The trash talking has already begun in the Ristovski household.
Three sisters — Madison, Haleigh and Lola Ristovski — have been playing basketball together for as long as they can remember. Madison, a senior guard at Michigan, will go head-to-head with her younger siblings this weekend when the Wolverines face off against Detroit on Sunday.
Haleigh, a junior guard/forward, and Lola, a freshman guard, are now together for the first time since they played high school at University Liggett in Sterling Heights. Now that Lola has moved into the collegiate ranks, the younger pair has the chance to team up and go against their older sister when the two teams meet on Sunday.
“I’m really excited to play against them,” Madison Ristovski said. “We’ve been playing together since we were little. I’m really looking forward to the game, and I know a lot of people from my hometown are going to be there, which is going to be really special.”
The middle child, Haleigh, is likely to start for the Titans, and while Lola might not be in the starting five, she managed to play 15 minutes and nail a 3-pointer in the team’s season opener against Lawrence Tech, so it’s likely that at some point, all three of them will take the court.
Back in high school, for Madison’s senior year, all three started for University Liggett, and the Ristovski trio came together for a monster campaign in Madison’s last go.
Even though they all play different styles now in college — Lola being more of a transition player and Haleigh developing more inside with a post presence — when they linked up in high school, with Madison at the point, and Haleigh and Lola playing the ‘2’ and ‘3’, the guard-heavy lineup was lights-out all season.
“That year, we lost two games, and we played the toughest non-conference schedule,” Madison Ristovski said. “We made it to the state championship.”
University Liggett lost, 61-57, in the closely contested 2012 Class C championship game, a shootout in which Madison went for 42 points. The team fell to Morley Stanwood, but Madison, the newly crowned Michigan Miss Basketball, had the performance of a lifetime, supported by the aid of her younger siblings.
“We lost, but I think me, Haleigh and Lola had 53 of the 57 points,” Ristovski said.
Four years later, Lola is again a freshman and Ristovski again a senior, but in completely different realms. Michigan and Detroit have met each of the last two years, and the Wolverines hold a 2-0 advantage over the Titans.
Sunday afternoon, Madison will try to bump that number up to three, proving that she’s still the alpha in the loaded basketball family.