Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Report Week 6
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
January 16, 2023
Mid-January always is something of a transition time in boys basketball season, and this week’s “Breslin Bound” report reflects that change of focus as we near the midway point.
We highlight top matchups from events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, the last showcases for many teams this season as they move into the league schedule grind. And we dive into some of the early conference action as well as that becomes the next chapter for most over the next seven weeks.
“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. Ferndale 63, Flint Beecher 52 Playing many of the state’s best, Ferndale has been much better than its 3-5 early record – and this win at its Horatio Williams Foundation MLK Freedom Classic, handing Beecher (8-1) its only loss, says a lot.
2. Warren Michigan Collegiate 64, Detroit Renaissance 55 Another Freedom Classic matchup saw Michigan Collegiate (8-1) add another impressive victory to its first-half run with Renaissance (9-4) having won nine straight heading into the weekend.
3. Muskegon 50, Warren Lincoln 45 The Big Reds (8-0) also earned a big win at the Freedom Classic, as Lincoln (6-3) has been among eye-openers during the season’s first half.
4. Cadillac 68, Petoskey 65 (OT) The reigning Big North Conference co-champ Vikings (7-1) got a major boost with Petoskey (7-3) another favorite this winter.
5. Clarkston 50, Troy 48 – Both stand 8-2 after this matchup, and both could end up Oakland Activities Association champs in their respective divisions.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Grand Ledge (7-1) Handing Okemos its first loss, 50-47 on Friday, was a big step in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue – but just the latest of a strong bounce-back from last year’s 9-14 finish. The Comets’ lone loss was in overtime at Petoskey, and Grand Ledge picked up a nice overtime road win two weeks later at Mount Pleasant. Blue co-leader Lansing Waverly comes to Grand Ledge on Thursday.
Grand Rapids Northview (9-1) The Wildcats picked right back up where they left of reaching last season’s Division 1 Semifinal, with their only loss this winter to still-undefeated Detroit Cass Tech. Northview has impressed with some close wins, early by two points over Grand Rapids South Christian, later by three over East Grand Rapids and Saturday by one in overtime over Chicago Hyde Park (15-4) at the Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills MLK Day Hoops Classic.
Big Rapids (6-1) The Cardinals won the last two Central State Activities Association Gold titles and could be lining up for a third-straight championship with the CSAA back to one division this winter. Big Rapids has a nonleague win over Reed City, which is looking like another possible CSAA contender, and defeated former league rival Fremont after splitting with the Packers last season. Big Rapids’ lone loss was to still-undefeated Hart.
Olivet (9-0) The Eagles have gone from five to 13 to 19 wins over the last three seasons, respectively, and they’re on their way again with five wins over teams with winning records. Olivet handed Onsted its only loss, 59-42, on Dec. 29 at Spring Arbor’s Shot Clock Classic, and also avenged one of its two losses from last season with a 67-61 win over Battle Creek Harper Creek.
Detroit Loyola (9-0) Six of the Bulldogs’ nine wins have come against teams with winning records, highlighted by a 69-51 victory over Romulus Summit Academy at the Motor City Roundball Classic that remains Summit’s lone loss. Wins over Division 1 Grosse Pointe South, Fenton and Livonia Franklin also stand out among the notable, and a matchup with Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 28 at Cass Tech could be another indication of Loyola’s potential in March.
Jonesville (8-1) After starting last season 0-4 before rebounding to 13-8, Jonesville started this season 5-0 with wins over three of the teams that defeated the Comets during the 2021-22 opening string. Jonesville’s only loss this time has come to Reading in the Pat Patterson Classic Pool A final. Jonesville shared the Big 8 Conference title last season with Concord, and it sees the Yellow Jackets for the first time Thursday.
Genesee Christian (7-1) The Soldiers are off to another solid start coming of last year’s trip to the Division 4 Semifinals. The only loss this winter came in mid-December to Division 2 Flint Hamady, and right after Genesee Christian opened with an impressive 60-57 win over Saginaw Nouvel. A strong finish to December included victories over Division 2 Lake Fenton and Division 1 Fenton and Port Huron.
Taylor Trillium Academy (7-0) After finishing 17-4 and just missing a Regional title last season with a four-point loss to Southfield Christian, Trillium is making plenty of noise again. The only single-digit game was a 46-44 win over Division 2 Redford Union at the Mitten Recruit Christmas Classic, and the remaining schedule is filled with mostly Division 2 opponents with Division 1 Detroit Mumford up next today.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Grand Haven (9-0) at East Kentwood (6-2) – The Buccaneers have an early one-game edge at the top of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red, but East Kentwood certainly is among contenders as well.
Wednesday – New Haven (9-1) at Port Huron Northern (8-0) – This could turn into one of the season’s most notable wins for whichever comes out on top, and a great momentum builder as both chase Macomb Area Conference division titles.
Thursday – Croswell-Lexington (8-2) at Richmond (8-1) – Croswell-Lexington was first and Richmond second in the Blue Water Area Conference last season, and they are the only teams still without a loss in league play this winter.
Saturday – Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (9-1) vs. Kalamazoo Central (7-0) at East Kentwood – This matchup of top Division 1 teams is arguably the headliner of the Gotta Get It Hoops Classic.
Saturday – Romulus (7-1) at Saginaw (10-2) – Few have had more combined success at the statewide level over the last 20 years, and both are off to big starts again.
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PHOTOS (Top) Flint Beecher’s Robert Lee (22) works to find an opening with Ferndale’s Cameron Reed (0) defending Saturday. (Middle) Otsego’s Nicholas Lopez tries for a reverse lay-up during his team’s 63-36 win over Plainwell on Friday. (Photos by Terry Lyons and Gary Shook, respectively.)