Birmingham Marian vs. Grosse Pointe South (At Detroit Mercy)
Breakdown: Grosse Pointe South has won 22 straight games this season after losing the season opener to Illinois power Chicago Whitney Young, and the Blue Devils have won each of their tournament games by double digits so far. But aside from the opening game of the season for South, Marian might be the toughest test for the Blue Devils this season. Marian has continued to be one of the most consistent teams in the area, behind one of the most consistent scoring attacks around as the Mustangs have several players capable of taking over a game on both ends of the floor.
X-Factor: Kilyn Bulluck, Birmingham Marian
Bulluck has controlled the paint for the Mustangs all season long and if she is able to do that in the quarterfinal game, she should help Marian move onto the semifinals. Bulluck wont have to score a ton of points for Marian to advance, but if she can play her usual strong defense and continue to be one of, if not the best rebounder on the floor, the Mustangs will have a chance.
Why Marian Will Win: The Mustangs have had an impressive run through the playoffs so far as they had a dominant showing during district play and followed that up with a strong win over Avondale in the regional semifinals and then outlasted a tough Clarkston squad in the regional final. Look for some of the Marian young guns, like Bailey Thomas and Kara Holinski to continue their strong postseason play as the Mustangs will continue to show off their depth.
Why GPS Will Win: The record speaks for itself and it seems like the Blue Devils have only gotten stronger in the postseason and the play they've gotten out of their seniors in the playoffs has helped Grosse Pointe South make the postseason run look easy so far.
PREDICTION: Marian over Grosse Pointe South in OT
Birmingham Detroit Country Day vs. Flint Powers (At Yale)
Breakdown: County Day just seems like it is destined to play in the quarterfinals each and every year. Even when the Yellowjackets trailed Chandler Park by two baskets with less than 30 seconds left to play in the regional semifinals, Country Day still managed to find a way to get back to the quarterfinals. Now the Yellowjackets are looking like a safe bet to return to the Breslin Center as they should go into Tuesday's game as the prohibitive favorite. Country Day will have to find a way to slow down Charger's senior Kim Berry, who is averaging close to 15 points a game and there are two other players on the Flint Powers roster that average double-digit points per contest.
X-Factor: Asia Doss, Country Day
It's hard to say a team's star play can also be the X-factor, but as Asia Doss goes, so do the Yellowjackets, and that proved to be true in the win over Chandler Park. Trailing by four with 25 seconds left, Doss rattled off a quick four points to force overtime and the Yellowjackets rolled from there. If Doss can keep up her strong scoring ways and continue to be a distributor at point guard, Country Day shouldn't have much trouble with advancing to the semifinals.
Why Country Day Will Win: The Yellowjackets will win if their "Big 3" of Doss, Brittany Washington and Tianna Glimpse can continue their strong play, it's that simple, and that's been the case for Country Day all season long. If they can continue to score and defend like they have during the playoff run, the Yellowjackets will be back at the Breslin Center.
Why Flint Powers Will Win: Flint Powers has a "Big 3" of its own with Berry, Michela Coury and Ally Haran, who all average 10 points or more per game and if they can manage to stay close to their season average in points per game, the Chargers will have a good chance of advancing.
PREDICTION: Country Day over Flint Powers
Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes vs. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart (At Waterford Mott)
Breakdown: These two teams have already met once this year, as Lakes picked up a 50-38 win, thanks to a big second half. Sacred Heart had a lead at halftime, but Lakes outscored the Irish by 13 points in the second half on the way to the early season win. The Lakers will once again look to its trio of seniors, Lexie Robak, Ava Doetsch and Jessica Parry, who have three state championship rings so far, to help lead the way to another playoff win and keep the hopes for a 4-peat alive. Sacred Heart will have to look for big games out of Sara and Erica Hansen, who are the only two players on the roster who are averaging more that 10 points per game, but the Lakers will go in as the favorites.
X-Factor(s): Jessica Parry/Anna Robb, Lakes
Parry has been one of the most consistent players around all season long, and that has carried over into the playoffs. With Parry playing well, it's freed things up for Robak and Doetsch, who defenses usually key in on, and Parry has been able to take advantage of that. Parry has also stepped into the point guard role for the Lakers as she has found ways to create scoring opportunities for herself as well as the rest of the team all year. Robb, who has also been a consistent contributor all season long for the Lakers and has proven to be one of the best defenders around throughout the year for Lakes. Look for Robb to help shut down the the Sacred Heart scoring attack as the Lakers will try to advance to the Breslin Center once again.
Why WOLL Will Win: The Lakers should win this game after proving that they are more than capable of beating Sacred Heart, but the key to this win for Lakes will be some of the lesser known contributors. Everybody knows that Doetsch, Robak and Parry will get their nightly points, rebounds and assists, but players like Robb, Shelby Mann, Haley Howell, Gabrielle Troy and Lindsey Ross along with others, will help make an impact on both ends of the floor to help lead the Lakers. The Lakers will also have a serious home court advantage on Tuesday night as the game will be played right around the corner at Waterford Mott, while Sacred Heart will have to make the 2 hour drive, which could play a pretty big role in the outcome of Tuesday's game.
Why Sacred Heart Will Win: It's pretty simple for the Irish, if they can get strong showings in the quarterfinals from Sara and Erica Hansen, they will have a chance to unseat the defending state champions. If they can't, then it will be a long day in Waterford and an even longer drive back to Mt. Pleasant for Sacred Heart.
PREDICTION: Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes over Sacred Heart