Performance: Cousino's Kierra Fletcher
March 24, 2016
Warren Cousino junior – Girls Basketball
It’s fair to say that few outside of Macomb County and perhaps the Greater Detroit area knew much about Warren Cousino girls basketball and Kierra Fletcher in particular before last weekend. But in scoring a combined 64 points over two games and leading the unranked Patriots to their first MHSAA championship, Fletcher became a possible Miss Basketball Award contender for 2017 and earned the Michigan National Guard Performance of the Week.
The 5-foot-9 guard made 14 of 20 shots for 37 points and added nine rebounds and five assists in Cousino’s Class A 60-45 Semifinal win over Hudsonville, then made 9 of 13 shots for 27 points with eight rebounds and five more assists in the 67-65 upset of Detroit Martin Luther King in the championship game. Fletcher managed her high scoring totals by attacking the basket; in fact, she didn’t take a 3-pointer over eight postseason games. She finished with season averages of 22.3 points and five assists per game and made more than 50 percent of her shots from the floor. Cousino finished 23-4 and also shared the Macomb Area Conference Red title.
Fletcher is a strong student, carrying a 3.97 grade-point average, and a thoughtful teammate as well. She dedicated this season to her best friend Erin McArthur, who previously has shared the backcourt with her but tore a knee ligament during the team’s second practice and was forced to miss the season.
Coach Mike Lee said: “We have had great basketball players, DI players, and leaders, but Kierra has taken it to the next level and as a result of that has taken the team to the next level. On May 21, 2015, she texted me after a rough AAU practice and said, ‘Coach, for whatever reason something clicked tonight and all the things you preach hit home a lot harder, and I am making you a promise that next season is Breslin or bust.’ And after we won on Saturday, she sent me a pic of the text from that day and said, ‘I told you so.’ She is such an amazing kid with a burning passion for the game. You guys only see the basketball player side, but she is a tremendous role model, 3.9 GPA, great friend, watches my own kids. She is what is right, true and pure about high school sports – a homegrown kid that just wants her school and team to be proud.”
Performance Point: “I think I showed people I can play basketball. People don’t really know who I am, which is fine. I guess since I just played on statewide television that people (might say), ‘Oh, that’s Kierra Fletcher.’ It’s going to be humbling (next year). The rankings to us don’t really matter. Just as long as we know who we are, inside the program, that’s all that matters.”
My game: “I don’t shoot 3s. I’m more of a mid-range, pull-up type person. Three-point shots to me, they’re not very high percentage, so I just try to go in closer, because the closer you are to the basket, the more likely you are to go in. … Defense, I just love it. The length of my body and getting steals and breakaway layups is just fun. I like defense more than offense.”
Sharing the rock: “I just want to have a high basketball IQ. It doesn’t really matter how much I score. If I score, I score. If I don’t, I can get my ball to my teammates. I just do whatever I have to do to get the win. … I’m just not a selfish player at all. Sometimes (Coach) Lee tells me I need to be more selfish, but that’s just not who I am. I get hyped when another person on my team makes a play, because it gets me going. Because if I’m getting the layup, it’s just a layup. But if I’m getting someone else the opportunity to score, that’s what matters most to me.”
Investigating her future: If pro basketball doesn’t work out, then I want to major in sociology and narrow it down to criminology and become an FBI agent. I just like to help people. The FBI, it’s different from a police standpoint; it’s more investigative work, being with people and talking with people. I think I’m a people person. That’s something that I like to do.”
Macomb County power: “I think it’s great for Cousino … because everyone knows who Cousino is now. It says a lot because we do have great players in Macomb County. Now, since a team in Macomb County just won a state championship, it gives a whole little watch list for the Macomb County teams. It’s great, because now we’re the poster children of Macomb County.”
– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor
Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.
The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.
Previous 2015-16 honorees
March 16: Jacob Montague, Grosse Pointe South swimming & diving - Read
March 9: Kyle Tuttle, St. Charles boys bowling - Read
March 2: Brittney Schnicke, Caledonia girls bowling - Read
Feb. 24: Kamari Newman, Detroit East English boys basketball - Read
Feb. 17: Jason Whitens, Powers North Central boys basketball - Read
Feb. 10: Rachel Hogan, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Read
Feb. 3: Nehemiah Mork, Midland Dow swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 27: Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon girls basketball - Read
Jan. 20: Sage Castillo, Hartland wrestling - Read
Jan. 13: Rob Zofchak, Dexter swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 6: Tyler Deming, Caro wrestling – Read
Dec. 15: Jordan Weber, East Jordan boys basketball – Read
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read
PHOTOS: (Top) Kierra Fletcher (3) makes a move to the basket during Saturday’s Class A Final against Detroit Martin Luther King. (Middle) Fletcher defends during the Semifinal win against Hudsonville.
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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MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
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
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
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.)