Source: Sherman Publications

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Martian coach nets 300 wins
Hoops coach Jason Gray joins MHSAA elite

by David Fleet

January 15, 2014

Mt. Morris-On Tuesday night, just seven games into his15th season at the helm of the Lady Martians, Head Coach Jason Gray notched 300 wins and only 41 losses.

The Lady Martians, currently ranked No.1 in the state for Class B by the Associated Press, rolled to a convincing 71-20 win over the Mt. Morris Panthers, lifting the Martians to a 7-0 record for the season thus far.

"I try to not to think about number 300," said Gray following the game. "But my support group— including the team, the athletic director and my wife—they are more excited than I am. As I look back over the past seasons and try to think why I'm here at 300, we have been fortunate as a school to have the consistency of great students. Over the past few years we've had a lot of media attention and this team has earned that, but if not for the collection of kids when I first walked in we would not be here now. The next goal is the game in front of us—we have played well and have great potential down the road. Number 300 is important, but now it's time for 301."

With the game seemingly in hand on Tuesday and up 31-10 at halftime, Gray used the second half for players who may not get a lot of court time.

"We've had those types of games with big leads and players that work hard everyday and grind through practice deserve to play—they get the consideration of instruction," he said. "We've had some great girls who are not only basketball players, but also very good people. We've seen some great connections between girls, good people that value being on a team. We have not had to do a lot to form camaraderie—they are the type who you want to have your team. A lot of girls have been driven academically and athletically—they have made my job easy in a lot of ways."

The Martians are the defending state champions.

The Goodrich Lady Martians successfully defended their Class B state title last March, defeating Flint Powers Catholic Chargers 51-34 at the Jack Breslin Center on the campus of MSU site of the MHSAA State Championship. Goodrich has lost five games in the past three seasons, winning 82 of its last 87 contests.

Geoff Kimmerly, media and content coordinator for the Michigan High School Athletic Association said the win landed Gray in an elite group of high school girls basketball coaches.

"At the MHSAA record books begin when coaches earn 300 wins," he said. "Jason's now part of that group and part of some of the pioneers of girls basketball in the state. It's really something Goodrich should be very proud of—it's very impressive. With the addition of Gray, this year 348 coaches now have 300 wins or more. "

Locally, in the record books are, Kathy McGee, Flint Powers Catholic, 599-153 (1976-06), Ian Smith, Oxford, 493-135 (1975-01) and Art Pelzer, Frankenmuth, 423-44 (1975-93).

Kimmerly said high school girls basketball has been around for about 40 seasons.

The 71-20 victory was led by Tania Davis with 27 points, Isabell O'Brien had 14 points, Alexis Sevillian 10 points, Kaylee Grzywacz, 8, Abby Patrick, 2, and Jacqueline Reneaud, 4 points.

Scoring by quarter: First quarter (G) 23-2, second quarter (G) 14-8, third quarter (G)19-7, fourth quarter (G) 15-3.