March 21, 2012 - On March 17 the number one-ranked Goodrich Lady Martians capped off an undefeated season by outlasting a stubborn Grand Rapids Catholic Central team, 60-53, winning the Class B girls basketball state championship game at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.
The Goodrich Girls Varsity Basketball team celebrates their state championship win March 17 at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University. (click for larger version)
Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch helped Goodrich (28-0) win its first state title in school history.
Frankie Joubran led the Martians with 16 points and five rebounds. Morgan Eddy snagged 13 rebounds while Aketra Sevillian scored 13 and Destiny Stephens tossed in 11 points.
"We had the talent to end up on top," said Gray. "It's a long difficult road to the Breslin Center. "We were up by five points with six seconds to go—I thought to myself—how can we blow this lead? We really can't. Then it was over."
"I can't make those girls fast or tall," he said. We just have some very, very good players who put a lot of time in working hard at practice each day. This group of girls are so driven to win—it really paid off."
"Last year we looked out of place at the Breslin Center—we lost to Dearborn Divine Child in double overtime in the 2011 state semi finals—they went on to win it all last year," he said. "This year beat that team (Dearborn Divine Child 68-53) in the 2012 semi finals—we belonged there."
Gray has rolled up a 268-38 record over 13 years including three perfect regular seasons reflected on the season.
"In the second game of the season we were trailing Grosse Pointe Woods University Ligget," he said. "The girls allied from behind winning the game 70-67. It was a turning point in the season. There was just no quit in the girls. They were a lot of contributions from different players to have success—depth and balance were the keys to winning this season. No dominate players on this team."
"As the season continued we rolled up win after win. The streak helped us stay on task," Gray added.
While not too superstitious Gray admitted some of his players encouraged him to keep some things consistent game-to-game.
"I wore a pair of skull and crossbones socks during the games," laughed Gray. "Lucky I had two pair to keep so they were pretty clean most of the time."
On Monday the Class B Girls Basketball district, regional and state championship trophies were sitting on top of a file cabinet in Gray's high school office—perhaps motivation to contimplate the 2012-13 season.
"Six of the 12 girls will be returning next year," said Gray. "It may be a different look and style with a loss of some of the height," he added.
KeKe Sevillian – 13.5 points per game, 3.7 steals per game, Frankie Joubran – 11.6 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, Taylor Gleason – 11.1 points per game, 3.8 assists per game, 3.6 rebounds per game Tania Davis – 8.3 points per game, 2.0 assists per game, Morgan Eddy – 5.2 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game and Destiny Stephens – 7.0 points per game