Kettering eliminates BHS girls cagers in district opener

The Brandon girls basketball team will use their Nov. 17 district game against Waterford Kettering — and the entire season, for that matter — as building blocks for the future.
The Captains simply had too much firepower and rebounding prowess for the visiting Blackhawks, getting 15 points from Jessica Kim and 11 from Chaz Miller as they eliminated Brandon 50-33.
Kettering (16-5) advanced to take on Clarkston in the district semifinals Nov. 19, while Brandon wrapped up its season with an overall record of 8-13.
The Blackhawks hung tough with the Captains for a quarter, actually leading Kettering 9-8 in the waning seconds of the first quarter. However, the Captains stole the ball with four seconds left in the quarter and converted a layup as time expired to take a 10-9 lead at the end of the first.
Kettering carried that momentum into the second quarter, which proved to be the Blackhawks? undoing. The Captains outscored the Blackhawks 15-4 in the second to take a 25-13 lead at halftime.
‘We just couldn’t keep up with them on the boards,? Brandon coach Bryan Ray said. ‘Of their 15 points in the second, 10 of them were on second-chance putbacks.?
Brandon seniors Lahunna Waybrant and Jessica Stone played their final game for the Blackhawks. Waybrant was the only Brandon player to score in double figures, finishing with 18 points.
‘She made good decisions,? Ray said of Waybrant’s play against Kettering. ‘She took over for us in the third quarter, and if we would have held them defensively, she would have led us back. Stoney did a good job filling in for us all year. They both had solid senior years.?
The team headed into districts on a winning note, defeating host Holly 42-27 to finish their Flint Metro League season with a mark of 8-4.
The Blackhawks led the Bronchos 15-11 at halftime before pulling away with a 14-8 third quarter. Savannah Stedman led the Blackhawks with nine points, while Jessica Liebner added eight.
Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the team, with 11 of 13 players returning next year: juniors Jessica Jennings, Meredith Dura, Sarah Jennings, Stephenie Manning, and Colleen Shorkey; sophomores Mariah Andre, Liebner and Brooke Schaefer; and freshmen Katrina Hibbs, Meg Donnay and Stedman.
Ray said the young Blackhawks grew a lot during this season, and expects the team to return next year as a stronger unit.
‘We will be one of the best teams in the area,? he said. ‘It (this season) was a great learning experience for the kids.?