STERLING HEIGHTS — Chippewa Valley’s girls basketball team’s playoff run ended in the regional finals, as the Big Reds fell 69-48 to Grosse Pointe South March 8 at Utica Ford II.
The players could hold their heads high, though, walking off the court after an impressive season. Chippewa finished the year 14-10 overall, winning a district title for the first time in four years.
“It’s special to get to this point,” Chippewa coach Jackie Mauer said. “Win or lose, you’re the only team left from your county, that says something about your players and what it took to get here.”
The last time the Big Reds played in regionals was 2008, when they lost to eventual Class A state champion Grosse Pointe North by three points in the final after beating Fraser High by three points in the semifinal.
Mauer is hoping her team, which includes underclassmen in key roles, can learn from and build on this season’s success.
“I think this was a great experience for all of them,” the coach said. “They had never been in this situation before. So, I think, next year we just build off of that energy and come back strong and hopefully get here again.”
The Big Reds battled back and forth with South in the regional final in the game’s opening quarter. But the Blue Devils pulled away in the second, and Chippewa couldn’t recover. Visit our website for more details and photos from the regional games.
Junior guard Tiffany Misch scored 30 points in a valiant effort for the Big Reds.
“We lost Misch,” South coach Kevin Richards said. “She’s a phenomenal player, very impressive.”
Misch spurred the Big Reds on to victory in the regional semi against Macomb L’Anse Creuse North. In a game of runs by both teams, LCN grabbed the lead late, but pressure from Misch and the Big Reds brought Chippewa right back in it, eventually winning 45-42. Misch finished with 18 points, half of which came in the final few minutes, including a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
“Tiffany just decided, we’re taking this game, and we’re not going to let it go,” Mauer said.
Misch and fellow junior guard Tori Staver should return to give the Big Reds one of the better backcourts in the county next season. They’ll be joined by guard/forward Olivia DeMoss, who started as a sophomore this season. But the Big Reds will have to replace a pair of senior starters in the frontcourt in forwards Emily Tolksdorf and Ciara Helton, as well as reserves Patti Pensko and Erin Kupps.