Throwback Thursday: Ostman, Brown Rally St. Ignace to 2015 Class D Title State
MISportsNow’s Throwback Thursday is looking back at northern Michigan’s greatest games, from buzzer beaters
to state finals. This marks the 18th in the series.
EAST LANSING – The dynamic duo of Abbey Ostman and Margo Brown guided the St. Ignace girls basketball program to a pair of thrilling wins en route to winning the 2015 MHSAA Class D state championship.
Facing Pittsford in the state title game on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Michigan State’s Breslin Center, the Saints (22-5) staged a dramatic rally, powered by Ostman’s game-high 31 points on 12-of-24 shooting from the field in a 64-60 overtime triumph.
Behind 34-21 at the half, St. Ignace found itself trailing by 20 points less than two minutes into the third quarter. With Ostman and Brown combining for 40 points over the final two quarters and an overtime period, the Saints trimmed their deficit to eight after three quarters and sent the game into overtime on a pair of made free throws by Ostman with 35 seconds left in regulation.
“We made it close enough that they couldn’t stall too long,” St. Ignace coach Dorene Ingalls said. “That was huge for us to get close, because it if was 15 points, the longer you go, they were going to take air out of the ball, spread it out. But they still had to play basketball. That was because we got closer before the end of the game. That was huge.”
It was is in overtime when Ostman and Brown truly shined, combining for eight of the team’s 10 in a 64-60 win over Pittsford.
“A lot of heart, I feel like. Just come out there and give it your all,” Ostman said after the win. “After halftime we tried to do that. I felt like my teammates were trying really hard and I felt like I needed to step up to help them, because I know they were here to give it their all.”
“That’s what happens. The good players come down and make it to the finals,” Ingalls added. “They played well, and we played magical in the second half.”
Brown finished the game with 19 points while Laura Smith paced four Pittsford players in double figures with 14.
The state title game marked the second time in three days that the combination of Brown and Ostman rallied the Saints to a win.
Two days prior in a state semifinal, it was Brown and Ostman again leading the charge in a rally for 59-50 win over Frankfort.
The Panthers were in control early, taking a 28-20 lead at the half before Brown took over in the second half, tallying 20 of her 23 points over the final two quarters, including going 6-of-7 from 3-point range. For the game, Brown went 7-of-9 from beyond the arc as the Saints shot 64.3% (9-of-14) from long range. Ostman recorded 11 of her 20 points in the second half.
“First half, only a couple of us stepped up. Second half, we knew we had to bring it, and I was like, it’s now or never. We got to get there Saturday, let’s go and make some shots,” Brown said. “I just get pumped up and I have a lot of intensity.”
Brown had already etched her name in the MHSAA single-game individual record books with 11 3-pointers made in a win over Rudyard back on Jan. 20, 2015, placing her in a now six-way tie for third place.
“There’s really not much you can do when someone is shooting lights out,” Frankfort’s Mackenna Kelly said after the loss. “All you can do is play good defense, and when you have a big girl to set a screen, you just got to hope it doesn’t go in. She was on fire.”
Kelly, a future member of the Central Michigan women’s basketball program, led the Panthers with 18 points and nine rebounds while Cecelia Schmitt tallied 15 points and five boards.
Frankfort was making its first semifinal appearance since winning consecutive Class D state championships in 2005 and 2006. The loss capped off a stretch that saw the Panthers go a combined 47-4 over two seasons.
Since winning the 2015 Class D state championship, St. Ignace had not reached the state semifinals again prior to finishing as Division 4 runner-up in 2019. Frankfort is still awaiting a return to the semifinals.
Both Brown and Ostman would continue their playing careers at the collegiate level, with Brown taking her talents to Ferris State and Ostman to Lake Superior State.