High school girls basketball: Eddies keep rolling to top Michigan power rankings

·4 min read
The Brandywine mascot during the Brandywine vs. Buchanan girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at Brandywine High School in Niles, Michigan.
The Brandywine mascot during the Brandywine vs. Buchanan girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at Brandywine High School in Niles, Michigan.

Top Teams

Edwardsburg (9-0)

Games this week: January 18, at Portage Central; January 25, vs. Niles.

There seems to be no stopping Edwardsburg. The Eddies rolled past three more opponents this past week, downing Otsego (52-32), Concord, Ind., (63-24) and Vicksburg (64-26). Edwardsburg has now disposed of nine teams by an average of 40.8 points per game. The Eddie defense is collecting 27.8 steals per game with Ella Castelucci averaging 5.3, Caitlin Tighe 4.9, Katie Schaible 4.6 and Macey Laubach 4.3. Edwardsburg finally showed up in the Detroit Free Press Division 2 rankings this week at No. 9.

Edwardsburg's Ella Castelucci (3) celebrates during the Edwardsburg vs. Three Rivers girls district championship game Friday, March 26, 2021 at Dowagiac High School.
Edwardsburg's Ella Castelucci (3) celebrates during the Edwardsburg vs. Three Rivers girls district championship game Friday, March 26, 2021 at Dowagiac High School.

Brandywine (9-1)

Games this week: January 18, vs. Sturgis; January 20, at South Haven.

Brandywine had a big week, topping previously-unbeaten Buchanan 53-47 Thursday and then setting a school single-game scoring record while beating Cassopolis 86-38 on Saturday. The 86 topped the 82 points scored by the 2014-15 team against Berrien Springs. Ellie Knapp had a huge week with 68 points, but freshman Miley Young also made big contributions with 10 points against Buchanan and 17 against Cassopolis.

Brandywine's Miley Young drives against Buchanan's Hailey Jonatzke during the Brandywine vs. Buchanan girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at Brandywine High School in Niles, Michigan.
Brandywine's Miley Young drives against Buchanan's Hailey Jonatzke during the Brandywine vs. Buchanan girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at Brandywine High School in Niles, Michigan.

► More: Girls basketball: No. 9 Brandywine knocks down No. 4 Buchanan

Cassopolis (5-3)

Games this week: January 18, vs. Bloomingdale; January 21, vs. Marcellus

Cassopolis had won three in a row without 6-0 center and leading scorer Zaniya Dodd (10.5 points per game) before falling to No. 9-ranked Brandywine on Saturday. Earlier in the week the Rangers beat Centreville 47-43 behind 15 points from Ella Smith and 14 points from Atyanna Alford and toppled Bangor 54-28 with Alford scoring 14 and Smith and Jadin Wolfe nine apiece. Winless a year ago, Cass is in the thick of the Southwest 10 race at 4-2.

Top Players

Ellie Knapp, Brandywine

Brandywine's Ellie Knapp puts up a shot during the Brandywine vs. Buchanan girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at Brandywine High School in Niles, Michigan.
Brandywine's Ellie Knapp puts up a shot during the Brandywine vs. Buchanan girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at Brandywine High School in Niles, Michigan.

What a week for Knapp. The 5-6 sophomore poured in 29 points, including 21 of her team's 29 in the second half as Brandywine stunned previously-unbeaten Buchanan 53-47 on Thursday. Then she topped that with 39 points, six steals and three assists in 21 minutes as the Bobcats overwhelmed Cassopolis 86-38 Saturday. The 39 points was the second-highest single-game total in school history, topped only by Carlie Newman's 41 points in a 52-32 district win over Watervliet in 2012. Knapp is now averaging 19.4 points per game.

Macey Laubach, Edwardsburg

Laubach continues to be a double-figure scoring machine. The 5-9 senior scored in double figures in all three Edwardsburg wins, tallying 16 against Otsego, 11 against Concord and 19 against Vicksburg. She also combined for 20 rebounds and eight steals in the three victories. Laubach is averaging 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 steals.

LaBria Austin, Buchanan

Austin was a key factor in two Buchanan wins, scoring 23 points to go with four steals, two assists and three rebounds in a 60-34 win over Constantine and adding 18 points, three assists, three steals and four rebounds in a 57-44 win over Bronson. The 5-8 sophomore was held to nine points in the 53-47 loss to Brandywine.

Ella Castelucci, Edwardsburg

Castelucci continues to be a big factor in Edwardsburg's offense and its fullcourt pressure defense. The 5-4 senior scored nine points against Otsego, 11 against Concord and 17 against Vicksburg while also combining for nine rebounds, four assists and 16 steals in the three games. Castelucci is averaging 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 5.3 steals.

Standings

Wolverine South: Edwardsburg 9-0 (3-0); Sturgis 3-3 (2-1); Three Rivers 2-7 (1-2); Niles 2-5 (0-1); Dowagiac 1-8 (0-2).

BCS Red: Brandywine 9-1 (2-0); Buchanan 9-1 (2-1); South Haven 1-5 (0-1); Berrien Springs 0-7 (0-2).

Southwest 10: Hartford 7-0 (6-0); Bloomingdale 6-1 (4-1); Mendon 6-1 (4-1); Marcellus 6-2 (4-2); Cassopolis 5-3 (4--2); Centreville 3-5 (3-3); Comstock 3-5 (2-4); White Pigeon 1-6 (1-5); Decatur 1-7 (1-5); Bangor 0-6 (0-6).

Scoring Leaders

Ellie Knapp, Brandywine 19.4; Macey Laubach, Edwardsburg 17.9; Amara Palmer, Niles 15.5; Katie Schaible, Edwardsburg 13.9; Kamryn Patterson, Niles 13.4; LaBria Austin, Buchanan 12.8; Miley Young, Brandywine 12.7; Alanah Smith, Dowagiac 11.3; Ella Castelucci, Edwardsburg 11.2; Caitlin Tighe, Edwardsburg 10.8; Zaniya Dodd, Cassopolis 10.5; Atyanna Alford, Cassopolis 10.3

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Michigan high school girls basketball: Ranking teams, players for area

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