Breslin Bound: 2021-22 Boys Quarterfinal Preview

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

March 22, 2022

We have reached the final week of winter on the MHSAA calendar, and the final game before one more Breslin-bound trip closes our season.

MI Student AidBelow is a look at all 16 Boys Basketball Quarterfinals that will be played across the state this evening. Times are included where two are at the same site – the rest tip-off at 7 p.m. EST. Click here for the full schedule.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid.

DIVISION 1

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (20-4) vs. Warren De La Salle Collegiate (17-7) at University of Detroit Mercy, 5:30 p.m.

No opponents playing Tuesday are more familiar with each other, as the Eaglets won these Detroit Catholic League Central rivals’ first two meetings by two in double overtime and then 13. St. Mary’s has a number of scorers including senior JaVaughn Hannah (16.5 ppg), freshman Trey McKenney (15.8) and senior Kareem Rozier (15.8), with Rozier a Mr. Basketball finalist. De La Salle can rely on a number of contributors as well with six players averaging between 8-11 points per game, led by senior Tamario Adley at 11.3 ppg. Six of its seven losses this season were in league play, and 12 of its 13 nonleague wins were by double digits.

Grand Rapids Northview (24-1) vs. Kalamazoo Central (16-7) at Middleville Thornapple Kellogg

Senior Kyler VanderJagt paces a Northview team set to play in its first Quarterfinal since 2006 and with its only loss this season to Grand Rapids Christian. The Wildcats’ tournament run has included impressive wins over Rockford and Muskegon. Kalamazoo Central started this season 2-4 but has gone 14-3 since with those three losses by a combined four points. Seniors Thomas Dillard IV and Scott Hughes and junior Hutch Ward all average between 14-16 points per game.

Grand Blanc (19-5) vs. Detroit Catholic Central (16-8) at Saginaw Heritage

The reigning Division 1 champion Bobcats have won 17 of their last 18 games, with junior RJ Taylor (16.8 ppg, 51 3-pointers) among standouts who’ve put Grand Blanc in position to return to Breslin. Similar to De La Salle, seven of DCC’s eight losses came to Catholic League Central opponents, which no doubt helped the Shamrocks further prep for this tournament run. Sophomore T.J. Nadeau (13.4) leads four DCC players averaging double-digit scoring, and he’s made 39 percent of his 3-point attempts for 43 total.

Belleville (18-6) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (21-3) at University of Detroit Mercy, 7:30 p.m.

The Technicians emerged from one of the strongest Districts in the state and added a pair of 20-point Regional wins to reach the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. Freshman Darius Acuff has made his presence immediately felt with team bests of 16.2 points and 6.1 assists per game. Four Belleville starters average at least 10 points apiece, with senior Da’Jon Johnson leading the way at 12.1 ppg. The Tigers’ first five losses were by a combined 12 points and included one double and one triple-overtime defeat before Belleville went on to win eight of its last nine.

DIVISION 2

Grand Rapids Catholic Central (23-1) vs. Benton Harbor (22-2) at Calvin University

The reigning Division 2 champion Cougars have lost only once this season, early to 2021 Division 3 champ Flint Beecher, and handed Hudsonville Unity Christian its only loss of the season on the way to this Quarterfinal rematch with the Tigers. GRCC won last year’s Quarterfinal 83-72. Four standouts average at least 11 points per game, with junior Kaden Brown tops at 21 and with 65 3-pointers. The Tigers have won 10 straight since their most recent defeat, to Division 3 quarterfinalist Detroit Edison, with the other loss to Division 1 Muskegon. Junior Grant Gondrezick II scores 21 points per game to lead four averaging at least 11 ppg.

Ferndale (20-3) vs. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (17-7) at St. Clair Country Community College

Ferndale is seeking to return to the Semifinals for the second-straight season and prepped again facing a number of the state’s best teams. All three of the Eagles’ losses came to teams playing in Division 1 Quarterfinals – De La Salle, St. Mary’s and Grand Blanc – and the De La Salle and Grand Blanc defeats were in double and single overtime, respectively. Notre Dame Prep is coming off its second Regional title and first since 1998. Seniors Jack Olis and Jonathan Risi and sophomore Wade Robinson all average between 15-16 ppg and have made at least 44 3-pointers apiece.

Williamston (24-0) vs. Detroit Edison (19-5) at Chelsea

Williamston has played one single-digit game all season as it returns to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2018 seeking its first Semifinal berth since 2016. The Hornets’ most notable postseason victory was a 57-38 Regional Semifinal win over previously-undefeated Onsted. Edison started this season 0-4 but its only loss since was in its league tournament semifinal against Romulus Summit Academy North – and Edison avenged that defeat with a 42-41 Regional Final win. Junior guard Bryce Eaton sets the scoring pace at 22.5 points per game.

Cadillac (19-5) vs. Freeland (24-0) at Central Montcalm

Cadillac has been on a roll with wins over Benzie Central (20-4) in the regular season finale and Standish-Sterling (21-2) and Escanaba (19-5) in last week’s Regional. But next up is Freeland, which has played three single-digit games all season on the way to reaching the final week undefeated. Senior Cole Jenema leads Cadillac with 19.8 ppg, while Freeland is paced by senior Josh Elliott (18.5) leading three who average 13.5 or more points per contest.

DIVISION 3

Menominee (21-3) vs. Grayling (15-9) at Sault Ste. Marie

The Maroons entered the postseason the No. 1 overall seed in Division 3 and reached the final week for the first time since 2008 with an overtime win in the Regional Final over Benzie Central. Senior Aidan Bellisle sets the pace at 15.4 points and 4.8 assists per game. Grayling will be playing in its first Quarterfinal since 1957 in part thanks to handing Mesick (21-1) its only loss this season in a District Final. Senior Dylan Cragg leads a balanced attack at 13.1 ppg.

Bath (17-6) vs. Ecorse (8-12) at Jackson Lumen Christi

A series of forfeits over the first two months of the season has left Ecorse with this record but didn’t diminish its status as a likely Division 3 contender. The Raiders have proved it handing Riverview Gabriel Richard (19-1) its only loss in a District Semifinal and edging Erie Mason (18-6) last week. Senior Ethan Swenson has led Bath back to the Quarterfinals for the first time since its Class C championship season of 2007.

Pewamo-Westphalia (20-4) vs. Schoolcraft (22-2) at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix

P-W has won 18 of its last 19 games, with the lone defeat during that time to Division 2 undefeated quarterfinalist Freeland. Junior Jamison Eklund scores 17 points as a 6-foot-5 post presence with perimeter game. One of the Pirates’ early losses came against Schoolcraft, 61-32 at Cornerstone University on Dec. 30. That victory started a 20-game winning streak for the Eagles, who get a double-double from 6-7 senior Tyler DeGroote (16.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg).

New Haven (17-7) vs. Flint Beecher (21-2) at Burton Bendle

Beecher is seeking a repeat this week with its only losses this season to Division 1 Detroit Martin Luther King (19-3) and Grand Blanc. Two starters and the top sub are back from last season’s championship team. New Haven’s five straight Quarterfinal appearances from 2015-19 were all in Class B/Division 2, and the Rockets played a schedule loaded with larger opponents this winter. Juniors Trevon Jeffery (11.6) and Dezmond Gilleylen (11.2) lead a lineup with five players averaging at least seven points per game.

DIVISION 4

Ewen-Trout Creek (21-3) vs. Rudyard (23-1) at Munising

Rudyard, a semifinalist last season, has lost only to St. Ignace by a point in overtime this winter and got past Onaway (22-2) in the Regional Final. Senior 6-8 center Tate Besteman (16.5 ppg, 10 rpg) teams with senior guard EJ Suggitt (15.9 ppg, 58 3-pointers) for a powerful inside-out punch. Ewen-Trout Creek advanced with a win over Powers North Central (19-5) to reach the final week for the first time since 2008. Senior Jaden Borseth (18.8 ppg) leads a strong perimeter attack.

Lake Leelanau St. Mary (20-4) vs. Fulton (14-11) at Lake City

St. Mary is making its first Quarterfinal trip since 1950, and second in program history. The Eagles’ three losses were to Rudyard and three Division 3 teams, and juniors Dylan Barnowski (21.2) and Shawn Bramer (20.4) are significant scoring threats. Fulton joins Bath and P-W from the Central Michigan Athletic Conference and has won seven straight. Senior Joe Iung leads at 16.6 ppg.

Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (18-6) vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian (13-12) at Portage Northern

Tri-unity is the reigning Division 4 runner-up, having fallen to Detroit Douglass by six in last year’s Final. The Defenders have won 14 of their last 16 led by Brady Titus (29.8 ppg). Lenawee Christian played a tough schedule as well, and after finishing the regular season on a 2-7 stretch has pulled together three straight six-point wins including over Hillsdale Academy (18-5) and Bellevue (20-4). Senior Tyler VanEtten scores 20.5 points per game and has made 64 3-pointers.

Southfield Christian (20-4) vs. Genesee Christian (20-4) at West Bloomfield

The Eagles are returning to the Quarterfinals for the fifth season in a row (not counting COVID-abbreviated 2020). Sophomore Uchenna Amene leads this year’s contender at 22.3 points per game with 52 3-pointers. Genesee Christian is back at the Quarterfinals after most recently falling to Southfield Christian in this round in 2019. The Soldiers have won 10 straight over the last six weeks with all of their losses this season to Division 2 or 3 schools, including two to Beecher.

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PHOTOS (Top) Ewen-Trout Creek's Kelsey Jilek (24) blocks a shot by Powers North Central's Jesse Sampson (22) during last week’s Regional Final. (Middle) Edison's Jada Shepard (24) and Kyle Millender (2) wall off the basket this season against Davison. (Photos by Cara Kamps and Terry Lyons, respectively.)

Father & Son Seidl Have Much to Discuss, Notes to Compare From Perfect Starts

By Doug Donnelly
Special for MHSAA.com

February 7, 2023

Matt and Derek Seidl have a lot to talk about these days.

Southeast & BorderThe father and son duo both have highly-ranked, undefeated basketball teams going into the first full week of February, something neither of them saw coming.

“We were hoping for a season like this, but you never think about winning this many in a row,” said Matt Seidl, the father and head coach of the 15-0 Olivet Eagles. “When our season ended last year, we knew our top seven players would all be returning.”

About 50 miles south of Olivet, in Jackson County, Derek Seidl has the Napoleon Pirates off to a 14-0 start. They are sitting on top of the Cascades Conference.

“We have a really talented group right now,” Derek said. “We were 19-3 last year and brought six guys back. Having that experience has been very valuable.”

Olivet is ranked No. 2 in MPR in Division 2 while Napoleon is No. 9 in Division 3. Both are top-10 teams in the latest Associated Press polls as well.

Matt Seidl, 60, graduated from Ypsilanti Lincoln High School in 1981 and went to Eastern Michigan University to become a sportswriter. He didn’t begin teaching until he was in his early 30s, but, by then, was already a veteran coach.

“It was getting difficult because I was always leaving my job to go coach,” he said. “I decided to go and get my teaching degree.”

He wound up in the classroom, which enabled him to dive deeper into coaching. He spent several years coaching at the middle school and high school levels, boys and girls, with stops at places like Pinckney, Ypsilanti, Manchester, Willow Run and Romulus. He was the JV boys basketball coach at Dexter when his son, Derek, made the team as a freshman.

Senior Brayden Wine makes a move toward the basket for the Eagles.By then, Derek already knew he would be on the bench one day as a coach.

“I played for my dad in youth travel stuff, and he was on staff for one year my freshmen year of high school,” Derek said. “He was a varsity coach all growing up. I was always at games. I loved talking to him about the game, the strategy of it, the Xs and Os. Even when I was younger, I thought about coaching someday. Growing up if you would have asked me what my dream job was, it would have been a teacher and coach.”

Derek, 27, graduated from Dexter in 2014. He played four years of college basketball at Lawrence Tech University. After getting his master’s degree and teaching degree, he got his first coaching job as an assistant coach at Chelsea, under Josh Tropea, who also had coached with Matt.

Derek’s first teaching and head coaching job came at Springport in 2019-20. This is his third year at Napoleon.

“It’s been a really good fit here,” Derek said. “Before I started looking into the job, I barely knew anything about Napoleon. It has worked out well.”

Matt is also the athletic director at Olivet. If he would have had his way, Derek would be coaching at Olivet.

“Derek did a really good job at Springport, and we had an opening and he interviewed and was recommended for the job, but before they offered it to him, Napoleon hired him,” Matt said. “He would have been the perfect choice to teach math and coach basketball.”

With Derek no longer in the running, Matt came out of coaching retirement and was named head coach.

“It was going to be a one-year deal, sort of a band-aid to get us to the next year,” he said.

Instead, Matt’s stayed on and put together quite a successful team. The Eagles have gone 47-6 since the start of the 2020-21 season. This year’s team has taken a big step.

Junior Bo Lincoln, a 5-foot-11 junior point guard, leads the team in scoring (17.1 points per game), assists (3.6 per game), steals (3.0 per game) and free throw percentage at 78 percent.

Drew Priddy, a 6-5 senior center, is averaging about eight points and seven rebounds a game, and junior guard Bryce Wine is averaging nine points a game and leads the team in 3-pointers.

“We had quite the youth movement a few years ago,” Matt said. “We go 8-9 deep now and have a lot of experience. Having those young guys play a couple years ago is paying off.

“We are a good team, but we’re not a 70-possessions-a-game type of team. We know who we are.”

Derek Seidl instructs his players. Derek also knows plenty about his dad’s team.

“I definitely keep track of them,” he said. “We talk on the phone on a daily basis – 30 minutes about Napoleon and 30 minutes about Olivet. We bounce things off each other. We run a lot of the same stuff as far as systems. We’re very connected on things.”

Matt and Derek’s teams tried to have a good old-fashioned scrimmage, or exhibition, last year but – with Derek’s team ahead – Matt received two technicals and got kicked out of the game. It’s a fun story for both to tell now.

“That was wild,” Derek said. “It was a cool thing we had going. We were winning so I was enjoying it, but that put a whole different spin on the situation.”

Matt said they probably won’t do that again. Probably.

“My wife said no,” he said. “Derek and I have talked about it, but I don’t know that it would ever happen.”

Derek said one day he’d like to coach with his father.

“I’m very energetic and into it, just like he is,” Derek said. “There are some similarities. I played for him and watched him a lot. I try and pull some of the things he does, being prepared. We get along super well. I don’t know if I could trust him to not get technical fouls.”

He’s kidding, of course.

Napoleon has a core group of four players with a ton of experience.

Devonta Habern is a 5-11 junior who is on the varsity for the third year and runs the show at point guard. Six-foot-5 senior Trent Jester is one of the best big men in the conference. University of Michigan baseball commit Grant Bradley is a three-year varsity starter and outstanding athlete. Holden Vanpoppel is an all-state track athlete who has turned into a pretty good basketball player.

“Grant is super steady and having a great year,” Derek said. “He looks like he’s been in the weight room since he was 5 years old. He can guard anybody. Vanpoppel is an unbelievable run and jump athlete. All four of these guys are averaging in double figures. They are really good athletes who have invested in the program and put the time in.”

“We’ve got a very talented group,” Derek said. “They are a little looser than I am. I tend to be very calculated, kind of analytical and serious. They like to goof around a little bit. They keep me even-keeled. They know when to get serious. It’s good for me to have a group like that.”

Derek said his squad wants to exceed expectations this year.

“We talk about that after every game – don’t be satisfied just because we are undefeated,” Derek said. “There is plenty more to accomplish. Last year we went 18-2 in the regular season and 19-3 overall, but we didn’t win a league or a District. Our guys have bought into that mindset. That’s helped us get to where we are.”

Matt is keeping a close eye on not only his team, but Derek’s as well.

“I probably get more stressed watching his games,” he said. “I’m really proud of what he has been able to do.”

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at DougDonnelly@hotmail.com with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Father Matt, left, and son Derek Seidl are leading undefeated boys basketball teams this season at Olivet and Napoleon, respectively. (Middle) Senior Brayden Wine makes a move toward the basket for the Eagles. (Below) Derek Seidl instructs his players. (Olivet photos courtesy of Olivet High School; Napoleon photos by Jeff Steers/JTV.)