The 49th girls basketball season with MHSAA sponsorship began with a handful of games Monday evening, and more than 700 varsity teams are scheduled to get their seasons underway over the next few weeks.
The sport’s rich history has seen 188 champions awarded – four per season for 48 years, with 2020’s Finals canceled because of COVID-19 – with 101 schools winning at least one MHSAA title.
Detroit Country Day owns the MHSAA record with most appearances in a girls basketball championship game – 17 – and also has won a record 13 championships, its most recent in 2018. Detroit Martin Luther King and Portland St. Patrick are next on the Finals appearances list – with 12 apiece – and St. Patrick, Bloomfield Hills Marian and now-closed Flint Northern all are tied for second with six championships won.
Northern, which shuts its doors as a high school at the end of the 2012-13 school year, still is the only program to win four straight championships – doing so in Class A from 1978-81.
The first MHSAA girls basketball champions in 1973 were Detroit Dominican in Class A, Hudsonville Unity Christian in B, Hamtramck St. Ladislaus in Class C and Ewen-Trout Creek in Class D. All were coached by women; in fact, the first five Class D champions, the first three in Class C, the first three in Class B and the first four in Class A all had women coaches.
Awarding four championships each year has been a constant of the first half-century of girls basketball as part of the MHSAA championship series. But of course, many things have changed over that time. Among those 101 schools with at least one Finals championship, 14 no longer exist – including Dominican and St. Ladislaus.
Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.
Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights
Nov. 23: Marysville Builds Winning Streak Yet to be Challenged - Read
Nov. 16: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start - Read
Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read
(MHSAA file photo.)