Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Jekiah Mack brings the ball up the floor against Detroit Renaissance in an April 5 state quarterfinal. The Crusaders lost 74-64 and finished the year with a 19-1 overall record. While there were no state champions in the C & G Sports coverage area, several local teams made deep playoff runs, capturing district and regional titles along the way.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Jekiah Mack brings the ball up the floor against Detroit Renaissance in an April 5 state quarterfinal. The Crusaders lost 74-64 and finished the year with a 19-1 overall record. While there were no state champions in the C & G Sports coverage area, several local teams made deep playoff runs, capturing district and regional titles along the way.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Basketball seasons wrap up for local teams

By: Jacob Herbert | Metro | Published April 16, 2021

 The Birmingham Groves and Southfield A&T girls basketball teams battle in a Division 1 district semifinal at Royal Oak High. While there were no state champions in the C&G Sports coverage area, several local teams made deep playoff runs, capturing district and regional titles along the way.

The Birmingham Groves and Southfield A&T girls basketball teams battle in a Division 1 district semifinal at Royal Oak High. While there were no state champions in the C&G Sports coverage area, several local teams made deep playoff runs, capturing district and regional titles along the way.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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METRO DETROIT — The 2021 high school basketball season for both boys and girls teams have come to an end. Although there were no state champions within the C & G Sports coverage area, plenty of teams captured district and regional titles while making deep playoff runs.

Teams this season had to battle more than just one another, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay to the start of the season. Even with the shortened season, prep teams in Michigan continued to battle through everything the pandemic threw at them.

The girls district tournament took place March 22-26, regional rounds were March 29 and 31, and the final rounds were played April 5-9. The boys district tournament was played March 23-27, regional rounds were March 30 and April 1, and the final rounds took place April 6-10.

On the girls’ side of the bracket, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North enjoyed an undefeated season up until it lost to Detroit Renaissance, the eventual state runner-up, in the Division 1 quarterfinal. LCN beat Port Huron High 44-29 to win a district final and advanced from regionals after a forfeit from Utica High.

Other local Division 1 girls district champions include: Bloomfield Hills Marian, Grosse Pointe South, Birmingham Groves, Farmington Hills Mercy, L’Anse Creuse North, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, Utica and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

In the Division 2 girls bracket, Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day reached the state semifinals before falling to Newaygo High 55-39. In order to reach the semifinals, Country Day beat Eastpointe High 76-27 to win a regional title and beat Wixom St. Catherine 51-49 to win a district title.

“What impressed me most was their composure,” Country Day coach Jerica Williams said. “Basketball is a game of runs, and to be able to stay emotionally stable, especially considering their youth, is no easy task. They grew up with each game, and by the end of it, it was hard to consider them as ‘young’ because of how poised they were.”

Other local teams who enjoyed a Division 2 district title include Eastpointe, Warren Regina, Clawson High and Macomb Lutheran North.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley was the only local team to reach the quarterfinal round in the Division 3 tournament. The Ventures lost to Hemlock High 53-46 as their season came to a close. In order to reach the quarterfinal, Foley beat Redford Westfield Prep 76-60 in the regional final. In district final action, Foley beat Royal Oak Shrine 63-57.

“After a pause during our season for 10 days, and coming back with one practice and the CHSL playoffs the next day, it was hard to get back and get into some sort of rhythm,” Foley coach Ray Joseph said. “We set our sights in the beginning of the season to win districts and to win the first-ever regional title for Bishop Foley. Our practices were very upbeat, and the kids worked hard pushing one another and leaving everything on the floor during practices. After six years of losing districts, it finally paid off this year with our hard work.”

In other Division 3 action, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest also captured a district title, beating New Haven High 63-22. Foley defeated Lutheran Northwest 52-42 in a regional semifinal.

Finally, in Division 4 girls action, no team from the C & G Sports coverage area reached the quarterfinal round. However, Southfield Christian captured a district title by beating Livingston Christian 46-41.

 

Boys bracket: Pilots soar to semifinal
In the boys bracket, Warren De La Salle went the furthest among Division 1 teams in the C & G coverage area. The Pilots reached the state semifinals before losing 55-39 to state runner-up Ann Arbor Huron. Macomb Dakota and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s reached the quarterfinals before bowing out of the tournament.

In order to reach the final rounds of the tournament, De La Salle beat Detroit U-D Jesuit, Dakota beat Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and St. Mary’s beat Walled Lake Northern to win regional titles.

“We peaked at the right time” De La Salle coach Gjon Djokaj said. “We had a little lull right before that, coming off of a quarantine, where I felt our legs weren’t under us and we weren’t playing that great of basketball, our conditioning wasn’t great. We really just stepped up our intensity and our practices. I compared them to college-level practices.”

Also locally, Walled Lake Northern, Birmingham Brother Rice, Roseville High, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and Stoney Creek all won district titles.

The Division 2 bracket saw Ferndale High reach the state semifinals, but they lost to eventual state champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central 81-55. Ferndale beat Croswell-Lexington 73-68 in double overtime to reach the semifinals. The Eagles reached the quarterfinal by way of a Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy forfeit. In district final action, Ferndale topped Ferndale University 66-27.

Eastpointe, Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep also won Division 2 district titles.

The Division 3 bracket did not have any local regional champions. However, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett beat Detroit Cristo Rey 62-51 to win a district title.

Finally, in the Division 4 bracket, Southfield Christian went the furthest, reaching the quarterfinals. The Eagles beat Marine City Cardinal Mooney 59-47 to win a regional title and Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 71-60 to win a district title. The Eagles’ season came to a close with a 68-56 loss to eventual state champion Detroit Douglass.

“I was proud of our kids overall,” Southfield Christian coach Clennie Brundidge said. “I’m the type that I think I can win all the time. You got to have that mindset, especially at Southfield Christian. To have finally come without hoisting the trophy, it’s a new thing for Southfield Christian. But I realize we were young and our best days are ahead of us in terms of players coming back and players understanding the system and things of that nature.”

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