STATE CHAMPS! Big Lexi’s Top 20 Team Rankings – Week of February 19th, 2023
Lexi Ayala – Twitter @LexiReyne1523
#1 West Bloomfield – Division 1
Previous Ranking: #3
At this point in the season, I’m taking a lot of things into consideration when it comes to the rankings. Of course, record matters, however I give some value in my ranking system even for a loss, IF the competition is THAT good and I believe West Bloomfield is one of the most battle-tested teams in the state with wins over Detroit Edison and the OT 86-83 dub over Kenwood, Chicago. I even give weight to their 86-74 loss against South Bend Washington because they are Indiana’s reigning State Champs, and they haven’t had a loss this season. The ONLY knock I have with WB is the loss to Arbor Prep, but I have believed this team would be back at the Breslin since calling their state finals win last year at the Breslin.
#2 Detroit Renaissance – Division 1
Previous Ranking: #1
I’m feeling conflicted in this week’s rankings after I put Renaissance #1 last week just to find out they lost their point guard a few games ago to a torn ACL. The drop down to #2 has nothing to do with the way Renaissance has been playing, they didn’t miss a beat against Cass Tech and some of their other most recent games, but without point guard Navaeh Otis, the floor general and a leader of this team, I’m worried they could get rattled against tougher teams on the trip to the Breslin.
#3 Grand Rapids West Catholic – Division 2
Previous Ranking: #3
Still undefeated, Grand Rapids West Catholic continues to have zero competition in their league with a 74-2 win over Fruitport. West Catholic hasn’t had a close, competitive game since 12/22 when they got the 61-54 win over Rockford. Other than Rockford, they had under 10-point wins against East Grand Rapids and Hudsonville at the beginning of the season. West Catholic dropped to #3 is because they have been in cruise control, blow out wins for such long of a stretch that it may feel overwhelming once they finally play tough teams in the tournament.
#4 Rockford – Division 1
Previous Ranking: #4
Rockford furthered their win streak to 14 games with wins over Caledonia 71-25, Haslett 50-36 and Holland West Ottawa. Their only loss on the season is held by #3 Grand Rapids West Catholic. Most exciting news for Rockford lately, though, is that Guard Grace Lyons announced her commitment to Ferris State University on February 22! Congrats, Grace, well deserved!
#5 Detroit Edison – Division 2
Previous Ranking: #9
I’ll be honest, Detroit Edison scared me with their close game win against Grand Rapids Catholic Central, however, the team showed they can battle the adversity of being down and come back to win. Of their three losses, only one loss came to an in-state team #1 West Bloomfield. Since then, Edison had huge wins beating Farmington Hills Mercy 44-42, Arbor Prep 51-35 and La Lumiere (Indiana) 53-40. It’s going to be hard to beat such a deep team, with the three main threats being Guard Dakota Alston, Forward Bailey Pickens and Guard Devin Hagemann.
#6 Lake Fenton – Division 2
Previous Ranking: #5
It’s no surprise that Lake Fenton hasn’t played against really tough, competitive teams in their conference, however, I am extremely impressed with their win over Goodrich on February 17. Goodrich is the only team in the conference that’s been able to actually make it a competitive game against Lake Fenton. The first game, the Blue Devils only won by six points, and to me, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for Lake Fenton either, the 2nd meeting, they won 59-33! The Blue Devils made sure Goodrich knew good and well who was the better team.
#7 Flint Carman-Ainsworth – Division 1
Previous Ranking: #6
Carman continues their undefeated streak with most recent wins over Holt 46-35, Mt. Pleasant 57-35 and Flint Powers Catholic 57-29. Carman plays Saginaw on 2/24 to close out their undefeated regular season before the tournament begins.
#8 Chelsea – Division 2
Previous Ranking: #8
Chelsea is still undefeated against in-state schools, adding wins against Adrian 71-18 and Jackson 76-18. A common thread that I’m finding is that there’s normally only one or two powerhouse schools within a conference, so the teams have no choice but to play bad competition for most of their season, which could hurt them in their playoff runs. Chelsea did a good job of scheduling tough non-conference teams at the beginning of their year, though, with a 59-50 win over Arbor Prep and a 63-42 loss that I give some weight to because it was against Laurel (Ohio), super tough out of state team.
#9 Haslett – Division 2
Previous Ranking: #7
Haslett cruised through 99% of their season undefeated until they matched up against Rockford on February 18th. This was a huge test for Haslett to see what they’re really made of, but unfortunately for Haslett, they lost 50-36. I thought that Haslett could’ve put up a tougher battle, but their season has been nothing short of great.
#10 Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard – Division 2
Previous Ranking: #11
Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard has played with a chip on their shoulder because most everybody has been doubting their game play. FGR’s big knock on the season was the loss to Lansing Catholic. Lansing Catholic is a good team with big wins, but this was the game that had even me doubting FGR for awhile. However, after the Fighting Irish got the revenge win on Farmington Hills Mercy, not once but TWICE after losing the first meetup between the two AND Dearborn Divine Child three times this season, Gabriel Richard deserves to be in Big Lexi’s Big10. They’re playing some of their best basketball down the stretch as they head into tournament play. The biggest test yet will come on February 23rd against #2 Detroit Renaissance.
Remaining Top 20
#11 Farmington Hills Mercy – Division 1
#12 Byron Center – Division 1
#13 Frankenmuth – Division 2
#14 Temperance Bedford – Division 1
#15 Warren Fitzgerald – Division 2
#16 North Farmington – Division 1
#17 Goodrich – Division 2
#18 Grosse Pointe North – Division 1
#19 East Kentwood – Division 1
#20 Vicksburg – Division 2