STATE CHAMPS! Big Lexi’s Top 20 Team Rankings – Week of January 15th, 2023
Lexi Ayala – Twitter @LexiReyne1523
1: Grand Rapids West Catholic – Division 2
Grand Rapids West Catholic hasn’t had any super exciting games since we last talked about the rankings, however they are still undefeated. What keeps West Catholic at my number one spot is that win over my #2 Ranked Rockford and last week’s #8 ranked East Grand Rapids. West Catholic is going to be a tough team to beat all season long by any and every team in the state because their full court press is extremely flustering and even in their halfcourt defensive sets, West Catholic is playing D like they used to in the 90’s baby! Tough and intimidating. Also, along with the two Dysktra sisters leading the team, West Catholic also added three transfers who have made an immediate impact.
2: Rockford – Division 1
Rockford moved up to the Top 2 from my #5 Ranking, beating East Kentwood 40-28 and Hudsonville 45-28. Rockford’s schedule is TOUGH, they continue their strong play adding to the list of Top 100 teams they’ve beaten. But even though, Rockford put a 17-point win on the board over Hudsonville while West Catholic only beat Hudsonville by 5. Rockford’s lone loss is to that West Catholic team, so I CAN’T put them #1 for that reason.
3: Farmington Hills Mercy – Division 1
Mercy stays at #3 in Big Lexi’s Big 20 this week. Mercy has been cruising since the last time we talked about my rankings. They remain unbeaten with recent wins over Regina and Davison. Sophomore guard Aizlyn Albanese is continuing to have a ‘super sophomore’ type of seasons, and Mercy is led by senior Guard Maya White, Grand Valley State Commit.
4: Lake Fenton – Division 2
Thank goodness Lake Fenton’s head coach is a former Lawrence Tech hooper (like myself) and knew to schedule really tough non-conference games against teams like Arbor Prep, Frankenmuth, Grosse Pointe North and Cass Tech because Lake Fenton will easily win their conference. After the Blue Devil’s 45-39 win over Arbor Prep, Lake Fenton continues to play really good team basketball, the scoring outputs are pretty even among players because everyone on their team can be a threat at any moment. Lake Fenton’s record is 12-0, it’s best start since going 5-0 to open the 1987 season. From the seniors to the freshman, starters to the bench, everyone on this team plays like they could be replaced every game and practice… well because they really could, the entire team is seriously that good.
5: Renaissance – Division 1
Unfortunately, I had to drop Detroit Renaissance dropped from #2 last week to #5 this week in my rankings, but not because of a fault of their own necessarily. Over the last week, Renaissance beat the Southeastern Jungaleers 79-10 and had a forfeit win over Denby, and as I really dove into their schedule, they’ve really only had two close games: a 41-39 win over Wayne Memorial and a 12-point win over Detroit Country Day. This doesn’t mean they’re not in the running for the best team in the state, we just have to see some more matchups. One game they had this week that did standout, though, was on Tuesday against Lake Orion, a 67-42 win. It looks like another blow out but this is a solid Lake Orion team who held it down until a Golden State Warriors style 3rd quarter by Renaissance, everyone was scoring the basketball. Three players had double-digit scoring, another with 9, another with 8 and another with 7, like YEESH.
6: Lowell – Division 1
Lowell had a pair of wins last week against Greenville 68-17, and Forest Hills Northern 74-39, Lowell hasn’t had a game come within 36 points since the Westfield Prep win. Lowell has only had two close games all season. The 54-50 win over Westfield Prep and the 44-40 win over Caledonia. But the win over Westfield Prep is huge, it moved Lowell’s ranking above Chelsea’s who’s biggest win is over Arbor Prep who just lost to Westfield Prep in double overtime.
7: Chelsea – Division 2
Chelsea beat Pinckney 68-18, and Dexter 62-47 last week and with a solid resume already and some good matchups yet to come, Chelsea is a team to keep your eye on.
Chelsea’s Head Coach Tony Scheffler says Leila Wells is the best point guard in the state and he said he’ll scream that one from the rooftops. In the big, rivalry win over Dexter, Wells dropped a game-high 24 points and has multiple Division 1 offers.
8: Flint Carman-Ainsworth – Division 1
Carman is still undefeated on the season and just came off their biggest win of the season, a 55-53 win over Westfield Prep at the Laker Classic in West Bloomfield. Carman has played a lot of non-conference teams this season to become battle tested and stay respected throughout the state. They have strong leadership in Head Coach Tonya Edwards, who won championships at Flint Northwestern and the University of Tennessee before playing in the WNBA for Minnesota Lynx. Player wise, led by senior Center Armoni Strozier, AKA Big Money Moni, commit to Bradley University. Senior’s DeAndrea (DeDe) Smith and Sierra Robinson committed to Lawrence Tech.
9: West Ottawa – Division 1
West Ottawa had a good week last week with wins over Hudsonville 55-51 in OVERTIME to hang onto their undefeated season and a 52-36 win over Jenison. West Ottawa will have a rematch against Hudsonville later in the season during league play, but the matchup I’m most excited about is against my #2 Ranked Rockford on February 17th.
10: Detroit Edison – Division 2
Everyone’s kind of been counting out Detroit Edison after they started the season off with two losses, and I get it because there’s still a whole bunch of undefeated teams out there that haven’t even made the rankings, but I want to remind everyone that DEPSA ain’t new to this. They true to this but forreal, DEPSA’s only two losses this year are both to out of state teams, Bolingbrook and Whitney Young of Illinois, two really tough teams. Edison is the 5-time state champs and has had the last four Miss. Basketball’s of Michigan come from this school. I’m not counting them out.
11: West Bloomfield – Division 1
Don’t let the two losses fool you this team is the real deal and their play shows it. A team nationally ranked to start the season had those two setbacks but those came against two really good teams. Arbor Prep was one of those team winning a tight game 66-62, and the other team was South Bend Washington who is currently on a win streak of 25 games going back to last season. They are currently 18-0 this season and ranked 10th in the state of Indiana. West Bloomfield has quality wins over Stoney Creek, Clarkston, and their biggest win so far against Chicago Kenwood.
12: East Grand Rapids – Division 1
Senior Guard Macy Brown (Michigan Commit) motor of team & most likely a Miss Basketball Finalist.
13: Haslett – Division 1
Haslett has a nice bit of momentum going for them this season. They added wins over Portland 61-39, and St. Johns 64-46.
14: Frankenmuth – Division 2
Frankenmuth has played really tough competition this year and their only loss on the season is to my #4 ranked Lake Fenton in their very first game of the season and since then they’ve had a few blowout wins, but three really close games in Grand Blanc, Lakeview and Swan Valley.
15: Northville – Division 1
Northville’s only loss on the season is to my #3 ranked Farmington Hills Mercy. Northville also battled through the adversity of an overtime win in Canton 46-42 with another 46-42 win over Hartland and most recently a 43-41 win over Brighton.
Remaining Top 20
16: Westfield Prep – Division 2
17: Arbor Prep – Division 3
18: Goodrich – Division 2
19: Escanaba – Division 2
20: Dansville – Division 3