Belleville, MI - The Best of Michigan Holiday Classic has truly become the state of Michigan's Premier event. Four days packed with basketball played by some of the best teams in Michigan and its bordering states. It also gives us (the fans) a sneak peek of what the state playoffs might look like as teams who normally would not play each other, go head to head. Basketball fans across the state have grown to look forward to it, and this year’s event did not disappoint them.
Kaylie Karsch 2022 Ann Arbor Pioneer
Kaylie showed that she can show up for her team in tough situations. Down late in the game, Kaylie played her part offensively and defensively to help her team not only stay in the game but pull out the win. She hit a crucial 3-pointer that gave her team a new spark. She finished with a team-high 10 points.
Natiah Nelson 2024 Toledo Rogers
Nelson was the energy pack for her team. She was an offensive threat from start to finish. She got to the rim on multiple possessions with minimal turnovers and she was a vocal leader. During times when her shot wasn’t falling, she kept playing. Natiah was a vocal leader that gave her all every minute she was on the court. She finished with a game-high 12points.
Gabi Lutchka 2022 Grass Lake (signed with Northwood)
Impressive on both ends of the court, Gabi not only showed strong leadership and maturity, but she made sure if you didn’t know her name before you came to the gym, you definitely knew it before you left. She put her team on her shoulders and played ball! She made smart decisions with the ball, especially with her shot selection, and gave her team a chance to win. She finished with a game-high 18 points.
Klaire Caldwell 2024 Midland H.H. Dow
Klaire did a great job of playing the lanes, creating turnovers, and sparking fast breaks. She works hard and does the little things that make a big difference. She wasn’t afraid to let the ball fly from deep but never forced a shot. She always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and it most certainly had an impact on the game. She finished with 10 points.
Morgan Williams 2024 Midland
Morgan has a contagious energy and she made it her business to spread it to her team, even when they were down and fighting a double-digit deficit. She worked hard on both ends of the court. She was vocal and efficient, giving her all to keep her team in the game. Morgan has a lot of potential and showed a lot of tenacity. She finished with a team-high 11 points.
Ella Burger 2022 Macomb Dakota
Whether it was showing her arsenal of moves to get to the hoop or knocking down a jump shot with her quick release, Ella was impressive. A fire was ignited in her in the second quarter, and she took over the game. Ella was her team’s vocal leader on both offense and defense, she hustled and worked hard to create shots, and she also got her teammates involved in the action. Lexus finished with the game-high 21 points.
Camille Jackson 2022 Butler Prep (IL) (Signed with University of Illinois)
Camille showed out the gate that she came to play. Her team’s first possession of the game, Camille took the ball straight to the rim and continued to do so throughout the game. Her team went on a scoring slump; however, it did not discourage or detour Camille from doing what she does. She finished the game with 12 points.
Shamya Reid 2023 Westfield Prep
Shamya has a high motor and a lot of energy. From the opening tip she was aggressive on both ends of the court, kick-starting an impressive 31 point first quarter for the Warriors. Shamya plays great on the ball defense, creating several turnovers and steals. She is small but she packs a lot of heart and a loud voice that she made sure was heard while she was on the court. She finished with 15 points.
Karianna Woods 2022 Arbor Prep
Karianna started the game showing she understood the assignment; lock in on defense and attack the paint on offense. That is exactly what she did. Within the first four minutes of the game, Karianna had 2 steals, a layup, a long-range 3-pointer, and a couple of assists. She never let up. She’s a workhorse and it showed throughout the entire game. In an impressive win, she finished the game with 10 points.
Mya Petticord 2022 Arbor Prep (signed with Texas A&M)
Petticord showed up in a huge for her team, but she did it quietly. She worked hard without the ball to get open. She was an offensive general, keeping the ball moving to get the best shot available. When it was time for her to score and take over, that is what she did. Mya made sure to make it rain, knocking down multiple shots from deep behind the arc. She finished with the game-high 23 points.
Davai Matthews 2022 Wayne Memorial (signed with Long Beach State)
One thing that could not be denied was Davai’s presence on the court. When she was in the game, she dominated inside. She controlled the boards, she got to the rim when she wanted, and anyone that came her way on defense thought about it twice. She ran the court in transition and gave 110% every minute she played. She scored a team-high 17 points.
Rachel Riley 2023 Belleville
When your team gets down by a lot early in the game, it can knock the wind and the fight out of you. Rachel made it clear that the scenario does not apply to her. She was a key component to her team’s impressive second-half comeback. She scrambled for loose balls, got aggressive on defense, and hit some big shots under pressure. As the game got more intense, the harder Rachel played. She finished with 9 points.
Christian Sanders 2024 Detroit Renaissance
Resilient. Hard working. Determined. I could stop right there if I wanted to, and it would completely tell the story of how Christian played. Whether her team was nursing a double-digit lead or trying to recover from a 12-0 run, Christian was always in the mix playing her part. She was responsible for a crucial defensive stop that could have potentially cost her squad the game. She finished with a team-high 13 points.
Myonna Hooper 2022 West Bloomfield
Myonna was a key contributor, either directly or indirectly, in the Lakers first half points. She did a great job of getting the ball to the open man or making the one extra needed pass for a better shot, or just taking it to the hoop herself. She was aggressive on defense and played with a lot of toughness and heart. In the final seconds of the game, Myonna showed that she can step up in the clutch, going coast to coast to hit the game-winning layup. She finished with 11 points.
Summer Davis 2022 West Bloomfield
Facing a slow start against a very athletic team, Summer dug deep and stepped up big on both ends of the floor. She rotated well on defense, playing the lanes and getting some huge steals. On offense, she did all the little things to get the ball in the basket. Her shot selection was impressive and so was her ability to finish strong under pressure. She finished with a game-high 19 points.
Tahj Bloom 2024 Bolingbrook
Tahj showed that she is a versatile player that can do it all on offense, including stepping out of the paint and sinking a couple of deep three-pointers. She can put the ball on the court and run the offense or take it all the way to the rim. She is a strong rebounder and is not afraid to battle inside. Tahj was also a consistent shot blocker. What she didn’t block, she was able to alter and deflect. She finished with 11 points.
Angelina Smith 2024 Bolingbrook
Angelina was her team’s floor general and energy pack. She hustles! When she wasn’t on the court, her presence was missed. When her team faced a huge run that put them behind, she turned up her defensive pressure and put them right back on top. Angelina did it all and fought hard until the very end. She finished the game with 11 points.
Kira Reynolds 2025 South Bend Washington
Kira showed that she may be young in age, but not in heart, confirming that big-time players not only show up in the clutch, but they make game-changing plays. In the final minute of a hard-fought double-overtime game against the top team in Michigan, Kira put her team on her back. She squared up to the hoop, surveyed the court, and made a strong move to the basket, finishing strong and drawing a foul. Kira then went to the line and calmly sank her free-throw, ultimately giving her team the win. She finished with a game-high 25 points. Her big sis Mila Reynolds (University of Maryland commit) finished with 23 points, with her other big sis Amiyah Reynolds right behind them with 14 points.
Monique Mitchell 2025 South Bend Washington
Monique’s impact on the game was much bigger than what the stat sheet shows. When her team was fighting back offensively, Monique hit back-to-back threes and played lock-down defense that created a turnover and easy bucket for her team, giving them the lead. She is tough and willing to do what she needs to do to help her team win. She finished the game with 10 points in a double-overtime victory.
Dakota Ashton 2023 Detroit Edison
If Dakota wasn’t on your scouting report before this game, she most certainly should be now. She is a high-powered player that plays with a lot of energy and toughness. She is a feisty defender that knows how to get the ball without creating a ton of fouls. When the game was at its most critical moments, Dakota stepped up offensively, showing that she has a long and short-range game and can finish strong. She finished the game with 18 points.
Ruby Whitehorn 2022 Detroit Edison (signed with Clemson)
Ruby is a baller and has my vote for 2022 Ms. Basketball. That’s it. That’s the write-up. (Just kidding) What is there to say other than Ruby did what Ruby does…take over! She had her way offensively, scoring at will, wracking up old fashion three-point plays every quarter of the game. She is a leader and competitor and does not shy away from those roles. Even in the final minutes of a hard-fought double-overtime thriller, Ruby was present and effective every step of the way. She finished with a game-high 33 points, 15 of which she had at halftime.
Isis Johnson 2025 Westfield Prep
Johnson was one of the best players in the gym at the Best of Michigan Holiday Classic. She was very efficient for Westfield Prep. Johnson displayed good vision and quickness in the open floor that led to some easy transition points for herself and her teammates. She's very unselfish which makes her difficult to defend and she is willing to mix it up on the defensive end as she rebounds well on both ends. She finished the night with game-high 26 points. Isis is one of the top kids in Michigan's class of 2025.
The first half of the game was definitely fast-paced and full of energy. They have similar styles of play which made the matchups fun to watch but visibly frustrating for the players. The 1st quarter was the Reynolds Sisters and Clemson Tiger commit Ruby Whitehorn (’22) show. They were either directly or indirectly responsible for 90% of their respective team’s points. Both squads had their way offensively, knocking down shots from all over the court. After back-to-back three-pointers from Monique Mitchell (’25) midway through the 2nd quarter, the Panthers claimed a 23-22 lead and held onto it going into halftime.
The tug-a-war would pick up right where it left off in the third quarter. Both teams clamped down on defense and not one point came easy. S. B. Washington controlled most of the third quarter, getting big-time play from University of Maryland commit Mila Reynolds (’22). With:45 seconds left in the 3rd, Whitehorn penetrates the paint and successfully finishes a three-point play. The quarter ends with S. B. Washington up 47-43.
Just when the crowd thought they couldn’t take anymore, a 4th quarter full fledge battle of the Titans engaged. All hands were on deck as both Edison and Washington went to war…sending the game into overtime.
Na’Kiya Bonner (’24), who struggled from behind the arc during regulation, sank a three from deep, giving Edison a one-point lead. Bonner’s shot was countered with a three from South Bend’s Rashunda Jones (’23), putting the Panthers up 65-63 with 20 seconds left to play. Each team takes a couple of trips to the free-throw line, however, neither is able to knock them all down, resulting in the score being 66-66 when the buzzer sounds, sending the game into DOUBLE OVERTIME
Overtime number two started off almost identical to the first. Bonner hit a deep three, which is followed by a three from the Lady Panthers; which was countered by 2 threes from Edison’s Dakota Ashton (’23). The score was at 77-76 Edison, when the youngest of the Reynolds sisters Kira Reynolds (’25) made a strong move to the basket, finishing with contact and knocking down her free throw, sealing the game for South Bend Washington.
Scoring Leaders: S. B. Washington – K. Reynolds: 25 pts, M. Reynolds: 23 pts A. Reynolds: 14 points/ Edison – Whitehorn: 33 pts, Ashton: 18 pts, Bonner: 16 pts
Ann Arbor Pioneer 41 Toledo Rogers 40
The start of the game was pretty even for both teams. Although Rogers had a small lead, they were not dominating the game. Turnovers and forced shots were apparent on both sides as each team searched to find their rhythm.
The second half of the game would be the tell-tale. Rogers turned up the heat on defense; point guard Breayah Jefferson (’24) led the way with aggressive on the ball defense. Rogers managed to maintain a 6–8-point lead most of the second half. However, Pioneer was not interested in giving in or giving up. With big shots at crucial moments from Lauren DeWolf (’22), Brien Bogan (’22), and Kaylei Karsch (’23), the Pioneers cut the lead down to one for more than half of the 4th quarter. Both teams literally traded baskets for 3:30 minutes, until the Pioneers took the lead with a 3-point shot from DeWolf. The lead never changed again and the Lady Pioneers went on to secure the first win of the day.
Scoring Leaders: Toledo Rogers – Nelson: 12 pts Jefferson: 9 pts / AA Pioneer – Karsch: 10 pts, DeWolf: 8 pts
Midland Dow 44 Grass Lake 40
With Grass Lake missing their leading scorer and floor general Alexus Bargesser, the Lady Warriors were going to have to get some offensive fillers to help compensate for her absence. At the end of the first, it did not look like it was going to happen. Midland Down applied pressure on both ends of the court, not allowing any easy baskets. That was until guard Gabi Lutchka (’22) woke up and scored 8 straight points for Grass Lake, giving them a 1-point lead at the half.
Lutchka picked up where she left off to start the 3rd quarter, getting to the rim and hitting big shots. Abby Rey (’22) gave her team some needed energy, sinking a 3-pointer and initiating a big defensive stop. Grass Lake went on an 8-0 run, dominating on the boards, forcing Midland Dow to take a timeout. The Lady Chargers were able to regroup and make a 10-0 run of their own midway through the 4th quarter. In the end, the Warriors were never able to get over the hump or fill the void of their missing leader. Midland Dow gets the win.
Scoring Leaders: Grass Lake – Lutchka: 18 pts Horodeczney and Starkey: 6 pts/ Midland Dow – Kolnitys: 15 pts Rey: 11 pts Caldwell: 10 pts
Macomb Dakota 56 Midland 36
At the start of the game, I was sure we were going to have yet another down to the wire heart racing thriller. Macomb Dakota made it clear that was not in their game plan. Despite a somewhat slow beginning for both squads, it was Dakota that found their spark first and shifted the momentum of the game. They locked in defensively and held Midland to back-to-back single-digit quarters. Dakota also utilized the turnovers they forced and turned them into points on the board, at least until their offense began to flow.
The third quarter was the start of Dakota completely owning the game, starting with some nice stops on defense. The Lady Chemics went on a small run in an attempt to give themselves a fighting chance. Unfortunately, it did not last long. Led by Ella Burger (’22), Dakota would go on a 12-0 run and never look back, securing their first Best of Michigan Holiday Classic win.
Scoring Leaders: Midland – Williams: 11 pts, Dawson: 8pts / Macomb Dakota: Burger: 21 Moran: 11 pts
Westfield Prep 72 Butler Prep (IN) 49
From the opening jump ball, Westfield Prep had their turbo switch flipped to the on position. They moved the ball well, snatched down rebounds, and played aggressive fast-paced defense. Their play was so intense, Butler Prep called a timeout within the first 3 minutes of the game. It didn’t stop the Lady Warriors momentum, not even a little bit. At the end of the 1st, Westfield had sunk 5 three-pointers, 2 from (’23) guard Shamya Reid, and was leading by 20.
In the second half, Butler Prep did a good job of pumping up their defense and getting some buckets. In the 4th quarter, University of Illinois commit Camille Jackson (’22) pretty much got to the rim whenever she wanted, sparking a small run by Butler Prep. However, the run did not last long enough to make a substantial impact and get them to get back in the game. Westfield Prep batteries weren’t running on full anymore, but because of the big cushion they created in the first quarter, they never were in jeopardy of being down. They would roll on and claim the win.
Scoring Leaders: Butler Prep (IL) – Brewer and Walton: 14 pts Jackson: 12 pts / Westfield Prep – I. Johnson-Musah: 17 pts Reid: 15 pts
Arbor Prep 67 Wayne Memorial 41
On paper, this looked like it would be one of the best matchups of the night. Both the Lady Gators and the Lady Zebras are high-energy, fast-paced, tough, and offensively strong teams. Both squads are well-coached, relentless, and not afraid to get physical. However…a close game it was far from. From the start, this game was intense and a battle, despite what the score said at the end of the 1st quarter.
Arbor Prep came locked and loaded! Back-to-back baskets and tremendous defensive stops from Karianna Woods (’22) seem to give Arbor Prep a boost of energy that took them to another level of competitiveness. Wayne Memorial got every shot they wanted; however, their shots just weren’t falling. Combined with the energy that Arbor Prep was playing with, the Lady Zebras seemed to grow frustrated and out of sync going into halftime.
The second half would be no different. Despite inside efforts from Davai Matthews (’22), the Lady Gators were just too much for Wayne Memorial. Arbor Prep claims an impressive victory.
Scoring Leaders: Arbor Prep: Petticord 23 pts, Woods: 14pts / Wayne Memorial: Matthews: 17 pts, Bass: 7 pts
Detroit Renaissance 38 Belleville 34
After the first half of the game, I’m sure many counted the Lady Tigers out and figured the game was pretty much over. Detroit Renaissance seemed to be doing everything right. They played solid team defense. They were vocal and move the ball well. Even when they turned the ball over, they fought hard to get it back. The Lady Phoenix were able to hold the young Belleville squad to a mere 11 total halftime points. After a deep three-ball late in the second quarter from Imani Johnson (’25), it appeared as though there was no slowing Renaissance down.
Belleville came out after halftime playing as if they were a totally different team. They were determined and hungry. Any stage fright the young team had at the start of the game was no longer a factor. They turned up their defensive pressure and forced Renaissance out of their comfort zone. Sparked by a big shot from Rachel Riley (’23), Belleville would go on a 12-0 run and tie the game in the middle of the 3rd quarter, while holding Renaissance to only 4 points. The 4th quarter was a survival of the fittest. Renaissance regained some of their momentum, but turnovers and rushed shots allowed Belleville to stay in the game. In the end, 2 clutch free-throws from (’24) Christian Sanders pushed the score to a two possession game with 08 seconds left in the game. Belleville is unable to score, the Lady Phoenix get the win.
Scoring Leaders: Renaissance – Sanders: 13 pts I. Johnson: 11 pts / Belleville – Riley, R. Buschell, Stone-Palmer: 9 pts
West Bloomfield 48 Bolingbrook (IL) 47
A battle is what this game turned out to be, but it didn’t start out that way. The first quarter started out fast paced, exciting, and almost completely one sided. Bolingbrook dominated in every category of the game. All cylinders were going and going strong. West Bloomfield could not seem to catch a break. During timeouts and dead balls, something that was constantly repeated by Coach Darrin McAllister to his team, “Stay focused. The game is not over. We are ok.” The second quarter showed how right he was. The Lady Lakers went from being down double digits to leading by three points at halftime. They played their 1-2-2 defense almost to perfection and Bolingbrook was not able to score.
The second half was an emotional rollercoaster; for the players and fans. Both teams went back and forth trading baskets and getting defensive stops. (’24) Angelina Smith was relentless. She hit a big three to spark a run by her Lady Raiders and dropped some beautiful passes. West Bloomfield never stopped fighting, getting big buckets and plays from Summer Davis (’24). The last two minutes of the game was spent with the two teams trading baskets and lead changes. With 9.6 seconds left on the clock and Bolingbrook up by one, West Bloomfield’s point guard Myona Hooper (’22) catches an inbound pass, takes the ball the entire length of the court, and scores the game winning basket! This was definitely one for the Best of Michigan Holiday Classic Hall of Fame.
Scoring Leaders: Bolingbrook – Bloom and Smith: 10 pts/ W. Bloomfield –S. Davis: 19 pts, I. Davis and Hooper: 11 pts