Edison Advances to 1st Hoops Final

March 16, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – When Monique Brown heard voices as she walked past her players’ hotel rooms late Wednesday night, she was a little concerned.

Maybe she’d made a mistake bringing her young team to East Lansing the night before the biggest game in school history.

But as they have other times before, Detroit Edison Public School Academy’s players proved their coach wrong, coming out Thursday afternoon anything but sluggish in earning an even more memorable opportunity.

DEPSA – with nine freshman, a sophomore and two juniors on its roster – looked neither tired nor inexperienced in handing annual Breslin visitor Flint Hamady a 54-31 defeat in the day’s first Class C Semifinal.

“We got there late, and we couldn’t sleep. We were just talking about what we can do,” Pioneers sophomore guard Rickea Jackson said. “They came knocking on our doors … they took our phones. We couldn’t do anything but talk.”

DEPSA (20-5) will face Pewamo-Westphalia in Saturday’s Class C Final at 4 p.m. It will be the Pioneers' first appearance in an MHSAA girls basketball championship game.

As much as they had to discuss after midnight the evening before, Jackson and her teammates made a loud statement with their play to tip off this Finals weekend.

They held Hamady to 8.3-percent shooting from the floor during the first half in building a 28-8 lead. The Hawks did recover to shoot an improved 36 percent during the second half, but DEPSA made 49 percent of its shots for the game – and freshman Gabrielle Elliott had nine field goals, only one fewer than Hamady as a team.

Elliott finished with 24 points and Jackson had 16 and eight rebounds as they combined to drop 16 of 26 shots from the floor – not bad for a couple of underclassmen on the biggest stage for the first time. 

“We’ve never done that to a team like Flint Hamady, and I really commend my young group,” Brown said. “They’ve been preparing for this, we’ve talked about it, and as we’ve went through the season … I told them it was all in preparation for today. I always told them I don’t want to hear people say we’re talented; I want to hear them say how hard we play.”

Brown, also the school’s athletic director, had to know what she had coming this winter and scheduled appropriately. DEPSA opened 9-0, with a one-point win over Southfield Arts & Technology, a Class A semifinalist this weekend.

But the No. 5-ranked Pioneers then ran into a tough spot, losing three of its next five to Class A power Detroit Martin Luther King and Class B contenders Detroit Country Day and Ypsilanti Arbor Prep. Sandwiched among those defeats, however, was a 43-39 win over Hamady, which made its third Semifinal appearance of this decade Thursday and finished Class C runner-up in 2015. 

That first Hawks loss to DEPSA on Jan. 31 was Hamady’s third straight after losing senior guard Krystal Rice for the season to a knee injury. Without Rice – who will continue her career at Indiana State University – the Hawks still managed to navigate a tournament run that included handing top-ranked Sandusky a 38-36 loss in the Regional Final.

“We didn’t give up on the season,” Hamady coach Keith Smith said. “We spent a lot of time watching film, spent a lot of time drilling on fundamentals, trying to tweak the little things we were not doing well and trying to be concerned on the details. (But) it caught up with us today to not have her, that extra senior who had played in a state final.”

Senior guard Deajah Cofield and freshman center Aryana Naylor both scored 10 points to lead Hamady, Cofield also totaling five steals and Naylor grabbing 10 rebounds.

With Rice out, Cofield was the only senior starter for Hamady, which finished the regular season unranked but ended up with a final record of 19-6.

Smith said he hadn't seen a team as talented as DEPSA with that many young players since his 2009 Class C championship team. 

The Pioneers didn’t play like mostly underclassmen Thursday, just a team with a little bit of a chip on their collective shoulders and the talent to dominate the next two to three seasons as well.

“(People) said we’d lose to Sandusky, and they didn’t make it to us, and they said we’d lose to Blissfield by two,” Jackson said, noting the 16-point Quarterfinal win over the No. 10 Royals. “We’re just tired of people doubting us. We’re so young, we don’t have any seniors, and we just want to prove everyone wrong.”

Click for the full box score

The Girls Basketball Finals are presented by Sparrow Health System. 

PHOTOS: (Top) DEPSA's Gabrielle Elliott pushes the ball upcourt during her team's Class C Semifinal win. (Middle) Rickea Jackson works to get a hand on a shot by Flint Hamady's Danielle Tipton.

St. George's Senior Season Filled with Historic Trip, Sizzling 3-Point Shooting

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 21, 2024

Delaney St. George helped Kingston reach its first MHSAA Girls Basketball Final this winter – and along the way finished her high school career among the most prolific 3-point shooters in state history.

The four-year varsity senior made 87 3-pointers this season for the Division 4 runner-up Cardinals, good to tie for 10th on the single-season list after she made 93 as a junior to rank fourth all-time.

She finished her Kingston career with 290 3-pointers in 793 attempts over 94 games – good for second on the career 3-pointers list.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click on the heading to see the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Hemlock’s 18-6 run this season was fueled in part by more successful 3-point shooting. The Huskies made single-season lists with 170 3-pointers and 552 attempts, and also for making 14 3-pointers Jan. 5 against St. Louis.

Senior Mia McLaughlin made nine of 15 3-point shots for Frankenmuth in a Feb. 6 win over Birch Run as the Eagles made the team record book list with 15 3-pointers total. They also were added for 14 3-pointers in a Feb. 20 win over Bay City John Glenn. McLaughlin will continue her career at Ferris State.

McBain sophomore Peyton Grant scored all 27 of her points Jan. 17 against Houghton Lake on nine 3-pointers to make the single-game list in that category.

Seniors Autumn Tremblay and Ceara LeBlanc earned Brimley’s first girls basketball record book listings this season. Both made single-game lists in a Feb. 27 win over Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian – Tremblay scored 21 points during the first quarter and LeBlanc had 16 steals for the game – and LeBlanc also was added for 141 steals total over 25 games this past winter.

Reed City’s run at the Central State Activities Association title this winter was fueled in part by 3-point shooting. The Coyotes finished one game out of first, but made the records with 517 3-point attempts over 24 games – and just missed the made 3-pointers list connecting on 143.

Howell sophomore Gabrielle Piepho added her third record book listing over her first two seasons this winter making 89.2 percent of her free throw attempts to rank eighth on that single-season list. Howell as a team also made the 3-point attempts list with 536 over 25 games, and also just missed the 3-pointers made list with 146.

Saline finished the 2023-24 season among the all-time leading 3-point shooters again, this time with 192 – 14th-most for one season – in 587 attempts over 24 games. Sophomore Keira Roehm led the way with 78 3-pointers, tying for 21st on that list.

Junior Tamerah Peterson led Sterling Heights Parkway Christian to a District title this season, providing a record-setting defensive boost in addition to her offensive skills. She finished with 173 steals – eighth-most for one season – over 21 games.

Niles Brandywine reached Breslin Center this season with another stellar distance shooting display, making the record book with both 186 3-pointers and 610 attempts from beyond the arc in finishing Division 3 runner-up.

Alie Bisballe capped her career at Lake City this winter by helping her team reach the Division 3 Semifinal at Breslin Center – and by reaching the MHSAA girls basketball record book in two categories. The 6-foot-4 post player made the lists with 329 rebounds and 188 blocked shots, both in 28 games as Lake City finished 25-3. She will continue her career at Wisconsin.

Ironwood junior Hanna Vaughn will enter her final season next winter already on the career 3-pointers list. She’s made 155 3-pointers over her first three seasons and 70 games on varsity.

PHOTO Kingston’s Delaney St. George (10) pulls up for a shot during the Division 4 Final against Ishpeming.