EAST LANSING — Frank Orlando added another achievement to his record-setting resume.
The longtime Birmingham Detroit Country Day girls basketball coach celebrated with his players, shedding a few tears in the process, after their 59-48 win over Ypsilanti Arbor Prep in Saturday’s Class B final at the Breslin Center.
Orlando, completing his 36th season at Country Day and 50th overall as a high school coach, won his 12th girls basketball title, an MHSAA record.
“It was emotional, because it was like my daughters playing basketball in the backyard,” said Orlando, who picked up his 762nd career girls basketball win, also a state record. “I just love that. I love it.”
Senior guard Destiny Pitts, a Miss Basketball finalist and Minnesota recruit, had 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Country Day (26-1), which claimed its second state title in three years.
Senior Tylar Bennett, a Clemson recruit, finished with 15 points and six rebounds, and junior Kaela Webb added 13 points and nine assists.
“We always want to leave it all on the floor for Coach O,” Pitts said. “He doesn’t care about the wins; he’s more about the girls. He wanted us to win this for us, but we wanted to win it for him.”
Junior Lasha Petree had 15 points and senior Ro’zhane Wells scored 14 for Arbor Prep (27-1), which entered the state tournament ranked No. 1 in Class B and won last year’s Class C title.
Country Day built a 27-15 halftime lead. Arbor Prep struggled from the floor, shooting 3 of 14 in the first quarter and 2 of 10 in the second.
“It was real satisfying,” Orlando said. “The feeling we had walking out last year (after a state semifinal loss) was that we didn’t play the type of basketball we were capable of. It just fed all through the practices, ‘Remember this. Remember.’”
The Yellowjackets, who graduate four seniors, including Pitts and Bennett, hope to defend their state title next season. Webb, a Marquette commit, and junior Max Moore (Western Michigan) should lead the charge.
Orlando, also a former baseball coach at Country Day, led the Yellowjackets to a state baseball crown in 1995, giving him 13 overall.