Countdown to Calvin: Girls Report Week 12
February 26, 2019
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The beginning of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament is still a week away.
But taking a glance at some of the games played last week and other big-time matchups coming up over the next three days, we’ve clearly entered playoff mode.
Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or fill in scores we’re missing, email me at [email protected].
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. DeWitt 58, East Lansing 46 – The Panthers started last week with this Monday showdown, handing the last unbeaten team in Division 1 East Lansing its only loss and setting the teams up to share the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue title (although DeWitt then lost the next day for just the second time, to nonleague St. Johns.)
2. Maple City Glen Lake 38, Kingsley 36 – The Lakers avenged an eight-point loss Jan. 17 to move into a first place tie with the Stags in the Northwest Conference with one game left for both.
3. Midland Dow 48, Flint Carman-Ainsworth 41 – Dow, champion of the Saginaw Valley Red, reaffirmed its position as a Division 1 favorite by downing Blue title winner Carman-Ainsworth in a league crossover.
4. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 48, Harper Woods Chandler Park 46 – Division 2 Chandler Park has fared well against many of the state’s best, making this a major victory for Division 3 contender Arbor Prep. These teams will meet again Thursday.
5. Sandusky 36, Brown City 34 – The Redskins avenged a five-point overtime loss to Brown City from Jan. 22 to create a three-team shared title in the Greater Thumb Conference East with these two and Harbor Beach.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• East Grand Rapids (17-2) – The Pioneers have won 14 straight and ran away with the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold title, finishing four wins better than the rest of the league. The title was the team’s first since 2011-12, and East Grand Rapids will try to build on it with a repeat District championship next week. Those two defeats both came in December to Coldwater, a league champion, and 14-win Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern.
• Saginaw Heritage (16-2) – The reigning Class A champion has navigated one of the toughest schedules in the state, with the two losses by a combined eight points to rival Midland Dow and Division 2 favorite Detroit Edison – and the latter with Miss Basketball candidate Moira Joiner injured. The Hawks didn’t win their league thanks to the Dow loss, but shouldn’t be sneaking up on anyone with wins this winter against Southfield Arts & Technology, Hartland, Flint Carman-Ainsworth, Harper Woods Chandler Park and Detroit Country Day.
• Detroit University Prep (16-1) – The Panthers swept the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference Black and didn’t suffer their first defeat until last week, falling to Division 1 Bloomfield Hills. There have been a few forfeit wins, but all of University Prep’s victories on the court have been by double digits – a substantial improvement from last season’s 9-10 finish.
• Otsego (16-2) – The Bulldogs have locked up their fourth straight league title, finishing a perfect run through the Wolverine Conference North on Friday to set up Thursday’s league crossover against unbeaten South champion Edwardsburg. Otsego fell to Marshall and then the Eddies back-to-back in their last game of December and first of January, respectively, but haven’t been defeated since with especially impressive wins over Comstock, Three Rivers and Plainwell twice.
• Kent City (16-2) – The Eagles are riding an 11-game winning streak and finished a perfect run through the Central State Activities Association Silver. They’ve won 35 straight league games and five consecutive league championships. Expectations for next month should be high for a few more reasons as well – among them, experience from last year’s Quarterfinal run and the fact the two losses this winter both came in December and by a combined six points to eventual league champs Detroit Martin Luther King and Comstock.
• Pewamo-Westphalia (16-1) – The Pirates have clinched a share of the Central Michigan Athletic Conference title and should complete a second straight perfect run through the league this week. All of that no doubt has been prep with an eye on returning to Calvin after finishing Class C runners-up in 2017 and making the Semifinals a year ago. The lone loss this winter came to Edison, and wins over Dow (by 20), Country Day (by 28) and another league champion New Lothrop (by 30) stack up well with the work of any team in this division.
• Mendon (14-2) – While it’s unlikely Mendon will catch unbeaten Centreville this week for a share of the Southwest 10 Conference title, the Hornets can boast they gave the Division 3 contender its second closest game falling by just four Feb. 8. It’s been an even more impressive winter considering Mendon finished 8-13 only a year ago.
• St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran (14-2) – Despite a one-point loss to second-place Three Oaks River Valley two weeks ago, Michigan Lutheran can lock up the outright Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference White title Thursday, their fifth straight league championship. The Titans also are looking to build on two straight District titles.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Saginaw Heritage (16-2) at East Lansing (18-1) – What better way to roll into the postseason than with a rematch of last year’s Class A title game.
Tuesday – Wayne Memorial (16-2) at Brighton (18-1) – Wayne reached the Kensington Lakes Activities Association overall championship game by defeating Hartland, which shared the West title with the Bulldogs.
Tuesday – Kent City (16-2) at Stanton Central Montcalm (18-0) – The Hornets are attempting to finish a second straight perfect regular season, and additionally finish this week with 13-win White Cloud.
Thursday – Royal Oak (18-1) at Southfield Arts & Technology (16-1) – The Warriors are first in the Oakland Activities Association Red thanks to a 60-47 win over Royal Oak in their first meeting Feb. 5.
Thursday – Fenton (16-2) at DeWitt (17-2) – The Tigers emerged as champions of a Flint Metro League with three teams 15-5 or better, and DeWitt will provide another sizable test heading into the postseason.
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PHOTO: DeWitt's Madison Petersen works to get around an Okemos defender during a victory earlier this season. (Photo by TCP Photography.)