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D1 FINALS: Hudsonville weathers the fourth-quarter Renaissance storm to win first state title

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, April 9, 2021, 3:10 pm

EAST LANSING — It might just be by your fingertips, but if you hold on, it’ll be everything you dreamed of. 

Hudsonville built a 14-point second-half lead in Friday’s Division 1 championship game, then needed to weather the storm, as Renaissance cut it all the way down to just a one-possession game in the fourth, as the Phoenix had just two days earlier in the semis.

The Eagles had just enough of a grip by their fingertips to hold on, though, surviving 65-61 to claim their program’s first-ever state title. 

Hudsonville (23-1) was just 1-for-4 from the floor in the final period, which started with the Eagles leading 54-40, but went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line to close it out. 

Jaci Tubergen scored 16 of her game-high 28 points in the third quarter, including 11 straight as part of a 13-0 third-quarter team run that allowed Hudsonville to stretch out to a 13-point lead. She added 12 rebounds, while Eva Joldersma had 11, as Hudsonville 

The heroine of the semifinal comeback against Wayne Memorial, Kailee Davis had 10 of her 26 points in the fourth quarter. Her 3-pointer cut it to just two, 58-56, at the end of a 16-2 run by the Phoenix (13-5). 

Alaina Diaz, who was 9-for-10 from the line, including eight free throw makes in the fourth, pumped the lead back up to seven, 63-56, with two makes with 51 seconds left, then blocked a 3-point attempt with 25 seconds left that could’ve cut the game back to two again. The Phoenix grabbed the carom, but Diaz stole the ball, and was fouled, and hit two free throws with 18 seconds left to all but seal it up. 

She finished with 15 points. 

Mikyah Finley added 13 points for Renaissance, while Shannon Wheeler had nine points and eight rebounds.