ELHS Girls Basketball Ends Season Second Place in State; Jaida Hampton Wins Top State Award
Above: Jaida Hampton, left, takes a shot during today's game.
After an undefeated season, the ELHS girls basketball team met Saginaw Heritage in the Class A state finals at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. The Trojans held the game close at times but could not overcome the Hawks’ steady shooting and zone defense, ultimately losing 57-36.
During the break after the first period, Trojan forward Jaida Hampton (#15) received the top statewide award in girls’ basketball, being named “Miss Basketball” by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). In its write-up of Hampton being honored with the award, the Detroit Free Press called her “one of the most versatile players in the state.”
Trojan forward Aaliyah Nye (#32) played a particularly strong game, bringing in six three-point shots. But the only time East Lansing gained the lead was in the first quarter. By the end of the first quarter, the score was 12-8 in favor of the Hawks, and the Trojans never retook the lead.
Saginaw Heritage’s players, on average taller than East Lansing’s, took many offensive rebounds. Two of the Hawks players showed particularly strong performances, guard Jessica Bicknell (#13) and forward Shine Strickland-Gills (#32).
Playing for the Trojans were Captains Jaida Hampton (#15), Aaliyah Nye (#32), Aazhenii Nye 9#14), and Amelia McNutt (#2), with teammates Kalaia Hampton (#2), Sanaya Gregory (#4), Allie Mayes (#5), Annelise Lebeda (#12), Steffi Kracko (#13), Zion Keyes (#20), Carolyn Heck (#21), Alhura Lofton (#23), Aashawanti Nye (#33), and Eva Dunbar (#44).
Robert Smith coached the team, with 16 years’ experience. Assisting Coach Smith were Billy Hamilton, Sami Tucker, and Cosette Buckberry. Their manager is Tate Smith.
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