OVID-ELSIE — Coach Ryan Cunningham’s Marauder girls basketball team has been ranked among the Top Ten teams in the mid-Michigan area, by Lansing media.
The undefeated Lady Marauders have eight players returning, and have earned a #7 ranking area-wide. And it shows with a 5-0 start so far. Their best win this season so far is a 54-52 triumph over Ionia. Coach Cunningham has a nice mix of youth and experience that will likely help them down the road.
Here’s a look at the remainder of the top 10 teams in the Lansing are in girls basketball at the holiday break.
Honorable Mention: Leslie (4-1): The lady Blackhawks would move into the top 10 if the beat Dansville on Tuesday night in the finals of the Leslie Invitational. They won a district title last season, And they have four very good freshmen to supplement veterans Emma Smieska and Dana Coltrain. A GLAC title and another district are possible again.
Honorable Mention: Morrice (5-1): The lady Orioles are off to a very good start, with their only loss coming to Lansing Christian back on December 3rd. They’ll have a chance to improve their ranking when they face unbeaten Portland St. Patrick on January 3rd at home.
10 – Dansville (5-1): The lady Aggies can stay in the Top 10 if they beat Leslie on Tuesday in the championship of the Leslie Invitational. Their only loss has been to P-W so far. But a brutal CMAC schedule awaits for them after the first of the year. But it’s been a good start so far.
9- Pewamo-Westphalia (5-1): The lady Pirates only loss is to Portland St. Patrick. But coach Steve Eklund has gotten a fairly young team playing well early on. They have good wins over Ionia, New Lothrop, and Dansville so far, and are looking for another deep run in the state tourney in March.
8 – Fowler (5-1): The defending Division 4 champs are looking strong again so far. The Riley sisters (Mia and Emma) lead a very good squad that looks to contend for the CMAC title and Division 4 honors again.
7- Ovid-Elsie (5-0)
6- Portland (5-0): The defending Division 2 state champs are undefeated once again. Head coach Jason Haid has loads of experience returning to the floor. They play unbeaten Lansing Catholic twice, and that will likely decide the CAAC White title this season.
5- Lansing Catholic (5-0): Head coach Kacee Reid may have her best team yet. Their top six players in their rotation are back. And they’ve already beaten arch-rival Williamston this year. The two games against Portland will likely decide the CAAC White title. After that, one only
4 – Holt (4-0): The Lady Rams have seen a couple of games postponed, so they’ll have a loaded schedule after the first of the year. First-year coach Tori Brooks has four seniors and lots of experience back. But a loaded CAAC Blue will make it tough if they want even a share of the
CAAC Blue title. We’ll see.
3 – DeWitt (4-0): Even though they have only one starter back, head coach Bill McCullen has the lady Panthers off to another undefeated start. They lost starting guard Alexa Ashley for the season to a knee injury. But if the youngsters keep improving like they have so far, they could be a factor in the league as well as the Division 1 district come March.
2 – Portland St. Pats (6-0): The legendary Al Schrauben has the lady Shamrocks looking terrific so far. Their win over P-W on December 10th is one of the best of the season so far. Gobs of experience litter this roster. And, barring injuries, they could make a deep run in Division 4 this season.
1 – Haslett (6-0): Head coach Ross Baker have three experienced juniors in the starting lineup in Grace Isenhath, Emily Homan, and Ellie Humble supplementing a pair of good seniors. They have great wins already this season over East Lansing, Grand Ledge, and perennial state power Jackson Northwest. If they stay healthy, a deep run in March is possible.
Two area teams who are defending state champs in Portland (Division 2) and Fowler (Division 4), while East Lansing (Division 1) won a regional title. And Lansing Catholic (Division 2) and Leslie (Division 3) won district titles last season.
Other teams around the area to look out for are: In the CAAC Blue, East Lansing and Grand Ledge. In the CAAC Red, watch for Williamston and Fowlerville in addition to Haslett. In the CAAC White, Ionia and Charlotte are off to decent starts as well.
In the GLAC, Stockbridge, Olivet, and Lansing Christian look good.
And the stacked CMAC also has quality teams like Potterville, Laingsburg, and Saranac challenging the top teams that you see in the Top Ten list.