Girls quarterfinals preview: Fletcher seeks title encore
Kierra Fletcher came up short on winning Miss Basketball, but she hasn’t fallen short on anything else during her senior year to try to help Warren Cousino repeat as Class A state champions.
Fletcher, a 5-foot-9 guard who will play next year at Georgia Tech, and Cousino (23-2) will play Catholic League champion Farmington Hills Mercy (22-3) in a state quarterfinal Tuesday (7 p.m.) at Southfield A&T, or following the 5:30 p.m. quarterfinal between Southfield A&T (21-4) and Ann Arbor Huron (19-5).
“The season has gone by a lot faster than I expected, and just knowing it’s the last week and I’m able to play and possibly win another state championship is a great feeling,” said Fletcher who is averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals for Cousino which has won 18 straight games.
“I think we just have to push the ball and run them (Mercy) up and down because I don’t think they’ve seen a team as fast as us and we need to use that to our advantage.”
Cousino coach Mike Lee is looking forward to the quarterfinal.
“We know it’s going to be a battle as all eight (quarterfinal) teams are capable of winning this,” Lee said.
“But I like how we are playing and our experience of last year to help us calm nerves and stay focused.”
Sure, Fletcher will play at a high level, but Cousino sophomore perimeter threat Kate McArthur will be the difference. Pick: Cousino by 6
Southfield A&T coach Michele Marshall knows what her team needs to do to advance to the Breslin Center for Friday afternoon’s Class A semifinals.
“In order for us to get to East Lansing we will need to be disruptive on defense, rebound well and play together as a team.”
Southfield A&T is led by senior Deja Church who will play next year at Michigan.
Pick: Southfield A&T by 4.
Macomb Dakota (19-6) vs. Flushing (21-3), 7 p.m. at Davison: Dakota joins Cousino as the second MAC Red team to earn a quarterfinal spot.
This is Dakota’s first quarterfinal appearance and senior guard Emily Langolf is playing at a high level and has had strong support from junior forward Tara Bieniewicz and freshman forward Cameron Grant.
Look for Flushing’s 1-2 punch of Breanna Perry and Lauren Newman to be too much.
Pick: Flushing by 6.
Detroit Country Day (23-1) vs. Detroit Mumford (18-7), 7 at Marysville: Minnesota-bound Destiny Pitts and Country Day want another crack at the state championship after getting eliminated in the state semifinals a year ago following a state championship run in 2015.
Mumford has enjoyed a strong season but Country Day’s size and quickness will be too much in this one.
Pick: Country Day by 8.
Games at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Macomb Dakota vs. Flushing, 6
At Lansing Eastern
East Kentwood vs. Kalamazoo Eastern
Southfield A&T vs. AA Huron, 5:30
Warren Cousino vs. FH Mercy
At Big Rapids
Cadillac vs. Freeland
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep vs. Williamston
Detroit Mumford vs. Detroit Country Day
Marshall vs. GR Catholic Central
Maple City Glen Lake vs. St. Ignace
At Portage Northern
Schoolcraft vs. Pewamo-Westphalia
At Saginaw Heritage
Hemlock vs. Flint Hamady
At Ypsilanti Community
Blissfield vs. Detroit Edison Academy, 6:30
At Battle Creek Harper Creek
Pittsford vs. St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran
Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart vs. Frankfort
At Burton Bendle
Waterford Lakes vs. Saginaw Mich. Lutheran Seminary, 6
Crystal Falls Forest Park vs. Engadine