GIRLS BASKETBALL: Springfield Christian wins first MACS-II title since 1988
BY DAN STICKRADT
CLARKSTON — The last time Clarkston Springfield Christian won a state title in girls basketball, Ronald Reagan was in his final months of presidency. Safely put, it had been a long time for the Eagles.
Springfield Christian ended its quarter century drought Saturday, winning the Michigan Association of Christian Schools Division II state championship on its home floor, staving off Saginaw Shields Community Baptist, 46-42.
The Eagles, who also won a title back in 1986, had lost in the finals in 1999, 2000, 2012 and 2013. The previous two years Springfield Christian lost to Kinross Maplewood Baptist, but the Black Bears of the Upper Peninsula volunteered to move up to MACS Division I this season, leaving the door open for the Eagles to seize the moment.
“This was a great way to end a really good season,” said Springfield Christian coach James Day. “We scheduled a lot of (MACS) Division II schools this year and we went undefeated against them. All of our losses were to bigger schools. We thought once the brackets were (released), we believed we had a chance.”
Springfield Christian (11-4), which graduated only one player from last year’s team and competed with only two seniors on an 11-player roster this season, defeated Community Baptist, 46-29, back in January. This time around the Kings (9-3) made it close.
The Eagles led 42-29 entering the fourth quarter, only to see Community Baptist rally back with a 13-4 run inside the final minute to cut the deficit down to four points. Time ran out on the Kings.
“They just couldn’t miss in the fourth quarter. Credit to them for coming back on us,” said Day. “We did a nice job (Fending) them off in the end.”
Springfield Christian led 12-9 after the first quarter and used a 15-7 second quarter surge to open up a 27-16 halftime advantage. The Eagles went on a 15-13 edge in the third stanza for its 13-point lead heading into the final period.
Sophomore guard Heather Key pumped in a game-high 25 points to lead the Eagles. Junior Arrin Jones and freshman Joanna Brindisi added six points apiece and senior Lauren Key chipped in with five points for Springfield Christian.
“We’ve had a nice run the past few years. The seniors on this team have played in three state championship games,” said Day. “
Junior guard DJ Jensen scored 18 and freshman guard Breanna Lovegrove added 14 points for Community Baptist.
MACS DIVISION II SEMIFINALS
CLARKSTON SPRINGFIELD CHRISTIAN 56, CORUNNA IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 21: Springfield Christian opened with a swift 14-4 run and never looked back Friday in cruising to this MACS Division II state semifinals win over the Fire at Midland Calvary Baptist. Heather Key scored 30 points to pace the Eagles. Lauren Key added eight points and Emily Grant scored six for Springfield Christian (10-4). Miranda Davenport and Hannah Phillips both scored six for Immanuel Christian.