The DeBraya Edwards effect was in full force on Thursday night as Roseville's girls basketball team beat Clinton Township Clintondale in the first round of the Macomb Area Conference Tournament, 43-21.
The senior wing, who plays a little at every position, led the defensive effort that sparked the 22-point win over Clintondale with 10 steals to cap a triple-double.
In fact, she added 20 points and 12 rebounds and nearly pulled off the rare quadruple-double with six assists. The do-it-all senior leader brought the energy after a slow start, and the rest of the team followed suit.
“We got off to a slow start,” Roseville coach Andy Houghton said. “Then DeBraya got a couple of steals. The team feeds off her energy and it all starts with defense for her.”
Defense has been a point of pride for Roseville, and Edwards in particular, this season as it has allowed just 33 points per game, one of the best marks in the conference. Edwards has had a special year of her own, averaging seven steals.
“We talked about defense at the very beginning of the year,” Houghton said. “Once we get going, it’s fun to watch.”
Roseville avoided a two-game skid after having its 10-game winning streak ended earlier in the week following a string of injuries to four girls.
“It’s been tough,” Houghton said. “We had some injuries but we follow the whole philosophy of ‘next man up.’ They’re prepared. It’s (the backups') time to step up and they have.”
Michonni Ward is one of those key reserves who has stepped up. She got her first start in Monday’s loss, scoring eight points, and had six points, playing good, scrappy defense against Clintondale. Gracie Magee added seven points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
Patience Johnson led Clintondale (4-11) with 13 points.
Team chemistry has been keeping this team afloat during a time of adversity and it’s what Houghton hopes will carry over into Tuesday’s second-round MAC Tournament game.
“This is the closest team I think I’ve had,” Houghton said. “They really preach the family mentality.”
More girls basketball
Auburn Hills Avondale 57, Troy 29: Olivia Russell scored 15 for Avondale (14-2, 8-2 OAA White). Riya Chakravarty scored nine for Troy (9-7, 5-5).
Farmington Hills Mercy 51, Warren Woods Tower 12: Abby Shaw scored 16 for Mercy (13-4).
Grosse Pointe North 55, Utica Ford 29: Julia Ayrault scored 14 and Christina Braker 10 for North (15-2). Olivia Kubik scored 13 for Ford (7-9).
Grosse Pointe South 63, Romeo 50: Alexa Downey scored 21, Samantha Srebernak 16 and Maria Hessburg 10 for South (9-7). Audrey Medaugh scored 19 to lead Romeo (11-5).
Macomb Dakota 41, Sterling Heights Stevenson 29: Ella Burger scored 14 and Taylor Williams had 11 points, 15 rebounds, five steals and five blocks for Dakota (9-8). Brittany Barnett scored 10 for Stevenson (5-12).
Madison Heights Lamphere 42, Madison Heights Madison 20: Nydia Shumate had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Evy Bisbikis scored 12 for Lamphere (8-9) in a first-round MAC tournament game. Ashili Lee scored 11 for Madison (3-13).
New Haven 51, St. Clair Shores South Lake 37: Dara Capaldi scored 17 and Lydia Capaldi had eight points and 10 rebounds for New Haven (14-1, 9-1 MAC Bronze). Tilawanna BeauChamp scored 10 for South Lake.
Romulus 52, Dearborn Heights Robichaud 19: Ciara Hardy had 17 points and six rebounds and Shawnta Standifer had 17 points and six steals for Romulus (13-2. 11-0 WWAC). Robichaud is 1-11, 1-10.
St. Clair Shores Lakeview 50, Marine City 31: Julia Decker and Tricia Sankiewicz each scored 13 for Lakeview (12-4). Marine City is 11-6.
Ann Arbor Pioneer 86, Monroe 47: Kasean Pryor had 33 points and nine rebounds, Drew Lowder had 19 points and six assists and Kobe Moore scored 14 as Pioneer clinched the division title (16-2, 9-0 SEC Red).
Bloomfield Hills Roeper 58, Lutheran Westland 34: Evan Akkashian scored 19 and Joshua Vens 13 for Roeper (11-6, 4-5 MIAC). Andrew Burk led Lutheran Westland with 14 points.
Detroit Communication Media Arts 47, Detroit West Side Academy 42: Jeremiah Henderson scored 11, Cordario Miles 10 and Dontae Massey 10 for CMA (10-8). Omari Vann led West Side (3-13) with 16 points.
Detroit Country Day 76, Detroit University Prep 59: Darrin King scored 19, Demetriess Champion 15, Sam Bassett-Kennedy 13, Ronnie Scott 11 and Julian Scott 10 for Country Day (6-11). University Prep is 8-7.
Hope of Detroit 56, Star International Academy 43: Darrius Whitehead had 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for Hope of Detroit (5-8).
Taylor Trillium 74, Dearborn Henry Ford Academy 66: Ty Fortney scored 28 with 15 rebounds and Jaylin Atchinson scored 24 for Trillium.
Utica Ford 52, Port Huron 51: Matt Skiba scored 16 for Ford (3-15). Ryan Gilbert led Port Huron (1-16) with 12 points.
Warren Mott 81, Grosse Pointe North 75: De’Jon Gantz scored 33 and Darius Willis 12 for Mott (13-4). Troy Herd and Cameron Perrino each scored 22 for North (7-10).
Wayne Memorial 61, Belleville 43: Isaiah Lewis had 19 points and seven assists, Cartier Muse-Suber had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Kenneth Bowie had 13 points, four assists and four steals as Wayne Memorial (14-3, 11-2 KLAA East) clinched the division title. Connor Bush scored 23 for Belleville.
Woodhaven 63, Wyandotte Roosevelt 48: Josh Warren scored 27 as Woodhaven clinched its fourth straight Downriver League title. Keyshawn Devlin led Wyandotte with 28 points.
Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer.