By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
From the opening tip this season, Detroit Edison has been considered arguably the top high school girls basketball team in Michigan – and potentially on its way to being remembered as one of the best in this state all-time.
But this weekend’s three other semifinalists will do everything in their power to end the Pioneers’ two-season championship run – in hopes of carving out their place in history instead.
Haslett has beaten three ranked opponents since the start of the playoffs. Freeland annually is considered one of the best in formerly Class B, now Division 2. And unbeaten Hamilton has put together one of the state’s most impressive two-year runs on the way to the Semifinals for the first time.
Division 2 Semifinals – Friday
Freeland (23-2) vs. Hamilton (25-0), 5:30 p.m.
Haslett (19-6) vs. Detroit Edison (25-1), 7:30 p.m.
Division 2 Final – Saturday, 6:15 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 per pair of Semifinals and $10 per two-game Finals session (Divisions 3 and 2). All Semifinals will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv and viewable on a pay-per-view basis. All four Finals will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit and streamed live on FoxSportsDetroit.com and the FOX Sports app. Free radio broadcasts of all weekend games will be available on MHSAANetwork.com.
Below is a glance at all four semifinalists. Click on the name of the school to see that team’s full schedule and results from this season. (Statistics are through teams' Regional Finals.)
Record/rank: 25-1, No. 1
League finish: Does not play in a league.
Coach: Monique Brown, eighth season (125-37)
Championship history: Class C champion 2018 & 2017.
Best wins: 79-49 over No. 9 Harper Woods Chandler Park in District Semifinal, 64-51 and 74-62 over Division 1 No. 6 Wayne Memorial, 57-51 over Division 1 No. 2 Bloomfield Hills Marian, 41-37 over Division 1 No. 3 Saginaw Heritage, 64-52 over Division 1 No. 10 Muskegon, 54-39 over Division 3 No. 1 Pewamo-Westphalia.
Players to watch: Rickea Jackson, 6-3 sr. G (22.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.1 bpg); Gabrielle Elliott, 5-10 jr. G (17.4 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.8 spg).
Outlook: Edison opted up a division this winter after winning Class C the last two seasons and has beaten most of the best in Division 1 as well – the team’s only loss was to Ohio power Columbus Africentric. Jackson, who will play next at Mississippi State, was named Miss Basketball earlier this week, and Elliott and sophomore Damiya Hagemann (14 ppg, 8.1 apg, 4.1 spg) could very well be candidates for the award the next two seasons, respectively.
Record/rank: 23-2, No. 7
League finish: First in Tri-Valley Conference Central
Coach: Tom Zolinski, 12th season (243-49)
Championship history: Class C champion 1998.
Best wins: 59-51 over No. 3 Stanton Central Montcalm in Regional Final, 60-46 over honorable mention Corunna in Regional Semifinal, 58-38 over Goodrich, 61-57 over Bay City Western.
Players to watch: Kadyn Blanchard, 5-10 jr. F (14.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.8 spg); Alyssa Argyle, 5-9 sr. F (10.9 ppg, 51 3-pointers, 3.4 apg).
Outlook: Freeland is back at the Semifinals for the second time in three seasons and third time this decade after winning its eighth league, 11th District and fifth Regional titles under Zolinski’s leadership. The Falcons have won all of their games during this tournament run by at least eight points. Argyle earned an all-state honorable mention last season, and senior guard Lily Beyer adds 12.3 ppg and had 39 3-pointers entering the week.
Record/rank: 25-0, No. 3 (tied)
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Green
Coach: Dan VanHekken, 16th season (225-129)
Championship history: Has not played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 60-39 over No. 2 Edwardsburg in Regional Semifinal, 42-40 over Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 48-43 over Comstock Park.
Players to watch: AJ Ediger, 6-2 soph. F (20.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.3 spg); Bria Schrotenboer, 5-10 sr. G (11.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.9 spg).
Outlook: Hamilton made the Quarterfinals last season for the first time, and this weekend is making its first trip to the Semifinals. The Hawkeyes are up to 71-4 over the last three seasons with three league and three District titles as well during that time. Hamilton hasn’t played a single-digit game since the Comstock Park win Jan. 11. Schrotenboer earned an all-state honorable mention last season and is part of a deep lineup that after Ediger has five players averaging at least four points per game.
Record/rank: 19-6, unranked
League finish: Second in Capital Area Activities Conference Red
Coach: Ross Baker, third season (37-20)
Championship history: Class B runner-up 2015.
Best wins: 46-44 over No. 5 Chelsea in Quarterfinal, 51-43 over No. 8 Jackson Northwest in Regional Final, 44-42 over No. 6 Williamston in the District Final.
Players to watch: Ella McKinney, 5-10 sr. G (13.7 ppg. 7.2 rpg); Imania Baker, 6-2 jr. C (7.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg).
Outlook: At full strength for the postseason, the Vikings have soared – the win over Williamston avenged a pair of losses from the league season, and the win over Jackson Northwest avenged a third defeat. Baker had played in just 17 games and sophomore forward Skyla Nosek 15 heading into this week – Baker starts at center and Nosek (7.8 ppg) is the team’s second-leading scorer and comes off the bench. Junior forward Olivia Green (7.7) also augments a balanced lineup, and senior guard Hannah Homan is another top sub and added 6.7 ppg and had 52 3-pointers coming into this week.
PHOTO: Detroit Edison’s Ruby Whitehorn defends against Center Line during their Regional Final last week. (Photo courtesy of C&G Newspapers.)