Breslin Bound: 2021-22 Boys Report Week 10

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 14, 2022

The boys basketball tournament picture is getting a little clearer as we draw closer to the end of the regular season, allowing coaches to forecast a bit more (and scout) who their teams might face when Districts begin in three weeks.

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It's also the right time for us to begin envisioning how some of our headlining regular-season games might become rematches next month – and we'll be digging into some of those possibilities over the next few weeks, including a couple we note below. 

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. Send corrections or missing scores to Geoff@mhsaa.com.

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results: 

1. Detroit U-D Jesuit 65, Detroit Catholic Central 43 The Detroit Catholic League Central has been the setting for one of the most contested league races in recent memory, and the Cubs (10-4) clinched the title after having defeated the Shamrocks (8-7) by only two points in their first meeting.

2. Port Huron Northern 49, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 47 The Huskies (12-4) faced former co-leader Lake Shore (13-3) twice over seven days and won both to clinch the Macomb Area Conference Blue title outright.

3. Vandercook Lake 65, Napoleon 59 The Jayhawks (13-1) moved into a half-game lead over Michigan Center and one full game ahead of Napoleon (12-2) in the Cascades Conference.

4. Goodrich 43, Flushing 42 The Martians (14-1) won a second one-point game in a row, this one over the Raiders (12-2) in a matchup of teams leading their respective Flint Metro League divisions.

5. Benton Harbor 79, Battle Creek Pennfield 74 The Tigers (13-2) bounced back from their second loss with their best win in terms of MPR against the Panthers (11-3).

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks: 

Division 1

Detroit Martin Luther King (15-1) The Crusaders haven’t lost since the season opener against Detroit U-D Jesuit (see below) and are up to No. 2 in Division 1 MPR after going undefeated in a Detroit Public School League Blue that included Cass Tech (14-2), Renaissance and Southeastern (both 11-4). King also has wins over Beecher (13-1), Ann Arbor Huron (11-3), Saginaw (10-6), Kalamazoo Central (10-6) and Grand Blanc (11-4) among others – and if the Crusaders meet Jesuit again, it will be in the Division 1 Final.

Detroit U-D Jesuit (10-4) As noted above, Jesuit clinched the Catholic League Central, a major accomplishment. Additionally, only two of the Cubs’ opponents this season have fewer than 10 wins entering this week, providing another boost behind Jesuit’s No. 1 MPR ranking. The Cubs opened with a 51-42 win over King and can also count nonleague victories over Waterford Mott (11-3) and Macomb Dakota (10-5) along with the impressive run through the conference.

Division 2

Croswell-Lexington (14-0) This is familiar territory for the Pioneers, who are up to a combined 53-3 over the last three seasons. They have a two-game lead over Richmond in the Blue Water Area Conference, having handed the Blue Devils (12-2) a 57-38 defeat Jan. 25 and with the rematch coming up. Wins over Brown City (9-5) and Reese (12-2) have provided further MPR boost as the team sits No. 4 in Division 2 coming off last year’s run to the Quarterfinals.

Escanaba (10-4) After reaching the Quarterfinals last season, the Eskymos loaded their schedule again with many of the Upper Peninsula’s best, and it’s paid off with the No. 1 MPR ranking in Division 2. Escanaba is second in the Great Northern Conference with two losses to Menominee (14-1) and will play the Maroons again Tuesday, but those defeats have provided a boost along with two wins over Kingsford (10-4) and others against Ishpeming Westwood (12-3) and Negaunee (11-5). The two other losses came to teams from Wisconsin.

Division 3

Detroit Loyola (11-4) The Bulldogs have won eight straight to clinch the Detroit Catholic League AA championship and move up to Nov. 5 in Division 3 MPR. Wins over Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and Warren Lincoln (both 12-4) also have provided a boost, and all four losses were to larger schools with at least 11 wins – Hamtramck (11-3), Bloomfield Hills (11-3), Oak Park (11-3) and North Farmington (12-3). Loyola gets another good test in Detroit Country Day (10-3) this week as it looks to build on last season’s Quarterfinal run.

Elk Rapids (9-4) With only one game left against leader Traverse City St. Francis, on Tuesday, and two league losses, Elk Rapids may have to settle for second in the Lake Michigan Conference for the second-straight season. But another big opportunity awaits the Elks, No. 9 in Division 3 MPR. Their District includes St. Francis and the top two teams in the Northwest Conference and second-place team in the Ski Valley Conference – and at the time of this writing, Elk Rapids would be seeded second thanks to wins like the sweep of Boyne City (10-4).

Division 4

Genesee Christian (11-4) The Soldiers have taken a few steps up from last year’s 9-8 finish despite a strong schedule. The Genesee Area Conference Red has four teams 8-4 or better and three with at least 10 wins, and Genesee Christian is up to No. 8 in Division 4 MPR with six victories over teams with eight wins or more. The Soldiers get some benefit from losses to Beecher (13-1) and Flint Hamady (8-4) and have defeated among others Hamady, Lake Fenton (9-5), Clarkston Everest Collegiate (11-3), Webberville (11-4) and Burton Bendle (10-4). They see Bendle again next week.

Lake Leelanau St. Mary (12-3) The No. 7 Eagles have piled up 14 wins two seasons in a row and made the Regional Finals a year ago, and they’re surging toward March again with a 10-game winning streak. St. Mary handed Ellsworth (14-1) its only defeat and also earned solid boosts from victories over Traverse City Christian (12-2) and Flat Rock (13-3) – with the losses to Maple City Glen Lake (13-3), Rudyard (14-0) and Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (8-6).

Can't-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:  

Tuesday – Ferndale (12-3) at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (11-4) – Ferndale is No. 7 in Division 2 MPR and Brother Rice is No. 3 in Division 1

Tuesday – Grand Haven (14-1) at Rockford (15-1) – The Rams won the first meeting and have a one-game lead on the Bucs in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red.

Tuesday – Battle Creek Pennfield (11-3) at Marshall (14-1) – Marshall has a one-game lead in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference despite falling to co-second place Pennfield 48-44 on Jan. 11.  

Friday – Frankenmuth (11-2) at Freeland (14-0) – The Falcons can clinch a share of the Tri-Valley Conference 8 title, or the Eagles can pull within a half game of the lead if they hand Freeland a first league defeat.

Saturday – Grand Blanc (11-4) at Muskegon (13-1) – The reigning Division 1 champion could bring a 10-game winning streak on the road to face another contender for this season’s title.

Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTO Westwood’s Zach Carlson threads a pass while being defended last week by Ishpeming’s Parker Gauthier. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Report Week 9

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 6, 2023

We are down to the final four weeks of this MHSAA boys basketball season – and while the entertaining part is detailed below in our regular Monday report, there’s some major data crunching underway behind the scenes as well.

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Seeding the top two teams in every District requires thousands of data points – and a season-long process of collecting them all. More than 720 varsity teams are playing this winter, and we’re in the midst of a process of checking their schedules one by one – about a 24-hour task by itself to make sure all scheduled games are showing, league standings are set up correctly, etc.

Additionally, daily we’re sorting through disputed scores, changes to schedules because of weather or teams that have discontinued their seasons, and other adjustments. But we’re always striving for perfection – and when Districts are drawn and those top teams seeded Feb. 26, we hope to have every schedule up to date and every score filled in.

“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. North Farmington 68, Muskegon 55 These two have lived at or near the top of Division 1 MPR all season, making this win by the Raiders (12-1) at the 2K23 Showcase at Aquinas College arguably their best, especially considering it also was the first loss for the Big Reds (13-1). 

2. Saline 57, Ann Arbor Huron 47 The Hornets (11-4) saw an eight-game winning streak end three days later, but in this one handed Huron (13-1) its lone defeat of the season. 

3. Ann Arbor Huron 67, Benton Harbor 55 The River Rats, meanwhile, rebounded immediately with a 13-point win over Dexter and then a 67-55 victory over Benton Harbor (13-3) at Aquinas. 

4. Warren Lincoln 52, Grand Rapids Northview 37 The Abes (12-3) just keep impressing, this time with a big win over a Northview team matching their 12-3 record, also during the 2K23 Showcase. 

5. Iron Mountain 64, Powers North Central 58 This matched arguably the best in the Upper Peninsula in Divisions 3 and 4, respectively, with the Mountaineers moving to 13-1 and the Jets to 11-2.

A Montabella player gets to the basket during his team's 43-28 win last week over Carson City-Crystal.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:

DIVISION 1

Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-2) The Cubs have won outright or shared the last two Detroit Catholic League Central championships, and they’re hoping to run that streak to three by winning Friday’s rematch with first-place Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-1). A 68-53 defeat to the Warriors on Jan. 24 and a 67-64 loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on Jan. 6 have left Jesuit a game back, but the Cubs do have a sweep of reigning Division 1 champion Warren De La Salle Collegiate plus early impressive nonleague wins over Clarkston and Ferndale.

Kalamazoo Central (13-2) After just missing the Division 1 Semifinals a year ago – losing to Northview by two in a Quarterfinal – the Maroon Giants are ahead of their 16-win pace from that finish with their only losses to Brother Rice and Battle Creek Lakeview (11-3), the latter by a point. They also defeated Lakeview in the teams’ first meeting, handed Mattawan its only loss and most recently defeated Detroit Renaissance at the 2K23 event. 

DIVISION 2

Ferndale (7-6) Few if any have played a tougher schedule, especially considering Ferndale is Division 2 playing most of the Division 1 powers. The Eagles are No. 5 in Division 2 MPR despite a 1-5 start including losses to Brother Rice, Jesuit, St. Mary’s and Muskegon, and then a two-point loss to North Farmington last week. Meanwhile, Ferndale has defeated Grosse Pointe South (13-3), Flint Beecher (12-3), Clarkston (11-5) and River Rouge (10-5). The North Farmington rematch is Feb. 24, and a Feb. 11 matchup with Port Huron Northern should also boost MPR.

Grand Rapids Christian (10-4) The Eagles may be in fourth in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White, but they are No. 6 in Division 2 MPR. Three of the four losses were to league opponents, but Christian is coming off a 55-53 double-overtime win over Warren Michigan Collegiate (13-2) on Saturday at Aquinas. An early win over Grand Rapids Catholic Central and a Jan. 21 victory over De La Salle also stand out.

DIVISION 3

Flint Beecher (12-3) The Bucs are off to another big start after last season’s finish at the Division 3 Semifinals, losing only to Detroit Cass Tech (17-0), Benton Harbor and Ferndale as Beecher also has loaded up its nonleague schedule. Beecher also has four wins over teams with double-digit victories, with an 80-71 defeat of Flint Hamady (14-2) on Jan. 10 putting the Bucs in first in the Genesee Area Conference Red. The Hamady rematch is Feb. 18, before a major regular-season finish against Goodrich (13-1) and Grand Blanc (14-2).

Napoleon (14-0) The Pirates aren’t sneaking up on anyone after going 19-3 last season, but they are dominating nonetheless. All but one win have been by eight points or more, and Napoleon leads the Cascades Conference after finishing second last year with a pair of losses to Vandercook Lake. The Pirates not only defeated Vandercook in their first meeting, by 40, but next defeated Michigan Center by 17 after the Cardinals ended their season last winter. Napoleon also has a 63-45 win over Big 8 Conference co-leader Concord.

DIVISION 4

Baldwin (13-1) The Panthers are coming off an 18-5 finish and second place in the West Michigan D League, and they lead it this time by two games and with a win over Mesick after losing both meetings to the eventual league champ a year ago. Baldwin also has avenged a 2021-22 loss to Mason County Eastern and could avenge another hosting Traverse City Christian on Tuesday. The Panthers also have given Marion (11-4) half its losses.

Powers North Central (11-2) As noted above, the Jets are at least among the handful of elite small-school Upper Peninsula teams, No. 4 in statewide Division 4 MPR although second in D4 in the U.P. with Painesdale Jeffers in the top spot. Those two wouldn’t see each other until a Regional Final, where North Central’s 19-5 run ended last season. The Jets only defeats this time are to Division 2 Kingsford and Division 3 Iron Mountain, which stand a combined 25-3.

Can’t-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – Goodrich (13-1) at Corunna (12-2) – They’re tied atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Goodrich winning the first meeting 69-54 on Jan. 10.

Friday – Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-2) at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-1) – As noted above, the Detroit Catholic League Central title will be on the line, as Jesuit can force a shared championship.

Saturday – Hamtramck (10-5) vs. Kalamazoo Central (13-2) at Benton Harbor – The Cosmos have faced their share of statewide elite as well, and will be seeking what would be one of their most notable wins in this Wilson Chandler Shootout matchup.

Saturday – Flint Hamady (14-2) at Davison (10-5) – Old rivals meet again as Davison is coached by longtime Beecher leader Mike Williams.

Saturday – Saginaw Arthur Hill (7-9) at Saginaw (14-4) – They’ll still have 2023-24 left before one the best rivalries in state history ends with a school merger, but this year’s rematch comes after Saginaw won 57-55 on Jan. 14.

MHSAA.com's weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) A Saginaw player gets to the rim during Friday's 59-54 loss to Mount Pleasant. (Middle) A Montabella player goes to the basket during his team's 43-28 win last week over Carson City-Crystal.(Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)