Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day senior guard Kaela Webb drives down the floor during the Class B state title game March 17 at Calvin College. Webb earned her third individual state title, notching 11 points and seven assists in the championship contest.

Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day senior guard Kaela Webb drives down the floor during the Class B state title game March 17 at Calvin College. Webb earned her third individual state title, notching 11 points and seven assists in the championship contest.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Lucky 13: Detroit Country Day defends state title

Yellowjackets never relinquished the lead during the Class B contest

By: Timothy Pontzer | C&G Newspapers | Published March 17, 2018


GRAND RAPIDS — After helping lead Beverly Hills Country Day to a Class B state title last year, Kaela Webb believed a repeat was possible.

"Me and Coach 'O,' I think we have another one in us," said Webb after a championship clinching victory March 18, 2017.

A full 364 days later, Webb helped deliver on that promise in her final prep contest. The senior guard shared a long embrace with coach Frank Orlando following a 64-48 win over Jackson Northwest in the Class B state championship game March 17 at Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College.

"It was just a blessing to come out here and do this with these girls," Webb said while clutching the trophy. "Winning last year we knew what that high felt like, and we wanted to be able to do that again in our last game. I can't even do anything but smile getting to win this for (Orlando). I don't even have words for what it means for us to get it for him."

One of only three seniors on the roster, Webb led the Yellowjackets with seven assists. A finalist for the state's Miss Basketball award, she also contributed 11 points and four rebounds.

"If I got Kaela on my side, that's all I want as a coach," Orlando said. "She's a fighter — a coach — and she knows the game. She plays it with her heart. I can't say enough about her. She understands the game so well. I defer to her sometimes to talk to the kids. She looks at a situation and knows the right thing to do each time."

Orlando called Webb one of the best floor generals he's ever had in his five decades of coaching. She is headed to Providence to continue her career on the hardwood.

"My leadership role has been established since my freshman year but it became more vocal this year," Webb explained. "Being a senior point guard I had to be a leader that could help us through these games. I got on them when they needed it and picked them up too. Our hard work started in the summer, and we came out here and showed it."

The victory marked the program's third title in four seasons and 13th overall. In his 37th year at the helm of DCD and 51st overall in coaching, Orlando called it one of the sweetest. 

"It was an amazing game," Orlando said. "We knew (Northwest) wouldn't go away. They're really tough. We just had to keep playing our game, and that's what we did. I was really proud of the kids."

The Yellowjackets never trailed, building up a lead as large as 16 points. It mirrored a trend that saw an average margin of victory of 35.9 in the club's eight postseason games.

Orlando said that despite the dominating run, he was pleased with how his team kept an even-keeled approach for each outing.

"I tell the girls that we have to come out and play tremendous basketball each time," Orlando said. "They seemed to understand that it's not about who you play or even winning. It's all about how you play. When we go out there and play well, we can take care of business."

The Yellowjackets led 34-26 at halftime. With less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the margin was only 44-39 before Orlando's side put together a 10-4 run to close out the period.

"When it was close there at 44-39, we had a series that was really important," Orlando said. "Kaela really took over there making some nice shots and baskets."

As time expired, Webb dribbled out the clock. At the buzzer, she threw the ball towards the rafters in celebration.

"The thought of winning three state championships is really unbelievable," Webb said of her career. "As the clock was running down I was looking over at Coach 'O' and my teammates and thinking about all the work that went into this. It's an amazing feeling."

Junior guard Jasmine Powell powered DCD, leading all scorers with 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Junior guard Maddie Novak added 13 while junior forward Adrian Folks had 12. Senior Maxine Moore had six points and three rebounds.

"I'm so blessed and grateful," Moore said. "I have to give it up to my teammates and Coach 'O' for instilling a strong work ethic in all of us. From the beginning of the year this is what we wanted. We're so proud of our program and coaches. It means a lot to get this and not many people can say they have three of these."

When questioned about potentially retiring, Orlando chose to bask in the moment and push any potential decision to the future. Wearing his championship ring from last year, he explained what his plan was for the latest addition to the jewelry case.

"I've always wanted to give one ring to each of my grandkids," Orlando explained. "I have 12 grandsons and granddaughters, so now I'll have to look for someone to give this new one."