East Lansing — Ypsilanti Arbor Prep was the lone defending state champion that played Friday at Breslin Center to win and keep its dreams alive for a second straight championship.
Arbor Prep (27-0), which won the Class C state title last year, defeated previously unbeaten Freeland 54-46 in a Class B semifinal to earn a title bout date with Detroit Country Day Saturday at 6.
Earlier in the day, Flushing defeated defending Class A champion Warren Cousino 52-36 and Country Day defeated defending Class B champion Marshall, 46-42.
Arbor Prep set the tempo early, forcing six turnovers with its pressure defense in the first 5 1/2 minutes and having 5-foot-10 senior Cydney Williams block a pair of shots to take a 15-7 lead.
Arbor Prep (27-0), which led 30-26 at halftime, used its transition game to open a 42-31 cushion, including baskets off of steals by Ro’zhane Wells and Lauryn Carroll.
The turnovers continued for Freeland during the fourth quarter and Arbor Prep kept turning them into transition baskets, including a layup by Wells for a 48-35 lead with 6 minutes remaining.
Freeland made things interesting with three 3-pointers, the last two by Jessica Piper to cut the deficit to 49-46 with four minutes left, but Piper passed up a 3-pointer and took the ball to the basket with 1:03 left and charged into Kayla Knight for an offensive foul.
Arbor Prep then closed out the game with Carroll making both ends of a 1-and-1 for a 51-46 lead with 47.9 seconds left, followed by another free throw by Adrienne Anderson and two more by Mahri Petree.
Wells scored 14 for Arbor Prep, which also received 10 points each from Anderson and Williams.
Piper scored 18 for Freeland.