Falcons win 5th state title

Photo courtesy of Mary Laney

Senior captain Rachel Kerry holds the trophy after the Divine Child girls basketball team won the Class B state championship March 19.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – A local girls basketball team is marking its fifth state championship in 25 years.

The Divine Child girls basketball team captured the Class B crown with a 43-35 win against previously undefeated Three Rivers High School March 19.

The game, played at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center, was close until the third quarter, when an 11-2 scoring surge put DC ahead to stay, according to reports.

The championship game came after a two-point, double-overtime win over Goodrich High School Friday night, a game that saw free throws determine the outcome.

“We’re proud of the way they represented the school,” Divine Child Athletic Director Tony DeMare said. “They are a fabulous group of young ladies.”

He said a crowd of about 1,000 people at the parish annual auction gave the girls a standing ovation the night of the game upon their return from Lansing.

“It was just such a special feeling for the girls,” coach Mary Laney said. She said the experience was fun for the members of the team, and that it was good for them to set a goal and reach it.

“We were very excited about going into the final game,” Laney said. “We knew it was going to be a good game. Anyone who gets to that level is a good team.”

With the win, she became only the fourth woman in the state of Michigan to win a state championship as a player and a coach. Laney said winning the title as coach was harder than as a player, but more gratifying.

“It seems harder because it’s out of my control,” she said. “I can’t go out there and play ball. It’s quite an accomplishment.”

Divine Child (23-5) has won four other Michigan High School Athletic Association state championships; in 1986 and 1989, followed by back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994.

“It’s just such a cool feeling to end the season as one of four teams standing,” Laney said.

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)