Ypsilanti Arbor Prep vs. Kent City – – MHSAA Division 3 Girls Basketball Final – – The Bleacher Denizen – – March 19, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

This afternoon, the Gators from Ypsilanti Arbor Prep will compete with the Eagles from Kent City for the Division 3 Girls Championship. Kent City enters the game with a perfect 26-0 record, while Arbor Prep is at 24-2.

However the only two Gator losses are to Division 1 power Parma Western and to Division 2 Detroit Edison, which is probably the best girls basketball team in Michigan. Arbor Prep also has at least eight wins over top twenty Division 1 and Division 2 teams this year.

The Gators are led by Mya Petticord, who scores 22.9 points per game to go along with 5.0 assists and 4.3 steals. She has also made 43 three point shots this season. I regret not having seen Arbor Prep this year as I’ve had a couple medical situations that have forced me to cancel games. However, I can report from seeing her in her first two years that these statistics don’t begin to describe what she contributes. She is a really aggressive defender on defense and thinks through the offensive game on a high level.

Off the court, she’s a great person, too. While this is not an Arbor Prep game, it was played in Arbor Prep’s gym and documents the first time I met Ms. Petticord in person. I made a social faux pas (not uncommon for your Bleacher Denizen) and even though she was only a sophomore, Mya was totally generous and let me off the hook graciously. (Ms. Petticord’s part of the story starts at about Paragraph 8 and is relatively short, but really revealing – – both about Mya’s grace and my occasional crassness!)

https://thebleacherdenizen.blogspot.com/2019/12/pewamo-westphalia-vs-southfield-t-girls.html

The Gators also have Karianna Woods, a senior who is a four year varsity player; she averages 12.1 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 steals per game. Sophomore Stacy Utomi scores 11.4 points and grabs 5.9 rebounds per game. Stephanie Utomi adds 9.5 points and roughly one blocked shot per game.

For Kent City, Lexie Bowers averages 17 points, 3.8 assists and 3.3 steals per game. She has hit 71 triple tries this year as well. Madelyn Geers scores 14.4 points, grabs 6.6 rebounds and blocks 1.0 shots per game. Taryn Preston scores 7.0 points and pulls down 5.1 boards per game. Emmalyn Geers averages 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds.

It is now time to look at the events of the game through the blurry lenses of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in medieval times when he was actually considered “young.” Alas, the Bleacher Denizen’s basketball was severely hindered when he learned that he would NOT be permitted to use a catapult to launch his three point shots. It was a change he simply could not overcome.

Arbor Prep wins the opening tap. Taryn Preston blocks a Gator ten foot shot from the baseline. The loose ball goes out of bounds and Arbor Prep gets it back. Arbor Prep misses a layup. Stephanie Utomi knocks the ball away from the Eagles and Mya Petticord picks it up for the Gators. Karianna Woods is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of her two free throws. With 6:56 to go in the first quarter, Arbor Prep has a 1-0 lead.

Stephanie Utomi draws a charging foul from the Eagles. Karianna Woods passes to Mya Petticord, who hits a fifteen foot shot from the baseline for the Gators. Stacy Utomi knocks the ball out of bounds; Kent City retains possession. Madelyn Geers passes to Savannah Miller, who hits a layup for Kent City. Arbor Prep misses a layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Gators get the ball back. Arbor Prep misfires on a triple try from the corner. Stephanie Utomi pulls down the offensive rebound for Arbor Prep. Arbor Prep misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Madelyn Geers drives and hits a layup to give Kent City a 4-3 lead.

Karianna Woods passes to Mya Petticord, who slings in a threeball from the top of the key to give the lead back to Arbor Prep. Madelyn Geers leans and scoops in a layup for Kent City to tie the game. Stephanie Utomi passes to Jazmin Chupp, who hits a three pointer from the side for Arbor Prep to retake the lead. Kent City is fouled on a shot, but misses two free throws. With 3:59 to play in the first quarter, Arbor Prep has a 9-6 lead.

Arbor Prep travels on a driving layup. Lexie Bowers passes to Taryn Preston, who strokes a threeball from the corner for Kent City to tie the game. Stacy Utomi gets the ball to Mya Petticord, who dribbles and hits a fifteen foot shot from the baseline to give the lead back to Arbor Prep. Taylor Wallace knocks the ball away from Kent City. There is a scramble for the ball and it goes out of bounds. Kent City gets the ball back. The Eagles miss a driving layup. Arbor Prep misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Madelyn Geers drives and hits a layup for Kent City to tie the game at 11-11.

Arbor Prep misses a driving layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Kent City takes possession. Karianna Woods steals the ball for Arbor Prep and passes to May Petticord, who hits a fifteen foot shot from the baseline for Arbor Prep. Kent City misses a driving layup. The rebound goes out of bounds and Arbor Prep gets the ball. Arbor Prep holds the ball for the last shot but is not able to shoot before the first quarter buzzer makes its presence known.

Arbor Prep holds a 13-11 lead after one quarter.

Kent City inbounds the ball to get the second quarter underway. The Eagles miss a three point shot from the side. Karianna Woods spins and drives in for a Gator layup. Lexie Bowers is fouled on a threeball from the side and hits two of her three free throws to trim the Arbor Prep lead to 15-13 with 6:14 to play in the first half.

Arbor Prep misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Karianna Woods steals the ball and hits a layup for Arbor Prep. Lexie Bowers drives and dishes the ball to Savannah Miller, who hits a layup for the Eagles. Arbor Prep misfires on a threeball from the side. Stacy Utomi gets the offensive rebound for the Gators. Arbor Prep misses a layup. Stephanie Utomi steals the ball for the Gators. Jazmin Chupp passes to My Petticord, who drains a three pointer from the side to give Arbor Prep a 20-15 lead.

Kent City travels while attempting a layup. May Petticord passes to Eliza Bush, who throws in a threeball from the side for Arbor Prep. Madelyn Geers is fouled on a fifteen foot shot in the lane and hits one of her two free throws to shave the Gator lead to 23-16 with 4:27 remaining in the first half.

Mya Petticord makes a slick crossover move to free herself and is fouled on a driving layup. She hits one of her two free throws for the Gators. Eliza Bush knocks the ball out of bounds; Kent City retains possession. Emma Geers passes to Lexie Bowers, who hits a three point shot from the wing to trim the Gator lead to 24-19.

Arbor Prep throws a pass too high and it sails out of bounds. Stacy Utomi knocks the ball away from Kent City and Karianna Woods picks it up for Arbor Prep. Stacy Utomi hits a fast break jumper in the paint for Arbor Prep. Jazmin Chupp’s tight defense causes an Eagle traveling violation. Madelyn Geers steals the ball for Kent City, hits a fast break layup, is fouled and makes her free throw to cut the Arbor Prep lead to 26-22 with 2:44 to play in the first half.

Arbor Prep misses a jump shot from the free throw elbow. The rebound is tied up. The Possession Arrow polls its panel of librarians. Before the Possession Arrow gets shushed, the panel decides to give the ball to Arbor Prep. The Gators miss a driving layup. Stephanie Utomi knocks the offensive rebound to Mya Petticord, who throws in a three pointer from the side to boost the Gators to a 29-22 lead.

Kent City misfires on a three point shot from the side. Mya Petticord gets into the lane and is fouled on a ten foot shot. Mya Petticord hits two free throws to boost the Arbor Prep lead to 31-22 with 1:22 to play in the second quarter.

Eliza Bush draws an offensive foul from Kent City. Arbor Prep misses a driving reverse layup. Stephanie Utomi hits a putback for Arbor Prep. Taryn Preston tosses the ball to Madelyn Geers, who hits a three point shot from the wing for Kent City. Arbor Prep misses a three point shot from the wing. Madelyn Geers is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to trim the Gator lead to 33-27 with 22.6 seconds to play in the quarter.

Mya Petticord drives and hits a six foot fallaway shot from the side of the lane for Arbor Prep. Kent City does not have time to shoot before the halftime buzzer blares.

Arbor Prep has a 35-27 halftime lead.

Madelyn Geers has 15 points to lead the Eagle scoring at halftime. Lexie Bowers has 5 points.

Mya Petticord leads the Arbor Prep scoring with 20 points and Karianna Woods has 5 points.

As we can’t hear the halftime entertainment from blogland, I’ll offer this original song from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol3R-ZL9568

Kent City inbounds the ball to get the third quarter underway. Karianna Woods steals the ball for the Gators. Arbor Prep misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Kent City misses a six foot shot from the baseline. Taryn Preston gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Arbor Prep blocks a Kent City layup. Arbor Prep misses a driving layup. Madelyn Geers is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to cut the Gator lead to 35-29 with 6:51 remaining in the third quarter.

Eliza Bush passes to Stacy Utomi, who uses some great footwork to free herself for a layup; she is fouled on the shot and hits two free throws for Arbor Prep. Kent City misses a layup. Emma Geers gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. With 6:11 to play in the third period, Arbor Prep has a 37-29 lead.

Arbor Prep misses a layup. Kent City misfires on a threeball from the wing. Madelyn Geers gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Kent City misses a jump shot; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Eagles get another opportunity. Madelyn Geers drives and dishes the ball to Taryn Preston for a Kent City layup. Mya Petticord hits a driving runner for Arbor Prep and is fouled. She makes her free throw to give Arbor Prep a 40-31 lead with 4:42 to play in the third quarter.

Stacy Utomi and Mya Petticord double team a Kent City dribbler, who steps on the sideline. Arbor Prep misses a twelve foot turnaround jumper. Kent City fouls on the rebound and the Gators get another opportunity. Arbor Prep misses a layup. Stacy Utomi makes a fantastic hustle play to try to save the rebound for the Gators, but it goes out of bounds and Kent City takes possession. Kent City misfires on a three point shot. Arbor Prep misfires on a threeball from the corner. Madelyn Geers drives and hits an eight foot banked runner to trim the Gator lead to 40-33.

Arbor Prep misses a three point shot from the side. Kent City misses a sixteen foot shot from the side. Taryn Preston gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Stacy Utomi steals the ball for Arbor Prep. The Gators miss a three point shot from the side. Stephanie Utomi hits a putback to give Arbor Prep a 42-33 lead.

Kent City misses an eight footer off the dribble from the side. Arbor Prep misses a twelve foot shot in the lane. Karianna Woods blocks a Kent City ten foot shot in the lane. Taylor Wallace is fouled and hits one of her two free throws to give Arbor Prep a 43-33 lead with 1:24 to play in the third quarter.

Kent City misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Emma Geers gets the offensive rebound for Kent City. Taryn Preston hits a three point shot from the corner for Kent City. Karianna Woods gets into the lane and hits a six foot shot for Arbor Prep. Stacy Utomi steals the ball for the Gators. Arbor Prep misses a jumper from the free throw elbow. Kent City is not able to shoot before the buzzer sounds.

After three quarters, Arbor Prep has a 45-36 lead.

Arbor Prep has the ball to open the fourth quarter. Arbor Prep misses a threeball from the corner. Jazmin Chupp gets her hand on the ball; the Eagles recover. Kent City misses a three pointer near the top of the key. Arbor Prep misses a three point attempt from the side. Kent City misses a driving layup. Madelyn Geers is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to trim the Gator lead to 45-38 with 6:36 to play in the game.

Arbor Prep misses a driving layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Kent City takes possession. Kent City misses a driving layup. Taryn Preston grabs the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Taylor Wallace hits the floor and nearly steals the ball for Arbor Prep. Savannah Miller hits the floor to tie the ball up. The Possession Arrow was having a silent book reading with its panel of librarians. They quietly look up and whisper that Kent City gets the ball. The Eagles miss a layup, but Savannah Miller hits a putback to chop the Gator lead to 45-40.

Taryn Preston steals the ball for Kent City, but Jazmin Chupp steals the ball right back for Arbor Prep. Mya Petticord is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to extend the Arbor Prep lead to 47-40 with 4:40 left on the clock.

Kent City misses a three point shot from the wing. Lexie Bowers gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Kent City misses a layup. Lexie Bower is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws for Kent City. Taryn Preston blocks a Gator twelve foot shot from the side. Kent City misses a ten foot shot from the side. Karianna Woods passes to Stephanie Utomi, who hits a fast break layup to give Arbor Prep a 49-42 lead.

Lexie Bowers hits a fifteen foot shot from the baseline for Kent City. Arbor Prep is whistled for a traveling violation. Kent City misses a driving layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Eagles get another opportunity. Karianna Woods gets her hand on the ball, but Kent City is able to recover. Madelyn Geers hits an up and under layup to cut the Arbor Prep lead to three points at 49-46.

Taryn Preston ties up the ball. The Possession Arrow looks up from its story book and grants the ball to Arbor Prep. Taryn Preston knocks the ball away from Arbor Prep, but Mya Petticord recovers for the Gators. Mya Petticord is fouled and hits two crucial free throws in a one and one opportunity to give Arbor Prep a 51-46 lead with 1:52 remaining in the contest.

Karianna Woods knocks the ball out of bounds; Kent City retains possession. Kent City misses a three point shot from the wing. Stacy Utomi is fouled on the rebound and hits one of her two free throws for Arbor Prep. Madelyn Geers is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to cut the Arbor Prep lead to 52-48 with 1:22 to play.

Arbor Prep is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. Karianna Woods steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Arbor Prep with 35 seconds left. Madelyn Geers drives and banks in an eight foot runner for Kent City. Arbor Prep beats the Eagle press, but travels on a layup with just 2.1 seconds to go. Arbor Prep is up 54-50 at this moment. Kent City misses a heave at the buzzer.

Arbor Prep wins the game and the State Championship by a 54-50 score.

Madelyn Geers led Kent City’s scoring with 27 points. Lexie Bowers scored 9 points. Taryn Preston added 8 points. Savannah Miller put in 6 points. Emma Geers had 8 rebounds. All five of the starters played all 32 minutes for Kent City.

Mya Petticord had 27 points to lead Arbor Prep. She shot 8-14 including 3-4 from three point range. She was also quite accurate from the free throw line as she hit 8-9 from there. Karianna Woods supported her teammate with 9 points. Stephanie Utomi added 6 points and Stacy Utomi put in 5 points. Jazmin Chupp and Eliza Bush scored 3 points. Taylor Wallace made 1 point.

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