High 5s: 3/20/12
March 20, 2012
Every Tuesday, Second Half honors 2-4 athletes and a team for its accomplishments.
Have a suggestion for a future High 5? Please offer it by e-mail to Geoff@mhsaa.com. Candidates often will have accomplished great things on the field of play -- but also will be recognized for less obvious contributions to their teams, schools or the mission of high school athletics.
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett senior
Ristovski led her team to within a win of the Class C championship. She had 15 points and seven assists in a Semifinal win over Concord on Thursday, then scored 42 points -- second-most in MHSAA girls championship game history -- although the Knights fell 61-57 to Morley-Stanwood in Saturday's Final. Earlier in the week, she was named this season's Miss Basketball as the state's top senior player. She was joined on the Knights this season by junior sister Haleigh and freshman sister Lola.
Up next: Ristovski received a scholarship offer from the Unversity of Michigan after her freshman year, and accepted it as a junior. She's hopes to study education, get her teaching certificate and go into school administration.
Before the game, a winning routine: "Every single game day I wear the same outfit to school. I always eat the same pre-game meal -- a cheeseburger and medium fries from McDonald's. I sit in the same spot on the same bus for every game. ... I have to play with curly hair. I can't play with straight hair. I'm very superstitious."
Favorite offensive move: "With my right hand, cross over to the middle and jumpshot."
I learned the most about basketball from: "My dad, Loren Ristovski. My dad first started coaching when I was about nine months old (he coached at Harper Woods for 10 years). That's when he first started taking me into the gym. I could sit up at nine months, and I would roll the ball back and forth with my dad in the gym. I just went to everthing, and I grew up in the gym with my dad."
My favorite player is: "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
Sister power: "I'm really competitive with them in practice. We always go against each other, and we always make sure to push each other the hardest we can. In the games, I'm really supportive of them, but also I tell them when they are doing something wrong. Haleigh is a really good defender, but she can shoot the lights out. Lola can dribble really well and (is strong) in transition. I'm better at going to the basket and finding open players."
Had to be a Wolverine: "When I was in fifth grade, U-M was the very first basketball camp I went to outside of the local rec place and the high school. It was a huge place, and I loved it. My dad and I walked out of Crisler Arena, and my dad looked around and said to me, 'This is where you'll play basketball.' And I was like, 'Are you crazy? Those girls are so big.' My dad said, 'Madison, I promise you'll play at U-M.' Ever since, that's where I wanted to go."
Grand Haven senior
Davis, a point guard, scored 19 points -- including the winning lay-up with six seconds to play -- as Grand Haven completed an 18-point comeback to beat Grosse Pointe South 54-53 in Saturday's Class A Final at the Breslin Center. The 18-point comeback was the third-biggest in MHSAA girls basketball championship game history. The Buccaneers also beat reigning champion Inkster in their Semifinal. The MHSAA title was Grand Haven's first. The team lost only once this season, early to East Kentwood.
"I'm so happy we lost that game. It definitely gave us a shift back into our mindset that we need to work hard every game to get where we are now -- state champs."
Up next: Davis is remaining quiet at this point about who is recruiting her, but expects to play basketball at the college level.
Staying relaxed before the game: "We definitely listen to music. You would think all us girls would get our heads into it, be super serious. But our team can't be serious. We're an outgoing team. Before (Friday's) game, we were dancing in the locker room. And we definitely have a team prayer thanking God for everything he does for us."
I learned the most about basketball from: "I would have to say my family, every single one. I can't even put it specifically. My dad (Terry Foster), my little brother (Terrence II), my mom (Cavina Foster). They've all just contributed in every way. I love them all."
My favorite player is: "Either Kobe (Bryant) or LeBron (James). Game-wise, they are just pretty amazing. How they're able to stay calm and collected in games, hit shots under pressure, all that type of thing. I try to resemble their games. They're pretty awesome players."
Huntey, a 6-foot-1 center, had 27 points and 16 rebounds as Morley-Stanwood won its first MHSAA girls basketball championship by edging Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 61-57 in Saturday's Class C Final. She also played a sizable role in Morley-Stanwood winning its second volleyball championship in the fall. She was named all-state this winter by The Associated Press and was a Miss Volleyball finalist in the fall. At that time she reported a 3.98 grade-point average.
Up next: Huntey has signed to play volleyball this fall at George Washington University. She's continuing a Division I college legacy in her family -- her father and Morley-Stanwood athletic director Clark Huntey played baseball at Central Michigan.
Basketball vs. volleyball championship: "There's definitely a comparable feeling to it. But it's so different. In basketball there are more nerves. Bigger gyms. It's (Michigan) State. I was really excited."
I learned the most about basketball from: "I would have to say Coach (Bob) Raven. I've looked up to him since I was this tall, and I was a water girl. I've always been so excited just to play for him."
Pre-game prep: "We stretch and then we pray as a team. Bailey (Cairnduff) leads it."
My favorite move is: "I fake up to the left, and the go back to the left."
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett junior
Counsman, a left win, had a goal and an assist in University Liggett's Division 3 Semifinal win over Chelsea on March 9, then scored his team's first two goals in its 3-0 win over Houghton in the next day's championship game. The MHSAA title was University Liggett's first in hockey since 1990. Counsman also plays lacrosse.
"I've never won anything of this caliber. It's great. I love it. We've done so much. ... Every guy has worked as hard as he can to make this happen. I'm glad we achieved our goal."
Up next: Counsman is just a junior, but hopes to play college hockey, perhaps at the Division III level, and would like to take a shot at playing juniors as well. At this point, he's considering a major in business.
I've learned the most about hockey from: "(Liggett coach) Robb McIntyre. He's coached me all throughout my growing up. He's been an awesome coach. I've learned everything from him."
I look up to: "Definitely my dad (Rich Counsman). He played college sports (football and baseball at Kalamazoo College), and he's just a great guy. I love him."
Before every game: "I gotta get in my jump ropes. I like to get in a nice long run, not too much stretching, and I gotta have a grape jelly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That's what we do. I like Smuckers, Jiff peanut butter. There's a process to making these sandwiches. Every guy makes them before games. Individually wrapped, cut diagonally, grape jelly."
Goodrich Girls Basketball
The Martians finished 28-0 in winning the Class B championship, their first MHSAA title. Goodrich beat a number of ranked teams in Class A, B and C this season, including No. 3 Detroit Country Day, No. 6 Dearborn Divine Child and No. 10 Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the final three rounds, respectively, of the Class B tournament. Divine Child was the reigning Class B champion. Among others to fall to the Martians this season were Class A Semifinalist Inkster and Class C runner-up University Liggett.
Lansing Catholic Closes Season With Memorable Victory Close to Home
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
March 18, 2023
EAST LANSING – The Lansing Catholic girls basketball team took a short drive to end a long wait.
Playing just three miles from their high school, the Cougars defeated Frankenmuth 43-29 Saturday at the Breslin Center to win the MHSAA Division 2 Final. It was the first Finals title for the program since 1995.
“It felt like homecourt advantage a little bit,” Lansing Catholic senior guard Hannah Pricco said. “Our bus trip wasn’t super long. It just kind of felt like we were coming to our own court.”
The Cougars treated it that way, dominating from the beginning of the matchup in their first Finals trip since that 1995 title. They scored the game’s first 11 points and never looked back.
“This is, as you can imagine, extremely surreal,” Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid said. “You’re going through literally every emotion on the bench, especially in a game like that. Frankenmuth is making such a great comeback, and we knew they were going to fight to the end. To go through the anger and sadness and happiness, and now it’s over and we’ve won it. It’s just been a rollercoaster of emotions, and I can’t describe the pride I have in these girls.”
It was the second meeting between the two teams, with Lansing Catholic taking the first 74-42 on Feb. 2. But Reid wasn’t going to let her team come in overconfident.
“They didn’t get here by accident,” Reid said. “They’re in the state championship because they’re playing their best ball of the year. We played them a month and a half ago. … We’re a totally different team, and we knew they were a totally different team. We knew they had been playing some really good basketball, and it didn’t matter at all what that first outcome was. We knew this was going to be a battle.”
Lansing Catholic (24-5) never trailed, and led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter. Leah Richards led the Cougars with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Anna Richards had 14 points. Gabby Halliwill added seven.
The Cougars were spurred by their defense throughout, holding Frankenmuth to 9 of 36 shooting from the field and forcing 13 turnovers.
“For us, defensively, we had to switch it up,” Reid said. “We had to keep switching up between man and zone. They were making adjustments and we couldn’t really sit in one thing for too long; they got comfortable. That’s a credit to their coaching staff always making adjustments. We had to continue to switch things up defensively and try to hopefully make their shooters second-guess their shot, or maybe not know where we were coming from.”
Frankenmuth (25-3) didn’t go away, despite trailing by double digits for the majority of the game.
That was helped by Lansing Catholic shooting 1 of 11 from the field in the third quarter, and going scoreless for the final 5:26 of the frame.
The Eagles cut the lead to seven with 2:45 to play on a steal and layup from Clare Conzelmann, but never got closer.
“There was always belief no matter what detriment we got ourselves in,” Frankenmuth senior Lexi Boyke said. “I wouldn’t want to choose any other girls to play with and be in with at that point. I think we fought back and really prided ourselves on, ‘We can still do it.’ We didn’t stop fighting until the end.”
Lansing Catholic always figured Frankenmuth would make a run to get into the game, but was ready when it came.
“We knew they were going to make runs, we knew we weren’t going to hold them to seven points the whole game,” Anna Richards said. “We knew in the third quarter they were going to score, so we just had to stay composed, work the ball around on offense to get the good shots that we wanted.”
Boyke, who scored Frankenmuth’s first 10 points and was its only scorer well into the third quarter, finished with 16. She also reached 1,000 career points in the game, and had six rebounds, while Izzy Bernthal had seven.
Frankenmuth was making its first Finals appearance since winning the Class C title in 1996, one year after Lansing Catholic.
“That’s a really good Lansing Catholic team, and you’ve seen that from their postseason run and beating an undefeated West Catholic team, and tonight finishing their season off with a state championship. So, congratulations to them,” Frankenmuth coach Joe Jacobs said. “I’m super proud of our kids. They didn’t quit tonight. They could have. … Fun experience, one that we want to treasure forever, but the motivation to come back again is here after tonight’s loss.”
PHOTOS (Top) Lansing Catholic celebrates its Division 2 championship Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) The Cougars’ Anna Richards (10) attempts to get a shot up over Frankenmuth’s Lexi Boyke. (Below) Tessa Roe (12) works to get past Clare Conzelmann and to the basket.