By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
If the first month of this MHSAA girls basketball season is an indication, this winter's march to the Class A championship game could be one of the most entertaining we've seen over the last decade.
That's the clearest observation from games played during the holiday break, which included a number of Class A contenders shining against top competition.
Below are 10 teams gathered from all four classes that stuck out over the last two weeks. (Records are based on results reported to the MHSAA Score Center.)
1. Detroit Martin Luther King (6-1, Class A) – The Crusaders appear to be the team to beat again in Class A, thanks in part to a nine-point win over contender Grand Ledge at the Motor City Roundball Classic; the only loss was to Kettering Fairmont from Ohio.
2. Flint Powers Catholic (8-1, Class B) – A 33-point win over strong Flat Rock at the Roundball Classic was further proof the Chargers will be in the mix in March; the only loss was to talented Farmington Hills Mercy.
3. Waterford Kettering (5-0, Class A) – The Captains had a strong December overall, finishing with a 10-point win over Freeland and a 28-pointer over Detroit Renaissance both at the Roundball Classic.
4. Muskegon Mona Shores (5-1, Class A) – After winning nine games last season, Mona Shores is more than halfway there thanks in part to a 45-41 win over reigning Class A champion Grand Haven.
5. Grand Haven (6-1, Class A) – Stars graduate and the Buccaneers keep plugging along (aside from the loss to Mona Shores), with six wins to open the season including a three-pointer over Kent City and a one-pointer over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central to win the Davenport Invitational.
6. Eben Junction Superior Central (7-1, Class D) – The Cougars didn’t lose last season until the Regional Semifinal, and have lost this season to only Class C Ishpeming after already beating the Hematites on opening night.
7. Williamston (4-1, Class B) – Since opening with a three-point loss to Lansing Everett, the Hornets are undefeated after picking up break wins over Frankenmuth by six and Oak Park by 17.
8. Newberry (4-2, Class C) – The Indians are more than halfway to equaling last season’s win total of seven, with their most recent loss (to Brimley) by only a bucket.
9. Gobles (6-0, Class C) – The Tigers are becoming a girls basketball power to go along with their football prowess, putting together another big start after making their District Final a year ago.
10. Northville (6-0, Class A) – The Mustangs have followed a 16-win season with six more victories including the championship at their holiday tournament thanks to a two-point win over solid Dexter.
PHOTO: Detroit Martin Luther King is playing again like a Class A favorite with a 6-1 start against tough competition. (Photo courtesy of the Detroit Public School League.)