EAST LANSING – Apparently Sydney Hendrix holds a grudge.
The West Bloomfield junior has held onto the hurt from her team’s Regional Semifinal loss to Hartland in 2020, and on Saturday, she let it all out on the court.
Hendrix had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 51-42 victory over the Eagles in the Division 1 Girls Basketball Final at the Breslin Center.
“We lost to Hartland my freshman year, and I think I was crying for like three days straight,” Hendrix said. “I wanted it so bad, but we couldn’t pull out the win. I’ve been wanting my get-back for a minute now. I’m just so glad we got it.”
The title win was the first in program history for the Lakers, who last played in a Final in 1989. This year’s team set the goal of winning it all at the first practice, and after losing its opening game against Dexter, won 25 straight to accomplish that.
“I remember November 12, everybody coming together and saying they wanted the state championship,” West Bloomfield coach Darrin McAllister said. “So I knew at that time, our coaching staff, we had to do everything in our power to get us to this point. We bought into the ‘I believe’ mindset. We worked our tails off, and we got here to the Breslin and we did what we had to do.”
West Bloomfield never trailed in the game, and held Hartland at arm’s length throughout most of it.
Indya Davis led the Lakers (25-1) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Summer Davis and Myonna Hooper each scored nine points for the Lakers.
“This game was very personal,” said Hooper, who was also on that 2020 team. “We took it upon ourselves to make sure everybody was in the position they needed to be, everybody was playing their role, everybody was executing, everybody was picking each other’s heads up when somebody was down. From Day 1, we’ve been talking about this, and we never let up.”
Amanda Roach scored 21 points for Hartland to lead all scorers. Emerson Sargeant had six points and nine rebounds for the Eagles (25-2).
Roach had half of Hartland’s field-goal makes in the game, as the Eagles struggled to make shots, finishing 16 of 64 from the field.
“I think West Bloomfield had a lot to do with that, but on the other hand, we did have some good looks,” Hartland coach Don Palmer said. “Shots that we normally make, they didn’t go today. Sometimes, that just kind of feeds.”
West Bloomfield led by as many as 14 points in the second half. Roach tried to pull the Eagles back into the game, and nearly did in the fourth quarter. She hit a long 3-pointer to bring her team to within seven with four minutes to play and put some belief in the Hartland fans.
The Eagles wouldn’t get any closer, though, until she hit another long 3 with 25 seconds to play that brought her team within six of the lead. But West Bloomfield was able to close the game out at the free throw line.
“I personally thought we still had a chance with 30 seconds left,” Roach said. “We fight back every single game. I’m just proud of everybody.”
Each Hartland push was met with a response from the Lakers, and often it was the result of an offensive rebound, or two. Hendrix had seven on her own.
“She’s a beast,” Palmer said. “She is strong, she can finish, she’s got a little bit of a mid-range jumpshot. A lot of times when you have teams with ‘superstars’ those other kids get lost in the coverage, but I certainly picked (Hendrix) up on tape.”
Hartland also came into Saturday in search of its first Finals title after advancing beyond the Quarterfinal for the first time.
“Obviously, it feels great to be up here and play with all these girls that I started with,” Hartland senior Leah Lappin said. “Obviously, disappointing because we didn’t play our best. But it was good to play with these girls.”
PHOTOS (Top) West Bloomfield’s Indya Davis (24) turns toward the lane Saturday as Hartland’s Lauren Sollon (25) walls off the baseline. (Middle) The Lakers’ Myonna Hooper (4) prepares to make her move toward the hoop. (Below) Sydney Hendrix (5) pulls up for a shot over Sollon’s reach. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
Macey Fegan ♦ Standish-Sterling
Senior ♦ Basketball
Fegan entered this second week of her senior season as the Standish-Sterling girls basketball scoring record holder – there was conversation last week of whether the former record was 1,599 or 1,609 points, but she surpassed both with 26 points in a season-opening win over Mio and 17 more in a 46-32 victory over Alcona to reach 1,620, taking over the top of the Panthers’ scoring list that had been occupied by Kelly Walker since 1999.
The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 29.9 ppg last season in leading Standish-Sterling to a 17-6 record, and her goal since the start of high school has been 2,000 points – within reach if she averages 19 over the next 20 games. The two-time Division 2 all-state first-team selection also is a two-time all-state outfielder in softball and played volleyball her first three years of high school before switching to swimming this fall. She has signed to continue her basketball and academic careers at University of Toledo.
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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
(Photos courtesy of the Standish-Sterling girls basketball program.)