Michigan Center High School basketball players celebrate another district basketball title. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Michigan Center High School girls’ basketball player Shealyn Tripp said the Cardinals were not going to make the same mistake as last year.
The Cardinals defeated Grass Lake in a tough district final in 2019, but lost in the opening round of the regional tournament at home.
Tripp had a lot of do with the Cardinals’ 47-35 win over Columbia Central in this year’s Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 district final win.
The junior scored 23 points and pulled down six rebounds as the Cardinals advanced to the regional round for another season.
Michigan Center improves to 19-3 and rides a 16-game winning streak into the regional semifinals Tuesday at Columbia Central.
Columbia Central finishes the season with a 20-3 record and another Lenawee County Athletic Association championship. The Golden Eagles breezed past East Jackson and Vandercook Lake to advance to this year’s district final.
Michigan Center had to get past Grass Lake – again – to advance to the 2020 district final.
“Last year we beat Grass Lake in the district final then lost to Springport in the regional round at home,” Tripp said. “We should have beaten them.”
MCHS Coach Joe Lusk said he was worried about getting caught up in the “catch game” – beating one of the top ranked teams in the state and then losing in the district final.
“We were worried about a letdown, but these girls are such hard workers,” Lusk said. “They are hungry to get back to a high level.”
Michigan Center advanced to the MHSAA Division 2 state semifinals two years ago.
They played like that team in the first half against CCHS in the district final at Grass Lake High School on Friday.
Tripp scored eight points in the first quarter as the guards passed the basketball into the top post and she did the rest.
“We saw that they left the middle open,” Tripp said.
She drove the basketball to the hoop or passed the ball to an open opponent.
MC led 14-6 at the end of eight minutes of action and extended the lead to 28-12 at halftime. Six players scored in the second quarter for the Cardinals.
There was little scoring in the third quarter as MCHS outscored the Golden Eagles 6-5.
Columbia Central scored 18 points in the final quarter as Zoie Bamm tallied eight points and Lexi Collins added six for CCHS.
Bamm finished with a team-high 14 points for CCHS and tallied 13 rebounds. Taiya Fletcher added six steals for Columbia Central.
Madisyn Bradley scored six points and Alize Tripp added five points for Michigan Center. Morgan Morris finished with six rebounds and six steals for the Cardinals.
Division 3 at Lumen Christi: The Titans won a district title with a 38-30 win over Leslie. Lumen Christi Catholic School advances to the MHSAA Division 3 regional at Columbia Central on Tuesday against Michigan Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Division 1 at Northwest: Jackson High School lost 66-52 to Holt in the MHSAA Division 1 district final. Jackson finishes the season with an 11-9 overall record, according to MHSAA statistics. The Vikings won 5-of-7 games to finish the season.
Division 2 at Chelsea: Western High School defeated Eaton Rapids 45-34 in the MHSAA Division 2 district final. The Panthers will advance to the regional semifinals on Tuesday at Fowlerville against Haslett beginning at 5:30 p.m.