North Central Nearing Regional Opportunity

By John Vrancic
Special for

March 8, 2019

POWERS – A group of female athletes at North Central High School hopes to accomplish something no other girls basketball team at its school has done since 1980.

Bring home a Regional championship trophy.

The Jets (16-6) took the first step toward their goal Monday night in a 65-25 victory over Republic-Michigamme (3-16) in a Division 4 District opener on their home floor.

"We just wanted to set the tone for the rest of the District," said sophomore Andie Arsenault, who averages nearly 13 points a game. "We wanted to gain some confidence. This is a very important step."

The Jets followed with a 54-42 triumph at Felch North Dickinson (9-12) Wednesday night, earning the right to host Stephenson (10-9) in tonight’s championship game.

"I was pretty excited to be playing our first District game at home," said senior Jadie Linder, who averages slightly more than 9.5 ppg. "I never played against (Republic-Michigamme) before. It was just business as usual. We weren't looking past anyone. We got off to a good start, which helped me relax. I'm usually super nervous at first."

North Central is shooting for its first District title in six years.

A victory tonight would send the Jets to next week's Regional tournament at Kingsford, knowing there's a strong possibility if they win that round that they could face top-ranked St. Ignace (22-0) in a Quarterfinal game at Marquette.

"Our goal is to win the Regional and get a shot at St. Ignace," said senior Chloe Wells, who averages 12.5 ppg. "It was real important for us to win the first District game. I think it shows other teams we mean business. Our press is pretty intense. It can get other teams frustrated and intimidated. We've all become more comfortable with our shot, and balanced scoring has helped. Everybody has shared in the success."

Junior Bree Arsenault, who averages nearly 11 points, said she enjoys the camaraderie she shares with her teammates.

"We're all real close," she added. "It's easy to play well when you're surrounded by people you get along with. I think we're in a good mold. We're all ready to score and play defense. I think this just shows we're capable of getting things done. It's real exciting to go through this with people who are your best friends."

Coach Lee Vincent likes the way the Jets play defense and share the ball.

"Our team defense and being unselfish with the ball has been key," he said. "If someone's open, they're going to get the ball. Alex Neville has been playing tough, and Hailey Pavlat is coming on. We talk to the girls about taking one game at a time. Their attitude has been great. They all can score. Different girls have taken their turn being the leading scorer."

North Central, like other teams, has lost practice time due to the weather.

"I know all the schools are affected by it," said Vincent. "You get on a roll, then you lose a week. Kids tend to lay around when they're not in school. When they're in school, they're together going to class and talking about the game."

Among the team's highlights this winter was a 45-37 triumph at neighboring Bark River-Harris on Jan. 28.

The Jets also have learned some lessons along the way.

"When we beat them (BR-H) it really got us pumped up," said Wells. "After our loss at Carney-Nadeau (50-46 on Feb. 9) we learned we just have to play better defense and become more confident in our shot."

The Jets are well aware other factors also can come into play.

"We definitely have to stay out of foul trouble and stay healthy," said Vincent. "We want to peak at the right time."

PHOTOS: (top) Powers North Central’s Delaney Smith, left, shuts down a drive against Republic-Michigamme on Monday. (Middle) Jadie Linder puts up a jumper during the District win. (Photos courtesy of the Escanaba Daily Press.)

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.