Utica Eisenhower’s Olivia Stack goes up for a shot in a Division 1 district semifinal March 4 against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at Stoney Creek. The Eagles defeated Rochester High March 6 in the district final.

Utica Eisenhower’s Olivia Stack goes up for a shot in a Division 1 district semifinal March 4 against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at Stoney Creek. The Eagles defeated Rochester High March 6 in the district final.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Ike girls hoops downs Rochester High for district crown

By: Jacob Herbert | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 9, 2020

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — It took a year off, but the Utica Eisenhower girls basketball team returned to champion status after knocking off Rochester High 47-42 March 6 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek to win a Division 1 district title.

The Eagles last won a district championship in 2018.

“One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to win districts,” Eisenhower coach Cliff Piper said. “It was a great accomplishment. We came back after being down in the first quarter and never gave up. It was a great feeling.”

The Eagles fell behind 16-10 at the end of the first quarter but were able to utilize their overwhelming full-court press to even the score at halftime. Ike then pulled ahead in the second half and never looked back.

Olivia Stack led the scoring for Ike with 19 points. Lauren Lutz and Meike Ingles both chipped in with 10 and 6 points, respectively.

Piper said Lutz’s shooting from the outside and Ingles’ defense were two prominent factors that led Eisenhower to victory.

After press time, the Eagles were set to take on St. Clair Shores Lakeview in a regional semifinal March 10 at Utica Ford II.

In the same district tournament at Stoney Creek, the season came to an end for Utica High as the Chieftains fell 40-36 to Rochester.

“I thought we were a little flat defensively early, but they made shots and they made plays,” Utica coach Tom McDonald said. “Sometimes you want to blame yourselves, but they played really well out of the gate and we didn’t.”

Rochester took a 10-point lead into the locker room at halftime, seemingly with all the momentum. The Chieftains, however, found their energy and stormed back in the second half, taking their first lead of the game with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter.

The comeback effort fell short in the fourth quarter as the Falcons etched out a 4-point victory. In the loss, Lina Rea led Utica in scoring with 10 points and Rachel Whitehead finished with 9.

Utica finished the season at 15-7 overall and 7-3 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.

“They’re all great people, they’re all great kids, and they support one another,” McDonald said. “They’re all in there crying right now, but I told them to make sure they support each other. Those are the positives we’re going to take away. It was a joy to go to practice every single night.”

Now that the season has concluded, Chieftains seniors Rachel Whitehead, Mary Goepper, Courtney Christian, Maya Narusch, Amanda Feeman, Lauryn Holmes, Madison Barch and Frankie Rea leave behind a legacy of leading by example, not just on the floor, but in the classroom as well, according to their coach.

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