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Posted on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 5:30 a.m.

Pioneer holds onto top boys spot, Huron girls move to No. 1 in power rankings

By Kyle Austin


Pioneer's Forrest Neal makes a pass against Huron Friday.

Joseph Tobianski |

Our top teams are beating up on each other late in the season, and there’s no clear-cut No. 1 in the Washtenaw County Boys Basketball Power Rankings.

Pioneer entered last week as the top-ranked team, and backed up that ranking with a Tuesday win at No. 2 Ypsilanti. But the Pioneers finished their week with a road loss to No. 4 Huron, splitting the season series between the two city rivals.

Ypsilanti finished the week with a big win against Lincoln, and the River Rats went 2-0 on the week with a Tuesday win over Dexter.

But the Pioneers stay in first-place despite its loss, considering its win came against the higher-ranked team, both of its games were on the road, and its Friday loss featured limited action from an ailing Jibreel Hussein, the team’s leading scorer.

Huron has been bolstered by the return of point guard Antonio Henry, but still has three losses in its last seven games, keeping it from taking over the top spot.

Washtenaw County Boys Basketball Power Rankings
Rank, School (Record), Latest Result (last week's ranking)

  1. Pioneer (11-4), lost to Huron, 57-49 Friday (1)
  2. Huron (8-5), def. Pioneer, 57-49 Friday (4)
  3. Ypsilanti (11-4), def. Lincoln, 62-30 Friday (2)
  4. Milan (14-1), def. Riverview, 69-31 Friday (3)
  5. Skyline (7-7), def. Saline, 39-34 Friday (5)
  6. Saline (8-7), lost to Skyline, 39-34 Friday (6)
  7. Lincoln (6-9), lost to Ypsilanti, 62-30 Friday (7)
  8. Greenhills (12-1), def. Taylor Baptist Park, 62-57 Tuesday (8)
  9. Dexter (7-7), def. Chelsea, 41-37 Friday (9)
  10. Father Gabriel Richard (6-9), lost to Detroit Loyola, 73-71 Friday (10)
  11. Willow Run (6-8), def. Romulus Summit Academy, 61-59 Tuesday (12)
  12. Chelsea (3-11), lost to Dexter, 41-37 Friday (11)
  13. Arbor Prep (6-7), idle (13)
  14. Whitmore Lake (4-11), lost to Ottawa Lake-Whiteford, 61-44 Friday (14)
  15. Rudolf Steiner (9-7), lost to Grass Lake, 64-40, Tuesday (15)
  16. Washtenaw Christian (9-5) lost to Livingston Christian, 55-30 Friday (16)
  17. Manchester (1-15), lost to Napoleon, 100-83 Friday (17)
  18. Calvary Christian (1-14), lost to Newport Lutheran South, 44-41 Friday (18)
Record not available: Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural, Central Academy

Huron girls move up to top spot

Huron has won eight straight games since debuting in our power rankings at No. 7 on Jan. 7. And with a 12-point win over previous No. 1 Dexter on Tuesday, the River Rats ascend to the top spot in this week’s girls rankings.

Dexter moves down to No. 2, one spot ahead of Manchester.

Our biggest rise this week comes from Ypsilanti, which moves back into the top five and seems to be back on track after losing three straight in mid-January. Of the Phoenix’s four losses to Washtenaw County teams, three were avenged in its last four games: Tecumseh (55-28), Chelsea (46-40) and Lincoln (53-45).

Washtenaw County Girls Basketball Power Rankings
Rank, School (Record), Latest Result (last week's ranking)

  1. Huron (11-4), def. Pioneer, 36-29 Friday (3)
  2. Dexter (15-2), def. Chelsea, 32-25 Friday (1)
  3. Manchester (15-1), def. Hanover Horton, 67-32 Thursday (2)
  4. Ypsilanti (11-5), def. Lincoln, 53-45 Friday (7)
  5. Chelsea (10-6), lost to Dexter, 32-25 Friday (4)
  6. Lincoln (11-6), lost to Ypsilanti, 53-45 Friday (5)
  7. Saline (10-7), lost to Skyline, 35-34 Friday (6)
  8. Pioneer (8-8), lost to Huron, 36-29 Friday (8)
  9. Arbor Prep (13-4), def. Plymouth Christian, 65-44 Saturday (9)
  10. Skyline (7-10), def. Saline, 35-34 Friday (10)
  11. Rudolf Steiner (9-2), idle (11)
  12. Greenhills (9-6), def. Taylor Baptist Park, 50-42 Friday (12)
  13. Willow Run (6-8), lost to Romulus Summit Academy, 29-23 Tuesday (13)
  14. Washtenaw Christian (8-6), def. Livingston Christian, 34-31 Friday (14)
  15. Father Gabriel Richard (2-14) lost to Macomb Lutheran North, 42-33 Tuesday (15)
  16. Whitmore Lake (2-14), lost to Ottawa Lake Whiteford, 55-37 Friday (17)
  17. Milan (2-15), lost to Grosse Ile, 46-5 Thursday (16)
Record not available: Central Academy, Calvary Christian

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.



Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

If you give Ann Arbor Pioneer a bonus for having an ailing starter, what about Ypsilanti who was without their starting point guard when they played Pioneer and another starter with an injured ankle.

Kyle Austin

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

You're right that Ypsilanti has had its injury problems too, and I should have noted that in the piece. But overall, both teams went 1-1 on the week, but Pioneer did it with a tougher schedule and on the road for both games.

Kyle Austin

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

There rankings can't be done without taking strength of schedule into account. No doubt Milan has talented players and has looked strong against its competition. But without seeing them play any county school besides Chelsea, I can't say they deserve to be above the top three teams in these rankings. Keep in mind that the Big Reds have put up great regular-season records the past two years, only to struggle in district play.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Milan has been blowing away it's competition. This is just an extension of the bias I saw in the football rankings. Kyle seems to have something against Milan, the excuse of the Huron League is getting old. Do they have to win by 100 pts to get any respect from you Kyle?. I see it also as an extension of the general bias against Milan. Saline, Dexter, Chelsea all have a page dedicated to them by but not Milan. Is that the fault of being in the Huron League also?

Pete Cunningham

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

In football, Milan went undefeated in the regular season, won its first playoff game against Airport of the Huron League, then lost its second round game against Tecumseh. Tecumseh lost to Chelsea and Airport during the regular season. There's no bias, it's just not as obvious where teams rank when they don't play each other or common opponents As for basketball, Milan coach Josh Tropea has been quoted this season saying: "My starters don't even play more than 16 minutes," Tropea said. "I think it's hurt us in district play the last two years, and I'm incredibly afraid that's going to hurt us this year. "It's one of the reasons that I long for the days of Milan being in the SEC." Here's that article: It's no secret that Milan's schedule makes the Big Reds difficult to read. Lucky for us, all the teams will have the opportunity to prove us right or wrong in the upcoming postseason, where -- as the great philosopher Rasheed Wallace would say -- "Ball don't lie."


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

Not giving the Milan Big Reds the respect they deserve!


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4 p.m.

If you've seen Milan it would not be that difficult. Turnage is the best player in the area. Davis is one of the best guards in the area. Perkins is a beast inside. They also have a shooter or two. Well-coached team, deserves to be No. 1.

Kyle Austin

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Milan is a difficult team to rank -- they obviously have a great record, but their strength of schedule is low due to playing in the Huron League, and they're hard to compare to other Washtenaw County teams, since the only one they've played is Chelsea, which is having a down year.