Clippers secure second straight district championship
When the Martin girls’ basketball team claimed a Class D district title last season, it marked the first such championship by the Clippers in 19 years.
The wait for the next district crown was much shorter. Eighteen years shorter, to be exact.
Jazmin Hildebrand went for a double-double, Cassidy Beazley nearly did the same and Taylor Curry turned in a solid all-around effort in Martin’s district final contest with Calhoun Christian on Friday, March 6. The result was a 55-22 win and second straight district title for the Clippers (14-8).
According to Martin coach Doug MacVean, while both special, the two district championships had different feels to them.
“Last year was special because it had been so long since (Martin) had won one,” MacVean said. “This year, the girls are definitely happy about winning districts and defending the title was important to them. But they want to go farther. They want to make a run a regionals.”
At the start of the season, MacVean didn’t know exactly what to expect from his team. As time went on, however, he began to see things coming together.
“We lost some really good seniors last year, so we needed some other girls to step up,” said MacVean, whose team is slated to play Tri-Unity Christian in a regional semifinal at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, in Mendon. “And they did. This is the most improved team I’ve ever coached. They just really had this desire to get better and they worked hard to do it.”
And no one works harder for the Clippers than Hildebrand.
The junior forward scored a game-high 10 points, snagged 10 rebounds and had five steals to lead the way for the Clippers. Fellow post player Beazley, a senior, added nine points and 14 rebounds.
“I felt bad for Jazmin,” MacVean said. “She was at least triple teamed all night, if not having four or at times five girls on her. And she didn’t get many calls, even when she was getting knocked around pretty good. Cassidy was the same way.
“That being said, both of them were able to find their teammates and really share the ball. So a lot of girls got involved for us.”
That they did, with Curry serving as the perfect example.
In addition to six points, Curry also had 10 rebounds to go with team highs of six steals and four assists.
For full story, pick up a copy of the March 12 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.