4-Star Lexus Bargesser Leads Grass Lake Girls Past Arbor Prep In D-3 Powers Clash
YPSILANTI – Scott Stine is not used to seeing his team give up a lot of points.
But all the Ypsilanti Arbor Prep girls basketball coach could do was sit back and watch Grass Lake’s powerful offense seemingly score at will in the second half of Friday’s clash between two of the best Division 3 teams in the state.
The Warriors flipped a switch late in the third quarter, beating Arbor Prep 10-1 in the final two minutes and used that momentum to come out with an 80-69 victory.
Grass Lake’s 80 points were the most a team has ever scored against Arbor Prep and the first time a team has reached 80 points against Arbor Prep since the program’s inception in 2011.
While Stine was surprised his defense weren’t able to contain Grass Lake’s offense better, especially during the decisive third quarter streak, Grass Lake coach Andrea Cabana knew his team would find their way. rhythm.
“One important thing with the girls is that we try to stay focused,” Cabana said after the game. “Tunneling into what we’re trying to accomplish, one possession at a time and so when the energy turns in our favor, we try to overcome it as best we can. The biggest part of that is, again, finding the girl open on the pitch and playing as a team and that’s pretty much what we did in this race.
It was the first real test of the season for both teams, who are state championship contenders and bolster talented rosters.
Not only was it a battle between two of the state’s top Division 3 teams, it also featured two of the country’s top juniors in Lexus Bargesser of Grass Lake and Mya Petticord of Arbor Prep.
Both players are ranked in the top 60 on the ESPN 2022 rankings and both have multiple Division I offerings from the Power Five programs.
In the end, it was Bargesser and his team who were able to win the battle of the titans.
“I’ve learned that we all have to trust each other in games like this,” said Bargesser. “We have to use each other and play as a team, especially with the pressure building. “
That wasn’t all Bargesser Friday night, however, as the 4-star rookie received contributions from several teammates to secure the victory.
As Bargesser led the Warriors with 25 points, the remainder of the score was tied between three players with the Grand Valley State signing Abie Cabana adding 17 points, Amber Boomer at 16 and Gabrielle Lutchka registering 15.
“I thought my daughters were playing really well,” Cabana said. “They played team ball, they stayed focused, everyone was engaged and involved in the process and what we’re trying to accomplish and when one girl started to wrestle another girl took and covered the slack and thought we had done a really good job of finding the girl open and looking good.
“Arbor Prep is an amazing program and an amazing school and we knew it was going to be a battle for sure so we’re really happy with the end of the game.”
Stine was not impressed with his team’s defense in the second half, with the Gators leading 32-31 at halftime.
Grass Lake’s offense scored 24 points in the third quarter, highlighted by the 10-1 streak to lead 55-46 early in the fourth quarter and added 25 points in the final period for the victory.
Stine said the lesson her team learned from Friday’s game was the importance of where their defense will need to be if they hope to win the title trophy in the end.
“We’ve learned that we really have to work to understand basketball and understand a game plan and be able to play in transition defense,” Stine said. “Arbor Prep is not giving up 80 points. Grass Lake is a very good team. Give them all the credit in the world. On February 12, 2021, they are better than us.
“These are two of the top 20 basketball teams in the state of Michigan,” Stine said. “We like challenges. They’re better than us right now and our goal is to be better than them when we play them in late March or April, when that can be. We will meet them again.
Petticord, also a 4-star junior goaltender, led Arbor Prep with 25 points, while Austin Peay State lead Kaiden Glenn added 11 and Kyra Lawrence finished with 9.
Petticord said the match between the two powers gave Arbor Prep a chance to assess where they rank among the best in the state.
“It just shows that we have to take it to another level,” she said. “We always learn as a team and continue to develop our chemistry. It’s a learning lesson. It is a loss. Everyone loses, so we’ll be good.