GRAND RAPIDS – It’s officially on to spring now for high school athletes in the state of Michigan, as the final winter sport left to conclude its season, girls basketball, did so with its state championships on Saturday in Grand Rapids.
Here is a recap of the state championship game in all four divisions.
Heritage repeats in Division 1
Saginaw Heritage lost a lot of key players to graduation from last year’s team which won the state title in the largest division, but the Hawks showed that they could reload just fine.
Thanks to a stifling defensive performance, Heritage was in control from start to finish in a 55-40 win over Southfield A & T.
One of the highest-scoring teams in the state all season, Southfield A & T was held below 50 points for just the second time this year.
Michigan State signee Moira Joiner scored 17 points to lead all scorers for Heritage.
Edison dominates Division 2
To the surprise of nobody, Detroit Edison won its third straight state title, this time winning the Division 2 crown with a 77-58 win over Freeland. Edison won titles in Class C before moving up.
Led by Miss Basketball winner Rickea Jackson, Edison was the consensus best team in the state regardless of division.
Jackson, who has signed with Mississippi State, finished her stellar high school career with 28 points.
Pewamo-Westphalia duplicates title of boys
Last week, the Pewamo-Westphalia boys team won its first state championship in school history by winning the Division 3 title. On Saturday, the girls did the same for their program with a 40-33 win over Flint Hamady.
The Pirates grinded out the win despite shooting 35.7 percent from the field and committing 22 turnovers to just nine for Hamady.
But Pewamo-Westphalia forced Hamady into 24.4 percent shooting (10 of 41) and outrebounded Hamady, 32-19.
Division 4 champs repeat as well
St. Ignace entered unbeaten and a gold standard of small-school programs with five state championships since 1999, but Lenawee Christian showed why its program is one of the state’s best for small schools as well.
Despite not hitting a field goal in the fourth quarter, Lenawee Christian made enough free throws and defensive stops to earn a 48-46 victory and its second straight title.
Odds are good Lenawee Christian will make it three in a row next year, given six rotation players return to a program that has gone 52-3 over the last two years.