Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Girls Report Week 7
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
January 16, 2023
We’ve officially reached the midpoint of another girls basketball season, and with that comes many more eyeballs turned toward the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings used to seed the top two teams in each District and place them on opposite sides of the bracket.
An explanation of how MPR is calculated and full lists for all four divisions can be found clicking here. We also reference MPR much more below than we have over the first six weeks of the season, since every game added into the equation makes MPR a more accurate representation of what teams are accomplishing this winter, and at this point many teams have played nearly half their regular-season schedules.
“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Traverse City Central 41, Maple City Glen Lake 29 The Trojans (9-1) are off to a scorching start, and with this victory ended Glen Lake’s 41-game regular-season winning streak.
2. Lake Fenton 45, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 39 The Blue Devils (12-0) opened last week by downing the reigning Division 3 champion Gators (5-4).
3. Escanaba 50, Hancock 49 Potentially the two best teams in a strong Upper Peninsula this winter matched up that way, with the Division 2 Eskymos moving to 11-0 and Division 3 Hancock to 9-1.
4. Jackson Northwest 50, Coldwater 46 By handing Coldwater (9-1) its first defeat, Northwest (9-1) also moved into first place alone in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference.
5. Grand Rapids Christian 46, East Grand Rapids 45 These two are tied for only third in a strong Ottawa-Kent Conference White, in part because the Eagles (6-3) handed EGR (8-2) its first league loss.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Grand Blanc (6-3) After opening this season with three defeats to top competition (Hartland, Frankenmuth and Wayne Memorial), Grand Blanc hasn’t lost since and sits No. 5 in Division 1 MPR with all nine of its games against teams with winning records. Among those wins, the Bobcats handed Blissfield its only loss, and Holt just its second.
Holland West Ottawa (11-0) The Panthers are up to No. 4 in Division 1 MPR with a 55-51 overtime win over reigning O-K Red champion Hudsonville a major highlight last week. They also handed O-K Green co-leader Muskegon Mona Shores a 45-39 defeat in early December and can assert themselves as the best in the Red with matchups against Rockford and East Kentwood coming up over the next two weeks.
North Branch (9-1) The Broncos are a two-point December loss to Division 1 Oxford from a perfect start, and only two other games have been close despite playing six teams with winning records. North Branch opened with an impressive 52-35 win over Marysville and closed last week defeating Armada after splitting with the Tigers last season. The Broncos also have avenged a pair of last-season losses to Yale and a third to Millington.
Vicksburg (10-0) The Bulldogs began accelerating toward this kind of success in finishing 14-8 last season, and they made a statement immediately this winter with a 45-31 win over reigning Wolverine Conference champion Otsego on Dec. 2 after losing twice to the Bulldogs last season. Actually, they made a statement even before that, handing Buchanan what remains the Bucks’ only defeat, 47-42 in the season opener – which also remains Vicksburg’s only single-digit game.
Buchanan (8-1) As noted above, Buchanan opened with a defeat to Vicksburg but hasn’t lost since to move up to No. 4 in Division 3 MPR. The Bucks also have the first-half lead in the first-year Lakeland Conference, a game ahead of longtime rival Niles Brandywine after handing Brandywine a 49-45 overtime loss Dec. 15. No other opponent during the winning streak has gotten closer than 18 points.
Calumet (8-1) Coming off three straight seasons with at least 19 wins, Calumet is used to being in the mix and no surprise this time with its only loss to Hancock. Impressive wins over Negaunee and Baraga have followed, but these next two weeks should be especially telling with trips to Houghton, Gwinn and Marquette followed up by home games against Escanaba and Hancock again. The Copper Kings’ only regular-season losses last year were in splits with the Gremlins and Eskymos.
Kingston (9-0) The Cardinals entered this season a combined 75-12 over their last four, with that just a sample of consistent high-level success stretching more than a decade – and they’re adding to that impressively again. A 66-60 double-overtime win over Armada to finish the season’s first week was their only single-digit game so far, despite seven wins total over teams .500 or better and five over teams that have won at least seven games – easily explaining Kingston’s top rank in Division 4 MPR.
Maple City Glen Lake (8-1) The loss to Division 1 Traverse City Central (see above) should only strengthen Glen Lake’s standing as one of the best in Division 4, as the Lakers remain No. 2 in Division 4 MPR with double-digit wins over the rest of their opponents including three more with at least seven wins. A Feb. 1 matchup with Division 3 Traverse City St. Francis should be a gem, and expectations are high again after Glen Lake’s lone loss last season came to Arbor Prep in a Division 4 Semifinal.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – DeWitt (9-0) at Haslett (10-0) – These rivals have split their last two, with DeWitt winning last year’s meeting 24-22.
Tuesday – Petersburg Summerfield (11-1) at Morenci (10-0) – This pair is tied for first in the Tri-County Conference with the only loss between them Summerfield’s to Division 2 Ida.
Thursday – North Farmington (11-0) at Oxford (10-1) – The co-leaders in the Oakland Activities Association White face off for the first of two meetings.
Friday – Lake Fenton (12-0) at Goodrich (10-0) – The co-leaders in the Flint Metro League Stars also are ranked Nos. 4 and 11, respectively, in statewide Division 2 MPR.
Friday – Rockford (9-1) at Holland West Ottawa (11-0) – As noted above, these two have the early lead in the O-K Red, and Rockford also is No. 1 in Division 1 MPR with West Ottawa No. 4.
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PHOTOS (Top) Otsego’s Hannah Fitzpatrick (23) gets to the lane in her team’s 44-42 overtime win over Plainwell. (Middle) Traverse City Central’s Jakiah Brumfield (2) splits two defenders on her way to scoring in the Trojans' 41-29 win over previously-undefeated Glen Lake last week. (Photos by Gary Shook and Rick Sack, respectively.)