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February 27, 2012
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We are the Champions: MHSAA powerhouses in all four divisions continued their recent successes at Saturday’s Team Finals at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena. Hudson became the third program to win four straight MHSAA team titles by outlasting Shelby in Division 4. Richmond in Division 3 and St. Johns in Division 2 both won third-straight championships. Detroit Catholic Central avenged last season’s Division 1 Final loss to Oxford by beating the Wildcats 47-9 – the Shamrocks' second championship in three seasons. (Second Half D1) (Second Half D2) (Second Half D3) (Second Half D4)
Stoney Creek goes 10 to 1: Rochester Hills Stoney made the biggest move up among teams that qualified Saturday for this weekend’s Finals at the Grand Rapids Delta Plex. Stoney Creek entered the postseason ranked No. 10 in Division 1 – but won its Regional by just more than a point, and in doing so finished ahead of No. 3 Rochester, No. 5 Southgate Anderson and No. 9 Lake Orion. Stoney Creek, the 2010 Division 1 Final champion, will try to make it two titles in three seasons beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.(Rochester.Patch.com)
Oxford stuns: The Wildcats won the closest and arguably most competitive girls or boys Regional on Friday, finishing 14 pins ahead of Fair Haven Anchor Bay and Macomb Dakota at Sterling Heights’ Star Lanes. Oxford rolled four Baker games of 180 or more, and a 918 team game to tie for the highest of those three rounds. The kicker: Oxford entered the postseason unranked; Dakota was No. 10, and No. 9-ranked Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, No. 2 Sterling Heights Stevenson and No. 7 Macomb L’Anse Creuse North all finished outside the top three and failed to qualify for this week’s Division 1 Final. (MHSAA.com)
No. 1 in Lansing: Occasionally, the No. 1-ranked teams in Class A and B play each other. Rarely does that happen with both from the same city and located only a few miles apart. Top-ranked Class B team Lansing Sexton’s only loss this season was by a point last month to Detroit Pershing – No. 1 in Class A until losing to Detroit Martin Luther King two weeks ago and falling from the top spot. The Doughboys were replaced by Lansing Eastern, which like Sexton is in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue. They met Friday – with the Big Reds winning 75-58 to finish a season sweep of the Quakers. (Lansing State Journal)
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Team of the Month: Croswell-Lexington Competitive Cheer
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
April 14, 2023
The Croswell-Lexington competitive cheer team had finished fourth, fifth and fourth, respectively over the last three Division 3 Finals as this season began in November with more high expectations – but also the annual challenge of believing those could be attained.
Competing in the same Blue Water Area Conference as Richmond, the Pioneers are more familiar than most with the program that entered the season coming off a fourth-straight Division 3 title. And as a regular at Finals weekend, Cros-Lex also is plenty aware of the power of Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, the only other team besides Richmond to win a Division 3 championship between 2012-22.
But during the Pioneers’ first competition this winter, coach Katie Tomlinson knew this could be the team to rise above that history and make some of its own.
Cros-Lex finished fifth of 18 at the Jan. 6 Richmond Invitational, but second in Division 3 to only the host Blue Devils, and with scores including a D3-best 309.30 in Round 3.
“For our first competition, (we had) some of our best scores we’ve ever received – and typically our first competition is really tough for us. So that was kind of a turning point,” Tomlinson said. “Just the confidence they had that first night, competing for the first time, it was just a shift.”
That shift provided early momentum as Cros-Lex made one of the most impressive championship moves in any winter sport this season.
The Pioneers are the MHSAA/Applebee’s “Team of the Month” for March after finishing their season as MHSAA Finals champions in the sport for the first time, overcoming a 1.24-point deficit to Richmond after Round 2 to win the Division 3 title at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena.
Croswell-Lexington finished with three-round score of 776.72, seven-tenths of a point better than runner-up Notre Dame Prep and with nearly two points more than the Blue Devils. The Pioneers launched into the lead with a 314.50 in Round 3, the second-best score for that round in the competition.
“I think that it was such a shock for them in the moment and so exciting and rewarding,” Tomlinson recalled this week, “but it definitely was the work put in, just like every other team, and believing in themselves and just going out there and doing what we always do and what we’d worked hard for and what we’d put in that time and effort for – and just watching it pay off. It was kind of a mix of just really believing in ourselves – it’s been a challenge for a few years now building up that confidence to know that they are a team that’s worthy of a state championship and then proving that. They earned it.”
And it was truly a team effort. Cros-Lex had 28 athletes, and only one of the other 31 teams across four divisions at the Finals – Division 1 Grandville with 30 – had more on the roster. Of those 28, 22 competed in at least one round at CMU. Juniors Alexis Bales, Cora Katulski, Shelby Oliver and Makayla Rice and sophomore Carly Old competed in all three rounds, while seniors Noelle Golda, Santanna Horning and Emma Six and sophomores Larkin Krohn, Niah Krohn, Kaleigh Kelch and Addyson Sharpe competed in two rounds. Seniors Cassidy Seaman, Deborahann White, Maria Tabernero and Alleyna Martinez; junior Grace Hodges, sophomores Emma Yearkey, Madison Greenaway, Maggie Wallace and Addison Gardner; and freshman Chelsea Miller also took the mat.
Oliver, Katulski, Rice, Bales, Old and Kelch made the all-state first team. Wallace, Hodges and Sharpe made the second team, and Six, Horning and Golda earned honorable mentions.
Cros-Lex had finished second to Richmond in the BWAC and second to Notre Dame Prep at their District before finishing third to both at the Regional. The Pioneers had never finished higher than fourth at a Final.
“We are up against (Richmond) quite a bit and I’m super close with Kelli (Blue Devils coach Kelli Matthes) … and honestly, we enjoy going to the competitions that have those teams that have won on that stage,” said Tomlinson, who has been part of the Pioneers cheer program since seventh grade beginning as an athlete and including the last eight seasons as head coach. “It sure pushes us further to be better and keep improving instead of staying satisfactory.
“It does make it hard when you’re up against such powers for years where they take it every single year. It makes the girls second-guess themselves and their capabilities, so that was a big thing that we started back in June for sideline and tried since to implement every day – the confidence and the belief in ourselves that even though they’re great, we are too.”
Past Teams of the Month, 2022-23
February: Hart girls & boys basketball - Report
January: Taylor Trillium Academy girls bowling - Report
December: Byron Center hockey - Report
November: Martin football - Report
October: Gladwin volleyball - Report
September: Negaunee girls tennis - Report