TRAVERSE CITY —
No comeback needed this time.
Leland never trailed Thursday night in capturing a Class D regional basketball championship with a 50-30 win over McBain Northern Michigan Christian.
The Comets, who will face perennial power Portland St. Patrick in Tuesday's quarterfinal at Muskegon Reeths-Puffer, reached the regional final with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Manistee Catholic.
"It (final) wasn't as exciting," Leland coach Megan Munoz, clutching the regional trophy, said. "But it's still amazing."
Amazing because earlier this season Leland (13-11) snapped a 40-game losing streak.
"I don't think at the beginning (of the season) anybody imagined us winning regionals, and moving on to quarterfinals," senior Liz McKee said. "It's overwhelming. It really is."
McKee led the Comets with 22 points. Hanna Schaub and Caitlin McKee added nine each. Schaub and Caitlin McKee scored all 13 of Leland's points in the first quarter as the Comets opened a five-point lead.
"It definitely helped swing the momentum," Schaub said.
Liz McKee took over from there, netting 18 points in the middle two quarters as the Comets built a 20-point cushion 43-23 heading into the final eight minutes.
"She just waits for her time," Munoz said. "She waits for the game to come to her."
The third quarter ended with sophomore Isabelle Scott hitting a 3-pointer just inside the halfcourt line, bringing the Leland crowd to its feet. That, for all practical purposes, was the exclamation point.
"They were just too much for us tonight," Northern Michigan Christian coach Casey Sigafoose said. "They brought it that first half and it was hard for us to recover."
Munoz said even though Leland led by nine at half, 25-16, she implored her team to not let up.
"We were down 11 to Manistee (in the fourth quarter) and came back," she said. "So nine points was nothing. We could not let up. That third quarter had to be dominating as well. We had to continue to play."
Northern Michigan Christian (9-15) tried to deny Liz McKee the ball early, but Schaub and Caitlin McKee helped loosen the defense.
"She's (Liz McKee) a stud," Sigafoose said. "But what we didn't expect was their balance. We really love teams that focus on one or two players. But they had more than that. They were everywhere. They were the better team tonight."
Leland, meanwhile, focused on stopping Jane Pearson, who scored 19 in Northern Michigan Christian's win over Ellsworth in its regional opener. Pearson was held to six.
"We had a game plan to shut down No. 25 from penetrating," Munoz said. "We pinched every time. I think she got through one time.
Sophomore Emma Towers paced Northern Michigan Christian with nine points.
Several of the Comets played on the volleyball team that also advanced to the quarterfinals.
"I think volleyball was more intense, more difficult," senior Tantzi Snyder said. "We weren't expecting this (in basketball). It's kind of a shock. But I'm definitely not surprised we did well tonight.
"We played as a team amazingly well. People really stepped it up. Hanna and Caitlin had great games. Isabelle did an awesome job handling the ball. Liz did a great job putting it down."
Snyder, who led the team in the district finals, finished with five points.
Although a regional title seemed a long shot in December, there was no giddy celebration afterwards.
"These girls are so even and relaxed," Munoz said. "It's hard to tell with them. I think that's why they're so good. I think it means a lot more to them than they're showing."
Northern Michigan Christian only loses just one player to graduation.
"We had a great season," Sigafoose said. "For a young team, which shouldn't have been here, I'm proud of them. They did a great job."
Comets win by 20; Portland St. Pat awaits in quarters
TRAVERSE CITY —
No comeback needed this time.
Bums top Wild Things, 6-2
Make it six in a row for the Traverse City Beach Bums.Continued ...
Houtteman qualifies for Senior Open
Aim high and try to shoot low. That’s the philosophy Lee Houttemann will take with him when he competes at the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha, Neb. in less than three weeks.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 06/19/2013
TC's Chapman one back in Amateur; Toxic Cherries roll; Blue Stars still unbeaten.Continued ...
Michigan Amateur Standings: 06/19/2013
GOLF Michigan Amateur Tom Werkmeister, Kentwood 35-35--70 Justin Pahl, White Lake 34-37--71 Mark Foster, Davison 37-34--71 Blake English, Charlotte 37-34--71 Andrew Chapman, TC 33-38--71 Nick Dennis, Waterford 35-37--72 Casey Baker, Ann ArborContinued ...
Frontier League standings: 06/18/2013
Frontier League baseball standings and schedule:Continued ...
Today in Sports: 06/18/2013
What's happening in sports across the region and the country:Continued ...
- Monday, June 17, 2013
Gottwald wins Roubaix
Forty is the new 30. Or 20. And also the decade of choice for Cherry-Roubaix road race champions this year.Continued ...
Cherry-Roubaix category winners
Winners from this weekend's Cherry-Roubaix:Continued ...
Bums' Birch slams Slammers
Chase Burch sent a message to the rest of the Frontier League. That message: Don't throw at Chase Burch. Joliet already got it.Continued ...
Wolves fall to Detroit
The Traverse City Wolves fell to 2-1 with a 33-13 home setback against the Detroit Ravens.Continued ...
Lalonde, Rokos winners at Cherry Raceway
A full show was what awaited fans as they packed the facilities of the fast 3/8ths (0.375) of a mile high banked dirt oval Friday at Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 16, 2013
Depasse, Leib take top spots at Cherry-Roubaix
A pair of first-timer finishers earned first place in the men's and women's Cherry-Roubaix criterium pro races Saturday.Continued ...
TC West surges into 5th at golf finals
The rebound Traverse City West hoped for happened. In a big way.Continued ...
State golf finals results
How area teams finished in the state golf championships this weekend:Continued ...
Beach Bums slam Slammers, 6-2
Johnny Omahen earned his first victory of the year as the Traverse City Beach Bums won their fourth straight game with a 6-2 come-from-behind victory over the Joliet Slammers.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 06/16/2013
Public input for Buffalo Ridge Trail; PaddleboardClassic is July 20; Rays pitcher Cobb leaves on stretcher. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Glen Lake plays with fire; Beal City takes win
For four innings, Glen Lake played with fire. Then, the roof caved in, and it spelled the end of the Lakers’ best baseball season in more than a decade.Continued ...
Rain adds twist to state golf finals
A large rainstorm Wednesday made play at the Division 1 and 4 state golf finals a little extra interesting.Continued ...
Bums slam Joliet, 12-2
The Traverse City starting pitcher hit two career milestones Friday, notching his 200th strikeout and 20th victory in a Beach Bums uniform in a 12-2 win over Joliet to start a short weekend home stand.Continued ...
State golf finals standings: 1st Round
Area team places after the first round of the state finals:Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 06/15/2013
MSU golf coach to hold clinic; Dell’Acqua elected pres. of TB Blues; 131s win two at USSSA tournament. (Plus more)Continued ...
Frontier League Standings: 06/15/2013
Standings, scores and schedule for Frontier League baseball:Continued ...
- Friday, June 14, 2013
FINAL: Beal City 15, Glen Lake 0
Beal City cruised to a 15-0 win over Glen Lake in a Division 4 baseball state semifinal in Battle Creek Friday.Continued ...
UPDATE: Beal City 1, Glen Lake 0
In the fourth inning, Glen Lake trails Beal City 1-0 in a Division 4 baseball state semifinal at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek Friday.Continued ...
Race director Bob McLain said around 600 cyclists participated last year, and they already have that many signed up for this weekend’s event.Continued ...
- Bums top Wild Things, 6-2