Positive COVID test ends Hemlock girls basketball season; Grass Lake to face Kent City

David Goricki
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Hemlock’s Cinderella story run came to an end Wednesday morning.

Hemlock didn’t lose its Division 3 state semifinal girls basketball game to Grass Lake at the Breslin Center. Like many teams before it in the state tournament, was knocked out of the tournament due to COVID issues, ending its dream of a state championship.

Hemlock's season ended a result of "positive COVID test," according to a statement on the high school's Facebook page, posted Wednesday morning. It did not specify if it was a player or a member of the coaching staff.

"Due to a positive Covid test the Girls Basketball game today and season has been cancelled," the statement read. "Thank you girls for a great season!"

Calls left The News to the Hemlock athletic department were not immediately returned.

Hemlock lost six of its first 10 games, including four straight to open the season, before winning 10 of its last 12 games to punch its ticket to the Final Four, capped off with a 53-46 state quarterfinal win over Madison Heights Bishop Foley on Tuesday night.

Hemlock ends its season with a 14-9 record.

Grass Lake (19-1), ranked No. 5 in The News Super 20, will face No. 10 Kent City (21-0) in Friday's 3 p.m. state title game. Kent City defeated previously unbeaten Calumet, 59-53.

Kent City used a 25-13 run in the third quarter to turn a 28-24 deficit into a 49-41 lead with Jenna Harrison scoring nine of her team-high 15 points in the run, including two 3-pointers, the final one coming as time expired in the quarter.

Madelyn Geers had 14 points and seven rebounds for Kent City, making 6-of-9 shots while Kenzie Bowers had 13 points and seven rebounds and Lexie Bowers, 10 points, making 3-of-7 3-pointers.

"We just had to take a breath, relax and then they'd start falling," Harrison said of the third-quarter run after Kent City struggled in the opening half.

Kent City coach Scott Carlson says he feels his team will be aided by playing on the Breslin floor, while Grass Lake has yet to play on the big stage.

"I think it's a huge advantage," Carlson said. "It's our first time on the floor and it's cool to be here and I think it took us at least the entire first quarter if not the first half before we found ourselves and started playing."

Senior guard Elli Djerf had 22 points and nine rebounds for Calumet, including a 3-pointer to pull Calumet within 57-53 with 37 seconds remaining. 

Harrison made two free throws to push the cushion to six to end Calumet's hopes of a comeback.