Girls Basketball Preseason Top 25 Player List: Kaela Webb of Country Day tops the list, Clegg of Wayne is No. 2
Here is the preseason list of the top 25 girls basketball players as selected by State Champs. It must be noted that Kayla Belles of Ithaca suffered a knee injury in the offseason and will not play this season thus she did not make this list. Belles signed with Michigan State and is considered one of the top prospects for the class of 2018.
- Kaela Webb, 5-6, sr., Detroit Country Day: Our top player has signed with Providence. Last season she averaged 14.5 points. She’s a three-year starter and in last season’s Class B final victory over Ypsilanti Arbor Prep Webb had 13 points and nine assists. ”Her game is similar to that of Destiny Pitts (a Miss Basketball finalist last season),” coach Frank Orlando said. “She contributes in different ways.”
- Camree Clegg, 5-5, sr., Wayne Memorial: What Clegg lacks in height, she more than makes up for with her quickness and tenacious style of play. Last season she averaged 23 points and seven assists. Clegg signed with Clemson.
- Jaida Hampton, 5-11, sr., East Lansing: A well-rounded player, our best guess is that Hampton will likely play the shooting guard in college. She signed with Wichita State. She has great determination and, physically, she has long arms, which causes problems for the opposition with Hampton defensively. She averaged 16 points last season. Of note, Hampton, at age 16, is a young senior.
- Maddie Watters, 5-7, sr., Williamston: A four-year starter, Watters signed with Western Michigan. A shooting guard, Watters will also handle the ball much of the time, creating her own shot and working in space to create for others. She averaged 17 points and five assists last season. “I’ve coached a lot of players,” coach Pete Cool said. “And Maddie is one of the greatest persons I’ve coached.”
- Laya Hartman, 5-11, jr., Okemos: Hartman is likely a Miss Basketball candidate for the class of 2019. A three-year varsity player, Hartman plays all positions but center. An excellent student, Hartman is being looked at by a number of Ivy League schools. Oregon State, Tennessee and a host of Big 10 schools have offered her a scholarship.
- Rickea Jackson, 6-3, jr., Detroit Edison: Jackson had a tremendous sophomore season as she averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds. She’s improved her ball-handling skills and has become a more patient player. She’s received multiple scholarship offers.
- Lasha Petree, 6-0, sr., Ypsilanti Arbor Prep: Petree is a complete player. She has a great pull-up jump shot, can shoot the 3-pointer and is physical enough to score inside. She’ll likely play the shooting guard this season. Last season she averaged 10.5 points, five rebounds and 1.5 blocks. She signed with Bradley.
- Julia Ayrault, 6-2, jr., Grosse Pointe North: A three-year starter, Ayrault has committed to Michigan State. Ayrault has long arms, possesses a fine vertical jump and this combination has helped her become a good shot blocker. Last season she averaged 15 points and nine rebounds.
- Alyza Winston, 5-4, jr., Muskegon: A transfer from Muskegon Mona Shores, Winston might not be eligible until January. “She’s explosive,” coach Rodney Walker said. “She’s on another level.” Winston has been offered a scholarship by a number of Division I schools including DePaul, Kentucky and Mississippi State.
- Maxine Moore, 5-11, sr., Detroit Country Day: Moore will play inside much of the time this season out of necessity. Last season she averaged 10 points. Moore is a fine perimeter shooter and she signed with Western Michigan.
- Jeanae Terry, 5-10, jr., Wayne Memorial: Terry has great length enabling her to tip many passes in the passing lanes. She’s a shooting guard who’s unselfish. Last season she averaged 17 points and eight assists. She has received 26 scholarship offers notably from Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska. She had four triple doubles last season.
- Mo Joiner, 5-9, jr., Saginaw Heritage: Joiner doesn’t have a label. She’ll play wherever her team needs her to play. She’ll likely be a shooting guard in college. She was second on the team in rebounds a season ago and averaged 14 points. Marquette and a host of Mid-American Conference schools have offered her a scholarship.
- Destiny Strother, 5-9, jr., Flint Carman-Ainsworth: A dynamite 3-point shooter, Strother made a commitment to Marquette. She averaged 15 points as a freshman and 17.9 last season.
- Kate McArthur, 5-8, jr., Warren Cousino: A three-year starter, McArthur recently committed to Clemson. She averaged 15.7 points and five rebounds last season. Coach Mike Lee said McArthur must become more of a leader this season. She’s a winner. Her team won the Class A title when she was a freshman and they reached the semifinals last season.
- Edecia Beck, 6-1, sr., Grand Rapids Christian: Beck had an outstanding junior season as she averaged 14.5 points (second on her team), 8.6 rebounds and three steals. Beck had 15 points in Christian’s 33-18 victory over Byron Center in a Class A district semifinal. Nicknamed Deesh, Beck signed with Ohio. Her brother, James, plays for Oakland University.
- Kayla Luchenbach, 6-1, sr., Clarkston: A three-year starter, Luchenbach is expected to be more of a perimeter player this season. She signed with Oakland and could play the wing there. Last season she averaged 17 points and led her team in rebounds (9) and blocks (2).
- Janara Flowers, 5-9, sr., Walled Lake Western: Last season Flowers averaged 12.5 points and shot 80 percent from the free throw line. Western played a deliberate style last season keeping Flowers’ statistics on the low side. She helped the Warriors win their first district title since 1988. She signed with Indiana State.
- Del’Janae Williams, 5-9, jr., Detroit King: Williams started on the 2016 Class A state finalist team. As a sophomore last season she averaged 16 points. She’s much improved on the defense end and is an outstanding 3-point shooter. Penn State is said to be the top school she’s considering.
- Taylor Williams, 6-2, jr., Macomb Dakota: Williams is a power forward who handles the ball well. She’s athletic and can run out on the break like a guard. Bradley and Detroit have offered her a scholarship.
- Allison Peplowski, 6-1, sr., Williamston: Peplowski is a four-year starter. She signed with South Dakota. Last season she averaged eight points and nine rebounds. “She’s getting better and better,” coach Pete Cool said. “She’s maturing and growing.”
- Ellie Dykstra, 6-0, sr., Byron Center: A four-year varsity player, Dykstra has been a solid player throughout her varsity career. A point guard, Dykstra was all-conference as a sophomore. She signed with Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.
- Sophia DiMilia, 5-11, sr., New Boston Huron: A four-year varsity player, DiMilia is a two-time first team all-Huron League selection. She averaged 14 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, three steals and two assists. She signed with Detroit.
- Alona Blackwell, 5-10, jr., East Kentwood: Blackwell is a terrific 3-point shooter and has received 13 Division I scholarship offers including one Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State.
- Alexis Johnson, 5-11, jr., Southfield for the Arts and Technology: An athletic player, Johnson will likely play on the perimeter in college but for coach Michele Marshall she’ll play inside. Johnson had 17 rebounds in a Class A semifinal last season. She averaged 15 points. A solid 3-pointer shooter, Johnson has been offered a scholarship by Toledo and Western Michigan.
- Damiya Hagemann, 5-7, fr., Detroit Edison: Hagemann plays beyond her youth. Some coaches have said that she could have started on many good varsity programs in the seventh grade. She’s slated to start at the point this season but could play the shooting guard as well.
Top 5 sophomores (listed alphabetically)
Jasmine Clerkley, 5-10, Okemos
Cameron Grant, 6-1, Macomb Dakota
Cheyenne McEvans, 5-10, Southfield A&T
Aaliyah McQueen, 5-9, Flint Carman-Ainsworth
Makailah Zeigler-Griggs, 6-0, Wayne Memorial