All-state girls basketball: State champion Lansing Catholic has big presence in Division 2

Lansing Catholic's Anna Richards, right, drives against Frankenmuth's Rosemary Brenner, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in East Lansing.
Lansing Catholic's Anna Richards, right, drives against Frankenmuth's Rosemary Brenner, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in East Lansing.

Anna Richards was the leading scorer this season for the balanced Lansing Catholic girls basketball team.

But the junior guard's contributions went far beyond that.

From setting up teammates to delivering on defense or having a calming presence, Richards was a major factor for the Cougars in their run to a state championship.

And Richards was honored for those contributions by being selected first team all-state in Division 2 by the Associated Press.

Richards entered the state quarterfinals averaging 12.2 points, 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals for the Cougars and shot 71% from the free-throw line, 43% from the field and 35% from 3-point range. She built on that with a strong ending to her junior season by averaging 19.5 points and 4.0 rebounds during wins over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Grand Rapids West Catholic and No. 8 Frankenmuth in the state semifinal and title games.

Richards shot 43.7% (7 of 16) from the field, 50% (5 of 10) from behind the 3-point arc and 85.7% from the free-throw line during the state semifinal and final victories as the Cougars claimed their second state title in program history.

Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid gives instructions against Frankenmuth, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in East Lansing.
Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid gives instructions against Frankenmuth, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in East Lansing.

Joining Richards as first team all-state was Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid, who guided the program to its first state title since 1995.

The Cougars reached the final stages of the state tournament for the first time since 2004 and knocked off several of the state's top programs while finishing 24-5 under Reid's direction. Lansing Catholic, which won the CAAC White title, knocked off Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Frankenmuth and Ypsilanti Arbor Prep during the regular season.

In the state tournament, the Cougars avenged a loss to No. 6 Haslett in a district final, beat No. 3 Chelsea in a regional final and knocked off Redford Westfield Prep in a quarterfinal before the victories over West Catholic and Frankenmuth.

Lansing Catholic's Leah Richards (22) goes up for a layup against Redford Westfield Prep's Kaylin Moorehead, left, and Ashli Wright, Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at Chelsea High School. Lansing Catholic won 78-69.
Lansing Catholic's Leah Richards (22) goes up for a layup against Redford Westfield Prep's Kaylin Moorehead, left, and Ashli Wright, Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at Chelsea High School. Lansing Catholic won 78-69.

Lansing Catholic junior Leah Richards also was honored and voted second team all-state. Leah Richards was the second-leading scorer for the Cougars and averaged 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and had shot 43% from the field, 36% from 3-point range and 72% from the free-throw line entering the quarterfinals.

Leah Richards was also big during the state semifinal and final victories for the Cougars, averaging 15 points and 9 rebounds.

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

ASSOCIATED PRESS DIVISION 2 ALL-STATE

The Associated Press high school girls basketball Division 2 all-state team in Michigan as voted on by a panel of sportswriters.

DIVISION 2 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Kennedy Blair, Dearborn Divine Child

COACH OF THE YEAR

Kacee Reid, Lansing Catholic

FIRST TEAM 

Megan McCalla, Chelsea, Sr.

Leila Wells, Chelsea, Jr.

Vanessa Rodriguez, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Fr.

Anna Richards, Lansing Catholic, Jr.

Kennedy Blair, Dearborn Divine Child, Sr.

Cadence Dykstra, Grand Rapids West Catholic, Sr.

Riley Abney, Ortonville Brandon, Jr.

Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling, Sr.

Lexi Boyke, Frankenmuth, Sr.

Desrae Kyles, Benton Harbor, Sr.

SECOND TEAM

Alli Zajac, Tecumseh, Soph.

Leah Richards, Lansing Catholic, Jr.

Elisha Dykstra, Grand Rapids West Catholic, Soph.

Kendal Smith, Lake Fenton, Fr.

Avery Wolters, Marysville, Jr.

Coach: JuWan Shakespear, Warren Fitzgerald

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Girls basketball: Lansing Catholic trio tabbed all-state in Division 2