Center Line High girls hoops wins district title, falls in regional final

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published March 15, 2019

 Center Line High senior forward Dijonna Lynch (13) is defended by Detroit Edison’s Ariel Jenkins in a March 13 Division 2 regional final. The Panthers lose three players to graduation and have six eligible to return.

Center Line High senior forward Dijonna Lynch (13) is defended by Detroit Edison’s Ariel Jenkins in a March 13 Division 2 regional final. The Panthers lose three players to graduation and have six eligible to return.

Photo by Sean Work

CENTER LINE — Center Line High girls basketball coach Rob Fulhenzi said he’s proud of the way his team fought over the course of the season.

That resolve resulted in a Division 2 district title, won 44-25 in a March 8 district final against Warren Lincoln. The triumph gave the Panthers their second district championship in three years.

Center Line’s season ended in a 65-21 loss to Detroit Edison Public School Academy March 13 in a regional final. The Panthers ended the season at 15-10. The team was 11-9 at the start of the playoffs.

“We had some goals coming into the season and we worked really hard,” Fulhenzi said. “It started to look like we’d be out of the race for the (Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title), so we started focusing on districts. And ever since probably the midway point of the season, the girls were focused in every practice and game, and it showed in the results.”

A group of seniors led the way for Center Line on its chase for a regional title. That group included guards Camryn Gibbs and Janae Smith, and forward Dijonna Lynch.

Fulhenzi said the seniors will be missed greatly, as they carried the team for stretches of the season. The group combined to score 18 of the team’s 21 points in the regional final.

“Those girls did a lot of heavy lifting for us,” Fulhenzi said.

The Panthers have six players eligible to return next season, including sophomore guard Emma Hastings and sophomore forward Bella Marsh, who both started in the regional final.

The Center Line coach said this won’t be the last run the team makes.

“I think this is going to continue to create some excitement around the program,” Fulhenzi said. “This run we’re on now shows what we can do. We’re going to come back in a few weeks and get to work and work hard to try to make another run next season.”