By: John Raffel
Seniors play big role in Heritage's State title
Senior girls basketball players would love to have their best games in the season finale.
That seemed to be the case for Saginaw Heritage seniors Madison Camp and Jessica Bicknell, who may have saved their best for last in the 57-36 Class A state championship win over East Lansing on March 17 at Calvin College.
Camp was 6-of-8 from the floor for 12 points and had 10 rebounds. Bicknell was 5-of-12 from the floor for 12 points and had five boards.
“They played great,” Heritage coach Vonnie DeLong said. “We talked about that when the state tournament started that for the seniors it was their last shot and their last go around, and make it worth your while. They came with everything today and had a great day. I was proud of them.”
Shine Strickland-Gills, the junior forward, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds agreed that the Heritage girls were able to add onto the school’s state championship legacy.
“It feels good to finally bring home a state championship for girls basketball,” she said. “It’s been mostly boys sports. It makes me happy we finally got it.”
Strickland-Gills was asked if she expected to have the type of game she produced.
“I come out and I go hard,” she replied. “That’s pretty much what I do. Most people would say I’m a defensive player. I know my teammates will get me to score so I don’t worry about that. The thing is to play defense.”
Strickland-Gills admitted this was a moment she had been thinking about since the eighth grade. The two other juniors on the team, Moira Joiner and Mallory McCartney, have played together since the eighth grade.
“It feels better than I thought,” Strickland-Gills said
DeLong said the team’s only regular season loss, 57-55 to Detroit Edison in double overtime, got everybody focused and everybody back. They took it to another level. They knew it was time to go and the tournament was right around the corner. By the time we played Edison, we were firing on all cylinders. It went back-and-forth. It was such an incredible game. It focused us.”