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.)
The St. Ignace girls basketball teams is off to a 2-0 start – and great starts and finishes certainly have been the norm over the last 25 seasons under the leadership of head coach Dorene Ingalls and her assistant, and husband, Doug.
Tuesday’s season-opening win over Brimley made Dorene Ingalls 500-94 beginning her 25th season guiding the program – now 501-94 after Thursday’s 63-27 victory over Boyne City. She entered this season 16th on the state list for most girls basketball coaching victories, and seventh among active coaches.
For all 501 wins, Doug Ingalls has been by her side as an assistant within the program – while also serving as boys varsity basketball coach from 1992-2008, 2011-16 and again currently in the fifth season of his latest tenure. His Saints also have opened 2-0, and he has a 355-175 record leading the boys program.
The Ingalls have led the girls program to five MHSAA Finals championships, most recently in Class D in 2015, and four runner-up finishes, most recently in Division 4 in 2019.
Dorene Ingalls received the MHSAA Women In Sports Leadership Award in 2021.
PHOTOS (Top) Doug and Dorene Ingalls, far left and right, respectively, take a photo with 2003 Miss Basketball Krista Clement. (Middle) Dorene and Doug Ingalls. (Photos by David Latva.)