All-state selection: Munising Mustangs senior Megan Matson named to Associated Press’ Division 4 Second Team in girls basketball
It was clear from the moment Bree Salenbien played her first high school basketball game that she was a phenom in the making.
Now, the question is where Salenbien will rank among the state’s all-time great players when she graduates.
As of now, the Adrian Lenawee Christian star’s legacy is still being cemented, and the 6-foot-3 junior can now add another accolade to her resume. Salenbien was voted The Associated Press Player of the Year for Division 4 in girls basketball by a panel of Michigan sports writers. It was her third straight POY award, which is a rare accomplishment, although New Haven star Romeo Weems also pulled that off from 2017-19.
From the area, senior Megan Matson of Munising made the Second Team, joining three other Upper Peninsula players in gaining that honor — senior Sophia Vaughn of Engadine and sophomores Ally Schultz of St. Ignace and Tessa Wagner of Carney-Nadeau.
Making the First Team from the U.P. are St. Ignace junior Hallie Marshall and Ewen-Trout Creek junior Elise Besonen.
Four U.P. players also made honorable mention — Briana Smith of North Dickinson, Emmalee Hart of St. Ignace, Sandra Boulton of Carney-Nadeau and Kennedy Englund of Mid Peninsula.
Salenbien added to her collection of awards after another season in which the star forward help lead Lenawee Christian to top the state rankings in Division 4.
Salenbien averaged 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 3.3 blocks and 3.0 steals a game this season against one of the toughest schedules in the state of Michigan, including matchups against Detroit Edison, Hartland, Michigan Center and Fowler.
The highly touted Division I prospect guided the Cougars to back-to-back Division 4 state titles in 2018 and 2019 and was poised to have them in the running again this season before a season-ending knee injury in the final regular-season game.
LCS still managed to advance to the regional final, but its run was halted when the Michigan High School Athletic Association suspended all sporting activities due to the coronavirus.
Despite the injury, Salenbien, rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN, remains one of the most coveted prospects in the country for the 2021 class, having already received scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota, California, Gonzaga and Xavier, among others.
Salenbien was joined on the All-State first team by her sister and LCS senior Dani Salenbien for the second consecutive year, along with these Lower Peninsula players — Saginaw Arts & Sciences senior Amaka Unobagha, Martin senior Faith Guritz, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes junior Brooklyn Robak, Fowler sophomore Mia Riley, Forest Park senior Mercedes Simmons, Leland junior Olivia Lowe, Fruitport Calvary Christian senior Kelsey Richards and St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran senior Mara Rugen.
Ubly’s Joel Leipprandt was voted Coach of the Year after leading the team to a 23-1 record, its first league title since 2005 and its first district championship since 2008.