GIRLS BASKETBALL: Holly enjoying first league and district champoinships since '93, perfect 22-0 ride into regionals |
BY DAN STICKRADT
HOLLY — Allyssa Copley made a promise a couple of years ago to Holly girls basketball coach David Hall.
“I told him that we’d win at least one championship before I graduated,” said Copley, a 6-foot-1 senior standout.
True to her words, Holly did win a championship so far this season. Check that, two.
The Bronchos captured their first Flint Metro League title since the fall 1993 season two weeks ago, then followed that up with a district crown last Friday, also its first since ’93. Holly was the district and league runner-up last season.
“I told my coach that we’d win. I promised,” laughed Copley, who has signed with Division I Cleveland State of the Horizon League after a host of D-I and D-II offers. She is averaging a double-double and will be a first-team all-league pick when the FML releases those squads later this month.
The Bronchos, who also won league titles in 1980, 1983 and 1993, have won outright titles in ’83 and ’14. This is their third district and will take the court at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at West Bloomfield against Plymouth Canton.
“We don’t know much about them, but they don’t know us,” reminded Copley.
Hall knew that this year’s team would be very competitive, considering that most of the team was back with some quality newcomers. The Bronchos take a perfect 22-0 record into the regional semifinals and were ranked 20th in the Class A Associated Press poll entering the postseason. Canton was 22nd.
“We’re looking forward to it. We thought at the beginning of the season that we could contend for league and district titles,” said Hall. “But we did not set out to go undefeated (At this point). We just started winning.”
Holly goes “about nine deep” in most games, according to Hall, and every player has saw action in 14 games. The Bronchos have remained healthy, which has aided their perfect run.
“We haven’t had any major injuries. Our top nine players, except for bumps and bruises, have been all right,” said Hall. “Everybody has been doing there part. They have understood their rolls. They have been a true team. The parents, the support has been their since Day 1. The girls show up and work hard everyday. Everything has fallen into place.”
Sophomore Kaitlyn Smith has been steady at the point all season, and is averaging double figures. Senior Abby Lewandowski has been “tough as nails”, according to Hall, freshman Paige Reed has emerged as a pleasant surprise and juniors Jenna Pepper and Brooke Jackman and sophomore Katie Ordiway have also been key contributors for the Bronchos.
Holly has never won a regional in girls basketball.
“We want to keep playing,” said Copley. “I think we have what it takes to win a regional. But every team that makes it this far is good. We’re going to go out there and leave it all on the court and see what happens.”