 3-pointers list with 225 in 693 attempts over 99 games. She’s continuing her career at Northwood. Kent City as a team also reached the single-season 3-pointers made and attempted lists again, ranking fourth with 753 attempts and tying for eighth all-time by connecting on 202.

Posen then-junior Faith Cousins earned a par of record book entries during 2021-22 for assists. Her 16 in a District Final win on March 4, 2022, remain tied for fifth-most in one game, and she finished with 165 over 22 games for the season. She’s set to begin her softball career at Alma College.

Niles Brandywine went over 20 wins again this past season, finishing 21-3, and again the 3-pointer was a key tool in that pursuit. Brandywine made the record book with back-to-back games of 13 3-pointers to close the regular season, and finished with 175 3-pointers in 592 attempts over 23 games (with one won by forfeit).

Greenville’s Megan Leslie averaged more than two 3-pointers a game during her four-season varsity career, making the record list with 153 total over 76 games through graduation this spring. She’s continuing her career at Alma College.

Successful 3-point shooting played a major role in Saline finishing 21-4 with league and District titles last winter. The Hornets attempted 704 3-pointers – ninth-most all-time for one season – and connected on 191, which is 12th on that list. They made a season-high 14 against Ypsilanti Lincoln on Nov. 29 to make the single-game list.

Marcellus senior Brooklyn VanTilburg enjoyed a big finish to her high school career last winter, making the record book with 16 blocked shots in a game against Centreville and 135 blocks total for the season. She’ll continue at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Kennedy Gustafson made headlines last winter as a sophomore and earned a pair of record listings for her rebounding. She grabbed 26 in a March 3 District Final win over Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, and she finished with 376 rebounds over 25 games for the season.

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner, left, follows through on a free throw attempt during last season's Division 3 Final, and Rockford's Grace Lyons launches the game-winning 3-pointer in Division 1.