7th Annual Best of Michigan Holiday Classic: Country Day and Edison best teams; Destiny Pitts top performer
By Bob Corwin
Held December 16-17 at Edison High School in Detroit, Michigan, several of Michigan’s top high school teams did battle in a series of pre-set games. Other than a few games were cancelled due to winter weather, play came off as scheduled. Presented by LBI Insider, 19 colleges (mostly Midwest Division I) were present one or both days to evaluate talent.
#1 Detroit Country Day (DCD) defeated Whitney Young of Chicago 78-56. DCD was playing without its starting point guard senior Kaela Webb out with injury. Sophomore Jasmine Powell filled in nicely. Before coming to Detroit , Whitney Young was 6-1. Country Day has multiple committed Power 5 prospects and several more future non-major D1 players. The team is led by Destiny Pitts who posted a career high of 50 points in this contest.
#2 Detroit Edison won two games at the event beating Whitney Young 57-45 on Friday night and Okemos (MI) High School (4-0 coming in) 58-32. Edison (now 3-0), plays primarily freshmen and sophomores featuring an up tempo offense. Particularly impressive is how the team finishes on the fast break using the left hand on the left side of the rim and the right hand on the right side (proper technique!). With at least four future DI players (two possible Power 5), look for Edison’s name on national ranking watch lists for the next several years!
Looking at some of the top players/prospects at the event.
Players are listed alphabetically with height, position, graduation year and school. Home town (or school location) is in parenthesis.
Kayla Brown, 5-7, point guard, 2017, Robichaud High School (Redford, Michigan)
Brown, signed with Detroit Mercy, may not be the player on her team with the biggest rep but of the double digit performer's for Robichaud, she was the most efficient in scoring her 18 points in a 59-50 loss to Toledo Rogers. She hit three deep threes and also had to be the team’s primary ball handler.
Deja Church, 5-10, guard/forward, 2017, Southfield A&T High School (Southfield, Michigan)
Church, committed to Michigan, has a good amount of variety in her offensive tool box. In scoring 23 points in a 65-41 win over Henry Ford Academy of Detroit, she hit 4 threes and showed both drive and mid-range shots.
Rickea Jackson, 6-2, small forward, 2019, Detroit Edison High School (Detroit, Michigan)
Jackson possessed the best package of size, athleticism and skill seen at the event. She has a nice pull up or can go to the rim. Being a young player, she is not always sure to do what when. A high major prospect, she posted a total of 32 points in her team’s two wins at the event on its home floor.
Zia Cooke, 5-9, guard, 2019, Rogers High School (Toledo, Ohio)
Cooke was the most impressive guard at the event. She can run offense like a point being a good passer with solid handles. She is very adept at driving to the rim or hitting a pull-up jumper. While Cooke can hit the three, that does not appear to be option one or two. High major programs are lining up for her!
Kenzie Lewis, 5-9, point guard, 2020, Williamston High School (Williamston, Michigan)
Lewis is the daughter of her high school’s boys coach. She understands how to run an offense and has good court vision particularly for such a young player. Currently, she appears more successful scoring via drive than perimeter shot. Her maturation should be monitored by D1 Power 5 programs and down.
Destiny Pitts, 6-0, guard/forward, 2017, Detroit Country Day School (Beverly Hills, Michigan)
Pitts set a career mark in posting 50 points in her team’s victory over Whitney Young. She scored in about all ways possible except the dunk. The Minnesota signee was very efficient in posting her points, not guilty of high volume shooting.
Whitney Sollom, 6-2, power forward, 2020, Hartland High School (Howell, Michigan)
Sollom really impressed scouts and college coaches present. She ran very well. Offensively, she displayed nice footwork in the lower paint and a soft face-up stroke. She still needs to fill out but with tall parents who played Division I sports, look for this offspring to follow suit, perhaps as high as a Power 5 program.
Tia Tedford, 5-8, shooting guard, 2017, Martin Luther King Jr. High School (Detroit, Michigan)
Tedford, an Illinois-Chicago signee, played hard showing good athleticism in her team’s 55-42 victory over Hartland. In posting 14 points, she hit three threes.
Daija Tyson, 5-4, point guard, 2020, Detroit Edison High School (Detroit, Michigan)
Tyson is one of the best very young “push the ball forward” point guards that I have seen in a while. She made the Edison fast break hum like a smooth running engine. In the second half versus Whitney Young, she left the game with a leg injury. Her team held on to win but the fast break points somewhat dried up. Let us hope the Division I prospect is back on the court soon.
Cameron Williams, 6-2, center/power forward, 2020, Whitney Young High School (Chicago, Illinois)
William, whose father Aaron had a long NBA career, appears to have inherited those superior athletic genes. She plays hard (as does her team in general) and finishes shots well in the lower paint. She posted 23 points in Whitney Young’s two games in Detroit. Her progress should be monitored by D1 programs from the Power 5 level and down.
Alyza Winston, 5-6, guard, 2019, Mona Shores High School (Norton Shores, Michigan)
If Winston has a fault, it is going too fast at times (control seems improved over last summer!). Her speed with the ball is truly outstanding. She posted 21 points in an assortment of attacks on the rim (quarter and full court) in her team’s 61-50 win over Wayne Memorial. Projected by many as a point at the Power 5 level, she should work to strengthen her left hand dribble a bit and make her three point shooting more consistent.