Ithaca completes TVC season unbeaten with 58-41 victory over Michigan Lutheran Seminary
By Jared Ryan Porter
Ithaca – The Ithaca girls basketball team ended the regular season on a positive note as it topped Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, 58-41, in a Tri-Valley Conference West Division game at Ithaca on Thursday.
Ithaca (18-2), unranked in State Champs’ latest poll, finished 14-0 in division play. The Yellowjackets clinched the title on Tuesday with a win over Saginaw Valley Lutheran, 60-46.
Ithaca hasn’t had a winning record since 2001, the season Ithaca last won a division title.
“We’ve come a long way in three years from a group that could only win three games per year to this group that has won 18 games and a title,” third-year Ithaca coach Bob Anderson said. “Everything finally came together for us in this regular season.
“Coming into the season, I thought we would be pretty good because our junior class is pretty loaded. I thought that this could be the year that we could go over .500 (winning percentage), but this season has really exceeded my expectations.
“I’m very happy for the girls. They worked hard and they’ve been a great team. They play together and they like each other. There’s very little drama with this team.”
Ithaca’s largest lead was 24 points and Anderson subbed in his reserve players for most of the fourth quarter. Eight of the 10 players that played for Ithaca scored.
Freshman center Kayla Belles led Ithaca with 18 points and junior Kylee Chaffin chipped in 11.
“We needed a game like tonight where everyone could play and keep their spirits up going into the postseason tournament,” Anderson said. “Of course, no coach is ever satisfied with their team. We can always play better, but it’s a good spot to be in.
“I’m sure all of the coaches are aiming for us because we’re picked to win the district tournament. If you’re picked to win district, then you’re pretty good. And we are pretty good, but there is always room for improvement.”
Laura Cole led Michigan Lutheran Seminary (12-8, 10-4) with 14 points.
Ithaca will open tournament play at home on Monday against Breckenridge at 6 p.m.