Pittsford dominates Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary to win second straight Class D title
East Lansing – For Pittsford seniors Maddie Clark and Jaycie Burger, Saturday morning presented one final opportunity for the duo to shine on the court at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.
And that’s just what they did.
Clark scored a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Burger finished with 27 points to lead Pittsford to a second straight Class D state title, 71-31 over Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary.
“We played a great game today, we turned them over 29 times, we live off of our defense and we did again today,” Pittsford coach Chris Hodos said. “We started off pretty slow, I thought they (Lutheran Seminary) had a good plan, but we executed well today. We didn’t do too much wrong today besides Maddie getting into a little bit of foul trouble, but other than that, we didn’t do much wrong at all.”
Not only was it a second straight title for the Wildcats, but for Clark and Burger, it was their 103rd career win at the varsity level, setting a new MHSAA record for career wins.
“We’ve played together ever since the second grade, but I just think that accomplishing this record was never something that we had on our radar,” Burger said. “We never thought, I want to go undefeated inn my high school career, but we did want to win. We’re competitors and that’s very important to us and we just practiced hard. As it became closer, I think it became a goal, but we just wanted to win.”
Clark, the Class D Player of the Year, said that setting the wins record along with Burger is obviously a special achievement for them, but noted that the only thing they’ve been interested in is winning.
“That’s pretty special,” she said. “I didn’t know until that we could even do that until the state tournament started and then it was like ‘Whoa, we can get that’. It’s awesome for us, but our goal isn’t to break records, we just want to win.”
After building a comfortable halftime lead, Pittsford (28-0) came out in the second half and put together a dominant performance in the third quarter, outscoring Lutheran Seminary 26-6 to take a commanding 56-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
Clark, who scored 13 of her game-high 29 points during the third quarter, said that she wasn’t focused on her statistics, but noted that she and her teammates were focused on handling their responsibilities.
“I don’t think we really worry about it that much,” she said. “We know our roles as a team and as you can tell, I know Sydni (Brunette) a couple of times was wide open, but she passed to Jaycie, because she was feeling it, we’re just very unselfish. We know what our roles are, and that’s really important. These girls are really special.”
Both Burger and Clark are headed to Hillsdale College to continue their athletic careers, but in different sports. Burger will continue her basketball career, while Clark will continue her volleyball career.
For Hodos, losing four seniors that helped lead the Wildcats to three straight Class D finals appearances and two straight titles is bittersweet, but
“It doesn’t feel weird, it feels bad, I’d like to have them for four more years,” he said. “They’ve done a great job for me obviously. As freshmen, we were in Class C, we lost to a really good team or else we could have gone a ways. They’re just great kids, I remember watching them when they were in second grade and they were making left-handed layups in second grade, you don’t see that. I knew it was going to be a special group and I can’t say enough about them, they’re all great kids, they’re all very intelligent.”
Lutheran Seminary (18-10) was led by 13 points and nine rebounds from Reese VanLue.
Editor's Note: Watch the highlights from this game and all of this weekend's girls basketball championship games on STATE CHAMPS! Sunday Morning at 9:00am on Fox Sports Detroit!