Monday, February 25, 2013

Girls Basketball District-by-District Preview

Grand Blanc District
Teams -- Grand Blanc, Holly, Fenton, Ortonville Brandon, Linden
Breakdown -- This district should come down to Grand Blanc and Holly as long as the Bronchos can avoid upset bids against Ortonville Brandon and Fenton. Star center Allyssa Copley will once again grab the attention of opposing defenses throughout the tournament, but if sophomore Abby Lewandowski and Kaitlyn Smith can continue to find success like they were able to during the regular season, Holly will pick up a district title and move on to the regional round.
PICK -- Holly

Canton District
Teams -- Plymouth, Salem, Canton, Novi, Northville,
Breakdown -- There are two favorites in this district, Novi and Canton, who each picked up a KLAA division title this year by tallying 18 wins on the season. The two teams faced off a little less than two weeks ago as Canton picked up the overtime win in the second round of the KLAA tournament, but if Novi is at full strength, look for the Wildcats to earn some revenge and pick up the district title.
PICK -- Novi

Farmington Hills Mercy District
Teams -- Farmington Hills Mercy, Farmington, Detroit Mumford, Detroit Henry Ford, Redford Union, Detroit Renaissance
Breakdown -- The two favorites in this district are Renaissance and Mercy, who will likely face off in the second round of districts on Wednesday night. The key for the Marlins throughout the tournament will be to get the perimeter game going early and often with Allie Gorcyca and Candice Leatherwood, which should open things up inside. If Mercy is able to do that, it will likely win a district title on its home floor.
PICK -- Mercy

Royal Oak District
Teams -- Oak Park, Royal Oak, Berkley, Southfield-Lathrup, Southfield-Lathrup, Birmingham Groves
Breakdown -- Without a doubt, the favorite here is Lathrup, who is one of the more balanced teams you're going to find in the tournament. Sydni Davis, Christina Green and Co. should help lead the Chargers onto the regional round. However, Sami Stormont and Royal Oak are flying under the radar, which makes them even more dangerous. I still believe that Lathrup will win this district, but the Ravens will be more than motivated to win a district title in Stormont's final state playoff tourney.
PICK -- Lathrup

North Farmington District
Teams -- North Farmington, Farmington Hills Harrison, Walled Lake Western, Walled Lake Central, Walled Lake Northern, Lakeland
Breakdown -- The best game of the first round of districts is without a doubt the game between North Farmington and Harrison and the winner of that game will likely advance to the district final where it will face either Western or Lakeland. Harrison is the most complete team in this district, so it's hard to pick against the Hawks to advance to the regional round, but they will a very difficult path. The biggest challenge outside of the Raiders for Harrison would likely be Western if it is at full health after dealing with some injury issues towards the end of the season. But I expect senior Marissa Cotton, along with underclassmen Amber Stephens, Kyla Rowland and Kirsten Nelson to lead the Hawks to their first ever district title.
PICK -- Harrison

Fowlerville District
Teams -- Harltand, Brighton, Fowlerville, South Lyon, Howell, Milford
Breakdown --This district will likely belong to either Hartland or Brighton, who battled all season long for the KLAA West crown. Brighton picked up two wins this season over Hartland, and I don't think Lindsay Pajot and Co. will let that happen for a third time this year as the Eagles will pick up a first round win over Brighton and will roll to a district title.
PICK -- Hartland

Birmingham Marian District
Teams -- Birmingham Marian, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, Bloofield Hills Andover, Birmingham Seaholm, West Bloomfield
Breakdown -- It's going to be hard to pick against the host Mustangs, but their biggest competition in this district could come from Andover and star Shannon Wilson in the second round. Marian has proven to be one of the most complete teams in Oakland County this season and that showed in the Mustang's CHSL title run. Look for senior Kilyn Bulluck, sophomore Kara Holiniski and freshman Bailey Thomas to continue their strong play as they lead Marian to a district title.
PICK -- Marian

Troy Athens District
Teams -- Troy Athens, Pontiac, Troy, Waterford Mott, Waterford Kettering, Auburn Hills Avondale
Breakdown -- This district is Kettering's to win, but the biggest roadblock for the Captains is in the first round. Kettering will have to play rival Mott for a fourth time this season, and most coaches will tell you it's hard to beat a team three times in a season, and in order to make it past the opening round, Kettering will have to pull of a fourth straight wins over the Corsairs. It will be tough, but I expect Kettering to pick up a second straight regional title behind seniors Shelby Watts and Taylor Steinhelper.
PICK -- Kettering

Oxford District
Teams -- Oxford, Rochester Adams, Romeo, Lake Orion and Clarkston
Breakdown -- Clarkston is the favorite in this district, but don't sleep on Rochester Adams or Oxford, who have both proven to be very dangerous teams this season. One of the keys to this district will be the post play as all three teams, Clarkston (Erika Davenport), Adams (Amber Jamison) and Oxford (Shelby Davis) have dangerous threats at the forward/center positions. But what will separate Clarkston from the rest will be the guard play as the Wolves have one of the most experienced back courts around in Delaney Kenny and Erin Davenport.
PICK -- Clarkston

Rochester District
Teams -- Utica Eisenhower, Stoney Creek, Rochester, Utica Ford, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Utica
Breakdown -- The two Oakland County Teams in this district could end up playing in the final as Rochester and Stoney Creek are the two most balanced teams out of the six teams. The edge will likely go to Stoney Creek because of the inside-outside play from a number of different contributors, including Lauren and Natalie Voss. But don't sleep on the Falcons and Zhana Randolph who have proven to be as dangerous as anybody all season long.
PICK -- Stoney Creek

District TBD
Teams -- Ferndale, Detroit Old Redford, Southfield Bradford, Warren Fitzgerald, Hazel Park, Ferndale University
Breakdown --  It's a clear path for Ferndale to pick up a district title, and barring a major slip up by the Eagles, Micaela Ellis and Co. will cruise into the regional round of action.
PICK --  Ferndale

Clawson District
Teams -- Clawson, Bloomifeld Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Macomb Lutheran North, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Madison Heights Lamphere
Breakdown -- No explanation needed. Yellowjackets roll.
PICK -- Country Day

South Lyon East District
Teams -- Detroit Community, Detroit Communication and Media Arts, Detroit Cesar Chavez, Livonia Clarenceville, South Lyon East, Livonia Ladywood, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.
Breakdown -- This District will likely be decided in the opening round when host South Lyon East and Livonia Ladywood face off. South Lyon East and Gabi Bird will be more than motivated to pull off a minor shocker, but the Blazers will be a huge road block if the Cougars want to win a district title. Ladywood is the favorite, but this time of year was meant for upsets.

Madison Heights Madison District
Teams -- Detroit Allen Academy, Detroit Winans Academy, Madison Heights Madison, Highland Park Renaissance Academy
Breakdown -- Speaking of host teams moving on to regionals, that's how this district is set up for Madison. Look for Amber Thomas and Dasha Gould to have a couple of big games during district play to lead the Eagles to a District championship.
PICK -- Madison

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest District
Teams -- Royal Oak Shrine, Pontiac Academy for Excellence, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart.
Breakdown -- If this district didn't include Bishop Foley, it would be a toss up. However, Bishop Foley is in this district, and the Ventures will be the ones advancing to the regional round. Look for big time performances from Emma Wonsil and Abigail Lama to lead the way for Bishop Foley.
PICK -- Bishop Foley

Plymouth Christian District
Teams -- Southfield Christian, Novi Franklin Road Christian, Plymouth Christian, Detroit Westside Christian, Wixom St. Catherine.
Breakdown -- This district will have no shortage of star power with Southfield Christian's Charity Godbold and Novi Franklin Road Christian's Kristen Massey and barring some kind of unheard of shocker, we will see these two face off in the district final. I will give the slightest edge to Southfield Christian in this district, considering Godbold has a history of big time performances in the playoffs (2011 playoffs vs. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes), but do not sleep on the Warriors and Massey either, as that district final will be MUST SEE.
PICK -- Southfield Christian

Sterling Heights Parkway Christian District
Teams -- Parkway Christian, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Birmingham Roeper, Warren Macomb Christian, Auburn Hills Christian.
Breakdown -- It's been a nice season for Birmingham Roeper, but a nice season simply won't match-up with the 3-time defending state champion Lakers here. It might make for a much closer district final game than what we've seen in recent years, but the Lakers should move on to the regional round with ease once again.

Flint School for the Deaf District
Teams -- Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Genesee Christian, Flint Madison Academy, Flint Michigan School for the Deaf, Burton Faith, Burton St. Thomas More Academy
Breakdown -- I'll be honest, I'm not completely familiar with all of the Genesee County teams playing in this district, but I do know that those teams will have their hands full with Clarkston Everest. Look for top performances from Lucia Westrick, Ashley Lowney and Mary Jo Allen to lead Everest to a District title.
PICK -- Clarkston Everest Collegiate 

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