Edison plays beyond its years in victory over Renaissance

Kameron Goodwill
Special to The Detroit News

Detroit Edison’s young team was able to keep its composure before a loud road crowd, using a strong defensive start to take down Detroit Renaissance 68-59 Saturday afternoon.

Damiya Hagemann led all scorers with 23 points for Edison, and her teammate Ruby Whitehorn had 20 for an Edison team that is currently playing a lot of freshmen, but is still playing good basketball.

 “We’re really young, I can’t really compare the talent, but I feel like our freshmen are really getting along in the group with what we got going on,” Hagemann said. “I feel like it could be a possibility.”

Detroit Edison High School's Damiya Hagemann (0) drives past Detroit Renaissance High School's Christian Sanders (21) in the second quarter.

Edison is a team that embraces having a great defense, and it established that in the first quarter, holding Renaissance without a point for almost six minutes, and leading 19-10 after the first quarter.

Detroit Edison head coach Monique Brown said it was one of the best starts her team had against such a good school like Renaissance.

Get full access to all of our content, including in-depth pieces on the sports, news and business you care about most. Click here to sign up today.

“Our coach all practice told us that the way we start is the way we have to finish, so I feel like if we started off really strong, really fast, with pressure defense, then I feel like we have the game in the bag,” Hagemann said.

Renaissance then started playing trap defense on in-bounds plays, forcing turnovers and taking a 32-24 lead with less than two minutes left in the second quarter.

Edison was able to extend the lead at halftime to 37-26, with Renaissance’s Kailee Davis scoring 13 in the half and eight in the second quarter, getting to the rim and making tough layups over an Edison defense that had kept everyone else for Renassance at bay.

Edison started strong in the third, creating a 15-point lead before a heated exchange between Hagemann and Audrianna Hill happened after Hagemann was fouled driving to the basket, resulting in Hagemann getting a technical foul for retaliating.

Things only got more intense with 1:51 left in the third, as a Renaissance fan was ejected for being a little too loud after Edison was called for an over-and-back violation.

Renaissance tried to use the moment, along with the home crowd, to get itself back in the game. Hill hit a 3-pointer, and Mikyah Finley had seven points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer.

However, Edison had an answer to that run in Madisen Wardell, who scored seven of her 15 in the third, with Hagemann adding six to make the score 56-45 Edison at the end of the third quarter.

Hagemann said Brown kept her level-headed during the game.

“Our coach told me to not focus on the refs, don’t take anything personal, and just keep it poised and let’s just play our game. I feel like that’s why we won this game,” Hagemann said.

Whitehorn again took over the scoring for Edison, with seven points in the fourth quarter, including six straight by attacking Renaissance’s defense inside and making layups.

“Today was the first day I said ‘Could you take over?’ and she probably scored about 12 points right after that and about six or seven rebounds. … just for her to respond like that, it was like she was waiting the ‘OK’, and she got it,” Brown said.

Brown also said the team did well to handle Renaissance’s Davis, who went 2-for-8 from 3-point territory and had trouble scoring after the first half.

“We knew Kailee Davis, I think my young ladies did a pretty good job after she got going and kinda slowed her down a little bit by just making it hard for her to catch the basketball. And they bought into that and that worked really well for us,” Brown said.

Renaissance, including Davis, couldn’t take advantage of second-chance opportunities or consistently make free throws, nor could it make any stops against Edison’s offense.

Davis made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to single digits with less than a minute remaining, but Edison made its free throws to ice the game.

Edison hasn’t lost a game since 2018, and even with a younger roster than previous years, Brown is confident it can keep winning.

“I’m definitely confident, as we go and they keep learning more and experience more, by the time we get to postseason we’ll be really good,” Brown said.

Kameron Goodwill is a freelance writer.