Detroit Edison, Southfield A&T girls are favorites heading into state quarterfinals
This could be a big week for Detroit Edison in girls basketball.
Edison standout 6-foot-3 senior Rickea Jackson won the Miss Basketball award for Michigan on Monday.
And, Edison — 24-1 and ranked No. 1 in The Detroit News Super 20 and No. 5 nationally by USA Today — is the team to beat in Division 2, playing Goodrich (14-1) in a state quarterfinal Tuesday at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron for a chance to win the state title this weekend at Calvin College in Grand Rapids.
Edison won the Class C state championship the previous two years and decided to move up to Division 2 this season.
The state quarterfinals will be held Tuesday in all four divisions. The state semifinals are Thursday (Divisions 3 and 4) and Friday (Divisions 1 and 2) at Calvin College, with the title games slated for Saturday.
While Edison is the team to beat in Division 2, Southfield A&T is expected to reach Calvin College in Division 1, and possibly play defending Class A state champion Saginaw Heritage in the title game.
A&T (22-1) will play St. Clair Shores Lakeview (19-5) at West Bloomfield at 7, or following the other quarterfinal between Wayne Memoria (23-2) and Temperance Bedford (20-5). Heritage (22-2) faces Hartland (22-3) at Grand Blanc, and Muskegon (20-4) faces DeWitt (23-2) at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix.
A&T has a strong nucleus in 5-10 junior point guard Cheyenne McEvans, 5-10 senior forward Alexis Johnson (Marshall) and 5-9 senior guard Soleil Barnes (Toledo), along with 5-4 sophomore guard Kayiona Willis and 6-3 junior post player Jasmine Worthy, who showed her shot-blocking ability Wednesday in a 67-36 regional final win over Miss Basketball finalist Julia Ayrault and Grosse Pointe North.
A&T has won 21 straight since a 45-43 loss to Heritage in its second game of the season.
Hartland coach Don Palmer knows his team will be in the underdog role against Heritage, but is thrilled to have 6-4 junior Whitney Sollom healthy and playing well for the showdown.
“They are well coached and have three kids going to college on basketball scholarships: Moira Joiner to MSU, Shine Strickland-Gills to CMU and Mallory McCartney to Ferris," Palmer said. "Quite simply, we have to be at our best and hope they play average. We are very excited about this opportunity, and think we have a shot.”
While Pewamo-Westphalia is the team to beat in Division 3 with Edison moved to Division 2, you can never count out Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.
Arbor Prep (18-6) will face Adrian Madison (23-1) at Tecumseh.
“We are playing pretty good right now,” Arbor Prep coach Scott Stine said. “Our team defense the last month has been pretty good. Everyone is locked in, and we’re pretty happy with the effort. Mahri Petree (Bradley) has been playing great, and Mya (freshman guard Petticord) had two very good regional games.
“Adrian Madison is a hard-nosed team. They like to press and play man-to-man. We feel confident going into Tuesday. We just have to play 32 minutes with great effort on defense and take care of the ball on offense. If we do that we are tough to beat.”