TEKONSHA — Monday night’s non-conference girls basketball clash between the Tekonsha Lady Indians and the Battle Creek Academy Lady Tigers boasted perhaps the youngest collection of players to grace varsity rosters in the state of Michigan.
The Tekonsha Lady Indians are very young, with a roster of three eighth graders, four freshman and two juniors while Battle Creek Academy may be even younger, with a team consisting of two seventh graders, three eighth graders, two freshman, one sophomore and one senior.
Both teams come from high schools with an enrollment of less than 50 students, with Battle Creek Academy only housing 30 total students in the high school, meaning per MHSAA rules both squads are eligible to start seventh and eighth graders on their varsity rosters.
With that much youth both teams have spent much of the season going through a myriad of growing pains and Monday happened to be no different for both teams. In the end it was the Indians struggling to find the bottom of the bucket throughout the contest, a troubling trend that led to the Lady Indians dropping their home battle with the Battle Creek Academy Lady Tigers, falling by the score of 48-21.
Despite their youth, the Tekonsha Lady Indians battle each and every night and show absolutely no quit every time they take the floor and Monday night was much of the same, a fact that makes Tekonsha head coach Aryn Henry have hope for the future.
“We are such a young team but we are starting to figure out all the little things we’ve been working on every day in practice,” said Tekonsha head coach Aryn Henry. “We are starting to piece together all those little things we’ve been hounding on in practice consistently, just not consistently enough. Scoring continues to be a big struggle for us but hopefully those things will start coming together soon and we will able to put everything together on the court and get a win. I am so proud of where these girls have come from day one to now, it’s just amazing. Many of these girls should be playing middle school basketball and JV ball, but they are here, working hard every day and getting better each time out. There are good things ahead.”
Tekonsha fought hard from the opening possession, however Battle Creek Academy used their size and speed to outscore Tekonsha 11-3 in the first quarter. Tekonsha’s three points came thanks to the three point shooting prowess of eighth grader Reagan Henry.
The Tigers turned up the pressure in the second quarter, led by the scoring of Eliza Lake, to outscore Tekonsha 18-8 to build a 29-11 lead at the half. Tekonsha’s offense did see a little more success in the second quarter thanks to the efforts of Emily Rizo, Alisha Shedd, Henry and Emily Davis.
Tekonsha continued to hustle up and down the floor but the Battle Creek Academy attack was just too much throughout the second half as the Tigers outscored Tekonsha 12-7 in the third quarter and 7-3 in the fourth for the final score of 48-21.
Tekonsha was led on the night by eighth grader Reagan Henry who had 13 points to go along with seven rebounds, three steals, two blocks and one assist.
Also adding to the Tekonsha effort was Emily Rizo with two points and two rebounds; Mackenzie Knapp with two rebounds; Alisha Shedd with four points, two steals and three rebounds; Carissa Shedd with five rebounds; Hailey Owens with two points and seven rebounds; Talia Stull with two rebounds; Abby Wrobel with one rebound; and Emily Davis with two points, two assists and four rebounds.
Battle Creek Academy was led on the night by Eliza Lake who had 18 points while Katie Grentz added 13 points and Sofia Keller with 11 points.
“We have a very young girls varsity basketball team that has some really big potential in the coming years,” said Battle Creek Academy head coach Shadrach Grentz.
Tekonsha falls to 0-5 with the loss and will look to bounce back from their loss on Thursday when they travel to face Jackson Christian in an SCAA battle. Battle Creek Academy improves to 4-5 on the season and will see action again Tuesday.