DETROIT — Rickea Jackson was on a mission to make sure Detroit Edison repeated as Class C state champions.

Jackson, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, averaged 22.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and two blocks to help Edison earn its second straight Class C state championship, contributing 16 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in a 51-34 win over Ypsilanti Arbor Prep to avenge its lone loss of the season.

Jackson, who already has multiple Power Five Conference offers, including Ohio State, and Edison proved it was the best team in the state regardless of class, owning victories over Class A state champion Saginaw Heritage and Class B state champion Detroit Country Day.

“Rickea Jackson is a special player because of her willingness and drive to get better,” Edison coach Monique Brown said. “Working constantly on her strengths and weaknesses to become the player she so desires to be, her multi-dimensional ability to dominate in different aspects of the game, rebounding, defending, 3-point shooting, driving to the rim, posting up and finishing around the basket are all important reasons we were able to win two state championships.

“She has shown so much growth and maturity in one year lets me know that she is truly preparing herself for the collegiate level.”

Jackson’s teammate, Edison sophomore guard Gabrielle Elliott also earned first-team all-state honors in voting by 10 sportswriters from throughout the state.

Elliott averaged 16.5 points and four rebounds for Edison, scoring 20 in the state championship game win, including 10 third-quarter points to help her team take a commanding 18-point lead.

Lasha Petree, a Miss Basketball finalist and 6-0 senior guard, joined Jackson and Elliott, averaging 20.2 points, seven rebounds and five assists to help Arbor Prep reach a state championship game for the third straight year. She will play next year at Bradley.

St. Igance-LaSalle senior forward Linnie Gustafson, Negaunee senior guard Natalie Bartle, Schoolcraft senior guard Lydia Goble, Pewamo-Westphalia senior guard Emily Spitzley, Erie-Mason senior Mary Liedel, Kent City freshman point guard Kenzie Bowers and Charlevoix 6-2 sophomore point guard Elise Stuck also earned first-team, all-state honors.

Bowers averaged 19.5 points and eight rebounds and has already been offered by Western Michigan, and Stuck averaged 23.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and three assists and has offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota.

Mark Toppi of Oscoda earned Coach of the Year honors, guiding Oscoda to a 12-8 regular season record, the school’s most wins in the last 33 years.

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DAVID GORICKI
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