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Lyons' big shot lifts Rockford to first state title in girls basketball

The Rams beat West Bloomfield 40-36
Rockford 40, West Bloomfield 36
Rockford 40, West Bloom
Rockford 40, West Bloomfield 36
Posted at 5:09 PM, Mar 18, 2023

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Grace Lyons hit a three with 40 seconds to play that gave Rockford the lead for good in a 40-36 win over West Bloomfield in the division one state championship game on Saturday at the Breslin Center.

Rockford beats West Bloomfield to win division 1 state championship

Lyons, who hit three triples in Friday's semifinal win and five last season in the semifinals against the Lakers, was being denied the whole game and was just 0-3 from the field prior to the game-winning shot.

Grace Lyons hits huge shot in Rockford's state championship game win

"I just know I'm a good shooter, Lyons said. "Just because I miss a few, I'm not going to stop shooting. I was wide open on that one so I was going to let it go and luckily it went in. That's what I came here to do."

Rockford 40, West Bloom
Rockford stands for the National Anthem before the division 1 state championship game at the Breslin Center

The Rams missed nine of the first ten shots they took, but trailed just 10-4 after the first quarter thanks in large part to playing excellent defense.

"They made runs, but when we are able to stop those runs and get those crucial stops, we always seem to do it," Rockford senior Alyssa Wypych said. "We can win in so many ways and in past games it has been our offense, but our defense stepped up."

The Rams rallied to lead 14-12 at the half, but trailed by one after three quarters and by three (36-33) with two minutes to play before scoring the game's final seven points, five of which came from Lyons.

Sophomore Anna Wypych scored a game-high 20 points, including converting nine of 10 at the free throw line and added eight rebounds.

Anna Wypych scores a game-high 20 points as Rockford beats West Bloomfield to win the state championship

"For me it's not just about points, I feel it's playing as a team," Anna said. "I really think this team is something special and I am super proud of them."

The state championship is the 74th for Rockford High School in all sports, but the first in girls basketball.

Rockford 40, West Bloomfield 36
Grace Lyons, Alyssa Wypych, Brad Wilson and Anna Wypych meet the media following the division 1 state championship game

"If you were here yesterday and today, you saw how much it meant to the community," sixth year head coach Brad Wilson said. "So many people at the game, sea of orange as everyone has talked about and for us to win that, not just for our program, but for our community, words can't really express how excited and fortunate we are."

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