Big Rapids wins district championship

CARDINALS VICTORY: Big Rapids girls varsity basketball team huddles around the 2015 MHSAA District Championship trophy on Friday. The Cardinals beat Clare 50-41 to claim districts. (Pioneer photo/Richard Mead)

CARDINALS VICTORY: Big Rapids girls varsity basketball team huddles around the 2015 MHSAA District Championship trophy on Friday. The Cardinals beat Clare 50-41 to claim districts. (Pioneer photo/Richard Mead)

Big Rapids claims district title with 50-41 victory over Clare

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids’ varsity girls basketball team claimed a district title on Friday with a 50-41 win over Clare.

This is going to be a great memory,” Big Rapids senior guard Reba Bowen said. “I am never going to forget this moment. We did what we needed to do, we came out with the intensity that we had to and we just got it done.”

The Cardinals used a big second half push after being tied at halftime, leaning on the scoring of senior forward Kailey Hunt. Hunt scored a team-high 18 points.

I am just really proud of the girls,” Big Rapids coach Jessica Haist said. “We are scrappy and we don’t back down.”

The game was tied 18-18 at halftime.

(The first half) was just a struggle,” Haist said. “We got a ton of good looks, but we couldn’t buy a basket. It was brutal. But to come back out in the second half and to not feel defeated and we just got after it.”

The Cardinals fended off a comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter as Clare scored 14 points in the quarter.

Sophomore guard Aliza Hengesbach converted a 3-point play after being fouled hard on a baseline layup that rattled in. The
ensuing free throw put the Cardinals up 45-36 with 1:54 left.

We talked about attacking the basket (at halftime),” Haist said. “I told them to not let them control your tempo, and they went out there and executed.”

Hengesbach finished with 13 points and senior Chloe Kinnally scored seven points.

Clare was led by Kenzie Humphries’ 12 points.

We worked together,” Bowen said. “We finaly came together and made great shots.”

Big Rapids will play Manistee at Kingsley on Tuesday in the regional semifinals.

I told them that tonight we celebrate,” Haist said. “But tomorrow we do film and we practice on Sunday and we get back to work.”

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