Midland – 70 Blissfield – 33
At last year’s Ice Breaker, Midland allowed a 17 point lead to slip away and ultimately lost in the last minutes of the game. This year, not so much. From the opening tip, the Lady Chemics took control of the game and never looked back. They applied in your face pressure defense the entire game. Receiving great play on both ends of the court from senior Jordan Phillips and junior Anna Tuck, Midland was able to stay focused, execute and not get comfortable.
Blissfield, coming off of a 20 plus point victory from the previous night, just couldn’t find the boost of energy they needed to get over the hump. Before they knew it, their deficit jumped from 8 points to 20 points and kept climbing. The effort was there, but unfortunately, Midland was moving a little too fast and hitting everything they put in the air. Despite receiving great shooting and floor leadership from junior Kara Stutzman, Blissfield fell in defeat.
Scoring Leaders: Midland – Phillips 29, Tuck 11 / Blissfield – Stutzman 14
Arbor Prep – 68 Belleville – 40
The Ice Breaker’s host and home team Arbor Prep hit the court running. They turned on their full-court pressure right away, utilizing the quickness and wide wingspans of their backcourt to get huge stops and steals. Belleville, although feeling the pressure, was able to break the Arbor Prep press on several possessions, but could not finish with a bucket. Once the frustration of turnovers and missed shots began to weigh on the Lady Tigers, their problems only grew in size, and Arbor Prep took advantage of it.
Led by sophomore guard Mya Petticord and junior guard Kaiden Glenn, the Lady Gators at one point went on a 16-2 run. It was an all hands on deck effort with every player that checked into the game having an impact on their success. In the end, Arbor Prep was just too much for the Lady Tigers, and they went on to seal the victory.
Scoring Leaders: Belleville – Conway 12, Stone-Palmer 8 / Arbor Prep – Petticord 29, Glenn 17, Chupp 13
Midland Dow - 45 Maple City Glen Lake – 43
A dynamic defensive match-up from start to finish, this game literally went down to the wire. A few astonishing highlights:
Games like this are a basketball fan’s dream. It was decided in the last minute of the game. With 55 seconds left in the game and Glen Lake leading 43-41, junior guard Chloe McVey gets a steal for Midland Dow and then is fouled on the other end. She sinks first shot but misses the second. The rebound was snatched down by senior forward Alyssa Keptner, who kicks the ball out for her team to set up a scoring opportunity. Glen Lake not giving up plays great defense and ties the ball up, but the possession arrow belongs to the Lady Chargers. With 33 seconds on the clock, junior guard Jada Garner catches the ball after a well-executed inbound play and finds herself wide open at the three-point line. She sinks the shot, nothing but net. Glen Lake gets one more chance to take the lead, and they are unable to execute.
Sophomore Kennedy Caldwell gets a steal and is fouled. She seals Midland Dow’s victory at the free-throw line.
Scoring Leaders: Midland Dow – Murray 14, Garner 11 / Maple City Glen Lakes – Bradford 14, Helling 13
Clarkston - 50 Ann Arbor Skyline - 33
The first two-quarters of this game seemed to be a struggle for both squads. Turnovers were a common factor, and neither could seem to find a consistent rhythm offensively. The score difference was never more than four points as each team struggled to hit open shots and take advantage of second-chance opportunities.
This all seemed to change in the third quarter. Skyline’s intensity stayed the same. However, Clarkston seemed to be more focused and ready for the battle. Led by very intense play from sophomore Izzy Hadley, Clarkston found their flow and never lost it again. Their defense was smothering and making Skyline visibly uncomfortable. The entire fourth quarter belonged to the Lady Wolves as they cruised their way to victory.
Scoring Leaders: Clarkston – Hadley 13, Heaton 10 / AA Skyline – House 12, J. Faulkner 9
Hartland - 61 Lenawee Christian - 40
When two state powerhouses play against each other, you never know what to expect, especially when one of them happens to be the defending Division IV state champs. That definitely was the experience with this matchup.
The game started as everyone thought it would, both teams played tough and at a fast pace. Especially Hartland. They were scrappy and not afraid of a little contact. They ended the first quarter on a 5-0 run, then opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run. Lenawee Christian shook off the setback and started a small run of their own. The two teams’ standout players, senior Whitney Sollom from Hartland and junior Bree Salenbien were an immediate impact on the game. That is until Sollom was forced to go to the bench after picking up her third foul early in the second quarter. Her teammates continued to press on and closed out the half leading by 5. The third quarter belonged to Hartland.
Playing gritty and die-hard defense was the song the “choir” was singing, and senior guard Nikki Dompierre had the lead vocals. Hartland challenged every pass, every shot, and never touched their brakes. Lenawee’s Salenbien sister duo did what they could to get their team back in the game, including some deep shots from senior Dani Salenbien and some paint domination from Bree. However, with Hartland dominating rebounds on the offensive end and giving themselves multiple scoring opportunities, the game belonged to them.
Scoring Leaders: Hartland – Sollom 15 / Lenawee Christian – B. Salenbien 15
Pewamo Westphalia - 40 Southfield A&T - 31
The Division III state champions Pewamo Westphalia (PW) received a pre-season top ten regardless of division ranking, and today they lived up to it. Southfield A&T, known for its fast-paced play and athletically loaded roster, opened the game ready for battle. They did a great job of controlling the pace of the game and being aggressive on defense. That, however, did not last long.
Senior Hannah Spitzley was the burst of energy needed to wake up the beast in her team. They went on a 12-4 run and never lost control of the game again. A 6 point lead quickly turned into a 12 point lead and at one point in the game, a 16 point lead. PW executed on offense. They were patient and did a great job with their shot selections. They also did a great job of not turning the ball over. Southfield did not bow down or go out without a fight. Senior guard Cheyenne McEvans and senior center Jasmine Worthy led the comeback efforts. The Lady Warriors cut their deficit down to 8 in the middle of the fourth quarter, but that was as close as they would get. Pewamo went on another run and finalized their win.
Scoring Leaders: Southfield A&T – McEvans 16, Worthy 9/ Pewamo Westphalia – Spitzley 17, Thelen 15
Michigan Center - 64 Chandler Park - 52
In this case, the best was saved for last. The game was a thriller, filled with surprises and upsets! Chandler Park opened the game hungry. From the opening tip, they were disciplined and focused. They ran their offense almost perfectly and played great defense, forcing Michigan Center to play at a faster pace than usual. The fast-play seemed to be having an unfavorable effect on Michigan Center and their legs. Their shots were short, and they missed defensive assignments that allowed Chandler Park to get multiple wide-open shots and layups. At the end of the 1st quarter, Chandler park led 22-8, and at halftime 39-22. and Semie Brar, Michigan Center outscored Chandler Park 19-2 in the third quarter and went into the fourth quarter tied 41-41. The fourth quarter belonged to the Cardinals. Three-point shots from Chandler Park’s juniors Shealyn Tripp and junior Alize Tripp Whatever was said in the Michigan Center locker room worked and should be sold in stores and on Amazon. The Lady Cardinals opened the third quarter with fire in their eyes. They looked like a totally different team. They turned up the heat and never turned it back down.
Led by the Tripp sisters, senior Emaia O’Brien looked as though they were going to light a fire in their team and go on a run of their own, but it was short-lived. Michigan Center held onto the lead they fought so hard to gain and finished the game victorious.
Scoring Leaders: Michigan Center – S. Tripp 26, A. Tripp 16 / Chandler Park – O’Brien 12, Brar 12, Wickett 11