Saints Survive to Earn Repeat Try

March 13, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – St. Ignace senior Kelley Wright set an MHSAA record by being part of her 102nd high school basketball victory Thursday at the Breslin Center.

This had to be one of the ugliest – but could end up one of the most meaningful as well.

Wright and the Saints earned an opportunity to play for a second-straight MHSAA championship and third in her four season with a 34-30 Semifinal win over Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

St. Ignace improved to 24-2 this winter after finishing 27-0, 25-1 and 26-1, the last three seasons, respectively. Redford Bishop Borgess’ Aiysha Smith formerly held the record with 101 wins from 1994-97.

“All I know is I’ve lost four times. I never really thought about all the times I’ve won,” Wright said. “I play for a really good team, and I can’t take credit for that just because I moved up freshman year. All of us deserve it, and fortunately we’re all getting the benefits from it.”

Wright said after she expects to “feel sick and little nervous” before her team takes on Saginaw Nouvel in Saturday’s 4 p.m. Final.

Saints coach Dorene Ingalls joked about firing husband Doug as the team’s shooting coach after a performance that left both teams at least in some disbelief, if not feeling a little ill as well.

St. Ignace made a meager 19 percent of its shots from the floor. Liggett connected on 25 percent. Still, the Saints led by seven heading into the fourth quarter – but Liggett tied the score at 30-30 with 2:36 to play.

The Knights (20-4) had an opportunity to go ahead before St. Ignace senior Emily Hinsman gave the Saints back the lead with a put back with 1:37 to play. The teams then traded misses and turnovers as Hinsman stepped in to intercept a pass into the paint with 39 seconds. Junior guard Margo Brown made two free throws seconds later to push the lead to its final margin of four.

“It was frustrating at first. They’d just trap you as soon as you got the ball in your hands,” said Liggett junior Lauren Ristovski, who led the team with nine points. “They’d just jump out and trap you, making you throw the ball away.”

It’s not the kind of game Wright has been part of winning too often during the last four seasons and especially during this current 18-win streak. But the Saints made it go in part with 59-36 rebounding advantage, which included grabbing 28 on the offensive side. The Saints also had only 12 turnovers to Liggett’s 18.

Wright led the Saints with eight points and nine rebounds, while Hinsman grabbed 13 rebounds and sophomore center Abbey Ostman had seven points and 12 rebounds.

“Once we got back in January, our practices when we came back were intense. Just a different level,” Dorene Ingalls said. “Our team took over a different identity at that moment. Kelley and I were on the side, and (I told her) this is going to be really good.

“I’m glad we got an opportunity to show on Saturday that we’re better than we showed tonight. But you’ve got to give Liggett a lot of credit for that.”

St. Ignace also got a helpful and inspiring bucket late from junior Autumn Orm; she had four points total, despite being restricted to only 30-second spurts of playing time because of a neurological disorder that won’t allow her to be active for longer, Ingalls said. “She was getting deflections, getting rebounds. That was our inspiration. That’s why we won,” Ingalls added.

The Knights nearly pulled off the comeback despite all five starters playing all 32 minutes. The team’s rotation got down to that minimum in part because Liggett lost junior forward Haley Neuenfeldt to a knee injury in the final regular-season game.

But three of this season’s starters also started on the 2012 team that finished Class C runner-up. And they helped the Knights improve on last season’s run, which ended during the Regional.

“I expected for us to play hard enough to get through the District and do better than last year. That’s what we preached,” Liggett coach Omar Ahart said. “Once we got to the Regional Final, and got through that one, (I thought) someone has to win state. Why not us?”

Click for a complete box score and video from the press conference.

PHOTOS: (Top) St. Ignace’s Emily Hinsman (34) and Liggett’s Kendall McConico battle for a loose ball Thursday. (Middle) Saints junior Autumn Orm (10) drives against Knights senior Angelia Evangelista.

HIGHLIGHTS: (1) Autumn Orm takes a pass from Emily Hinsman and hits a jumper with 3:37 to play to give St. Ignace a 30-26 lead against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. (2) Nia Ahart of Liggett ties the game at 30-30 with 2:36 to go on a nifty runner. St. Ignace won the game, 34-30.

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.