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2023-24 Sanilac County News All-County Girls Basketball



 

 

SANILAC COUNTY — This past season, there were star girls basketball players all across Sanilac County.

Sandusky had another huge season, winning the Greater Thumb East Conference title, a district title and for the second-straight season, a regional title.

Marlette and Brown City were both in the mix in the East, Croswell-Lexington made a huge jump towards competing for a Blue Water Area Conference title and Deckerville was near the top of the North Central Thumb League Stars Division standing, behind state runner-up Kingston.

A young Carsonville-Port Sanilac team made significant strides as the season went along, as did Peck, which battled injuries late in the season.

Leading off this year’s All-County first team is the duo from Sandusky, junior Grace Guibord and freshman Caroline Reinke.

Guibord was a returning starter from last season’s regional championship team, and was an important leader for this year’s team, as they worked to replace the production of Morgan Taege, Brooke Jansen and Ally Jansen.

 

 

Guibord handled a lot of the scoring responsibilities early in the season, as the new starters and players settled into their new roles.

She averaged 11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.6 assists per game, while shooting 79% from the free throw line, 43% from the field and 32% from beyond the arch.

“Grace has gotten better and done more for us every year,” said Wolves head coach Al DeMott. “She averaged in double figures despite often facing defenses who were focused on stopping her. Grace is a very good shooter and offensive player and is even better on defense. She is the ultimate team player who works unbelievable hard every time she steps on the floor.”

Reinke, meanwhile, burst onto the scene this season and is the only freshman to be featured on either the first or second teams.

Despite being just a freshman, Reinke handled point guard duties from day one for Sandusky, and did a bit of everything for the Wolves.

She averaged 7.5 points, 5.3 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 steals per game.

“Caroline improved tremendously from the summer until the end of the year,” DeMott said. “Despite being a freshman, she made a huge impact for us this year and showed great poise. She sees the floor and passes better than any girl I have seen play this year. We counted on her to do a lot of things for us this year and are luck enough to have her back for three more years.”

Next up on this year’s first team is Croswell-Lexington’s Bella Edwards.

Edwards, a senior forward, was a huge reason for the improvements that the Pioneers made this season, as Cros-Lex won six more games than last season.

She averaged nearly a double-double, as she finished with 13.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, while also adding 2.0 steals.

Edwards scored a season-high 25 in a win against Algonac and pulled down 17 rebounds against Port Huron Northern.

“Edwards improved leaps and bounds since her junior season,” said Cros-Lex head coach Katelyn Noll. “Not only was she a huge threat in the post, but we could also depend on her shooting the baseline shot. Edwards led the team in points and rebounds this season and she was also 45 rebounds away from breaking the total rebounds in a season record. She had eight double-doubles this season. We will miss her on the team next season and wish her the best of luck with her college volleyball career.”

Despite being just a sophomore, Deckerville’s Libby Tank was a team captain this season and was the only player in Sanilac County to average a double-double for the season.

Tank, a 5-8 forward, scored 11.1 points per game, while grabbing 10.5 rebounds per game, while also adding 1.5 assists per game and 2.1 steals on the defensive end.

She scored a career-high 27 points in a win over Dryden and pulled down 14 rebounds in four different games.

Tank also had six blocks in a win over Mayville.

“Libby had a very good year for us,” said Deckerville head coach Doug Kirkpatrick. “Towards the end of the year she also started stepping outside and made some clutch three-pointers for us. As one of my captains, Libby is a good leader, leading by example working hard both in practice and games. Libby is a kid that hates to lose. She is always working on her game and with hard work I believe she can be one of the best players in the area. As she is only a sophomore, I am looking forward to seeing her improve over the next two years.”

Another sophomore on this year’s first team is Brown City’s HarLee Leasher.

Leasher, a guard/forward, led the Green Devils in both scoring and rebounding, while recording five double-doubles this season.

She averaged 11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while also distributing 2.0 assists and grabbing 2.0 steals per game.

Leasher had a season-highs of 21 points and 18 rebounds in game against Dryden.

“HarLee has worked countless hours on her game and we are expecting a bigger improvement next season,” said Brown City head coach Cindy Burton. “She is a very determined individual.”

Rounding out this year’s first team is Marlette’s Gabby Martinez.

Martinez, a senior forward, was named the Red Raiders Most Valuable Player this season, after leading the team in scoring with 10.3 points per game.

She added 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.

“Gabby had a great season on both the offensive and defensive end,” said Marlette head coach Cathy Storm. “She drew a lot of attention from opposing team’s defense and was still able to be productive on offense. She did an amazing job for us being the vocal leader, especially on defense.”

The Red Raiders had two more seniors that were key to the team’s success this season, and they kick off the All-County second team.

Dalaney Gage and Adilyn Ruggles were both huge defensive contributors for Marlette this past season.

Gage, the squad’s starting point guard, averaged 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 1.4 assists per game.

“Dalaney did a nice job running the points guard position,” Storm said. “She had some great nights shooting the ball for us. She also played a big part in our defensive effort, leading the team in steals.”

Ruggles, meanwhile, was the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 8.3 per game, while also scoring 8.4 points per game.

She added 3.0 steals per game on the defensive end.

“Adi really improved this season in every aspect of the game,” Storm said. “She was very productive on offense and never stopped working on defense. Because of her constant effort on both ends of the floor, she led out team in rebounds. We asked her to play many positions this year and she was able to handle each one.”

This year’s Carsonville-Port Sanilac team featured just one senior, one junior and a sophomore.

The rest of the roster was made up of six freshmen and an eighth grader.

That made the experience and skill of Savannah Hart extremely valuable for the Tigers this season.

Hart, a junior who has spent three seasons on the varsity, averaged 8.0 points, 5.0 steals and 5.0 rebounds per game this season.

“Savannah is a tough competitor,” said CPS head coach Jennifer Richmond. “She led out team in rebounds and she is just a tiny thing. She is aggressive and works hard. She really is a player that every coach would want on their team. She did a nice job leading our team this season which wasn’t always easy with such a young squad. I look forward to the work she will put in this summer and an awesome senior year from her.”

Two more juniors are featured on the second team, Cros-Lex’s Mackenzy Dennison and Peck’s Ryleigh Ureel.

Dennison, a guard, averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 1.3 assists per game.

“Mackenzy was our leader on the court this year,” Noll said. “In high-pressure situations, we wanted the ball in her hands. She was a threat anywhere on the court. She had a season-high of six made three-point shots in one game, but was also the first one to attack the paint and get layups. Dennison is the type of player that if she wasn’t scoring, she was creating open looks for someone else to score. Not only was she a huge asset on offense, but she also led the team in steals this season.”

Ureel, meanwhile, was sidelined late in the season due to an injury, but still had a huge season for the Pirates.

“Ryleigh had a great start to the season, averaging 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists per game in league play,” said Peck head coach Tina VanConant. “She was also shooting 50% from the line until her injury. I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do next year.”

Rounding out this year’s second team is another Sandusky duo, senior starters Helena Long and Adalee Kaufman, who were both key to Sandusky’s postseason success.

Long averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.0 assists per game, and scored a game-high 17 points in the Wolves’ regional semifinal win against Cass City.

“Helena really picked up her all-around game this year,” DeMott said. “She hit several big shots all year when we really needed them. She came up huge for us in the Cass City game, popping in 17 big points including four three-point shots for us.”

Kaufman, meanwhile, was Sandusky leading rebounder and shot blocker.

She averaged 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while adding 4.3 points and 1.5 steals.

Kaufman shot 44% from the floor.

“Adalee really elevated her level of play for us this year,” DeMott said. “She was our enforcer in the paint. She led us in rebounding and blocked shots and did a great job for us night after night, despite giving up several inches of height to the opposing center for us defensively. Adalee not only excels on the court, but also carries a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.”