Did you see that? (9/10-9/16)

September 18, 2012

One of the state's premier regular-season cross country events plus some big-time volleyball in the Upper Peninsula highlight the non-football highlights from the week that was Sept. 10-16.

(Click for the Drive for Detroit football report.)

Cross country

Elite meet at MSU: The Spartan Invitational, run at Michigan State's Forest Akers East Golf Course, is arguably the most competitive regular season event in this sport and draws a number of top teams from all over the state for a series of races. Champions on Friday were the Waterford Mott boys and Grosse Pointe South girls in the Elite races, the Ithaca boys and North Muskegon girls in the White division, the Haslett boys and the Spring Lake girls in the Bronze division, and Bloomfield Hills Lahser boys and Jenison girls in the Green division. Click the "Playmakers" link for results and the others for coverage. (Playmakers.com) (Grand Haven Tribune) (Lansing State Journal)


Capital of  UP volleyball: Calumet, ranked fourth in Class C this week. defended its title at the Articatz Invitational Autumn Classic in Marquette by winning all 12 of its games. The field also included Marquette, Houghton and Escanaba among others. (Marquette Mining Journal)

Trojans at home above the net: More of the Upper Peninsula's top teams met nearer the Wisconsin border. Crystal Falls Forest Park, ranked No. 6 in Class D, defended its home tournament title with a 2-1 win over No. 10 Lake Linden-Hubbell in the final. (Iron Mountain Daily News)


Lakeview owns Battle Creek: Lakeview continues to rank among the state's best teams in Division 2, at No. 3 this week. And there's no question it's the best in Battle Creek, as evidenced by a sixth-straight All-City championship won with a score of 176 -- 45 strokes better than runner-up Harper Creek. (Battle Creek Enquirer)


Clawson names Judy Hacker Field: Hacker, who died in 2011, was a pioneer of girls sports in the southeastern corner of the state during her time at the school from 1963-95. She coached basketball, volleyball, softball, track and field and field hockey at the school. The school dedicated its softball diamond in her name Saturday. (Oakland Press)

Ferndale Caps Winter Season with 1st Boys Hoops Title Since 1966

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for MHSAA.com

March 25, 2023

EAST LANSING – One team was going to end a long championship drought in Saturday’s boys basketball Division 2 Final.

Ferndale’s was especially lengthy, and spanned more than five decades.

And now it is no longer.

The Eagles won their first Finals championship in 57 years with a 44-38 victory over Grand Rapids South Christian at Breslin Center.

Ferndale had last won a state title in 1966.

“The drought is over,” Eagles coach Juan Rickman said. “That’s big time, and the biggest part about making it down here was seeing how charged up the community was and the school was so charged up. It’s the greatest feeling to see how vested our community was in our success.”

Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim.Ferndale senior Christopher Williams led the way with 16 points and four rebounds.

“It feels great,” Williams said. “Especially since the past four years we’ve been to the same place and lost twice in a row to the same team, and now it feels like weight is lifted off my shoulders.

“We started off the season 1-5, and going till now we knew if we stayed together through adversity then we could do it. And it made it more impactful that it was our coach’s first state title, and that’s what we wanted to do.”

Added senior point guard Cameron Reed, who had a game-high seven assists: “It’s incredibly special. I wasn't born back then, my teammates weren’t born and my coaches weren’t born. It definitely rejuvenated the whole city and community.”

Ferndale led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter, and both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Eagles connected on a paltry 24 percent from the field, and South Christian on 35 percent of its attempts. Nate Brinks drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sailors a 16-14 halftime lead. 

Junior guard Jake Vermaas opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to make it 19-14, but Ferndale made a charge.

The Eagles sliced the deficit to one (25-24) on a 3-pointer by Trenton Ruth, and Cameron Reed tied it at 28-28 with an acrobatic layup.

“Our team was mentally strong, and I’m so proud of them for their accomplishment,” Rickman said. “Just so committed to the process and just being resilient.”

Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.An 8-2 spurt by Ferndale over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter made it 36-30.

“That was extremely important, and we always want to win the first four minutes,” Rickman said. “And we tried to open up the fourth quarter with what we call a kill; we want to get five straight stops and score on two or three of those possessions so we can build a lead. We did that fairly well against a good team.”

South Christian was attempting to win football and basketball Finals championships during the same school year, and was looking for its first basketball title since 2005.

“It was a really hard-fought game and I thought we played at our speed, but it got away from us a little bit,” first-year Sailors coach Taylor Johnson said.

“But it doesn’t take away from what we accomplished this year. We’ve been through it all, including three season-ending injuries, and to still make it to the state finals is an incredible feat.”

Senior Jacob DeHaan and Vermaas led the Sailors with 14 points apiece, while senior Sam Medendorp added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Ferndale raises the Division 2 championship trophy Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim. (Below) Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.