Schoolcraft Girls Win District Basketball Championship

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Gabi Saxman dribbles around her opponent to make a bucket for Schoolcraft. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

Schoolcraft girls’ basketball record stands at 20-2 with the final outcome for the season in a coronavirus limbo.

In the first week of playoffs, the girls knocked off the Bulldogs of Centreville, 38-31, to give the Eagles their fifth District title in six years. Their next competitors in the Regional semi-final match on March 10 were the Tigers of Gobles.

Those in attendance weren’t let down from either side, with a heart-pounding, nail-biting display from two very talented teams.

Gobles would open up the night by going on a quick 6-0 run. Schoolcraft’s Alli Walther then started putting up shots, making five in a row. The Tigers were able to shut the Eagles down again and go on their own 8-0 run. By the time halftime arrived, the score was 20-20. The third quarter would see the Tigers go on a 10-2 run that gave them an eight-point advantage at the end of three.

The Eagles were able to calm down and again go on a run of 8-0 in the early stages of the 4th, but the Tigers were not going to just roll over. With three minutes remaining, the Tigers looked strong and were up 36-31. The Eagles started to bounce back with a 3-pointer by senior Gabi Saxman. This got the Eagle fans roaring and brought the team within two with 2:10 remaining on the clock. The Eagles controlled on a jump ball with the possession arrow on their side. A solid pass into the corner from Saxman went to fellow senior Savannah Seath. With no hesitation and solid concentration, Seath’s third triple sent the Eagles bench and fans into a frenzy.

The Tigers tried to inbound a pass, but not before the five seconds expired, making them turn the ball back over to the Eagles. With their game in peril, the Tigers fouled Saxman, sending her to the line. The senior sank both shots. After another foul on Saxman, resulting in one out of two shots made, the Tigers found themselves down 42-39, with 16 seconds left in the season.

Gobles tried for a couple 3-pointers missing the mark each time. The Tiger’s Libbee Nason, put up a rebound for two. Without any fouls, it just wasn’t enough and the Eagles won 42-41.

Eagle leading scorers were Gabi Saxman with 13, Allie Walther with 10 and Savannah Seath with 9.

The Tigers’ leading scorers were Libbee Nason with 19 and Christiana Hunt with 9. SAC Valley 1st team All Conference players from Schoolcraft were Gabi Saxman, Anna Schupel and Mackenzie Miller. Honorable mention went to Allie Walther.

The win over Gobles would see a 3rd meeting in the 2020 season between the Eagles and the Irish from Hackett Catholic prep, this one for the Regional Championship.

Unfortunately, that may not happen. They will have to wait on the decision of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) with the remainder of play on hold.

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