9 MHSSA state championship games were played at Carson City High School on Saturday, March 2nd and 5 of those games had CHAP teams competing! 5 teams is a program record and the most of any other homeschool program in the state of MI this season!
It should also be noted that in addition to the 5 teams in the state title game the CHAP Girls Varsity and Boys 12U teams fell just short, losing very close games in the semi-final round of the state tourney. CHAP was this close to having 7 teams in state title games!
The day started with CHAP beating HEA Novi Firebirds in the boys 10U title game and ended with CHAP beating the #8 nationally ranked Grand Rapids Angels in the Boys Varsity championship game!
Here is a summary of each of the 5 games, youngest to oldest:
Boys 10U -- CHAP Chariots vs HEA Novi Firebirds
The CHAP boys 10U team had a tough battle with HEA a few weeks prior to the state title game so they knew going in that they had to play their best to capture the state title. Thankfully the boys showed up to play! In a tightly contested battle they maintained their composure and secured a 15-11 victory to claim CHAP first state championship trophy of the day!
The boys 10U team ended the season undefeated (20-0) despite the fact that they consistently played against teams with older and taller players. Their season combined with a great season for our boys 12U team is a sign towards a very bright future for the boys side of the CHAP program.
Girls 12U - CHAP Chariots vs HEA Novi Firebirds
The CHAP girls 12U only had 6 girls for the state tournament but those 6 girls showed up big time! They rolled through the first two rounds to set up a rematch with a very tall and talented HEA squad that got 2nd place at regionals the weekend before in Indy.
Led by a balanced attack from all 6 players CHAP fought hard but came up short 24-13. This team built a reputation this season of being athletic and scrappy and they didn't disappoint in the state championship game. Not one girl on this team played for CHAP's 12U team last year but despite that inexperience they had a 14-6 record and a runner up trophy at states! Great season girls!!
Girls 14U - CHAP Chariots vs West Michigan Hornets
After cruising through the state tournament the prior year in 12U (won every game by 20+) this group of girls were ready to take on the challenge of playing at the 14U level despite having five 12U eligible players on this years team. They responded to the challenge and posted a 26-9 record for the year.
In the state semi-final they beat a tough and talented HAACH team. The state title game was against a great West Michigan Hornets team that spent the majority of the season playing JV and V teams and who were coming off a 1st place finish at regionals the weekend before. The girls fought incredibly hard and were only down 12-7 at halftime. West Michigan hit their stride in the 2nd half and pulled away in the 4th quarter to secure the state title. Runner up in the state is a great accomplishment and all 9 girls are 14U eligible again next year so they hope to get another shot at the 14U state title in 2020!
Girls JV - CHAP Chariots vs Kalamazoo Cougars
CHAP girls JV had already beaten a very strong Kalamazoo team 3 times but had to face them a 4th time on Saturday, this time in the State Championship game. The CHAP JV girls were determined to end the season on a victory but the Kalamazoo squad was just as determined to get over the hump and claim victory over their rivals.
Thankfully CHAP came out strong and built a small lead in the first half. The 2nd half started just as strong as CHAP's lead extended to 16 points early in the 4th quarter. Then the determined Kalamazoo squad decided they weren't going down without a fight. Despite their PG fouling out, one of their top players swished 3 straight 3-pointers and their post chipped in 3-4 baskets of her own to claw back to just a 2 point deficit. They were assisted in their comeback by CHAP's struggles at the free throw line. However, up 2 with 30 seconds to go CHAP's guard Shaye Steitz stepped up to the line and hit a free throw to put CHAP up by 3 points. On the ensuing possession Ellie Reusser blocked a 3-point attempt with 6 seconds in the game. Ellie secured the rebound, was promptly fouled and then sunk 2 clutch free throws to put the game out of reach and the CHAP JV girls claimed stake to their championship trophy!
Boys Varsity -- CHAP Chariots vs Grand Rapids Angels
The CHAP Boys Varsity defeated the #8 nationally ranked Grand Rapids Angels in the State Finals 41-35. It was a close game throughout, with the largest lead being only 6 points and the Chariots only holding a 17-15 point lead at halftime. It was the boys’ best defensive effort all year. Tommy Irrer, with a little help from Isaac Oesterle, drew the hardest match-up against 6’11” D1 University of Toledo bound, Luke Maranka, and allowed him only 12 points. The Angels were held to 29 points below their season average and were only credited with 29 total shots.
The Chariots were led on offense by three seniors: Wyatt Braatz, Noah Menzel, and Louis Irrer. Louis Irrer caused many problems for the Angels as he continued to get into the lane for a game high 18 points. Wyatt Braatz had a game-changing deep 3 pointer to shift the momentum back to the Chariots and put them within 3 points of the Angels in the 4th quarter. After the teams traded baskets, tourney MVP, Noah Menzel, drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 30 all. After a defensive stop, Noah put the Chariots ahead for good with a driving layup. Louis Irrer was sent to the foul line repeatedly as the Angels desperately tried to regain the lead. He responded by sinking the large majority of his free throws and putting the stamp on one of the biggest victories in CHAP program history. This is the third state championship in a row for the Chariots, including the last two against nationally ranked Angel teams.
The Chariot fans were unbelievable all day long but especially during the Boys Varsity championship game. You all definitely earned the "6th man of the year" award that game!!
Congratulations to all the CHAP basketball teams that participated in the Fort Wayne Guard Invitational Tournament. You represented CHAP well on and off the court!
Boys Varsity - 2-1 and 5th place in 18U Gold bracket
Girls Varsity - 2-1 and 2nd place in 18U Gold bracket
Boys JV - 1-2 and 6th place in 16U
Girls JV - 3-0 and 1st place in 18U Silver bracket
Boys JH - 1-2 and 6th place in 14U Silver bracket
Girls JH Green - 3-0 and 1st place in 14U bracket
Girls JH White - 2-1 and 3rd place in 14U bracket
Boys 12U Green - 2-1 and 3rd place in 12U Gold bracket
Boys 12U White - 1-2 and 4th place in 12U Silver bracket