Brandywine girls basketball team No. 1 in AP poll

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

NILES — The Brandywine girls basketball team has been a state powerhouse for more than a decade under Head Coach Josh Hood.

The Bobcats have accomplished a lot of things in the past 15 years, including winning multiple conference, district and regional championships. Brandywine has been to the state quarterfinals and even the semifinals, but until Monday, the Bobcats had never been ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press.

Brandywine can now check that off of its list of accomplishments as the Bobcats are at the top of the Associated Press Division 3 state rankings having jumped over another state powerhouse, Ypsilanti Arbor Preparatory.

The 7-0 Bobcats finished with 72 points in this week’s poll, two better than Arbor Prep, which is 7-2 on the season. Michigan Center (10-0) is third with 58 points and Blissfield (6-1) is fourth with 51 points.

Blissfield’s only loss came at the hands of Brandywine on Dec. 27 in Romulus as the Bobcats edged the Royals 45-43 as part of the Michigan Hardwood Classic. Blissfield was the Division 3 state runner-up.

“Exciting time for our program, our school, and our community to be ranked by the Associated Press as the No. 1 team in our division,” Hood said. “The girls have worked extremely hard and to this point done an outstanding job of navigating through a schedule that has been one of the toughest in the state, regardless of class. Knowing our team, this ranking will not cause anyone to be content, but instead provide motivation to work even harder each day because the target is officially on us. We will embrace this ranking, be proud of the work we have already done to get us to this point, and continue to be the best version of ourselves each day.”

Helping the Bobcats attain their lofty ranking was a big win over Hart, which was a Division 3 state semifinalists in 2022-23. Brandywine still has plenty of challenges ahead with games against Bronson (Division 3 honorable mention) and Wolverine Conference powerhouse Vicksburg, a Division 2 squad. The Vikings are 6-0 and the Bulldogs are 7-1.

The Associated Press is not the only rankings that have noticed the Lakeland Conference-leading Brandywine team.

The Bobcats are ranked No. 5 by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and No. 2 in this week’s Michigan High School Athletic Association power rankings.

Ypsilanti Arbor Prep is ranked No. 1 by the MHSAA, while Blissfield is rated No. 3.

The girls basketball team is not the only ranked team at Brandywine.

The Bobcat boys basketball team (9-2) is ranked No. 6 in the Division 3 Associated Press poll and No. 4 in the latest BCAM rankings. The Bobcats are also No. 4 in the MHSAA power rankings.