Arbor Prep wins first state title

Basketball   | Jeff Dullack

State Champs! Sports Network



East Lansing – Throughout the season Ypsilanti Arbor Prep was a team that prided itself on defense and forcing turnovers. On Saturday the Gators’ defense again proved its resilience.

Arbor Prep forced 29 turnovers as the Gators pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 53-37 victory over Traverse City St. Francis (26-2) in the Class C final.

It’s the school’s first state championship in any sport.

Arbor Prep coach Rod Wells said the key to his team’s strong play in the fourth quarter was his decision to switch up defenses, which had St. Francis on its heels early as the Gators forced eight turnovers in the quarter.

“In the fourth quarter, we changed defenses and we change defenses quite a bit,” he said. “I think they just didn’t adjust to the change that we made at that point. They were running a certain offense that just played into the hands of the defense that we were running at that point. The same things that we were talking about in the first half that we weren’t doing, in the third and fourth quarters, we began to do.”

The top-ranked Gators (25-2) opened up the fourth in dominant fashion. Cydney Williams and Ro’zhane Wells each scored baskets to give Arbor Prep a 44-30 lead.

Nastassja Chambers, who scored 14 points to lead Arbor Prep, said that she and her teammates simply focused on winning the fourth quarter, trying to close out the win.

“We like to take each game quarter by quarter,” she said. “So we want to beat teams every quarter, because if we win every quarter, we should win