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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Freeland’s Jankoska tapped as Miss Basketball for 2013

By: Scott Burnstein, March 13, 2013, 9:00 am

Tori Jankoska’s had a prodigious high school hoops career.

Earlier this week, it reached elite status, her name now slated to go down in the history books.

Jankoska, Freeland’s high-scoring senior guard, was named the state’s 32nd Miss Basketball recipient Monday morning in a ceremony in downtown Detroit.

Finishing her days as a prepster with over 2,000 points, the 5-foot-8 headstrong bucket-machine is signed to play her college ball at Michigan State. Cutting her teeth on the floor by playing in boys leagues growing up, by the time she hit high school she was primed for greatness.

This year, Jankoska found the bottom of the net at a torrid pace, averaging 31 points to go along with nine rebounds, five assists and four steals per outing, becoming her school’s and her county’s (Saginaw) all-time leading scorer.

She beat out Goodrich’s Taylor Gleason by less than 320 votes in the race for Miss Basketball. Grand Haven’s Abby Cole (Michigan for volleyball), Detroit King’s Antania Hayes (DePaul) and Mattawan’s Allie Havers (Nebraska) were next in the balloting respectively.

When Jankoska and Gleason locked horns on the court earlier this season, Jankoska and her teammates got the best of the eagerly-anticipated match-up, as Freeland defeated Gleason and her defending state-champion Goodrich squad behind Jankoska’s 34 points.

It won’t be long until the pair of cage stars meet again on the hardwood. They will be college rivals in the Big 10 for the next four seasons. Gleason is signed with Illinois.

Jankoska’s decision to pen her National Letter of Intent with Michigan State back in November, gave the Spartans’ bragging rights to three of the past four Miss Basketball honorees.

Last year’s winner, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s Madison Ristovski inked with Michigan, ending a streak of two in a row heading to East Lansing (Jasmine Hines and Klarissa Bell).

Competing in Class B, Jankoska’s high-octane antics made her Freeland team a state-power. Bringing home league and district titles, the Falcons ended the 2013 season with a 22-2 overall record, losing to Flint Powers 61-53 in the regional finals (Sweet 16) last Thursday.

The Miss Basketball award was conceived in 1981. The inaugural nod went to Leland’s Julie Polakowski, who like Jankoska, was signed with Michigan State.

Of the 32 Miss Basketball recipients throughout history, 25 of them have gone on to play major Division I college basketball (the remaining seven heading to the mid-major level). Jankoska is the ninth Miss Basketball winner to sign with Michigan State out of the prep ranks.