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By Mike Moore
Grass Lake — If Andrea Cabana had her way, and more often than not, the Grass Lake girls basketball coach did, she’d have three or four players scoring in double figures.
She’d have that balanced offensive attack that was tough to predict and tougher to defend.
No superstar, but no let downs.
Still, for that equation to play itself out, the Warriors’ coach needed an engineer.
She didn’t have to look far.
“She’s a great ball handler and able to make good passes,” Cabana said of her daughter, Gracie. “She was very balanced in the way she attacked the basket and the way she could share the ball.”
Gracie’s play got everyone involved, helped lead Grass Lake to an 18-7 record, a league title, a trip to the regional finals, and a personal nod as the 2017 JTV Sports Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“I think this was an unusual team in the sense everyone did their part,” Gracie said, adding her shock when informed of her Player of the Year nod. “It made for a special year because of how everyone played together.”
“I really pushed for a balanced team,” Andrea said. “My idea was, if we had a few girls each game scoring like that, we’d be tough to stop.”
And Gracie was constantly at the forefront of that approach.
The senior averaged 13.4 points, 3.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 rebounds per game.
“She had a great year,” Andrea said. “She’s a kid that loves basketball, which makes it easy. She’s a gym rat. She trains constantly and has gotten better all year.”
The coach said her daughter’s importance went beyond the stat sheet too.
“Silent leader who led by example,” Andrea said. “I think that example set the stage and paved the way for what we did.”
Both mom and daughter said they cherished the opportunity to share the court this year.
“It was a lot of fun,” Andrea said. “It was a great way to finish out her career. She was so coachable.”
“I feel like I’ve always played for my mom, even when she wasn’t my coach,” Gracie said. “This year was a lot of fun.”
Gracie’s career is set to continue at Spring Arbor University, where she is planning on studying medicine while playing basketball.
“My goal is to make the team better and have fun while doing it, whatever that means,” Gracie said. “I want to be a player that makes a difference for the entire group.”
Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports.
He’s also a Real Estate agent with Real Estate One, specializing with buyers and sellers throughout Michigan, from the Jackson area to metro Detroit. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.