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Arbor Prep Girls Basketball Team Wins State Title, Creates Legacy

Hidden beneath a black Arbor Prep pullover was the mantra that helped lead the Gators girls basketball team to its third state championship: Create your legacy.
It’s a phrase head coach Scott Stine has repeated often to his team since last summer, especially to his three seniors Stacy and Stephanie Utomi, and Taylor Wallace. Heading into this season the school already had two girls basketball state championships in 2016 and 2022. Stine wanted to ensure the trio knew they controlled their own destiny.

Coach Stine calling a play
Coach Scott Stine calls in a play during the championship game.

On Saturday, March 23, the Gators realized their third state title after defeating Niles Brandywine 33-30. Stine revealed the message on his shirt after he and his five starters answered questions from reporters after the game.
“They already had one state title, but it wasn’t necessarily their team, and no one at Arbor Prep had ever won two,” Stine said. “They just created their legacy. We talked with our younger girls yesterday about this. The success those three have had is not just by snapping your fingers, it’s by countless hours in the gym.”

Stacy Utomi shooting the ball
Stacy Utomi shoots the ball.

Stine said the Utomi twins routinely do workouts at 5:30 a.m., then head to school, then to practice. Wallace practices until 6 p.m. then works on her shooting alone until 7:30 p.m.
“To see them rewarded, it means a lot because they’ve earned it. These kids are special.”
3 seniors pose with championship trophy
Stacy Utomi, Taylor Wallace, and Stephanie Utomi, pose with the championship trophy.

The Gators didn’t make it look easy on Saturday, missing the first seven shots they attempted in the championship game. Fortunately, Stine’s insistence of strong defensive habits paid off, and they leaned heavily on that throughout the game. The team forced 18 turnovers, frustrating Brandywine’s players on both ends of the court.
“We have very good athletes. Every single one of these girls is tough. They’re committed to playing defense, and they’re committed to doing what we do as a system. Thank goodness we are because we don’t win this game without defense.”
The team took cues from the Utomi sisters and were initially subdued in their celebrations, showing respect to the Brandywine players. They didn’t let loose until Stine was handed the Division 3 championship trophy.
Gators with State Title
The Arbor Prep Gators celebrate their school's third state girls basketball championship.

“I wouldn’t expect anything different out of this group. We don’t necessarily do anything the easy way. We grind it out, but they’re tough. Even on the worst offensive day they could have, they stuck to the Arbor Prep way, they played defense, they rebounded the ball, and they’re state champions.
Congratulations on your state championship, Gators!

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About Arbor Preparatory High School
Arbor Preparatory High School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Ypsilanti, Michigan, serving students in ninth through 12th grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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