PH Northern Hits Winning Number

June 1, 2013

By Scott Keyes
Special for Second Half

MIDLAND – For the Port Huron Northern girls tennis team, winning the Lower Peninsula Division 1 championship at the Midland Community Tennis Center was all about redemption.

Last year, the Huskies tied Clarkston for second place with 25 points as Grosse Pointe South walked away with the title after tallying one more.

Northern came into the tournament believing that this year's magic number was 24.

"I knew if we hit the 24-point mark we would have a shot at winning the state championship," said Northern coach Char Sweeney.

Little did Sweeney know before the tournament got underway Friday that 24 would be the winning number and that her team would be on the winning end of things after the final matches were over Saturday afternoon.

Northern scored 24 points to top Farmington Hills Mercy, which finished second with 22. Grosse Pointe South and Clarkston tied for third with 20. Rounding out the top five was Northville with 14 points.

"We came so close to winning the whole thing a year ago, and we were a determined group coming into the season," Sweeney said. "I would have loved to have won a state championship last season and shared the experience with my older daughter, but to be able to share this with my daughter (Allie) this year along with the rest of the team is pretty special."

The win capped Northern's first championship run since 2002.

Farmington Hills Mercy coach Joe Stafford was all smiles after his team's second-place finish.

"This was probably our highest finish in the last 15 years," Stafford said. "I told the girls even before the tournament started that we play together. We win together. We lose together. Whatever happens after that is up to us. The girls rose to the challenge in the tournament and played their hearts out. I couldn't be prouder of what they accomplished here today."

With five freshmen, three sophomores and only two seniors, Stafford's team should contend for the top spot in the tournament for years to come.

Meanwhile, it was Northern that walked away with a Finals championship, also with a young team that will continue to surge in coming seasons.

Northern won two individual flight titles against Clarkston as Lizzie Brozovich defeated top-seeded Isabella Spindler, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2 singles, and Fran Basha and Alexis Wirtz defeated top-seeded Paige Olsen and Alex Whall, 6-1, 6-0, in No. 1 doubles.

Brozovich was the only singles winner that wasn't a No. 1 seed in her flight. Mary Hanna of Saline won at No. 1 singles; at No. 3 singles Dana Olsen (Clarkston) defeated Maggie Sweeney (Grosse Pointe South) 6-0, 6-4, and at No. 4 singles Madie Flournoy upended Jessie Guindi, 6-3, 0-6 and 6-2.

Brozovich's win was a game-changer for the Huskies.

"When Lizzie won we knew we could have a shot at winning the whole thing," Sweeney said. "Lizzie was so close to winning a year ago, she came into the tournament knowing what to expect this year. She was so poised an in control.

“This isn't a three-month passion for them. It's a year's worth of hard work and sacrifice. It's a long process to be able to accomplish what the girls did today."

In other doubles matches, Mercy's Anna Hinrichs and Mackenzie Zierau defeated Northern's Jenna Brettschneider and Maddie Neaton, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, at No. 2; Evie VanDewege and Alyssa Roopas of Ann Arbor Pioneer handed Northern's Amy Tseng and Maggie Bacheller their first loss of the season, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 3; and Northville's Shannon Williams and Libby Quinn bested Mercy's Julie Flanagan and Sarah Hinrichs, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 4.

The No. 2 doubles match lasted more than three hours. Tseng and  Bacheller already knew the team had locked up the title after the second set, but still would have liked to have won an individual  championship.

"That was by far the longest match we have been in all season," Tseng said. "We would have liked to have won a state championship, but we did it as a team and I couldn't be prouder of what we were able to accomplish as a group."

Click for full results.

PHOTO: Port Huron Northern’s Amy Tseng and Maggie Bacheller play a No. 3 doubles match; they finished runners-up in their flight. (Click to see more at

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1