From Underdogs to Top Dogs: Summerfield Wins 1st Regional Title

By Doug Donnelly
Special for

April 2, 2021

PETERSBURG – Mickey Moody is making a habit out of taking Monroe County schools to new heights. 

While coaching Jefferson’s softball team in 2006, the Bears reached the MHSAA Finals for the first time in school history. At Dundee, Moody coached the Vikings softball team to its first-ever Finals championship in 2013 and into the Semifinals in 2019.

On Wednesday, Moody coached the Petersburg Summerfield girls basketball team to the first Regional championship in school history and a berth in the Division 4 Quarterfinals. 

“The girls are really playing well,” Moody said. “I’m so excited for them. It all starts with the kids. I am an old school coach. I’m pretty strict.”

Moody has changed the mood at Summerfield, and the success on the court shows.

“When we were freshmen four years ago, things were a lot different,” said senior Grace Kalb. “He’s definitely changed the mindset. All the coaches have. They are very encouraging. They never give up on us, they always tell us to give them everything we have, and we listen.

“You could feel it changing last year. This year, we have continued down that path.”

Summerfield won 13 games last season in a big turnaround, improving from just five wins in 2018-19 and only four in Moody’s first season coaching Summerfield in 2016-17. Despite the lack of historical success, Moody did not hesitate to tell the girls how far he thought they could go this season.

Summerfield girls basketball 2“It started at our first practice way back in November,” Kalb said. “He told us that we had an opportunity to win a Regional, which had never been done before at our school. When we got to Districts this year, we had a plan. This is our year.”

Summerfield was unranked during the regular season. The Bulldogs started out 3-3, including a 33-point loss to Sand Creek. A week later, they rebounded to beat the Aggies by three. Summerfield closed the regular season by winning six of its last seven games and finished fourth in the Tri-County Conference.

“I don’t talk about league championships,” Moody said. “I tell the girls the league is a bonus. I want their ultimate goal to be to go as far as you can. Well, as far as you can means the state finals.”

That is still two wins away, but anything is possible.

The Bulldogs beat Britton Deerfield to win the District title and hosted the Regional which ended with wins against Allen Park Inter-City Baptist and Southfield Christian. The school’s first-ever Regional title came after Kalb scored a career-high 21 points. Sophomore Abby Haller, the team’s top scorer, added 17, and the other senior on the roster, Breanna Weston, scored 11.

“It was amazing to win at home,” Weston said. “It’s been dream come true.”

Moody said the difference in Summerfield’s late-season surge has been defense.

“We are playing much more aggressive defensively,” he said. “We have been able to put a lot of pressure on teams. They’ve always played hard, but we are coming together now.”

In addition to the two seniors, Summerfield has two juniors in Sydney Redlinger and Elaney Fisher and two sophomores, Haller and Destanee Smith. Moody has five freshmen on the varsity right now.

“All five girls of our starters are shooting the ball super well,” Moody said. “Everyone thinks Abby is going to be our leading scorer, but all of the girls are shooting well. That helps because teams can’t just key on one girl.”

Kalb and Weston are four-year players.

“Grace is my steady engine,” Moody said. “I know she’s going to play well defensively. She always does. Her leadership on the floor is even more important.”

Summerfield girls basketball 3Weston has upped her game in the postseason as well.

“This is the best she’s shot in her four years,” Moody said. “She averaged about 12 points a game during the regular season but has stepped up in the tournament. She looks to score a lot more right now.

“From the time they were freshmen until now, their knowledge of basketball has improved so much. They’ve gotten better every year.”

Moody said the foundation was set for this year’s tournament run with last year’s loss in the Division 3 District. The Bulldogs lost to a solid Blissfield team.

“We played very well,” he said. “I think with that game, the girls saw what they were capable of. Right then we set the goal of getting out of Districts this year.”

Weston said the Bulldogs believed in Moody because he believed in them.

“It was different before,” she said. “Before, we were the underdogs. Now, we are the top dogs. We have done something that’s never been done before in our school’s history. It has been a surreal moment. We are making our marks now. It’s been a great ride.”

Moody got his start in coaching on the softball diamond, not the basketball floor. He is in his 10th year coaching the Dundee softball team but has not started coaching the Vikings yet this spring. Before Dundee, he coached four seasons at Jefferson.

“My assistant coaches are running things for me,” he said. “I love softball, but my main focus is the basketball team right now.”

The Bulldogs will take on Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes on Monday in St. Clair Shores. 

“We’re going to have to come up with a really good scheme,” Moody said. “They are a good team. Our girls are excited about being this far. I am really happy for them. It’s nice to see their hard work pay off.”

Anything is possible at this point of the season. Summerfield is not planning to back down just because the Lakers might have more postseason experience.

“I’ve been blessed,” Moody said. “Once the kids understand what we are trying to do and the goals, things fell into place. Every team I’ve coached, the work ethic has been outstanding. Once they get confidence, they just take off.”

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Summerfield’s Grace Kalb, left, makes a move to the basket during her team’s District Final win over Britton Deerfield. (Middle) Bulldogs coach Mickey Moody shows off some of the latest hardware won by his program. (Below) Breanna Watson unrolls a layup against the Patriots. (Photos by Mike Doughty.)

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.