Detroit News top girls basketball players: Rickea Jackson is No. 1

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Rickea Jackson

Rickea Jackson has developed into one of the top players in the nation during the last couple of years, helping Detroit Edison to consecutive Class C state championships in the process.

After averaging 17.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks her sophomore season to lead Edison to its first state title, the 6-foot-3 Jackson followed that up by averaging 22.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and two blocks as Edison repeated, and Jackson earned a spot on The Detroit News Dream Team.

Now, Jackson is The News’ No. 1 player in the state. She starts the season knowing her future is secure after signing with national runnerup Mississippi State last month.

Julia Ayrault

2. Julia Ayrault, 6-1, Sr., G-F, Grosse Pointe North

Ayrault will join Jackson as a Miss Basketball candidate after averaging 19.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 4.5 steals to help her team reach the Class A state semifinals at Calvin College. She scored 27 in a 47-44 state quarterfinal win over Detroit King, making 9-of-12 shots from the field while grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking six shots. Ayrault will play next year at Michigan State.

3. Moira Joiner, 5-9, Sr., G, Saginaw Heritage

Joiner is one of the premier defenders in the state. She can also get things done at the offensive end while running the show as point guard. She averaged 15 points and eight rebounds last season to help her team win the Class A state championship. Joiner, who will play at Michigan State, showed why she is considered a Miss Basketball candidate this past Saturday by making a 12-footer in the final minute in a 45-43 win over Southfield A&T in the Arbor Prep Ice Breaker Classic.

4. Alyza Winston, 5-7, Sr., G, Muskegon

Winston has the all-around game, showing the ability to handle the ball while scoring in transition, off the dribble or by making the perimeter shot. She averaged 23 points last season to help Muskegon to a 22-2 record. She will join Ayrault and Joiner next year at Michigan State.

5. Destiny Strother, 5-9, Sr., G, Flint Carman-Ainsworth

Strother is one of the top perimeter shooters in the state, also capable of taking the ball to the basket. She averaged 17.9 points last season while helping her team reach the Class A regional finals. She will play next year at Marquette.

6. Jeanae Terry, 5-11, Sr., PG, Wayne

Terry teamed up with Camree Clegg last season to give Wayne one of the top backcourts in the state. Now, Terry is the team leader and expected to take her game to another level after averaging 17.1 points, seven rebounds and 5.8 assists last season. She will play next year at Illinois.

7. Gabrielle Elliott, 5-10, Jr. G-F, Detroit Edison

Elliott was at her best during the third quarter of last year's state championship game win over Ypsilanti Arbor Prep when she scored 10 points to open an 18-point cushion to help Edison repeat as state champion. She averaged 16.5 points and four rebounds. She is a four-star small forward with multiple Division I offers.

8. Laya Hartman, 5-10, Sr., G, Okemos

Hartman was on the radar as a freshman and has continued to improve during the last two years. She averaged 16 points and seven rebounds last season and will play her college ball at Northwestern.

9. Jasmine Powell, 5-6, Sr, G, Detroit Country Day

Powell helped Country Day repeat as Class B state champions last season. She averaged 11 points and seven assists and will now be asked to be the team leader with the departure of Kaela Webb to Providence. Powell will join her former Country Day teammate Destiny Pitts at Minnesota next year.

Damaiya Hagemann

10. Damiya Hagemann, 5-7, So., PG, Detroit Edison

Hagemann was a freshman phenom last season, averaging 8.5 points and 11.5 assists to help Edison repeat as Class C state champion. She runs the offense and makes sure she gets the ball to Rickea Jackson and Gabrielle Elliott while looking for opportunities to score herself. She already has offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.

11. Mya Petticord, 5-9, Fr., PG, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep

It's hard to imagine any player making a better entrance to her high school career than Petticord, who scored 33 in her debut, a 60-52 win over Clarkston, followed up by a school-record 34 points Saturday in a 59-55 win over Maple City Glen Lake in front of the home fans in the Arbor Prep Ice Breaker Classic. She already has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Marquette.

12. Whitney Sollom, 6-4, Jr., F, Hartland

Sollom has post player size with guard skills, showing the ability to handle the ball while making the perimeter shot. She averaged 11 points and 9.4 rebounds while leading her team to the state quarterfinals. She had knee surgery in April and is expected to be on the court later this month. She has multiple Division I offers, including Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Bree Salenbien

13. Bree Salenbien, 6-2, So., G-F, Adrian Lenawee Christian

Salenbien had an outstanding freshman season, averaging 21.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.5 steals and three blocks to lead her team to the Class D state championship. She had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the state title game win and has the ability to score inside, from the perimeter or by going coast-to-coast for a layup. She already owns an offer from Indiana.

14. Sydney Shaffer, 5-10, Sr., G, Jackson Northwest

Shafer earned a spot on The Detroit News Class B all-state first-team after averaging 17 points, 6.5 rebounds and four assists to help her team reach the Class B state title game loss to Detroit Country Day. She had 21 points, 13 rebounds and six steals in a state semifinal win over Michigan Center.

15. Makailah Griggs-Zeigler, 6-0, Jr., Wayne

Griggs-Zeigler is a physical player with good skills. She averaged 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds last season to help Wayne reach the Class A Final Four. She is a Michigan commit.

16. Shine Strickland-Gills, 6-0, Sr. F, Saginaw Heritage

Strickland-Gills is the inside force for Heritage, averaging 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds last season to help her team win the Class A state championship. She will play next year at Central Michigan.

17. Kate McArthur, 5-8, Sr., G, Warren Cousino

McArthur is a pure shooter with deep range. She averaged 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and four assists last season and will play next year at Clemson.

Mahri Petree

18. Mahri Petree, 5-11, Sr., G, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep

Petree averaged 11 points and six rebounds last season to help her team reach the state championship game for the third straight year. She will join her sister Lasha Petree – who was a Miss Basketball finalist last season – at Bradley next year.

19. Kenzie Lewis, 5-10, Jr. G, Williamston

Lewis is an outstanding point guard and a strong defender, causing problems for opposing guards. She averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 assists last season and is a Bowling Green commit.

20. Jasmine Clerkey, 5-11, Jr., F, Okemos

Clerkey was a double-double threat every time she stepped on the court. She averaged 14.5 points and 10 rebounds last season, committing to Michigan State in January before deciding to reopen her recruitment.