We're midway through another basketball season – which means not only increased focus on league title races but also many more people watching the daily movement of 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 and will continue to do so moving forward over the next six weeks, as every game added into the equation makes MPR a more accurate representation of what teams are accomplishing this winter.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Benton Harbor 64, Flint Beecher 62 Benton Harbor (9-2) opened a big week by handing Watervliet its first loss and closed it by handing Beecher (9-2) its second in this nail-biter at the GottaGetIt Hoops Classic at East Kentwood.
2. Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 67, Kalamazoo Central 50 Also at the GottaGetIt Hoops Classic, Rice (11-1) continued its run through top competition by handing Kalamazoo Central (9-1) its lone defeat.
3. Detroit Cass Tech 57, Detroit Martin Luther King 55 The Technicians edged their rivals to move to 12-0, a win that’s more key than what’s on paper as King’s 2-5 record includes losses to several of the state’s best.
4. Saline 62, Chelsea 60 Another two-point game saw the Hornets (8-3) hand Chelsea (10-1) its first defeat this season.
5. Grand Rapids Christian 63, Warren De La Salle Collegiate 58 Another strong matchup at East Kentwood saw the Eagles improve to 7-2 with a close win over the reigning Division 1 champion Pilots (7-5).
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Muskegon (10-0) The Big Reds have put it all together so far to build on last season’s 20-3 finish, even avenging one of those few losses by downing Ferndale 62-51 at its Muskegon Basketball Showcase two weeks ago. Also among impressive wins was an 81-79 overtime thriller against 2022 Division 2 runner-up Grand Rapids Catholic Central and a 50-45 victory over Warren Lincoln, both also at showcase events. A matchup with North Farmington (see below) is coming up Feb. 4.
North Farmington (8-1) A one-point loss to Warren Lincoln at the Dec. 17 Northville Showcase is all that separates North Farmington from a perfect record, and the Raiders have moved into the top spot in Division 1 MPR this week. The schedule has been loaded, with wins also over Benton Harbor, Grand Blanc, Hamtramck, Detroit King and Detroit Edison among others.
Onsted (9-2) Coming off a 22-1 finish that saw its only loss in a Regional Semifinal to eventual Division 2 champion Williamston, Onsted is impressing again with its only in-state defeat to still-unbeaten Olivet in the Dec. 29 Shot Clock Classic at Spring Arbor. (The other defeat was last week to Ohio contender Rossford at the MLK Day Classic in Toledo.) Onsted also has handed Clinton one of its two losses and has a two-game lead on the field in the Lenawee County Athletic Association.
Standish-Sterling (10-0) The Panthers also have built a quick two-game lead in their league, the Tri-Valley Conference 10-1, after tying with Carrollton for a TVC division title last season. Standish-Sterling opened this winter with a 44-32 victory over the Cavaliers, and is riding a solid string this calendar year starting with a win over Tawas and lately including victories over Reed City in overtime and by 17 over league opponent Millington.
Iron Mountain (9-0) Seven of nine opponents Iron Mountain has faced so far are .500 or better, and the Mountaineers have downed 60 percent of the Great Northern Conference defeating larger Kingsford, Escanaba and Gladstone over the last three weeks. Iron Mountain also has a win over Ishpeming Westwood, which like Kingsford handed the Mountaineers two defeats last season. More tests are on the way including Negaunee on Tuesday and undefeated Powers North Central on Jan. 30.
Michigan Center (7-4) Even with four losses, Michigan Center is up to No. 4 in Division 3 MPR, with those defeats to Onsted (see above), undefeateds Olivet and Napoleon, and eight-win Division 2 Croswell-Lexington. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are just a game behind Napoleon in the Cascades Conference standings with strong nonleague wins over Concord, Leslie and Reading. They see Napoleon again Feb. 16.
Painesdale Jeffers (10-0) A 74-71 win over Escanaba on Friday put an exclamation point on a great start as Painesdale Jeffers has played only two single-digit games despite five opponents that remain .500 or better and a sixth that’s south of .500 because of a loss from the Jets. Jeffers also won last week over Ewen-Trout Creek, which with Escanaba were two of four teams to hand the Jets defeats as they finished 18-4 a year ago.
Traverse City Christian (8-2) Two losses by a combined four points are all that’s kept Traverse City Christian from a perfect start, and those defeats were to Onekama (6-3) and Gaylord St. Mary (10-1) – two of six opponents that remain .500 or better. A pair of wins over Marion and others over Ellsworth and Harbor Light Christian are notable, as was a 66-63 win over Buckley that avenged a pair of defeats from last season.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (11-1) at Detroit U-D Jesuit (10-1) – These two join Orchard Lake St. Mary’s atop the Detroit Catholic League Central with one loss apiece, and Jesuit hosts the Eaglets on Friday.
Tuesday – Traverse City St. Francis (8-1) at Boyne City (10-1) – These are the only two left without a Lake Michigan Conference defeat as Boyne attempts to dethrone the reigning champion Gladiators.
Thursday – Clarkston (10-3) at North Farmington (8-1) – North Farmington swept last season’s two meetings and may have to again to stay atop a loaded Oakland Activities Association Red.
Friday – Grand Rapids Christian (7-2) at Grand Rapids Northview (10-1) – Northview has a one-game lead on Christian in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White standings after the pair split last season’s meetings on the way to Northview winning the title.
Sunday – Flint Beecher (9-2) at Detroit Cass Tech (12-0) – The Technicians host the Bucs as part of their Downtown Throw Down, with this 7:45 p.m. game capping the event.
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PHOTOS (Top) New Lothrop's Jaden Curry (44) looks for an open teammate while Frankenmuth defends during the Eagles' 75-45 win. (Middle) Otsego and Paw Paw met last week as Otsego went on to a 71-42 victory. (Photos by Terry Lyons and Gary Shook, respectively.)