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Top Oakland County girls basketball players for 2016-17 season WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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A look at the top players in Oakland County for the 2016-17 girls basketball season:

1. Deja Church, Southfield A&T, Sr. G — Last year’s County Player of the Year and Class A co-Player of the Year in the state, Church has a different task ahead of her this season, as the most experienced player and leader of a merged A&T team that includes veterans from both Southfield and Southfield-Lathrup.

Averaged 19 points, six rebounds, three steals and 2.7 assists per game as a junior — her career average rests at 16 points per game — and just passed the 1,000-point plateau in the first week of her senior season. Church was the leading scorer on a team that contained four Division I prospects, and took over in the biggest games.


2. Destiny Pitts, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Sr. G — One of the most sought-after players in the 2016 class in Michigan (she was ranked as a four-star recruit, No. 62 overall in the ESPNW HoopGurlz top 100 recruiting rankings), Pitts has always had the mentality of a scorer — and she can score in bunches, off the drive, or from deep. She’s also developed into a top-notch facilitator throughout her prep career, as well as into an exceptional leader. If the Yellowjackets don’t fulfill her promise to return to the Breslin Center for another state title run, it won’t be because of lack of trying from Pitts, a two-time all-stater who averaged 16 points, six rebounds and three assists per game last year. Signed with Minnesota.

3. Kaela Webb, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Jr. G — Country Day’s point guard since the moment she stepped on campus, the hiccup-quick Webb has directed the offense for the Yellowjackets, including a breakout game in the 2015 Class B championship game as a freshman. But with Jasmine Powell moving into the starting lineup next to her, it should take some of the ball handling duties out of Webb’s hands, allowing her to use her shooting ability more. One of the top recruits in the 2017 class, Webb has already committed to Marquette.

4. Kierra Crockett, North Farmington, Sr. G/F — There is no player in the county with more sheer athleticism than Crockett, who can elevate (and at times, seemingly levitate), out-jumping other rebounders or defenders to get her shot off, or sprinting past them for a layup. She also uses her length and quickness defensively to get not passing lanes, when the Raiders turn on the pressure. She’ll be relied upon to carry a lot of the scoring load for North Farmington this season. Crockett averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 steals, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 assists per game as a junior. Uncommitted, but has a Division II offer on the table.

5. Ellie Mackay, Novi, Jr. G — The do-everything point guard for the Wildcats is already racking up multiple Division II offers, coming off a sophomore season when she led Novi with an average of 15 points per game. Mackay gets in the lane a lot, and gets off her own shots, or sets up others’ — and when she doesn’t, she usually heads to the line, where she unerringly makes her foul shots, as evidenced by her record-setting free-throw shooting last season. Averaged 17.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 2 assists per game as a junior.

6. Maddie Novak, Lake Orion, So. F — Most players take a year or two in high school to reach 400 points, but it took Novak just 20 career games to get to 399. Her 19.95 scoring average was second-best in Oakland County last season (she averaged 22.9 points against the better competition the Dragons played), to go with 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. She was an efficient scorer, too, shooting 48 percent from the floor, 28.5 percent from 3-point range, and 76.4 percent from the free-throw line. Had to fight back from a knee injury suffered in districts, but is already off to her high-scoring ways early in her sophomore season.

7. Tylar Bennett, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Sr. C — The 6-foot-4 Bennett guards the paint like few others in high school basketball, swatting nearly 90 shots last season. Her offensive game has come along to match her defense, as her career has gone along, and now she’s a viable option for the Yellowjackets, down low. Signed with Clemson.

8. Kayla Luchenbach, Clarkston, Jr. C — The 6-foot-2 post has been a presence inside for the Wolves since her first game as a freshman. She’ll have some help down low from the Wolves’ other twin tower, Molly Nicholson, but the key to maximizing Luchenbach’s ability will be if the Clarkston guards can both get her the ball, and keep the defense from packing it in. When that happens, Luchenbach is a consistent producer. She averaged 14.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game as a sophomore, despite ever-increasing defensive attention, earning honorable mention all-state honors.

9. Amanda Sape, Bloomfield Hills, Sr. C — The two-time honorable mention all-stater had her junior season cut short by a concussion, but the 6-foot-3 post was her usual effective self before the injury, posting six double-doubles in the first 14 games, averaging 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. She’s the Black Hawks’ career leader in points, rebounds and blocks, and also holds the single-season rebounding and blocked shot marks. Signed with Kent State.

10. Maggie Rogers, Rochester Adams, Sr. G — Always a great shooter with her feet set — Rogers won the BCAM free-throw shooting contest at last year’s finals — Rogers has worked to diversify her game. “Great shooter and free throw shooter,” first-year coach Jackie Steinacker said. “Has really worked on her game to be more versatile and a great driver.” Averaging 16.7 points per game last year, Rogers was second-team all-county.

11. Olivia Moore, Birmingham Marian, So. G — One of the biggest concerns for the Marian Mustangs last season, in rebuilding a two-time state championship roster wiped clean by graduation and transfers, was ball handling. Turns out, it shouldn’t have been. Moore’s composure and court awareness as a freshman made the Mustangs not miss all those departed college-bound players quite as much.

12. Quinoche Carter, Birmingham Groves, Jr. G — True, Groves loves to run it up and down the floor with teams, and that helps Carter’s numbers, to an extent, but this is hardly a player who’s a product of the system. Carter averaged 21 points per game as a sophomore, and is off to a similar start in her junior year. In addition to her scoring, added 7.53 rebounds, 1.94 assists and 4.94 steals per game.

13. Lillia Schoof, Waterford Kettering, Sr. F — Three different coaches at Waterford Kettering got to watch Schoof make an instant impact on their programs early in her high school career, as she has excelled in track and field and volleyball, as well as basketball. Last spring, after earning all-conference honorable mention in hoops, she earned all-state honors as a hurdler in track. “Lillia is a three-sport, three-year varsity player who has the ability to make big plays on both ends of the court,” coach Scott Woodhull said. She’s a “very dynamic and athletic forward, who is developing into a nice combination player.” Schoof averaged eight points, seven rebounds and three steals her junior year. Signed with Saginaw Valley State.

14. Janara Flowers, Walled Lake Western, Jr. G — Flowers is the leader of a solid group of players who helped Western go from 2-17 in 2014-15 to 10-10 in 2015-16. Flowers averaged a team-high 12 points per game for the Warriors as a sophomore. “Janara brings quite a bit of composure and confidence to the Warrior backcourt,” coach Skip Stephenson said. “An excellent scorer, Janara is usually the defensive focus of opposing coaches. Despite consistently drawing the other team’s best defender, Janara leads our team in scoring and is our main ball handler.” Committed to Indiana State.

15. Myra Williams, Waterford Mott, Sr. G/F — Mott’s season turned for the better when the ultra-athletic Williams moved back from Florida to play for her old school. “She is our most athletic player. A great on-the-ball defender,” Mott coach Michelle Sklar said. “She is a well-rounded player offensively she is difficult to defend because she can play in the post or on the perimeter. She is one of the team’s better ball handlers and can attack the basket and also shoot 3’s.” Averaged 10.4 points, five rebounds and 2.5 steals per game with the Corsairs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All-stater Mackenzie Harbort of Birmingham Seaholm would be part of this list, if not for a knee injury which will cost Harbort her senior season.


Maxine Moore, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Jr. F

Katherine Prina, Bloomfield Hills, Sr., G

Tiffany Senerius, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Sr. G

Cheyenne McEvans, Southfield A&T, Fr., G/F

Alexis Johnson, Southfield A&T, So., F

Mallory Barrett, Milford, Sr., PG

Sam Cherney, North Farmington, Jr. P

Celia Gaynor, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Jr. G

Paola Barraza, Rochester, Jr., G

D’Layna Holliman, Southfield A&T, Jr., G

Sam Potter, Royal Oak, So. F

Emily Solek, Stoney Creek, Sr., F

Dana Hoerman, Birmingham Seaholm, Sr., F

Tessa Nuss, Lake Orion, So., G

Paige Reid, Holly, Sr., G

Courtney Callahan, Walled Lake Northern, Jr. G

Ally Voss, Stoney Creek, Sr., F

Maddy Kase, Waterford Kettering, Sr. G

Makoya Denham, Berkley, Sr., F

Olivia Russell, Auburn Hills Avondale, So., F

Last Updated: 12/8/2016 2:21:04 PM EST

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