Cranbrook Emerges With 2nd-Half Surge

June 9, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

GRAND LEDGE – Many of the players on the field to start the second half of Saturday’s Division 2 Girls Lacrosse Final had played major roles when Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood won its first championship in the sport a year ago.

They weren’t about to settle for less.

The Cranes clutched a one-goal lead with 19 minutes to play, but scored 13 of the next 15 goals to finish with a much more comfortable 18-6 win over Okemos at Grand Ledge High School.

Four of the brightest stars from an accomplished group of eight seniors combined to score 11 of those second-half goals for Cranbrook, which also had finished Division 2 runner-up in 2015 and 2016.

“We had a little pep talk at halftime, which we do, and it really gets everyone pumped. And a lot of us, it was our last game of high school – and the girls who aren’t going to play in college, their last game ever,” Cranbrook senior Isabelle Scane said. “I think they just wanted something special, and I think that’s how we got the rally going. And once you get going, it’s almost impossible to stop.”

Scane – set to continue playing at Northwestern University – scored five goals, including four in the second half. She ended this season with 101 and closed her four-year varsity career with an MHSAA record 461, 185 more goals than the next player on the all-time list.

Senior Sophia Milia added three goals and five assists, the latter all during the second half. All four of senior Angelina Wiater’s goals and both assists also came over the final 25 minutes, while junior Jessica Geiger added two of her three goals and senior Delaney Langdon netted her score during the second half as well.

In the end, the Cranes’ 18 goals ranked as the fifth most in MHSAA Finals history – while they gave up what tied for the third fewest all-time.

“It was a matter of giving them a reality check – you don’t get to take this game back. You don’t have another chance at the state championship,” Cranes first-year coach Evan Foulsham said of the halftime chat. “You don’t get to wear the uniform again if you’re a senior.

“It was all a little bit of a heart check in terms of bringing out the passion, and I think it worked.”

Cranbrook finished 17-1-1, its only loss to Rockford, which won the Division 1 championship earlier Saturday.

The Cranes and Chiefs had faced off earlier this season, Cranbrook emerging a 14-10 victor. Okemos (19-4) in its Semifinal had avenged a regular-season loss (and three straight Semifinal defeats) to East Grand Rapids, and was seeking to flip one more past result to close the season.

Senior Alyssa Karber scored two goals for the Chiefs, who graduated nine contributors to this breakthrough run.

“I’m so lucky to have played with those girls growing up. I definitely think this year we took it to another level,” Okemos senior Melaina Grewal said. “The (senior) girls taught the younger girls a lot of things about how to push through, how to keep practicing, how to work hard, and this is just proof that you can end up where you want after you work hard – so I’m assuming that the younger girls’ work ethic will continue to be strong.”

Click for the full scoring summary.

VIDEO: Isabelle Scane scores during the closing seconds of the first half.

PHOTOS: (Top) Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood raises the Division 2 championship trophy Saturday for the second straight season. (Middle) Cranbrook’s Sophia Milia (10) defends Okemos’ Campbell Foltz.

Representative Council Approves Limited Regional Seeding in Girls Lacrosse at Fall Meeting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 9, 2022

The addition of limited seeding at the Regional level of the Girls Lacrosse Tournament headlined actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its Fall Meeting on Dec. 2 in East Lansing.

Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in winter and spring. This Fall Meeting saw the Council take only three actions, with additional discussion centered on topics expected to receive more specific consideration at MHSAA sport committee meetings this winter and the Council’s meetings in March and May.

The Council approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee proposal to seed the top two teams in every Regional, and place those top seeds on opposite sides of the bracket beginning with the 2023 season. The two teams to be seeded will be determined by using the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) formula, which takes into account success and strength of schedule and is used currently to provide seeding information in boys lacrosse, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, and ice hockey. Only the top two teams in girls lacrosse will be seeded and separated; the other teams in each Regional will be placed on their brackets by random draw.

The Council also approved a Boys Lacrosse Committee recommendation that will allow athletes to participate in up to five quarters per day between teams at multiple levels – for example, varsity and junior varsity – also beginning with the 2023 season. For boys lacrosse multi-team tournaments, if two school teams (for example, the varsity and junior varsity) are at the same event, athletes may play in no more halves or quarters than what is being played by the school’s highest-level team that day. (Example: if the varsity team is playing three 30-minute half games for a total of six halves, a player playing both varsity and JV on the same day can play in six total halves that day.) The “fifth quarter” rule, by allowing athletes to compete on two levels on the same day, is intended to help programs that are otherwise lacking enough participants to field teams at multiple levels.

Taking into account the wintery weather conditions experienced by athletes during the MHSAA alpine ski season, the Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to adopt the “MHSAA Competition and Practice Guidelines for Cold Weather,” which are specific to alpine skiing. The guidelines include a windchill chart and cold standards for ambient temperature. This proposal also was supported by the Ski Committee and will go into effect for the 2022-23 season.

Remaining discussions focused on results from this fall’s Update Meeting survey completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state. The Council considered survey data including on questions related to the out-of-season travel rule. The Council also discussed results of a fall survey completed by member school athletic directors and head varsity football coaches concerning ongoing conversations about scheduling and playoff format. Following the Football Committee meeting in January 2023, an ad hoc committee comprised of members of the MHSAA staff, Representative Council, Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) will be convened for further discussion on these topics, with their report to be provided to the Council during its March 2023 meeting.

The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Westland John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy for a first-two-year term to the 19-person Council, and the re-appointment of Bay City Western principal Judy Cox for a second two-year term. Malloy previously was appointed to finish a partial term as one of the two representatives of member junior high/middle schools.

The Council reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer. Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson was elected Council vice president.

The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.