75ºF

Spotlight on prep girls hoops with championship week here

After boys finished season, girls will finish theirs this week

photo

After the prep boys basketball season concluded this past weekend with a historic championship Saturday, the stage now belongs entirely to the girls as they finish up their season this week.

First up is the state quarterfinals at sites around the state on Tuesday. 

Here’s a look at four storylines to follow and a schedule of games. 

Can anyone turn off lights on Detroit Edison?

Probably not.

It would be a stunner if another team was able to knock of Detroit Edison Public School Academy, widely considered the best team in the state regardless of division.

Led by Miss Basketball winner Rickea Jackson, one of the nation’s top prep players who will play in college for Mississippi State, Edison is all but certain to make it three state titles in a row. 

Edison won the last two years in Class C, but is up in Division 2 this season. 

Who’s the team to beat in Division 1?

The largest division should have an exciting finish to the season, with no clear-cut favorite to win it all. 

If a team had to be chosen as the likeliest to win it all, it would be Southfield A & T, a deep and a balanced squad led by senior forward Alexis Johnson, who will play in college at Marshall. 

The Warriors are 22-1 going into a quarterfinal matchup with St. Clair Shores Lakeview. 

But there are other worthy contenders, especially defending state champion Saginaw Heritage, which could be on track for a championship game matchup against Southfield A & T. 

Also look out for Wayne Memorial, which made the semifinals last year and is 23-2 on the season.

With Edison not there, who’ll take advantage in Division 3?

On paper, it looks like the de facto state championship game could be in Thursday’s semifinals, where Ypsilanti Arbor Prep and Pewamo-Westphalia are good bets to meet up in that round. 

Both are certainly thrilled not to have to deal with Detroit Edison.

Arbor Prep has been to three straight state finals, winning the Class C title in 2016, losing in the 2017 Class B final and then losing in last year’s Class C championship to Edison.

Pewamo-Westphalia, which just saw its boys team win a state title this past week, lost to Edison in the 2017 state final and in last year’s semifinals. 

Perennial power back in Division 4

There isn’t a better gold standard for small-school programs than St. Ignace, which has won five state championships since 1999. St. Ignace has fluctuated back and forth between Class C/Division 3 and Class D/Division 4, and this year it is back in Division 4 after advancing to the quarterfinals in Division 3 last year. 
That means trouble for the rest of the Division 4 field this year, although defending champion Adrian Lenawee Christian is a threat to win it again as well. 
Still, unbeaten St. Ignace is the team to beat.

Quarterfinal schedule
(all games Tuesday)
Division 1

Saginaw Heritage vs. Hartland at Grand Blanc
Wayne Memorial vs. Temperance Bedford at West Bloomfield (5 p.m.)
Southfield A & T vs. St. Clair Shores Lakeview at West Bloomfield
Muskegon vs. DeWitt at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix

Division 2
Cadillac vs. Freeland at Mt. Pleasant
Grand Rapids South Christian vs. Hamilton at Hope College
Haslett vs. Chelsea at Fowlerville
Detroit Edison vs. Goodrich at St. Clair Community College

Division 3
Ishpeming Westwood vs. Lake City at Gaylord
Royal Oak Shrine vs. Flint Hamady at Lapeer
Adrian Madison vs. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep at Tecumseh
Pewamo-Westphalia vs. Niles Brandywine at Middleville Thornapple Kellogg

Division 4
Baraga vs. St. Ignace at Escanaba
Clarkston Everest Collegiate vs. Kingston at Burton Bendle
Gaylord St. Mary vs. Fowler at Clare
Fruitport Calvary Christian vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian at Richland Gull Lake


About the Author: