Big Rapids girls beat Grant 57-30

ALIZA:  Cardinals  senior Aliza  Hengesbach drives  to the lane during  Friday’s   game. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

ALIZA: Cardinals senior Aliza Hengesbach drives to the lane during
Friday’s game. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids now has a two-game winning streak thanks to a 1-0 start in the Central State Activities Association Gold girls basketball season on Friday with a 57-30 verdict over Grant.

Big Rapids (2-2, 1-0) was up 24-22 after the second quarter, but exploded to a 19-4 scoring advantage in the third with Grace White hitting a buzzer beater for a 43-26 lead.

“We’ve come out flat a couple of the games,” Big Rapids coach Jessica Haist said. “We’ve talked about the importance of coming out the first four minutes of a game and the first four minutes of the third quarter. At halftime, we said we were doing a lot of things right and these were the tweaks we need to make.

“We started turning things up. We have to get after it. They came out ready to shut the door and made it clear they were planning to take the game early which is what we’re hoping for.”

White scored off her own rebound for a 47-30 lead in the fourth quarter. She wound up with  21 points with 20 of those coming in the final three quarters.

“We really put it away in the first four minutes of the second half,” White said. “Everyone is stepping up and filing their roles. We’re all scoring. The (other team) doesn’t know who to guard.”

Ali Hengesbach scored 12 points while Alexis Lyman, who had three 3-pointers, wound up with 11 points. Giorgia Paleari had 13 points for Grant.
Hengesbach also had seven steals while Kaitlyn Ray and White had 10 rebounds apiece.

“What’s really nice is everyone is playing well,” Haist said. “We had four players in double figures Tuesday and one had nine points. They’re sharing the ball well and taking advantage of their strengths. They’re willing to work together and take what’s there. We have a lot of weapons. The kids have to find a way to mesh them all together.”

Big Rapids is at Lakeview on Tuesday in nonleague action.


Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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