Showcase matchups began quenching fans’ thirst for the new season last week, with more on the way, and league play already is ramping up as we embark on a four-month journey – much different than last season’s two-month sprint.
Boys basketball season began the way it’s meant to begin, and no one will be taking that for granted.
Every Monday with “Breslin Bound” we’ll take glances at five scores that especially jumped out from the previous week, provide snapshots of two teams in each division to watch as the winter progresses, and then give a glimpse of five intriguing matchups on the schedule during the week to come.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Detroit U-D Jesuit 51, Detroit Martin Luther King 42 These two are both expected to be in the Division 1 championship mix again, as usual, making this a game that might be recalled when March rolls around.
2. Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 86, Grand Blanc 68 The Warriors opened with an impressive win over the reigning Division 1 champion, putting up what would’ve been a season-high points total last winter.
3. Freeland 80, Bridgeport 51 Although these Tri-Valley Conference foes did split last season, Bridgeport is coming off a run to the Division 2 Semifinals.
4. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 50, Grand Rapids Christian 45 The reigning Division 2 champion didn’t lose a game last season but got an immediate test from the Eagles in this opener.
5. Harrison 40, Beaverton 38 Harrison finished seventh and Beaverton was undefeated in winning the Jack Pine Conference last season; this avenged 29 and 39-point losses by the Hornets.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Bay City Central (2-0) The Wolves are making an early push for one of the most interesting potential turnarounds this winter. The finished 2-12 last season, and they’ve already equaled that success. And it came with plenty of excitement – Central opened with a 63-61 win over Midland Dow and followed with another close finish, 51-49 over Tawas.
Okemos (2-0) After a rare down season – finishing 3-7 with a pair of overtime losses and two more defeats by five or fewer points – Okemos is off to a fast start reestablishing itself as a contender in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue. The first step was a 63-51 opening-night win over a Howell team coming off a District title, and the next was a 53-37 victory over DeWitt.
Onsted (3-0) The Wildcats are coming off two straight 14-win seasons, and they couldn’t have gotten off to a better start last week. All three wins were by double digits – 69-56 over Michigan Center, 68-38 over Hanover-Horton and 69-26 over Jonesville – and Hanover-Horton made the Division 3 Semifinals last winter, after defeating Michigan Center in Regional play.
Richmond (3-0) The Blue Devils joined Onsted among 12 teams statewide to start 3-0 last week, a great bounce-back after going 4-6 last season with six games canceled. This start is more reminiscent of when the team went 18-4 in 2019-20 – except last week Richmond also got a win over Fraser, 51-49, to go with victories over Marine City and Cardinal Mooney.
Warren Michigan Collegiate (2-0) After missing last season’s Quarterfinals by a one-point loss to Detroit Loyola, Michigan Collegiate opened in a big way last week. The Cougars downed Detroit Mumford by 30 and then defeated Ecorse 72-45 at the Horatio Williams Tip-Off Classic. A Motor City Roundball Classic matchup Dec. 27 with Detroit Renaissance could be telling before Charter School Conference play begins. (UPDATED Jan. 31, 2022; this originally appeared under Division 3, but Michigan Collegiate is in Division 2.)
Holton (2-0) Even with last season shortened, Holton has upped its win total each of the last four from six to 10 to 13 to finishing 15-6 last winter. The Red Devils got started on attempting to repeat as champions of the Central State Activities Association Silver with a 46-28 win over Morley Stanwood on Friday, after opening with a 16-point win over Howard City Tri County.
Lake Linden-Hubbell (2-0) The Lakes play in a strong Copper Country division of the Copper Mountain Conference which features primarily Dollar Bay and Painesdale Jeffers as well. But Lake Linden-Hubbell will try to work its way into the race and got a solid jump on bettering last season’s 7-9 overall finish with a 39-34 win over Hancock and more sizable victory over Baraga.
New Buffalo (2-0) The Bison are coming off a District title and off to a fast start. They held on for a 77-73 win over Division 1 Sturgis to open, and then won big against Covert to kick off the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference White schedule. New Buffalo was runner-up in the league and 13-4 overall last season.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Traverse City St. Francis (0-0) at Charlevoix (1-0) – The Lake Michigan Conference race gets going right away, with the reigning champion Rayders taking on one of last season’s co-runners-up.
Thursday – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (2-0) at Clarkston (2-0) – This is a rematch of a Division 1 Regional Semifinal, won by the Eaglets 38-37 on the way to reaching last season’s Quarterfinals.
Friday – Hudsonville Unity Christian (2-0) at Grand Rapids South Christian (1-1) – Two of the Grand Rapids area’s best were a combined 33-6 last season.
Friday – Detroit U-D Jesuit (3-0) at Ferndale (0-1) – Jesuit lost only one game last season, a Division 1 Regional Final, and Ferndale is coming off a run to the Division 2 Semifinals.
Saturday – Benton Harbor (2-0) vs. Flint Carman-Ainsworth (1-0) at Grand Rapids Union – This Showcase Classic game matches teams that were a combined 29-6 last season.
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PHOTO Ovid-Elsie, defending, opened with a 56-52 win over Bath last week. (Photo by Christine McCallister.)
Foster Loyer’s four-season career at Clarkston from 2014-15 through 2017-18 certainly must be considered among the most accomplished in state history as he led the Wolves to back-to-back Class A championships in 2017 and 2018 and is listed in the record book 25 times.
Among Loyer’s most notable entries were 2,325 career points (12th most), 272 career 3-pointers (tied for ninth), records of 119 consecutive free throws and 634 career free throws, a .921 free-throw percentage as a junior (tied for fourth) and .900 career percentage (second), 589 career assists (sixth), 278 career steals (15th) and 102 games played (tied for sixth).
Loyer went on to play at Michigan State and then Davidson.
See below for more recent record book entries for boys basketball.
Four Onaway standouts were added for single-season and/or career records. Jager Mix, who graduated in 2022, was added for 92 steals last season and 225 over his four-season career. Kevin Pearson, a 2021 grad, was added for 81 steals as a senior and 247 over his career. Joe Sigsby, a 2016 grad, was added for 127 steals, and Jadin Mix was added for 124 in 2021-22. Their totals rank ninth and tied for 10th, respectively, on that all-time list. Jager Mix also was added for 967 career rebounds, and Onaway as a team was added for tying the record for most points in a quarter with 49 during the first quarter of a win over Fife Lake Forest Area on Feb. 3, 2022. Jager Mix is playing at Alpena Community College, and Jadin Mix is a senior this school year.
Uchenna Amene was added for 11 steals in a March 7, 2022, game against West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy and for 97 steals total over 25 games. He was a sophomore at Southfield Christian that season and now is a senior at Detroit Catholic Central.
Owen Franklin graduated from Oscoda in 2021 as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and nearly 44 percent of those 1,477 points came on 3-pointers. Franklin made the state career 3-pointers list with 216 over four seasons. He’s playing baseball at Northwood.
Traverse City Christian sophomore Reece Broderick became one of the state’s most accomplished long-distance shooters in just his second year of high school this past winter, drilling 104 3-pointers – good for third-most for one season all-time – over 23 games. He connected on 42 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
A pair of Rudyard four-year varsity standouts entered the record book after their graduations in 2022. Tate Besteman made the career rebounds list with 762 over 89 games, and EJ Suggitt made the career 3-pointers list with 215 over the same 89 contests. Besteman played this past season for Mid Michigan College, and Suggitt is playing baseball at Spring Arbor.
Success from 3-point range played a significant role in Mesick finishing 21-1 in 2021-22, as the team made 195 of its 578 attempts – with game highs of 15 twice in wins over Baldwin and Pentwater.
Then-senior Tristan McFolley earned the first listing under single-game rebounds since 2013 with 30 in Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy’s game with Hope of Detroit Academy on Dec. 8, 2022.
Tawas found its groove from long range Jan. 10 against Oscoda, drilling 22 3-pointers in an 86-31 win. The total tied for fifth-most in one game.
Although Norway felt just short, 40-37, in its District loss to Crystal Falls Forest Park on March 8, Alex Ortman kept the Knights close scoring 20 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to make the single-quarter scoring list. He’s now a senior.
Kobe Clark has listings in two MHSAA record books, with three for boys basketball joining those he earned for football during his Schoolcraft career. He was added in hoops for 531 career assists and 290 career steals over 94 games from 2016-17 through 2019-20, and also for 82 steals as a senior. Tyler DeGroote also was added to the record book, for scoring 20 points during the first quarter against Delton Kellogg during Schoolcraft’s Jan. 11, 2022, victory. Clark began at Saginaw Valley State for football and now plays basketball and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and DeGroote is continuing at Rockhurst (Mo.).
Past Detroit Cooley star Larry Fogle has added a seventh record book listing a half-century later. Fogle grabbed 33 rebounds on Jan. 18, 1972, during a win over Detroit Mackenzie. He went on to play at Louisiana and Canisius, and then briefly with the New York Knicks.
Trevon Gunter scored 42 points in Kalamazoo Central’s 84-56 win over Richland Gull Lake on Jan. 17, 2020, including 31 during the third quarter – second-most and just one shy of the record for points during one period. A senior that season, Gunter plays currently at Grand Valley State.
Mark Wittbrodt held the record for consecutive free throws at 70 until 2008, and that entry in the record book has been joined by several others from the Bay City Western star. He was added for his 192 3-pointers, 436 free throws, .842 free-throw percentage and 266 career steals over three seasons from 1991-93, as well as for six single-season accomplishments. He went on to play at Michigan Tech.
Ellsworth’s Jacob Jenuwine tied for 12th on the single-game 3-pointers list when he connected on 11 as part of scoring 39 points total in his team’s Feb. 14 win over Alanson. Jenuwine graduated this spring.
Bellevue senior Dawson Wing capped his three-season varsity career last winter with three entries in the record. He was added for 12 blocked shots in a 2021-22 game against Colon, 107 for the season last winter and 203 blocks over his career. Teammate Caleb Betz, a senior this fall, was added for 12 steals in a game against Athens.
Logan Mansfield capped his Morenci career in a big way last winter. The senior drilled 90 3-pointers over 24 games to earn his school’s first individual record book entry in boys hoops since the 1987-88 season, when John Craig had 132 blocked shots that would have been the second-most recorded at that time. They currently rank 13th.
New Haven earned a pair of record book entries during its March 10 win over Memphis. The Rockets bested their previous single-quarter school record with 41 points during the opening period, and they also made the statewide single-game 3-pointers list with 16.
Whitehall’s Camden Thompson, a junior this fall, earned his first record book entry last winter – and the first for his school in boys basketball. He grabbed 303 rebounds over 21 games.
Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep junior Zeekeal Jackson earned his school's first boys basketball record book entry this past season as well. He made the single-season steals list with 106, over 22 games, and just missed the single-game list with a high of 10.
Jonesville’s Brady Wright was among his team’s leading scorers during his three varsity seasons ending this past winter, but he also was a major contributor defensively. He made the records with a season-high 101 steals over 25 games as a senior, and made the career list with 232 steals over 61 games.
Sophomore Christopher McLavish Jr. made a memorable impact last season with a pair of record book entries. He made the single-quarter points list with 20 in a Feb. 21 game against Flint Powers Catholic, but even more memorable were his 97 3-pointers over 25 games for the season – tying him for 11th all-time on that list.
PHOTO Foster Loyer directs Clarkston's offense during its 2018 Class A Semifinal.