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Lasha Petree returns to Arbor Prep lineup; Gators are good to go with state tournament a month away

By: Tom Markowski, January 24, 2018, 3:04 pm

Ypsilanti – When making predictions for the state tournament or simply assessing a team’s strengths, often the overall record is not the place to start.

Some teams don’t play a particularly strong schedule so their record could be inflated. The teams that do play a strong schedule will often have multiple losses and in the end will be further ahead when compared with those teams with a better record.

Take Ypsilanti Arbor Prep for example. The Gators reached the Class B final last season, moved down to Class C this season and have what many would consider a so-so 8-4 record.

Not so. Arbor Prep defeated such strong Class A teams like Clarkston and Port Huron Northern, and handed Detroit Edison, the top-ranked team in Class C, its only loss, 54-49, on Jan. 11.

Arbor Prep’s losses are to Howell, Flint Carman-Ainsworth and Ann Arbor Huron, three Class A teams ranked in the top 10. Its fourth loss was to Detroit Mumford, 44-35, in the game following its victory over Edison. At 8-3 Mumford is a solid Class B team but the Mustangs aren’t in the class of Arbor Prep, which is ranked No. 4 in Class C.

The main reason Arbor Prep lost to Mumford was the fact that its star player, and possible Miss Basketball candidate, Lasha Petree, did not play. She was not in uniform instead she was on the bench in street clothes. Coach Scott Stine said Petree did not play for personal reasons and did not elaborate. Petree’s sister, Mahri, fouled out and her other sister, Jala, played despite a sore ankle.

Lasha Petree did play in last Friday’s 51-27 victory at Pinckney. Stine added that Petree is scheduled to play the rest of the season.

As for her chances to be on the Miss Basketball ballot, Stine said “it would be an injustice” if Petree were left off.

“She’s definitely played well enough (to be on the ballot),” Stine said. “She’s grown up a lot from last season. She shares the ball. And she plays defense. She held Rickea Jackson (Edison) to eight points. Before the game we didn’t want to get her in foul trouble so we asked her if she wanted to guard (Jackson). She emphatically said yes. Lasha is moving her feet better and has great length. She only had 10 points in that game but she had 10 rebounds and four or five blocks.”

Lasha Petree is a 6-foot guard-forward who has signed with Bradley.

In other news involving one of the state’s top players, Brandon Johns (6-8) missed his second consecutive game for East Lansing on Tuesday. Last week he banged knees in practice and coach Steve Finamore said the injury was not serious. Johns did not play in last Friday’s 60-55 loss at home to Okemos and did not play in Tuesday’s 80-53 victory at St. Johns. Expect Johns, who signed with Michigan, to be back in the lineup on Friday when the Trojans (9-2) host Jackson (6-4).