Renaissance, Davis Show Earn Encore Performance

By Jason Schmitt
Special for

April 7, 2021

EAST LANSING – For those who may have had something else going on Wednesday afternoon, don’t worry, there will be one more chance to catch the “Kailee Davis Show.”

The Detroit Renaissance senior put her talents on display at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, scoring seven points in a span of 21 seconds late in the game to help her team defeat Wayne Memorial,75-72, in a Division 1 Semifinal. 

“It was just about not giving up,” said Davis, who finished with a game-high 33 points in her team’s victory. “I believe in my teammates, and they believe in me. Once they told me to go, I just wanted to win this for them.”

With her team trailing 69-64 with just over two minutes to play, Davis calmly hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to two points. She then picked up a steal and converted a layup to tie the game at 69-69. Davis topped it off with another steal of the ensuing in-bounds pass and was fouled, converting a pair of free throws to give her team its first lead since early in the third period.

“(Kailee) challenged me on something, when I said ‘She hasn’t been getting to that steal like she did last year,’” Renaissance head coach Shane Lawal said. “I felt like she stepped up today. She told me to shut up. She went out and got two or three of those at the end of the game. That’s all I ever want to do, is challenge my kids, to be the best that they can be.”

Davis finished with 19 points in the fourth quarter alone. She scored 10 of her team’s 12 points during an early stretch of the fourth which cut Wayne Memorial’s 11-point lead down to three. The Zebras (17-3) would stretch the lead back to seven points before Davis and her teammates made the late push to earn a spot in Friday’s Division 1 championship game.

“(Davis) is an absolutely amazing player,” Wayne Memorial head coach Jarvis Mitchell said. “She absolutely willed them to win. She made some tough shots. We tried to make her work as much as possible, but at the end of the day, when a kid is resilient and they want to win … it wasn’t that my kids didn’t want to win, I just think she wanted to win a little bit more.”

2021 D1 Girls Basketball Semifinal - Detroit Renaissance

Davis’s performance overshadowed what was a tremendous game by Wayne Memorial seniors Alanna Micheaux and LaChelle Austin. Micheaux, who will be playing basketball for the University of Minnesota next year, finished with 29 points and 17 rebounds. Austin had 25 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Zebras. They combined for 29 points in the second and third quarters, when their team turned a 13-point deficit into a nine-point lead.

“Alanna Micheaux, I’m a huge fan of hers,” Lawal said after the game. “Her ceiling is only (going) up. And Austin is going to have a great career in the MAC (at Eastern Michigan). Shout out to those two great seniors.”

Renaissance got off to a hot start against the Zebras. The Phoenix opened the game by scoring nine of the first 12 points, fueled by a corner 3-pointer and steal and drive to the basket by senior Mikyah Finley. The Phoenix finished the quarter on a 10-0 run, thanks to three 3-pointers, two by Finley and one by Davis, in the final two minutes to take a 21-8 lead.

Finley finished the game with 18 points. Senior Shannon Wheeler added 10 points for Renaissance (13-4). 

“They played an absolutely amazing game,” Mitchell said of the Phoenix. “They have some absolutely tough kids. They deserved to win. It’s hard to stop a team with resilience. Renaissance never gave in to emotion. They just continued to go fight. And when we thought we had them, they just kept plugging and plugging. And that was the basketball game.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Renaissance's Kailee Davis launches a shot while leading her team to a Division 1 Semifinal win Wednesday. (Middle) Wayne Memorial's LaChelle Austin gets to the basket. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)

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.