Division 2 girls hoops final: Edison makes it three titles in a row
Grand Rapids — Rickea Jackson had the week players dream of to close out their high school career.
Jackson, a 6-foot-3 forward, was named Miss Basketball on Monday, then went on to lead Detroit Edison to a 77-58 victory over Freeland in the Division 2 championship game Saturday night at Van Noord Arena.
Edison — 27-1 and ranked No. 1 in The News Super 20 poll and No. 5 nationally by USA Today — became the first team in Class A, B or C to win three straight state championships since Detroit Country Day from 2002-04.
Edison won Class C championships in 2017 and ’18, then moved up to Division 2 this season.
Jackson finished with a game-high 28 points and five rebounds, making 11-of-16 shots from the field for Edison, which shot 53.7 percent from the field, made 7-of-19 3-pointers and held a 33-24 rebounding advantage. Junior guard Gabby Elliott had 15 points and six rebounds and sophomore point guard Damiya Hagemann 13 points and nine assists.
“This is definitely the way I wanted to end it and I’m definitely going to miss playing in high school and college is next,” said Jackson, who will play for Mississippi State.
Jackson was the catalyst when she scored seven straight points to open a 22-7 lead, scoring five in one second, first taking an alley-oop pass from Hagemann and flipping it in the basket, then getting a steal for a three-point play (basket and free throw). She ended her run with a mid-range jumper.
“That was a lot of fun,” Jackson said. “My teammates trusted me and I got the job done.”
Edison led 15-7 after one quarter and 37-24 at halftime with Jackson accounting for 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Edison went on a 17-6 run to open the second half for a 54-30 lead in the first four minutes of the third quarter, and it was Jackson who was diving for a loose ball seconds into the quarter, leading to an Elliott layup, followed by a Jackson jumper, a 3-pointer by Hagemann, a transition basket by Rubey Whitehorn and a 3-pointer by Jackson for a 48-28 cushion.
Yes, Edison proved it could score in bunches and Hagemann showed off her perimeter game by making three 3-pointers in the third.
“This is unbelievable,” Hagemann said. “Honestly, we’ve been working our butts off to get here and we finally did it. We came out strong and we kept pushing the ball because we knew where we wanted to end up.”
Freeland (24-3) cut the deficit to 14 in the fourth before Jackson’s short jumper opened a 65-49 lead with 4:47 remaining.
Alyssa Argyle scored 18, making 4-of-11 3-pointers for Freeland, which shot 34.7 percent from the field and 8-of-27 3-pointers. Kadyn Blanchard scored 16 and Autumn Kloha had 11 points and five assists.