Crystal Falls Forest Park junior Lexi Gussert has been one of the state’s most dangerous scorers over the last two seasons.
It's a much-deserved reputation, considering the numbers she put up again this season.
Gussert's name has been added to the MHSAA record book three times for exceptional feats she achieved this winter. See those and more recent entries for girls and boys basketball, volleyball, wrestling, football and hockey in this week's "Records Report" – and click on the sport subtitle to go directly to the record book for that sport and directions to submit candidates.
- Crystal Falls Forest Park junior Lexi Gussert scored 50 points in a win over Rapid River on Jan. 24 and her 809 points this season were fifth-most in MHSAA girls hoops history. She also made 93 3-pointers – connecting on 47 percent of her attempts – to tie for the second-most treys for one season. She finished this winter with averages of 32.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
- Kent City topped by five the former MHSAA record for 3-pointers in a game when it connected on 23 in an 82-17 win over Wyoming Lee on Jan. 11. Kent City also set another MHSAA record in the process by attempting 81 attempts – the team had only five two-point field goals to go with its 23 treys, and six players made at least two long-range shots apiece. Kent City also ranked fourth as a team for one season with 595 attempted 3-point shots and eighth with 167 made. For the season, five players made 23 or more 3-pointers, with Justine Wolter leading with 40.
- Three Rochester Hills Stoney Creek sharp-shooters were added for 3-point or free-throw shooting. Gabby Yurik and Lauren Voss both made the single-game list with nine 3-pointers – Voss making 9 of 11 on Jan. 17 vs. Pontiac. Yurik graduated in 2012 with 234 3-pointers, good for fifth on the MHSAA career list. Rachyl Campbell made the free throw listings three times, including for her 364 career total of makes tallied from 2002-06 – good for 14th on that MHSAA list.
- According to a newspaper report filed during the 1970 season, Houghton’s Gary Lange and Champion’s Larry Laitala chased each other in pursuit of the Upper Peninsula scoring title that winter. A 60-point game from Lange in mid-January already was part of the MHSAA record book, but Laitala’s 65-point performance against Felch a week later, on Jan. 30, is a new addition and is tied for 10th all-time. Laitala made 25 field goals and 15 of 19 free-throw attempts as Champion won 114-71.
- Temperance Bedford senior Jackson Lamb finished his high school career ranked among the top 20 in three MHSAA categories. His 455 career free throws (in 770 attempts) rank 10th, his 889 rebounds tie for 16th and his 220 career blocked shots also rank 16th for that category. He also scored 1,901 points over his career – finishing with career averages of 22.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
- Lake Odessa Lakewood sophomore Colin O’Mara joined former Mr. Basketball Brad Redford of Frankenmuth among others near the top of the single-game 3-pointers list when O'Mara made 12 against Springport on Dec. 28. He tied Redford (twice) among others for third-most in one game and finished that night with 38 points total.
- Calumet’s Brendan Jacques found the back of the net four times – including once on a power play – over the final 9:05 of his team’s Feb. 21 game against Marquette as Calumet came back from a 2-1 deficit to win 5-2. Jacques is one of three players in the MHSAA record book to score four or more goals in a period – Ed Lyon scored four for Flint Central in a period in 1979 and Ron Rolston had six in a period for Flint Powers Catholic in 1984.
- White Cloud senior setter Kaytlin Welch finished her four-year varsity career this fall with 3,178 assists, good for 13th on the MHSAA career list. She broke 900 for a season as both a sophomore and a junior, with 986 in 2010 her high total for one fall.
- Coleman running back Tim Anderson joined five others tied for ninth in MHSAA history with six rushing touchdowns in one game when he accomplished the feat in a 56-0 win over Ashley on Sept. 29. Anderson ran 22 times for 215 yards in the game.
- Williamston’s Spencer Demand finished his high school career this winter with 118 escapes – good for 16th on the MHSAA list. Former teammate Paul Sawaya – a 2011 graduate – is tied for 17th with 112.
PHOTO: Crystal Falls Forest Park's Lexi Gussert (right) goes up for a shot during the 2012 Class D Semifinals at the Breslin Center.
Owosso’s Macy Irelan earned 11 entries in the MHSAA record book over her three-year varsity career that came to a close last spring, most notably with her 1,157 strikeouts despite the 2020 season being canceled due to COVID-19.
Irelan’s career strikeouts were the second-most in the state since the pitching distance was lengthened three feet in 2011. She finished 31-7 last spring with a 1.43 ERA and 414 strikeouts in 229 2/3 innings in earning the Miss Softball Award for pitching.
She also hit .551 with 21 doubles last season, and her 55 career doubles over 117 games and three seasons made that category career list. She’s continuing her career at Kent State.
See below for more recent additions to the softball record book:
Unionville-Sebewaing’s dominating run to the 2021 Division 4 championship was filled with seven record book-worthy highlights, including many near the top of all-time lists. In going 40-3, the Patriots tied their season record for wins for the second time. Their 502 runs scored ranked third all-time, with their 493 hits tied for ninth, their 114 doubles second, their 49 home runs also tied for ninth, their 431 RBI also second and their 503 strikeouts thrown ranking third. Senior Brynn Polega completed her career with 13 record book entries despite her junior season being canceled because of COVID-19; she added listings for 71 runs, 79 hits, a third-best 28 doubles, 11 homers, 70 RBI, four perfect games pitching and 365 strikeouts, among others. Then-junior Laci Harris made lists with 77 runs, 83 hits, 22 doubles, 14 homers and 78 RBI, while then-junior Macy Reinhardt was added for 78 runs and then-freshman Gabriella Crumm was added for 16 doubles. Polega, Harris and Reinhardt also posted entries for single-game accomplishments. Polega is playing at Northwood and Harris at Madonna.
Big Rapids set a school record for wins in 2021 in finishing 34-7, a run which included a number of accomplishments that reached the record book. The Cardinals scored 439 runs – tied for 12th on that list – and also as a team were added for 428 hits, 82 doubles and 363 RBI, which tied for 10th all-time. Marissa Warren made the individual hits list with 71, while Hanna Smith earned an entry with 20 doubles and Rylie Haist followed with 19. Josie Cornell was added with 40 walks drawn. Warren, Smith and Haist were added for single-game accomplishments as well, as was Madison Affer from a 2019 game. Haist, Smith and Cornell are seniors this school year, and Warren is a junior. Smith has signed with Ferris State.
A pair of Bad Axe standouts earned record book entries in 2021 with their work at the plate. Haley Newland made the single-season doubles list with 19, and Brooke Messing was added for seven RBI in a game that saw her hit a grand slam and three-run homer. Newland graduated last spring and Messing is a senior this school year.
Montrose then-freshman Lainey Cannon made two record book lists with her performance April 25 against Montrose. She hit three home runs to make the single-game list in that category, and also made the single-game RBI list with eight.
Capac then-sophomore Madalyn Roberson made the record book three times with her performance May 9 against Brown City. She hit two home runs in back-to-back at bats, both during the fifth inning, and also drove in six runs for the game.
Spring Lake standouts now fill the record book after the addition of 55 individual and 23 team entries dating back to the 2000 season. Among listings ranking highest in their respective categories were Madelyn Nelson’s 81 runs in 2018, which tied for seventh all-time; Nelson’s 250 career runs from 2015-18) that rank seventh and Lauren Hellman’s 249 career runs also from 2015-18 that rank eighth on that list; Nelson’s 84 hits in 2018 that are tied for 12th-most all-time and her 264 career hits that rank 11th, Leah Vaughan’s 26 doubles in 2019 that rank seventh, Evie Lorimer’s 16 triples in 2011 that are tied for eighth and her 37 career triples from 2010-12 that are ranked fourth, Vaughan’s 23 career times being hit by pitch from 2016-19 which rank second, and Lorimer’s 92 stolen bases in 2012 that rank second (with all 92 coming consecutively to tie for fifth on that list) and 183 career steals that rank 11th. As a team, Spring Lake in 2017 ranked seventh all-time with 501 hits over 42 games, fourth with 109 doubles and eighth with 34 triples. The 2018 team ranks 11th with 441 runs scored over 41 games, 10th with 497 hits and tied for ninth with 100 doubles. Valerie Alter, Linsey Paggeot, Jenna Core, Molly Poole, Alicia Mumby, Leah Anton, Ann Marie Galloway and Rachael Adams also earned individual entries. Nelson went on to play at Grand Valley State, Vaughan plays at Aquinas College, Lorimer played at Central Michigan, Alter played at Jacksonville University (Fla.), Poole plays at Cornerstone University and Mumby played at Lansing Community College. Core plays volleyball at Hope College.
Freeland’s offense earned five record book entries during the team’s 26-12 season in 2022, including for 412 runs scored, 442 hits, 78 doubles, 336 RBI and a .400 team batting average. Three individuals also earned entries – sophomore Addie Steffen for a 20-game hitting streak and seven RBI in a game, junior Evelynn Rybicki for six RBI in a game and freshman Brynn Jaime for getting hit by a pitch twice in the same inning.
Chloe Parker hit .604 last spring and made the records with 20 doubles over 33 games for Niles Brandywine. She’s a junior this school year.
A series of record book entries were added for past and present Zeeland West standouts. Carly Sleeman was added for 73 runs, 75 hits, 27 doubles and 12 home runs in 2021 as a sophomore, while Lily Brower was added for 72 runs, 17 triples and 11 homers, plus 38 doubles and 29 triples over a four-year varsity career. Sleeman’s 27 doubles are tied for fifth-most in one season, and Brower’s 17 triples are tied for fourth on that list. Haley Hoogenraad was added for 70 hits and 17 doubles as a junior in 2015, 19 doubles as a senior, and 49 doubles and 24 triples over her four-year career from 2013-16. Kenzie Siersma was added for 17 doubles in 2017 and 54 over her career from 2016-19, while Courtney Sleeman made the season home runs list with 15 in 2015 and Sarah VanValkenburg made the career RBI list with 152 from 2014-17. Emily Brands was added for hitting consecutive home runs in the same inning, May 7 against Reese; she graduated this spring. Hoogenraad went on to play at University of Michigan, Courtney Sleeman played at Western Michigan, Siersma plays at West Virginia Tech, Brower played last season at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Carly Sleeman has signed with Central Michigan.
PHOTO Owosso’s Macy Irelan unloads a pitch during the 2021 Division 2 Final.