We’ve reached the midway point of girls basketball season for most of Michigan’s teams – with seven weeks done and seven more until District play begins.
And we’re getting a better idea every week about which teams might be extending their stays a week, two or three longer.
Our latest look at the week that was includes a few references to MPR – Michigan Power Ratings – the metric used to seed the top two teams in every District. Click to see the girls basketball MPR in full.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Lansing Catholic 55, Portland 52 The Cougars (11-0) earned higher billing in the Capital Area Activities Association White and statewide Division 2 conversations in dealing reigning league and Finals champion Portland its first loss.
2. Howell 37, Hartland 31 The Highlanders (6-3) halted Hartland’s regular-season winning streak at 33 in dealing the Eagles (8-1) their lone defeat.
3. Hudsonville 62, Rockford 48 The Eagles (7-2) set themselves up as the top contenders in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red with undefeated Holland West Ottawa, although Rockford (8-1) is likely to be heard from again.
4. Edwardsburg 52, Otsego 32 The Eddies (9-0) made their undefeated start look even stronger in handing previously-undefeated Otsego (10-1) this loss.
5. Traverse City St. Francis 54, Harbor Springs 37 The Gladiators (8-2) also handed out a first loss last week, riding a strong defensive effort to this win over the Rams (8-1).
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Battle Creek Lakeview (9-0) The Spartans are consistently a top team in southwest Michigan, and they raised their profile even more over the last few seasons with 16 wins in 2019-20 and a 13-2 record last year. They opened this one with a 36-33 win over Marshall (6-3), and the highlight of the first half almost assuredly was a 39-38 win over Kalamazoo Central on Dec. 9; Central dealt Lakeview both of those losses last year.
Dearborn Divine Child (9-0) Wins over annual favorites Bloomfield Hills Marian and Farmington Hills Mercy to start the 2022 calendar year have vaulted Divine Child to the top of the Detroit Catholic League Central. The Falcons also are No. 2 in Division 1 MPR with six opponents boasting winning records. The Marian and Mercy rematches come up over the next week, and Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard also could provide a couple of tests.
Frankenmuth (8-1) The Eagles took over first place alone in the Tri-Valley Conference 8 with a 50-45 win over Freeland on Friday, as they look to repeat as league champions. Arbor Prep (see below) is the only team to deal Frankenmuth a loss this season, during the Motor City Roundball Classic. The Eagles reached the Regional Finals last year, falling by four to Portland, and will have an opportunity to avenge last season’s other defeat when they face Division 1 contender Midland Dow on Tuesday.
Tecumseh (10-0) A frequent contender in the Southeastern Conference White the last few seasons, Tecumseh looks like an early favorite this winter after a perfect first half filled with impressive performances. Tecumseh is winning its games by an average of 36.2 points per, with victories over Blissfield (8-3) and Onsted (8-1) among the most impressive.
Niles Brandywine (9-1) The Bobcats quickly bounced back from their lone loss, by two points Jan. 7 to Division 2 Benton Harbor (5-3), to hand Buchanan (9-1) its only loss; Brandywine will meet the Bucks again Feb. 17 in Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference Red play. Brandywine also owns a 59-54 overtime win over Bronson, but no other opponent has come closer than 15 points.
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (8-0) The Gators on Thursday handed Redford Westfield Prep its lone loss; Arbor Prep previously did the same to Wayne Memorial and Frankenmuth, and seven of eight opponents this season have .600 or higher winning percentages. None but Westfield has come closer than 15 points of catching the Gators, who are led by one of the state’s best in senior Mya Petticord.
Coleman (7-1) The Comets are seeking their first league title in at least a decade, and look well on their way after handing reigning Mid-State Activities Conference champ St. Charles its lone league loss Jan. 10 and then contender Carson City-Crystal the same 33-31 on Friday. The lone defeat came to Farwell (6-3) on Dec. 8, but Coleman has otherwise shined as it builds on last year’s 12-7 overall finish.
Posen (8-0) The Vikings are another team always in the mix. They’re playing for what would be a fifth-straight league title coming off last year’s 15-2 run that also included a District championship. A 56-49 overtime win over Oscoda capped the 2021 calendar year, and a 50-46 win over Hillman on Friday put Posen in a solid position in North Star League play as they approach the midpoint.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Houghton (10-0) at Calumet (7-0) – These undefeated teams meet for the only time during the regular season in a matchup that eventually could decide the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference title.
Tuesday – Midland Dow (8-0) at Frankenmuth (8-1) – The Chargers are No. 4 in Division 1 MPR and the Eagles are No. 3 in Division 2.
Tuesday – Elk Rapids (6-1) at Traverse City St. Francis (8-2) – These two have emerged as the early favorites in the Lake Michigan Conference again; Elk Rapids was last season’s champion and St. Francis the runner-up.
Tuesday – Sanford Meridian (10-1) at Coleman (7-1) – Both are leading their leagues, Coleman the MSAC (see above) and Meridian the Jack Pine Conference.
Thursday – East Lansing (7-2) at Detroit Edison (3-1) – This also matches up two of the elite from Divisions 1 and 2, respectively.
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PHOTO Muskegon takes on Grand Rapids Union on Jan. 11 in what would end up the second of a current three-game winning streak for the Big Reds. (Photo by Tim Reilly.)