David Goricki of The Detroit News selects the top girls basketball players in the state.
6-2, Sr., G-F, Grosse Pointe North
Ayrault had the ability to put up big numbers, backed up with her 30-point performance in a 60-48 regional semifinal upset win over No. 3 Birmingham Marian. The Michigan State-bound Ayrault averaged 20 points, nine rebounds, 4.4 steals, four blocks and 3.4 assists.
“One of my favorite things about Julia is that she is a great teammate,” coach Gary Bennett said of the Miss Basketball finalist. “She makes a strong connection with her teammates through her passing. She wants everyone to feel happy, comfortable, welcome and important, and I think the one way she guarantees that this happens is by being inclusive with her passes. By that I mean that she includes everyone in her field of vision, and considers every teammate to be a potential receiver.”
5-10, Jr., G-F, Detroit Edison
Elliott showed her ability to score in multiple ways, including transition, off of putbacks or by making the 3-pointer. She averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, three steals and three assists to help Edison earn its third straight state championship.
“Gabby is a quiet player who feeds off of Rickea (teammate and Miss Basketball award winner Jackson) who challenges her in practice, resulting in her answering it,” coach Monique Brown said. “She just works and lets her play do the talking. She’s a great competitor, has a high motor, is a strong defender and really runs the floor well. She can shoot from the perimeter, get to the basket and was able to bang in the post since she’s gotten stronger.”
Elliott has multiple offers, including Michigan, Michigan State, Marquette and DePaul.
6-3, Sr., G-F, Detroit Edison
Jackson earned the title of Miss Basketball for Michigan while leading Edison to a third straight state championship. She averaged 22.1 points and 8.1 rebounds, including 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting in the 77-58 Division 2 state championship game win over Freeland.
“Rickea’s size and versatility is super special, as is her competitiveness and drive to get better,” coach Monique Brown said. “Her will and desire to win was second to none.”
She will play next season at Mississippi State.
5-9, Sr., G, Saginaw Heritage
Joiner showed her all-around ability when she had a triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in a 58-55 state semifinal win over Wayne Memorial, then following it up with a 17-point, 8-rebound, 8-assist effort, making 4-of-9 3-pointers in a 55-40 Division 1 state title game win over Southfield A&T to repeat as state champions.
Joiner averaged 19.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4 steals
“We’ve been knowing about that for four years with Mo, the versatility and the fact she plays every position on the floor, guards the best player, rebounds and gets assists,” coach Vonnie DeLong said of Joiner’s triple-double ability. “She’s extremely good, has a high basketball IQ and that enables her to do as well as she does.”
Joiner will play next year at Michigan State.
5-6, Sr., G, Muskegon
Winston had a strong senior season for Muskegon, averaging 24.7 points, 3.3 steals and 3.2 assists to help Muskegon reach its first Division 1 state semifinal appearance in program history while being a Miss Basketball finalist. She scored 25 in a state semifinal loss to Southfield A&T, helping her team battle back from a 20-point first half deficit to put itself in position to take the lead in the final minutes.
She will play next year at Michigan State.
Coach of the Year
Brown is busy putting together a dynasty at Edison, coming away with three straight state championships with plenty of quality players returning to compete for yet another title next season. Edison showcased Miss Basketball award-winner Rickea Jackson (Mississippi State) this season, has one of the top players in the 2020 class in Gabrielle Elliott and one of the premier players in the country in the 2021 class in point guard Damiya Hagemann.
“The strength of this year’s team was its competitiveness,” Brown said. “Their will and desire to get better was huge and they wanted to push that competitiveness on the freshmen. Our compete level in practice was high, making them tough and once we got to the games it seemed easy for them.”
Brown's team won the Division 2 state title after winning back-to-back Class C state titles in 2017 and 2018. Among its victories this season were wins against Division 1 state champ Saginaw Heritage and Division 3 state champ Pewamo-Westphalia.
► Molly Davis, 5-7, Sr., G, Midland Dow: 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists (Central Michigan)
► Alexis Johnson, 5-10, Sr., F, Southfield A&T: 19.2 points, 8.4 rebounds (Marshall)
► Cheyenne McEvans, 5-10, Jr., G, Southfield A&T: 17.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.5 steals
► Shine Strickland-Gills, 6-1, Sr., C, Saginaw Heritage: 14 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals (Central Michigan)
► Jeanae Terry, 5-11, Sr., G, Wayne Memorial: 20.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists (Illinois)
► Jilian Brown, 5-10, So., G, East Grant Rapids; Aaliyah Nye, 6-1, Jr., F, East Lansing; Destiny Strother, 5-9, Sr., G, Flint Carman-Ainsworth; Morasha Wiggins, 6-0, So., G, Kalamazoo Central; Del’Janae Williams, 5-8, Sr., G, Detroit King.
► Soleil Barnes, 5-9, Sr., G, Southfield A&T; Alona Blackwell, 5-10, Sr., G, East Kentwood; Samantha Potter, 6-1, Sr., G, Royal Oak; Whitney Sollom, 6-4, Jr., C, Hartland; Arieonna Ware, 6-0, So., G-F, Battle Creek Central.
► Carlee Crabtree, 5-11, Jr., G, Coldwater; Alli Keyser, 5-7, Sr., G, Grand Haven; Kate McArthur, 5-9, Sr., G, Warren Cousino; Lauren Ross, 5-9, Jr., G, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer; Taylor Williams, 6-2, Sr., F, Macomb Dakota.
► Claire Baguley, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central; Kaylee Bakker, Zeeland West; Mauriya Barnes, East Kentwood; Mya Bobo, West Bloomfield; Joslyn Brennan, St. Clair Shores Lakeview; Olivia Brown, East Grand Rapids; Jasmine Clerkley, Okemos; Mackenzie Cook, Warren Cousino; Regan Coxon, Lowell; Kailee Davis, Detroit Renaissance; Lauren DeBeau, Utica Eisenhower; Natalie Dunn, Grand Rapids West Ottawa; Sophie Dziekan, Brighton; DeBraya Edwards, Roseville; Rana Elhusseini, Dearborn Fordson; Hannah Erla, Lapeer; Kailee Ford, Walled Lake Western; Rizaria Franklin, Walled Lake Central; Rebecca Fugate, Holly; Jenna Galecki, Walled Lake Western; Ciara Hardy, Romulus; Maryam Hashim, Bloomfield Hills; Sammiyah Hoskin, Wayne; Chloe Idoni, Fenton; Adele Kemp, Greenville; Sadie Knee, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern; Avery Ledy, Marquette; Logan Lewis, West Bloomfield; Ahlura Lofton, East Lansing; Mallory McCartney, Saginaw Heritage; Annie McIntosh, DeWitt; Aaliyah McQueen, Flint Carman-Ainsworth; Olivia Moore, Birmingham Marian; Jada Moorehead, Jackson; Meg Morehouse, Zeeland East; Sydney Nesbitt, Bay City Western; Shakiya Parker, Northview; Maddie Petersen, DeWitt; Ariah Powell, Detroit Cass Tech; Mackenzie Ramey, Flint Kearsley; Becca Ross, Gaylord; Sadre’a Rougeau, Ypsilanti; Elizabeth Ruprich, Birmingham Groves; Olivia Russell, Auburn Hills Avondale; Athena Samson, Troy; Ellie Sieler, Monroe; Alecsis Smith, Bay City Central; Jayla Smith, Detroit East English; Ella Stemmer, Saline; Maizie Taylor, Midland Dow; Makenzie Todd, Grand Ledge; Asaria Turman, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Ally Vantimmeren, Jenison; Brazyll Watkins, Battle Creek Lakeview; Adoreya Williams, Detroit Mumford.
► Daisy Ansel, 5-10, Sr., G, Comstock: 30.4 points, 7.9 rebounds (Grand Valley State)
► Damiya Hagemann, 5-7, So., G, Detroit Edison: 14 points, 8.1 assists, 4.1 steals
► Jasmine Powell, 5-7, Sr., G, Detroit Country Day: 18.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8 assists (Minnesota)
► Sydney Shafer, 5-9, Sr., G, Jackson Northwest: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists (Western Michigan)
► Sophia Wiard, 5-9, Sr., G, Muskegon Oakridge: 25.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists (Toledo)
► Kadyn Blanchard, 5-8, Jr., G, Freeland; A.J. Ediger, 6-2, So., C, Hamilton; Kenzie Lewis, 5-11, Jr, G, Williamston; Sarah Miller, 5-8, Jr., G, Birch Run; Maddie Voelker, Goodrich.
► Alyssa Argyle, 5-9, Sr., F, Freeland; Ella McKinney, 5-10, Sr., G, Haslett; Maddie Novak, 5-10, Sr., G-F, Detroit Country Day; Lamariyee Williams, 5-9, Jr., G, River Rouge; Kaitlyn Zarycki, 5-8, Sr., G, Edwardsburg.
► Mya Hiram, 6-0, So., F, Onsted; Abbie McDowell, 5-8, Sr., G, Tecumseh; Hadley Miller, 5-10, Jr., G, Three Rivers; Hannah Putnam, 5-10, Sr., F, Stanton Central Montcalm; Emily Swiercz, 5-6, Sr., G, Carleton Airport.
► Maddie Alexander, Battle Creek Harper Creek; Jakarri Alven, Grand Rapids Catholic Central; Molly Anderson, Cadillac; Delaney Armock, Sparta; Jeanette Bennett, Detroit Osborn; Mckenna Bent, Comstock Park; Maddie Birchmeier, Corunna; Ashley Bower, Portland; Brittany Bowman, Kingsley; Abby Bretzke, Benzie Central; Sydney Cleary, Grand Rapids South Christian; Mariah Dunkin, Corunna; Adrian Folks, Detroit Country Day; Abby Fullerton, Chelsea; Ryan Harvey, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern; Kennedy Helderop, Hopkins; Dayania Johnson, Detroit Collegiate Prep-Northwestern; Ellie Klein, Essexville-Garber; Kelynn Kujat, Frankenmuth; Alicia Lake, Battle Creek Pennfield; Libby Ledford, Stanton Central Montcalm; Alyssa Leister, Alma; Hailey Leister, Alma; Emaia O’Brien, Harper Woods Chandler Park; Carly McCrum, Bay City John Glenn; Kiara McGowan, Detroit Cody; Mattison Rayman, Otsego; Tori Roskamp, Holland Christian; Carly Scheblo, Charlotte; Bria Schrotenboer, Hamilton; Elie Smith, Fowlerville; Eshawnda Smith, Detroit Denby; Sarah Stuart, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Arianna Sysum, Eaton Rapids; Abi Tarrant, Bay City John Glenn; Cara VanKempen, Coopersville; Taylor Walton, Harper Woods Chandler Park; Alyssa Welsh, Perry.
► Ellie Droste, 5-8, Jr., G, Pewamo-Westphalia: 14 points, 2.7 assists
► Mya Petticord, 5-8, Fr., G, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep: 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3 steals
► Hannah Spitzley, 6-0, Jr., G-F, Pewamo-Westphalia: 14 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals
► Elise Stuck, 6-1, Jr., G-F, Charlevoix: 21 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2 blocks
► Xeryia Tartt, 5-9, Jr., G-F, Flint Hamady: 15.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists
► Rylie Bisballe, 6-2, Jr., F-C, Lake City; Kenzie Bowers, 5-9, So., G, Kent City; Sarah Marvin, 6-0, So., G, Byron; Alana Nelson, 5-10, Jr., F, Springport; Mahri Petree, 5-10, Sr., F, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.
► Hannah Brown, 5-9, Sr., G, White Cloud; Madelyn Koski, 5-6, Jr., G, Ishpeming-Westwood; Joanna Larsen, 6-2, Jr., C, Centreville; Kendal Muxlow, 5-8, Sr., G-F, Brown City; Lexi Parsons, 6-0, Sr., C, Delton Kellogg.
► Abrie Cabana, 5-10, So., G, Grass Lake; Alexys Carlstron, 5-9, Jr., G, Harrison; Tessa Leece, 5-9, Jr., F, Ishpeming-Westwood; Laura Teunion-Smith, 5-10, Sr., F, Adrian Madison; Amaka Unobagha, 6-0, Jr., C, Saginaw Arts & Science;
► Zakiyyah Abdullah, Niles Brandywine; Rachel Allen, Mason County Central; Makayla Ardis, Lake City; Baylee Baldwin, Ottawa Lake Whiteford; Emma Belles, Ithaca; Macy Bisballe, Houghton Lake; Grace Bradford, Maple City Glen Lake; Abby Brown, Manton; Caitlyn Bruff, New Lothrop; Mikenzie Chambers, Hartford; Avery Collins, Manchester; Katelyn Etherton, Oscoda; Lindsey Ferrington, Burton Bendle; Taylor Findlay, Reese; Taylor Folkema, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian; Eden Goliher, West Iron County; Gabby Gough, Sandusky; Maylee Hatt, Byron; Tait Hosford, Bath; Jayd Hovey, Hart; Coryne Howard, Fennville; Rachel Huhn, Pewamo-Westphalia; Kashyra Jackson, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep; Mackenzie Karki, Negaunee; Lauren Langley, Oscorda; Kiera Lasky, Bronson; Alex Maher, Springport; Kara Mahoney, Laingsburg; Melanie Moore, Madison Heights Bishop Foley; Grace Murray, Royal Oak Shrine; Aryana Naylor, Flint Hamady; Emily Nelson, West Iron County; Juliana Paoletti, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central; Gabi Saxman, Schoolcraft; Katy Snyder, Hemlock; Madi Thompson, Reese; Sydney Townsend, Johannesburg-Lewiston; Shealyn Tripp, Michigan Center; Baylie VanDyke, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian; Jayden Weber, East Jordan; Jessica Weber, Harbor Beech; Zara Weber, Kent City; Brooke Wenzlick, New Lothrop; Jaden Wilder, Manton; Treshondra Williams, Flint Hamady.
► Emily Coveyou, 6-0, Sr., F, St. Ignace: 23.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 steals
► Taylor Fleming, 5-11, Sr., F, Rogers City: 19.8 points, 18.7 rebounds, 3.9 steals, 3.8 blocks (Lake Superior State, volleyball)
► Kelsey Richards, 6-0, Jr., G-F, Fruitport Calvary Christian: 20.2 points, 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists
► Breanne Salenbien, 6-2, So., G-F: Adrian Lenawee Christian: 23.6 points, 9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, 3.6 steals
► Danielle Salenbien, 5-9, Jr., G, Adrian Lenawee Christian: 13.6 points, 4 assists, 3.2 steals
► Katelyn Allen, 6-0, Sr., C, Clarkston Everest Collegiate; Rachel Bause, 6-0, Sr., C, Novi Christian Academy; Gabby Costello, 5-7, Sr., G, Bellevue; Daelyn Merillat, 5-7, Sr., G, Morenci; Scout Nelson, 5-8, Sr., G, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart.
► Jaden Berthume, 5-7, Sr., G, Coleman; Meghan Blaine, 5-10, Sr., F, Saginaw MLS; Taylor Long, 5-10, Sr., F, Waldron; Olivia Lowe, 5-9, Sr., F, Leland; Claycee West, 5-9, Jr., G, White Pigeon;
► Danielle Hopkins, 5-3, Sr., G, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian; Hallie Marshall, 5-5, So., G, St. Ignace; Cierra Molina, 5-4, Sr., G, Rudyard; Brooklyn Robak, 5-6, So., G, Waterford Lakes; Carley Smith, 5-10, Sr., F, Kingston.
► Izzy Andrews, Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner; Makenna Banbury, Hillsdale Academy; Ava Boike, Genesee Christian; Katelyn Bontrager, Lansing Christian; Payton Godbold, Grand Rapids West Michigan Lutheran; Emmalee Hart, St. Ignace; Kameryn Hartman, Mackinaw City; Jaiden Hurst, Athens; Olivia Jeffers, 5-9, Sr., G, Gaylord St. Mary’s Brionna Johnson, Fruitport Calvary Christian; Emily Judd, Bay City All Saints; Micaela Lewis, Saginaw Nouvel; Lily Lyons, Kingston; Camryn MacGuire, Kingston; Libby Miller, Adrian Lenawee Christian; Olivia Rasch, Hale; Mia Riley, Fowler; Jenna Smith, Morrice; Sarah Veale, Fowler.