MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Michigan Girls Basketball

  • The national debate continues.

    Are the talent and skill levels between girls basketball teams generally too great or do coaches of said teams simply not know how to manage lopsided games?

    The question has come up again, this time in Michigan after Cass Tech (Detroit) actually pitched a shutout, 80-0 over Osborn (Detroit) this week.

    Yes, that's a girls basketball score.

    Afterward, Cass Tech coach Marissa Thrower immediately tried to nip the debate in the bud to Detroit Free Press reporter Perry A. Farrell.

    "It was Senior Night, our last home game," Thrower said. "Don't make me out to be a bad guy. We did not press Osborn. My starters. … they played about six minutes the entire game. I don't know what to do in a situation like that."

    Thrower said there was a running clock the entire second half.

    "As a former athlete myself, you never want to see anything like that," she said. "You hear about stuff like this. You want it to be a competitive game. It was just a bad situation. A mismatch."

    It comes less than a month after a California team more than doubled Cass' score, and the coach was suspended.

    Arroyo Valley (San Bernardino, Calif.) defeated Bloomington 161-2 on Jan. 5 and coach Michael Anderson was suspended for a game. Since that game, Arroyo Valley (20-1) has won games by scores of 80-19, 78-28, 82-20, 77-28, 61-54 and 98-20. Earlier in the year, it won 110-12.

    Arroyo Valley isn't nearly the only team scrutinized for its lopsided wins. The most famous case nationally came in 2009 when Covenant (Dallas), a private Christian school, posted a 100-0 win over Dallas Academy.

    The Covenant School coach Micah Grimes was later fired for not apologizing for the lopsided defeat. Grimes said the day of the game that his girls "played with honor and integrity." The next day Kyle Queal, the headmaster for Covenant School, said the blowout was "shameful" and later fired Grimes.

  • Even though perennial girls basketball powers Connecticut and Tennessee came calling, Lexi Gussert picked Michigan State this week, according to the Detroit Free Press.
    Photo from Facebook

    Lexi Gussert, Forest Park

    The state's No. 1-ranked player averaged an impressive 32.5 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, four steals and four blocked shots as a junior at Forest Park (Crystal Falls, Mich.). The six-foot guard also shot 47 percent from 3-point land.

    Gussert, who also considered Purdue, Marquette and Illinois, told the newspaper, "I visited there 2 1/2 years ago, I went to a football game and I instantly fell in love with it. The coaches are just great. I love them and the girls, they seem awesome. It did come down to me wanting to represent my state and my heart's been there the whole time, which made it easy in the end."

    She also is No. 1 in her class at the small Upper Peninsula school with a 3.9 GPA.
  • File photo by Jim Redman

    Skyler Diggins, Washington, 2008-09

    The pressure was on Friday night in Niles, Mich.

    University of Notre Dame basketball coach Muffet McGraw, assistant coach Niele Ivey and All-American guard Skyler Diggins were in the audience. The apples of their eyes were highly-ranked sisters Kysre Gondrezick and Kalabrya Gondrezick who did not disappoint as they paced the Benton Harbor (Mich.) girls basketball team to a 55-17 rout of host Niles.

    Kysre, a 5-foot-9 freshman, tied her career high with 35 points, in addition to producing 12 rebounds, six steals and three assists. Kalabrya, the same height but a year older, had 13 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals.

    Benton Harbor's pressure defense forced 38 turnovers, prompting Niles coach Pat Touhey to tell the South Bend Tribune, "We were totally intimidated the entire game."

    The young superstars are coached by their mother, Lisa Harvey-Gondrezick, who commented, "They're both very close to Skyler. They're used to playing in front of coaches in AAU. But when playing in front of someone special, they had butterflies."
  • Photo by Joe Miller/Lighthouse Graphics

    Cassidy Boensch, Au Gres-Sims

    Cassidy Boensch grabbed a school-record 31 rebounds Tuesday as Au Gres-Sims (Au Gres, Mich.) nipped Mio-Au Sable (Mio, Mich.) 47-46. She pulled down 17 from the defensive glass and 14 on offense, in addition to scoring 23 points, blocking 10 shots and dishing out five assists for the 8-2 Wolverines, who start three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior.

    The long-armed 6-foot-3 freshman is averaging a triple-double with 22.6 points, 16.8 rebounds and 11.9 blocks per game. She also is averaging 4.4 steals and 3.0 assists. He other season highs are 32 points, 18 blocks and 13 steals.

    Her mother and coach, Debbie Boensch, said that Central Michigan and Michigan State have already shown interest.

    *The rampaging Duncanville (Texas) girls basketball team routed Mansfield (Texas) 77-30 on Tuesday to run its winning streak to 55 games (27-0 this year). Kiara Perry was high scorer with 18 points.
  • Caprice Dennis, a high-scoring senior guard from Pershing (Detroit, Mich.), has committed to the University of Miami (Fla.), according to Blue Star Basketball.

    The 5-foot-10 standout averaged 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists this year, with a high game of 56 points. She was named the Class A Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

    One of the top players in the country, Dennis earlier had made a commitment to the University of Kansas. In addition, she had considered Kentucky and Texas.
  • Despite - or, actually, due to - missed free throws, Dawson (Pearland, Texas) defeated Manvel (Texas) 123-115 in a four-overtime basketball marathon on Friday night to clinch the District 24-4A title and earn No. 1 seeding for the post-season.

    Because the Dawson Eagles had lost a close game (86-81) previously to Manvel, they had to beat Manvel by at least six points to gain top seeding in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

    The Eagles had several opportunities to win along the way, but the margin would not have been by six or more points. For example, Ivan Medina intentionally bounced two free throws off the backboard with 6.2 seconds left in regulation play and the game went into its first extra session, tied at 70. With nine seconds left in the third overtime, he purposely missed two more foul shots, forcing the fourth overtime with the score tied at 106.

    Dawson finished with 37 free throws out of 65 attempts.

    Dakarai Henderson led Dawson with 46 points and Jarried Littleton added 25.

    * Jose Estrada poured in 49 points to spark Cantwell-Sacred Heart (Montebello, Calif.) to a 72-65 victory over St. Anthony (Long Beach, Calif.). The standout junior from Mexico twice has scored 47 points in a game and is averaging 32.6.

    * Larry Sylvester, who wasn't even on the roster when the season started, fired in a 3-pointer to give Troy (Mich.) a 62-59 victory over Ferndale (Mich.). The senior received a second chance when one player transferred and another was dropped from the team.

    * Pershing (Detroit, Mich.) defeated Mumford (Detroit, Mich.) 80-77 despite 47 points by Raven Bankston.

    * In another girls game, Portledge (Locust Valley, N.Y.) defeated Waldorf (Garden City, N.Y.) 56-22 as Tamara Simpson made 14 steals and scored 26 points.
  • It's no fun playing the Mumford (Detroit, Mich.) girls basketball team. Not when you have to face talented junior twins Raven and Raine Bankston.

    First of all, the duo are doubly-tough and second, it's hard to slow one of them let alone two.

    Just ask players from Pershing (Detroit) on Monday. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Doughboys - yes Doughboys! - watched the duo erupt for a combined 75 points – all but two of Mumford's total – but still managed an 80-77 victory in the PSL championship game.

    In the book, it said Raven Bankston went for 47 and Raine chipped in 28. But even if the twins were confused, probably not hard to do, and it was really 38 and 37 or 40 and 35 or 55 and 20, it really didn't matter. The Bankston twins are pretty unstoppable no matter who is really putting the ball in the hole.

    Officially, Raven hit 18 of 28 shots. "My drive was pretty good and my shot was really good," she told Mick McCabe. "I usually don't make shots like that, but today it was going good. … They couldn't check me out there."

    Despite the twins' onslaught, Pershing (17-1), behind 27 points from Caprice Dennis, advanced to Thursday's PSL championship.