Forest Park’s Lexi Gussert selected as AP Class D Player of the Year

EAST LANSING (AP) – Lexi Gussert will take just about any opportunity to get on a basketball court.

The Forest Park junior was enjoying a bye in the MHSAA Class D district tournament hosted in Crystal Falls in late February with a little game of horse with a couple of managers from a visiting school.

“She told them, ‘Let’s go play horse,'” Forest Park coach Jeff Syrjanen said. “When the coach came out, he told them to watch out because they don’t know who they’re up against.”

Gussert just happens to be the Associated Press Class D Player of the Year. The 6-footer is a two-time All-State selection and averaged 32 points per game this season for the Trojans. The three-sport athlete also averaged 11 rebounds per game, five assists, four steals and four blocks and has drawn interest from schools across the country from Tennessee to Michigan State to Connecticut. She also played on Forest Park’s volleyball team in the fall and golf team in the spring.

There were four unanimous selections to this year’s Class D All-State team – Lexie Robak of Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Kelley Wright of St. Ignace and Cassidy Boensch of Au Gres-Sims, along with Gussert. That quartet is joined by Our Lady of the Lakes’ Ava Doetsch, Novi Franklin Road Christian’s Kristen Massey, Fruitport Calvary Christian’s Taylor Richards, Superior Central’s Vanessa Freberg, Mendon’s Brooke Howard and Posen’s Korynn Hincka.

Of those selected to the team, just two – Robak and Doetsch – are seniors.

This year’s Coach of the Year is Mendon’s Leasa Griffith, who continued the Hornets’ progression into a tough team. The Hornets went 19-1 in the regular season with their sole loss coming to unbeaten Niles Brandywine.

Robak averaged 15 points per game to go with 4.2 rebounds per game, 4.2 assists per game and 1.5 steals per game. She shot 74 percent from the free throw line.

Wright averaged 19.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in her junior year for the unbeaten Saints, a school that was in Class C, but is Class D this year.

Boensch, a freshman, was dominant for the Wolverines. She averaged 22.1 points, 15.2 rebounds and 10.7 blocked shots.

Doetsch is a four-year starter for the Lakers and this season averaged 14.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game and 2.8 steals per game. She was an All-State honorable mention selection a year ago.

Massey, a junior, has 1,482 career points for the Warriors and averaged 28.1 points per game this season. She also had 3.8 assists per game, 5.4 rebounds per game and 5.4 steals per game.

Howard, a junior, scored 18.6 points per game to go with averages of 9.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 steals for the Hornets.

Hincka, a junior, is on the team for the second time in her career after averaging 28.8 points and 14.1 rebounds for the Vikings.

Richards, a sophomore, averaged 18.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Eagles.

Freberg, a junior, averaged 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Cougars.