Seniors Continue Country Day Legacy

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

March 17, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS – Detroit Country Day senior Kaela Webb dribbled out the clock Saturday on a hard-fought Class B title game against Jackson Northwest, and a smile overtook her face.

She looked over at her coach, Frank Orlando, who was about to celebrate his 13th MHSAA title at the school, and her smile grew wider.

She looked at her classmates, Maxine Moore and Destini Lewis, who with her have been at Country Day for three titles, and triumphantly tossed the ball into the air, finishing off the 64-48 victory.

“I just looked over at Max, Destini and Coach O, and I couldn’t do anything but smile,” Webb said. “We just never thought about winning three state championships, but we came in hungry and wanted to continue that. This team was so special because we had to find our own identity. We had to pick up where we left off last year from losing a valuable asset on both sides of the floor, so we knew we had to work even harder than we had the year before.”

The championship was the second straight for the Yellowjackets (23-4), who were making their 17th appearance in the title game, all coming under Orlando, who is the state’s all-time leader in girls basketball coaching victories (785).

Orlando didn’t say whether or not the 13th title would mark his final game at Country Day, but he did say that in the moment, it was just as sweet as the first.

“It’s a blessing -- I just feel like it’s a blessing,” Orlando said. “It’s these kids right here that gave me the blessing. If it has to go down in a certain way, I’ll give it to them.”

The three seniors have no choice but to move on, but they certainly left their mark on a program that was already incredibly rich with tradition.

“I’m so blessed and grateful, and I have to give it up to my teammates and especially Coach O for instilling a tremendous work ethic in all of us,” said Moore, who will play next year at Western Michigan. “In practice every day, this was our common goal, this is where we wanted to be. To have three of these, not a lot of people can say that. Me and Kaela and Destini, we’re so proud of our program, our coaches, everybody.”

Despite the 16-point margin of victory, the Yellowjackets had their hands full throughout with a Jackson Northwest (25-2) team making the program’s first appearance in the Finals. The Yellowjackets never trailed, and the game was tied for only five seconds before Webb opened with a 3-pointer from the corner. But the Mounties never went away.

“That was a dogfight, and I think our effort was anything a coach could ask for out of his players,” Jackson Northwest coach Ryan Carroll said. “I heard the radio announcer out of the corner of my ear say this was a David vs. Goliath matchup here tonight, and I don’t think it was that at all. Coming in, I didn’t think that’s what it was. They just knocked down some big shots, and we really shot ourselves in the foot when we had chances to get back into the game.

“I’m extremely proud of our effort and the way we showed up tonight and represented our school, I think, in the best possible fashion.”

It was a late Country Day run in the third quarter that finally put some distance between the teams, and it came with star guard Jasmine Powell on the bench with four fouls.

The Mounties had cut the lead to five points, but 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions from Lewis and Maddie Novak pushed the lead to 11 heading into the fourth quarter.

“They were huge,” said Webb, who will play collegiately at Providence next season. “When Jasmine got in foul trouble, Coach O was basically telling me to take over, so I knew at that point that I had to go. They were closing in on the lead, they were starting to have another run and I knew that I had to do everything in my power to prevent it. That contributed to getting my teammates involved, because they started to plug in on me, then (Lewis and Novak) knocked down the open 3s when we needed it.”

Powell still led the Yellowjackets in scoring with 19 points despite the foul trouble. Novak added 13 points, while Adrian Folks had 12 points and seven rebounds. Webb filled the stat sheet with 11 points, seven assists and six steals. As a team, Country Day had 15 steals on the night.

“If I’ve got Kaela on my side, that’s all I want,” Orlando said. “She’s a fighter, she’s a coach, she knows the game and she plays it with her heart. If anybody can do it, Kaela can, and I respect that.”

Sydney Shafer led Jackson Northwest with 22 points, including some deep 3-pointers, and eight rebounds. Ella Bontrager added 10 points for the Mounties, who were playing in front of what felt like a home crowd.

“Seeing all the parents there that aren’t just our parents, but that were community members and (parents of) people that we go to school with, it was really awesome to see them here,” Jackson Northwest senior Carsyn Sleight said. “Here supporting not just their kids, but their community.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Country Day players celebrate their Class B championship Saturday night at Van Noord Arena. (Middle) Adrian Folks works to get a shot in the post while walled off by Jackson Northwest defenders. 

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Girls Report Week 10

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 6, 2023

Championship time is quickly approaching this girls basketball season.

MI Student Aid

We’re still three weeks out from the start of District play. But league contenders are clashing all over the state, with a handful of conferences finishing up their schedules this week and several favorites facing off soon with titles on the line. We make mention of a number of those below.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

1. West Bloomfield 59, Detroit Edison 49 Last season, West Bloomfield (15-2) became the first in-state team to defeat Edison (12-3) since 2018 – and the Lakers have become the only one to do so again this winter.

2. Maple City Glen Lake 51, Traverse City St. Francis 45 The Lakers (13-2) are up to No. 2 in Division 4 MPR, while St. Francis (12-2) sits No. 4 in Division 3.

3. Holt 55, DeWitt 53 The Rams (14-2) sit alone atop the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue after sending the Panthers (13-2) into second in a matchup of top Division 1 teams statewide.

4. Hancock 50, Calumet 47 The Bulldogs (13-1) maintained their one-game lead in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference West with their second win this season over third-place Calumet (11-3). Both are among the top seven statewide in Division 3 MPR.

5. Detroit Edison 44, Farmington Hills Mercy 42 The Pioneers bounced back from the West Bloomfield loss with a pair of close wins, this one over Mercy (14-2) followed by a one-pointer over Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Saturday.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (11-5) After a 2-4 start with those losses to top Division 1 and 2 teams statewide, Reeths-Puffer is 9-3 and tied for first in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green with Muskegon after edging the Big Reds 56-52 on Friday. That avenged a 14-point loss to Muskegon on Jan. 6, and the Rockets have since gone on an eight-game winning streak. They also opened last week with a 42-39 victory over 11-win Ludington.

Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week.

Wayne Memorial (13-4) The Zebras further solidified their standing atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East standings with last week’s 75-57 win over second-place Belleville. That followed up a 44-41 win over the Tigers on Jan. 6, and total Wayne has won 12 straight since a 1-3 start that included two-point losses to Division 1 contenders Detroit Renaissance and Hudsonville and a third defeat to Illinois power Chicago Whitney Young.


Goodrich (14-1) The Martians are locked in another battle atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Lake Fenton and trail the Blue Devils by a game after a 50-44 loss Jan. 20. That’s Goodrich’s only defeat, and they’ll attempt to avenge it in the league finale Feb. 17. In the meantime, the Martians can continue their statewide push upward with 13-win Flushing coming up Wednesday and 15-win Ovid-Elsie next week as well.

Redford Westfield Prep (11-6) The Warriors take on many of the state’s best, evidenced by their No. 8 MPR despite six losses. Westfield has won seven of its last eight games, the lone defeat during that streak 55-53 to still-undefeated Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 16 – and with perhaps its most notable instate win of the season 46-45 in double overtime Jan. 12 over reigning Division 3 champion Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.


McBain (13-4) The Highland Conference race could go down to the finish, especially after McBain avenged its earlier 17-point loss to second-place Evart with a 51-35 win last week. McBain also has a six-point loss to league leader Lake City from Jan. 20, but can avenge that in the regular-season finale Feb. 23. The Ramblers additionally have a pair of victories over 12-win Beal City and a solid early loss to still-undefeated Division 2 Escanaba.

Ovid-Elsie (15-2) The Marauders haven’t slowed down a bit after last season’s 21-2 finish with league and District titles, the latter in Division 2. This season in Division 3, Ovid-Elsie is up to No. 6 in MPR with a 14-game winning streak since suffering its lone losses early to Pewamo-Westphalia (10-5) and Dansville (15-1). The Marauders handed Mackinaw City its first defeat Saturday, 59-55 on a neutral court, and also has a victory over 14-win Ithaca plus a two-game lead in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference.


Fowler (11-6) Coming off back-to-back Division 4 championships, Fowler put together a schedule featuring solid-to-strong teams from Divisions 1-4 and sit No. 3 in Division 4 MPR. The losses have come to Midland Dow, Haslett, Lansing Catholic, Kent City and league rivals Dansville and Portland St. Patrick, and the Eagles avenged the Shamrocks defeat 51-44 last week. Fowler will need help to catch Dansville in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, down two games from the league leader, but will try to get one back from the Aggies on Feb. 14.

Norway (16-1) The Knights are leading the large-school division of the Skyline Central Conference with the likely deciding matchup coming at Bark River-Harris next week. Norway has lost only to Niagara (Wis.), by five two weeks ago, and handed Carney-Nadeau (13-2) one of its losses among other strong work – and after ending last season’s 11-10 run with a 15-point District loss to the Wolves.

Can’t-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – Coldwater (15-1) at Jackson Northwest (15-1) – The Mounties lead Coldwater by a win in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference thanks to a 50-46 win in their first meeting Jan. 10.

Tuesday – Utica Ford (14-1) at Grosse Pointe North (13-2) – North has clinched a share of the Macomb Area Conference Red title heading into tonight’s league finale, while Ford won by a large margin in the MAC White.

Thursday – Houghton (13-1) at Hancock (13-1) – As noted above, Hancock leads the West-PAC West by a game – but will face second-place Houghton twice over the next two weeks.

Friday – Standish-Sterling (15-1) at Hemlock (13-3) – Hemlock owns the lead in the Tri-Valley Conference West 10-1 thanks to a 62-31 doubling up in the first meeting Jan. 6. But that remains the Panthers’ lone loss, and they’ve since handed TVC 10-2 co-leader Saginaw Valley Lutheran one of its two defeats.

Friday – Saline (15-2) at Temperance Bedford (16-1) – Saline is first and Bedford second in the Southeastern Conference Red thanks to Saline’s 41-22 win in their first meeting Jan. 27.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews 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 and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) A trio of Fowler defenders surround a Bath player driving to the basket during a 49-27 win earlier this season; they meet again Thursday. (Middle) Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week. (Top photo by Click by Christine McCallister. Middle photo by Rick Sack/TC Rick Photo.)