West Bloomfield Shows Multiple Ways It Wins In Pulling 1 Closer to Potential Repeat

By Tom Kendra
Special for MHSAA.com

March 17, 2023

EAST LANSING – The versatility of West Bloomfield was on full display during Friday afternoon’s first Division 1 Semifinal at Breslin Center.

In the first half, the Lakers pounded the ball inside to 5-foot-11 senior forward Sydney Hendrix, who scored 12 of her 20 points during the first quarter – and, on the rare occasion she did miss, her teammates continuously grabbed offensive rebounds until they scored.

In the second half, it was time for some full-court pressure featuring multi-talented junior twins Indya Davis (a team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds) and Summer Davis (20 points), who swarmed the Salem guards, producing one easy basket after another.

The end result was a great afternoon for green-clad West Bloomfield on St. Patrick’s Day, as a comfortable 78-53 victory put the Lakers in position to capture a second-consecutive Division 1 title Saturday.

“We’re not satisfied with that,” said West Bloomfield coach Darrin McAllister, who is now 51-3 in his two seasons as coach. “We’ve done better. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

West Bloomfield, 26-2 and champion of the Oakland Activities Association Red, advanced to Saturday’s 12:15 p.m. Division 1 title game against Rockford.

Hendrix, a four-year varsity starter who has committed to Division I Florida A&M, asked for the ball in the post repeatedly to start the game, leading her team to a 16-8 lead after one quarter.

The Lakers were relentless on the boards, completing the first half with a better than 2-to-1 rebounding advantage and finishing the game with a 47-27 edge on the glass.

“Going into the game, we had that mentality to go to the rack,” said Hendrix, the daughter of Niki Sevillian-Hendrix, who starred at Flint Northwestern and then won a national title at Stanford in 1992. “My plan was to go to the hoop until they stopped me, and they weren’t stopping me.”

After building a comfortable 33-19 halftime lead behind their dominant inside game, McAllister and the Lakers shifted gears in the third quarter – showcasing the team’s full-court skills.

Led by the Davis twins – who McAllister has called “Swiss Army knives” because of their ability to do so many different things – the Lakers gave Salem fits with a suffocating press, forcing six turnovers in the first three minutes of the third quarter as a 14-4 run made the lead 24 points.

“That (press) got us going on offense and got everyone pumped up,” said Summer Davis, who finished with a team-high four assists.

West Bloomfield, which also has a Class A runner-up finish from 1989, had a comfortable 57-34 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Lakers' Indya Davis (24) is among those defending as Madison Morson pulls up for a jumper.

Salem, which finished 2-15 just two seasons ago, received an impressive individual performance from Madison Morson.

Morson, an athletic 5-9 junior, scored all eight of her team’s points in the first quarter and never slowed down, finishing with a game-high 31 points and six rebounds.

“I was looking forward to it,” said Morson, who tweaked her ankle in the Rocks’ Quarterfinal win over Riverview on Tuesday but showed no ill effects. “We knew they were going to crash the boards hard and be reaching their hands out for everything.”

Senior guard Shahd Bakkar scored 15 points, but no other Salem player scored more than three.

“This is a dream; this is a movie,” said second-year Salem coach Rod Wells. “Think about it: these seniors won a combined four games in their freshman and sophomore years. So they went from winning four games to the Final Four.”

Wells is also excited to have Morson back for one more year.

“Madison is a hidden gem,” Wells explained. “She is one of the best players in the state, and she does it so smooth. Her teammates love playing with her because she’s not a ball-hog.”

The Rocks shot just 34 percent (compared to 47 percent for West Bloomfield) from the floor and hurt themselves with 20 turnovers, many coming against the full-court press in the third quarter.

West Bloomfield, whose closest tournament game was an 18-point win over Lake Orion in the Regional Final, has now won its six tournament games by an average of 29.5 points.

McAllister hopes his team has enough left in the tank for one more big win and a second-straight championship.

“We didn’t want to come out right away today with our full-court press, having to play back-to-back games,” explained McAllister. “We know we always get the other team’s best effort as defending state champions, and we have to be ready.”

Click for the full box score

PHOTOS (Top) West Bloomfield's Kendall Hendrix gets up a shot during Friday's first Division 1 Semifinal at Breslin Center, with Salem's Abby Resovsky defending. (Middle) The Lakers' Indya Davis (24) is among those defending as Madison Morson pulls up for a jumper.

Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner

March 24, 2023

Regan FinkbeinerRegan Finkbeiner ♦ Hemlock
Senior ♦ Basketball

The 5-foot-6 guard capped her high school career at Breslin Center over the weekend with team highs of 24 points and four steals in Thursday’s 57-26 Division 3 Semifinal win over Hart and the team-leading 19 points and four assists in the 59-43 win over Blissfield on Saturday that clinched the Huskies their first MHSAA Finals championship in girls basketball.

Finkbeiner played all but four minutes of 64 total over the two games, and she made a combined 15 of her 27 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throw attempts, plus four 3-pointers in the Final. She had entered the season’s final week averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.8 steals per game and in February became the program’s all-time leading scorer breaking the previous record of 1,302. A standout in multiple sports, she’s committed to continue playing softball after high school at Madonna University. Her basketball team finished 26-3 this winter.

@mhsaasports 🏀POW: Regan Finkbeiner #performanceoftheweek #basketball #champion #congrats #huskies #hemlock #letsgo #moana #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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2022-23 Honorees

March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
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

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner drives to the basket during her team's Semifinal win over Hart. (Photos courtesy of the Hemlock girls basketball program.)