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Three-time reigning girls hoops champ Detroit Edison knocked out of tournament, along with Chandler Park Academy

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, March 27, 2021, 12:02 am

In one short span Friday afternoon, the complexion of the MHSAA’s Division 2 girls basketball tournament changed radically. 

Both nationally ranked Detroit Edison — a three-time reigning champion — and fellow contender Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy found out they were out of the tournament for COVID-19 concerns, leaving a gaping hole in the bracket.

Both teams had their seasons ended by the COVID-19 pause last spring, as well, shut down just before the regional finals. 

Edison (11-0), which won Class C titles in 2017 and 2018, and a Division 2 title in 2019 (and was well on its way to another in 2020) was set to face Detroit University Prep in its district final Friday night. The Pioneers chose to opt out of the tournament when an Edison player tested positive.

“Our Lady Pioneers have been undefeated for the last two years, but of course we understand that the safety of our students and the community is the most important thing,’ DEPSA head coach Monique Brown said in a prepared statement posted on Twitter (full text below). ‘The team has won 34 games in a row and we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together. While are girls are disappointed, they are proud to play their part in protecting the community — and look forward to getting back Ito the gym and to their friends as soon as it is safe.”

Chandler Park (15-2) was scheduled to play Eastpointe Friday evening. The Eagles were placed in quarantine when a previous opponent had a player test positive. 

“With great regret we must announce we had to remove our student athletes from the State Tournament due to contact tracing of our Wednesday semifinal opponent Detroit Denby. We had done all we could to protect our athletes but COVID unfortunately has had the final say,” the official CPA Lady Eagles Twitter account posted Friday night. “God Bless everyone trying to get to the Breslin Center! Play hard and be safe!”

Both Eastpointe and Detroit University Prep were crowned district champions by the forfeits, and moved forward into the regional at Livonia Clarenceville next week, where they’ll play each other at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Warren Regina and Birmingham Detroit Country Day are on the other side of the regional bracket. 

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Full text of the DEPSA post:

“After months of being safe and smart on behalf of our student-athletes, one of the members of our girls basketball team has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. For the safety of the rest of the team and staff, we have decided to pull out of the state basketball tournament. 

This incident is completely separate from the three cases involving the boys basketball team. Both the boys and girls are under quarantine — making sure they can recover and not spread the virus to others.

‘Our Lady Pioneers have been undefeated for the last two years, but of course we understand that the safety of our students and the community is the most important thing,’ says Monique Brown, head basketball coach of DEPSA’s girls basketball team. ‘The team has won 34 games in a row and we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together. While are girls are disappointed, they are proud to play their part in protecting the community — and look forward to getting back Ito the gym and to their friends as soon as it is safe.’ 

As always, the entire DEPSA family is committed to ensuring that our students, families and the entire community are safe and secure. While our girls, especially our seniors, were looking forward to the opportunity to defend their state title for the fourth consecutive year, we know we are living in unprecedented times where COVID-19 is our common and most critical rival.

We want to wish our opponents safety and the best of luck as they continue to play the rest of the tournament. We also want to keep all of our students, families, and staff in our thoughts, as we work to use social distancing and remain safe.”