Published Weekends - Family Owned & Independent Mixed Media Company - Est 2016
Published Weekends - Family Owned & Independent Mixed Media Company - Est 2016
By: Glen Dudasik
We had the honor of calling three of the Lansing Catholic Girls Basketball playoff games this year and a story unfolded throughout the games that may have been unique to see from our vantage point. I'm not sure Lansing Catholic understood just how good they were, how good they could be, until a very specific sequence Friday night.
Wind it back a bit though. To understand what happened you have to look at the District Championship game against Haslett. The Cougars came into that Haslett game with a very heavy chip on their shoulders. Lansing Catholic was the team in town that was good, but not great. They were recognized as a tough opponent but not as a championship contender. Haslett, Holt, and Dansville commanded our attention through the regular season and rightfully so.
When the Cougars got to the district championship round you could feel the difference as soon as the Cougars walked into the gym in Eaton Rapids. The Cougars were jaded and they played that way. They used a stifling defense to thwart Haslett and each possession that went by the game got easier for the Cougars. That’s when I saw them start to play loose and smile and I knew it was over. The Cougars went on to claim that "how do you like that!" district championship that they so rightly deserved.
They worked their way through the regionals, the state quarters and into the Final Four. That’s when we caught up with them again, but when we stood with them again in the pregame tunnel Friday night against West Catholic they were a very different team than I’d seen walk off the court in Eaton Rapids. Sure they'd earned their way to the Breslin but you could tell they were intimidated by the moment.
The stadium was big and the moment was bigger. Their opponent was the undefeated, unstoppable and unbreakable West Catholic juggernaut and the feeling early was that the conclusion of the game was a pre-ordained coronation for West Catholic. Media row overflowed with Grand Rapids press and their cameras lights were bright and their voices loud. As we watched the game unfold in the first and midway through the second quarter you could feel it, the sense of adoration for West Catholic felt justified and the Cougars were watching their season and their chance, slip away. They ended the half upside down, flat and in trouble.
I don’t know what Caoch Kacee Ried exactly said at halftime but I can tell you the team heard it. One player in particular - a senior stepped up and said you’re right. We aren't going home.
Not without a fight.
With the game in the balance there was a sequence of possessions that the Cougars incredible senior Hannah Pricco took the very best of what West Catholic had and denied them...twice. Nothing flashy, nothing highlight worthy she just stepped forward with good defense and that’s when the Cougars stopped letting West Catholic control the pace, play and outcome of the game. It was such a small thing but really only something you’d see from the broadcast booth where we breakdown every single play.
Through the entirety of the game up to that point Lansing Catholic was playing on their back heels. They would rush back on defense and wait for West Catholic, the game was coming to them and it was running them over. When Pricco stepped up on those sequences she very literally met the game head on - not on the back step but on the defensive attack. It’s the moment it all changed. The Cougars started to rally from that point and through their defense, grit and guile (and a whole lot of 3’s) they finally believed they were good enough to belong among the best.
The runaway had ended and Lansing Catholic had that chip on their shoulder back. By the fourth quarter they came out smiling and I knew it was over. Not only did they believe they could win now they knew they could win and win they did. Lansing Catholic walked into the Breslin on Saturday confident and Frankenmuth never stood a chance. This Cougars team was ready for their place in history, they earned it and they claimed it.
And we say for the first time since 1995 - congratulations to the MHSAA Women’s Basketball State Champions, your Lansing Catholic Cougars!
TOKYO, Japan – Eighteen U.S. athletes are set to compete at the pinnacle figure skating event of the 2022-23 season: the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023. The event will take place in Saitama, Japan, March 22-26.
Three U.S. pairs teams will kick things off for Team USA on Wednesday, including 2022 World champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who will look to defend their title and become the first-ever U.S. pairs team to win a second crown. They’ve had a successful season so far, taking home two Grand Prix titles at Skate America and MK John Wilson Trophy as well as silver at the 2023 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. This will be the team’s third consecutive World Championships.
Making their World Championships debut, Emily Chan and Spencer Howe are vying for a podium spot at World Championships. The 2023 U.S. Championships silver medalists will look to continue their successful international season after earning silvers at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2023, NHK Trophy and Skate Canada International.
Newcomers Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea burst onto the scene this season after only becoming partners in September 2022. In their season debut, they took home the gold at the 2022 IceChallenge and bronze at the 2023 U.S. Championships in January to lock their spot for this event. For the women’s events, 2022 World Junior champion Isabeau Levito will lead the way for Team USA. In her senior Worlds debut, Levito will look to continue her medal streak after winning a medal at every event she’s competed at this season. Most recently, Levito took home the 2023 U.S. title and earned silver at the 2022 ISU Grand Prix Final.
Skating veteran Bradie Tennell will also take to the ice for Team USA. Tennell will compete at her fourth World Championships, where she’ll look to improve on her ninth-place finish from 2021. The Olympic bronze medalist recently earned the silver at the U.S. Championships in January. Amber Glenn will round out the U.S. women’s team competing in Japan. The 2023 U.S. bronze medalist is making her World Championship debut after a successful 2022-23 season in which she earned her first career Grand Prix medal at Skate America with the bronze.
In the men’s field, Ilia Malinin, Jason Brown and Andrew Torgashev will represent Team USA.
The 2022 World Junior champion, Ilia Malinin will look to continue his medal streak this season after taking home the gold at Skate America and Grand Prix Espoo, as well as earning the bronze at the 2022 Grand Prix Final. The 2023 U.S. champion is seeking his first World Championships medal after finishing ninth at the event last season.
Two-time Olympian Jason Brown will join Team USA on the world stage for the fifth time since his World Championships debut in 2015. After earning the silver at the 2023 U.S. Championships, Brown will look to carry that momentum into World Championships to vie for his first World medal. Andrew Torgashev will make his World Championship debut in Saitama. The 2023 U.S. Championship bronze medalist is returning to international competition after a foot injury kept him sidelined since 2020.
The United States is bringing three strong teams to the ice dance competition. Madison Chock and Evan Bates return to World Championships for the ninth time after a bronze medal finish in 2022. The duo is aiming for their first World Championship title and their fourth medal overall after earning two bronze and a silver since their first World’s competition in 2013. Two U.S. ice dance teams will be making their Worlds debut: Caroline Green and Michael Parsons and Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko. Green and Parsons earned their roster spot after taking home the silver at the 2023 U.S. Championships, their highest-ever finish at the event. The duo earned their first career Grand Prix medal with the bronze at NHK Trophy. Teammates Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko take the ice at the senior World Championships after their past success at World Junior Championship earning the silver in 2018 and bronze in 2017.
Competition kicks off Wednesday, March 22 with the pairs and women’s short programs, while the men will begin Thursday, March 23 and ice dance will debut on Friday, March 24. Follow the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 Competition Central for more information on Team USA in Japan.
NBC will broadcast coverage of the women's free skate at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 25, followed by a recap show at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 9. There will be an additional 10 hours of competition coverage on USA. Additionally, the full competition can be streamed live on Peacock. Visit usfigureskatingfanzone.com for the full broadcast schedule.
U.S. ENTRIES AT THE ISU WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2023
ATHLETE | HOMETOWN | TRAINING TOWN
Isabeau Levito | Mount Holly, N.J. | Mount Laurel, N.J.
Bradie Tennell | Carpentersville, Ill. | Nice, France
Amber Glenn | Plano, Texas | Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ilia Malinin | Vienna, Va. | Reston, Va.
Jason Brown | Highland Park, Ill. | Toronto, Can.
Andrew Torgashev | Coral Springs, Fla. | Irvine, Calif.
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier | Addison, Ill.; Colorado Springs, Colo. | Irvine, Calif.
Emily Chan and Spencer Howe | Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif. | Norwood, Mass.
Ellie Kam and Danny O'Shea | Colorado Springs, Colo.; Colorado Springs, Colo. | Colorado Springs, Colo.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates | Redondo Beach, Calif.; Ann Arbor, Mich. | Montreal, Quebec
Caroline Green and Michael Parsons | Rockville, Md.; Derwood, Md. | Canton, Mich.
Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko | Saint Clair, Mich.; San Jose, Calif. | London, Ontario
Courtesy of US Figure Skating