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Lady Marauders March to First District Title Since 1984 Season, 53-29 over Chesaning Indians


The Ovid-Elsie Lady Marauders defeated the Chesaning Indians on March 4, to capture their first District Title since 1984.

Caitlyn Walter is stopped by a Eagle defender.

And on the Marauders’ home court, no less.

Coach Ryan Cunningham’s charges (21-1) downed the Indians (16-6), 53-29, to advance to Regional play against the Frankenmuth Eagles (22-2) at Frankenmuth High School.

The Marauders used full court pressure to stymie the Chesaning offense and caused 25 turnovers which led to 18 Marauder steals.

By the end of the 1st quarter, Ovid-Elsie held a commanding 14-2 advantage and followed it up with an 11-8 second quarter to lead 25-10 at half. “We were happy with the way we got out of the gates even though we had a little bit of foul trouble to deal with,” said coach Cunningham. “But we also knew that Chesaning is a tough team and we needed to refocus because we didn’t want to see them mount a comeback.”

Chesaning held serve a little better in the second half but Ovid-Elsie still held a 16-9 third quarter advantage and a 12-10 fourth quarter advantage. The Marauders led by as many as 26 points and never trailed during the game.

Evalyn Cole paced the Marauders with 14 points, 4 assists, and 5 steals while Caitlyn Walter scored 12 points and 4 rebounds. The senior sharp shooter connected on two 3-pointers, tying her own single season record of 43 makes. Kiah
Longoria (6 rebounds, 5 steals, 5 assists) and Hailee Campbell (4 rebounds, 2 steals) each added 8 points while Ava Bates chipped in with 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Braylon Byrnes rounded out the OE scoring with 4 points.

Ovid-Elsie handed out 16 assists on 23 made baskets and out-rebounded Chesaning 29-21. The Marauders shot 46% from the field while holding the Indians to just under 31%. 21-2 Lady Marauder Season Abruptly Ends in District Play at Frankenmuth

Ava Bates goes up for two for the Marauders.

FRANKENMUTH — A couple of weeks ago, Ovid-Elsie’s girls basketball team was rolling along with an undefeated record. The sky seemed the limit.

That all abruptly ended here March 8.

First, coach Ryan Cunningham’s Lady Marauders were saddled with one of the toughest draws in the state, selecting No. 5 ranked Frankenmuth (21-2) in the opening Regional game of the MHSAA tournament — and on the Eagles’ home
floor, no less.

Kia Longoria, #4, goes up for two amongst two Eagle defenders. Congrats Lady Marauders on a GREAT season. Photos by Denise Burgess

Then, after running out to an early 8-2 lead, the Marauders watched as the Lady Eagles calmly hit 65% of their field goals in a 55-37, Division 2 Regional tournament victory.

Once Frankenmuth figured out O-E’s signature press defense, the Eagles rode the scoring of Mia McLaughlin (18 points) and Emma Kerkau (14) to the win.

Claire Conzelmann tossed in consecutive three-point bombs as FHS went on a 14-
1 run to close out the first stanza, and a 20-7 romp in the second quarter, to take control.

O-E’s season ended with a No. 9 state ranking at 21-2 overall. It also included the Marauders’ first District championship since 1984, and an unbeaten, MMAC championship record of 14-0.

“When you get to the tournament time like this, you don’t have a lot of time to change things up,” coach Cunningham said. “We’re a press team and we want to run and we want to turn them over. Sometimes you just tip your hat to a better team. They’re just a better team. We’re pretty young and I think we’ll aspire to get to that kind of level. They had us scouted pretty well and just made more plays down the

The Regional also included a stellar 19-4 Saginaw Swan Valley contingent, whom Frankenmuth advanced to play against in the Regional final.

Ava Bates led O-E with 10 points. Catilyn Walter scored 8 points, finishing her stellar career as second all-time on the O-E scoring list with 965 points. She is also O-E’s top career three-point shooter with 45 in a season, breaking her own pre-
vious record of 43.

Evalyn Cole contributed 9 tallies, Kaylee Hall, Braylon Byrnes 2, Hailee Campbell one and Kiah Longoria one to the Marauder cause.