Breslin Bound: 2021-22 Boys Report Week 11

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 21, 2022

The first 12 weeks of this boys basketball season will culminate in a highly-anticipated announcement this week.

MI Student Aid

Sunday morning, District brackets will be released with the top two teams seeded in each based on thousands of results going back to the start of December – including a few more that likely will have an impact this week.

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

Week in Review

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

1. Muskegon 84, Grand Blanc 79 The Big Reds (16-1) picked up a massive weekend win, downing the reigning Division 1 champion Bobcats (12-5) on Saturday. 

2. Detroit Western 57, Detroit Cass Tech 53 The Cowboys (15-3) were coming off the Detroit Public School League Gold championship and earned a spot in the PSL Tournament championship game by downing the East runner-up Technicians (15-3).

3. Grand Haven 54, Rockford 51 The Buccaneers (16-1) avenged their 62-56 loss to the Rams 16-2 from Jan. 18 to move into a tie for first in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red. 

4. East Lansing 68, Okemos 63 The Trojans (15-4) finished Capital Area Activities Conference Blue play as the outright league champion, sending Okemos (12-3) into second. 

5. Romulus Summit Academy 67, Warren Michigan Collegiate 45 The Dragons (14-2) finished an impressive run through the Charter School Conference Tournament with wins over Detroit Edison (12-6) and then Michigan Collegiate (13-2) in the final. 

Watch List

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

Division 1

Detroit Catholic Central (9-7) This speaks to the level competition DCC has faced this season – the Shamrocks finished fifth in the Detroit Catholic League Central but are No. 4 in statewide Division 1 MPR. Every team they’ve played has a winning record, and 15 games came against teams with at least 10 wins. DCC avenged a Feb. 8 loss to Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (11-6) with a 66-64 win to open Catholic League Bishop Tournament play Saturday and earned solid early-season wins over Rockford and Hamtramck (13-3).

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (13-4) Perhaps no team in any division faced higher expectations heading into this season, and the Eaglets will pursue the Bishop Tournament championship this week potentially on the verge of a run heading into postseason play. They finished third in the Central, but three of their four losses were by a combined seven points. Similar to DCC, 12 games have come against opponents with at least 10 wins, and some of the best victories outside the league were against Grand Rapids Christian (13-4), Grand Blanc (12-5), Ferndale (13-3) and Canton (13-4).    

Division 2

Benton Harbor (14-2) The Tigers have appeared to be fueling up for another long tournament run, as they sit No. 7 in Division 2 MPR with losses only to Muskegon and Edison. Benton Harbor has six wins over teams with double-digit victories, including over Battle Creek Pennfield (11-5) in overtime and Kalamazoo Central (10-7) in double overtime over the last two weeks. An early victory over Flint Carman-Ainsworth (11-4) also continues to impress as the Tigers prepare to build on last year’s run to the Quarterfinals.

Standish-Sterling (16-1) The rest of the Tri-Valley Conference 10 has been chasing Carrollton all season, and last week Standish-Sterling caught up with a 70-64 win over the Cavaliers to give both a single league defeat with two weeks to play. The Panthers’ only loss was 77-69 to Carrollton (16-2) on Jan. 18. A pair of wins over Ithaca (14-4) and another over Reese (14-2) have helped boost Standish to No. 12 in Division 2 MPR.

Division 3

Riverview Gabriel Richard (17-0) The Pioneers have been a Catholic League force for a few seasons with this winter’s Intersectional #1 title its third straight division championship. But much more could be in store as Richard looks to win this week’s Cardinal Tournament on the way to the postseason. Victories over Dearborn Divine Child (10-7) and Erie Mason (10-5) are among others that are notable, and they were two of only three opponents to give the Pioneers a single-digit game this season.

Schoolcraft (15-2) It’s a good season to be an Eagle, as combined with the girls team the school’s varsities are a combined 33-3. The boys team handed Parchment (17-1) its only loss Friday to create a shared championship in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley. Parchment on Dec. 10 handed Schoolcraft its first defeat; the other came to Division 1 Hudsonville. Wins against Pewamo-Westphalia (12-3) and twice each over Fennville (12-5) and Kalamazoo Christian (12-6) also have helped Schoolcraft reach No. 7 in Division 3 MPR.

Division 4

Buckley (14-4) The Bears can’t catch co-leaders Benzie Central and Maple City Glen Lake in the Northwest Conference but give the league another strong representative heading into the playoffs. Those two combined to give Buckley three of its losses, and the Bears won their first meeting with Glen Lake (15-3). The other defeat came Saturday in double overtime to undefeated Mesick (17-0), and a pair of wins over Traverse City Christiaan (12-4) also have helped Buckley move up to No. 8 in Division 4 MPR.

Eau Claire (13-4) The Fighting Beavers would need some help to catch Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference White leader New Buffalo, but regardless this has been a memorable turnaround after going 5-8 a year ago. The team’s last eight wins have come by nine points or more, and the losses were solid, against New Buffalo (16-1), Three Oaks River Valley (12-5) and Buchanan (10-6). Eau Claire sees New Buffalo and River Valley again over the next two weeks and shares a District with both as well.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Monday – Detroit Western (15-3) vs. Detroit Martin Luther King (17-1) at Oakland University – As noted above, this will determine the champion of the PSL Tournament. 

Tuesday – Munising (14-1) at Powers North Central (14-2) – These Division 4 statewide contenders will face off twice over the next two weeks. 

Tuesday – Romulus (10-2) at Romulus Summit Academy (14-2) – Romulus High leads the Western Wayne Athletic Conference, and Summit just finished clinching the Charter School Conference West and tournament titles. 

Friday – Maple City Glen Lake (15-3) at Benzie Central (15-1) – These two both will enter with one loss in the Northwest Conference and the winner taking the league title outright. 

Saturday – Detroit Catholic League Bishop final at Eastern Michigan University – The winners of Wednesday’s semifinals (U-D Jesuit/Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Detroit Catholic Central/De La Salle) face off for the championship.

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PHOTO Muskegon and Benton Harbor, here during a Jan. 8 Big Reds win, are among teams expected to contend in their respective divisions when MHSAA playoffs begin in two weeks. (Photo by Tim Reilly.)

Ferndale Caps Winter Season with 1st Boys Hoops Title Since 1966

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for

March 25, 2023

EAST LANSING – One team was going to end a long championship drought in Saturday’s boys basketball Division 2 Final.

Ferndale’s was especially lengthy, and spanned more than five decades.

And now it is no longer.

The Eagles won their first Finals championship in 57 years with a 44-38 victory over Grand Rapids South Christian at Breslin Center.

Ferndale had last won a state title in 1966.

“The drought is over,” Eagles coach Juan Rickman said. “That’s big time, and the biggest part about making it down here was seeing how charged up the community was and the school was so charged up. It’s the greatest feeling to see how vested our community was in our success.”

Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim.Ferndale senior Christopher Williams led the way with 16 points and four rebounds.

“It feels great,” Williams said. “Especially since the past four years we’ve been to the same place and lost twice in a row to the same team, and now it feels like weight is lifted off my shoulders.

“We started off the season 1-5, and going till now we knew if we stayed together through adversity then we could do it. And it made it more impactful that it was our coach’s first state title, and that’s what we wanted to do.”

Added senior point guard Cameron Reed, who had a game-high seven assists: “It’s incredibly special. I wasn't born back then, my teammates weren’t born and my coaches weren’t born. It definitely rejuvenated the whole city and community.”

Ferndale led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter, and both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Eagles connected on a paltry 24 percent from the field, and South Christian on 35 percent of its attempts. Nate Brinks drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sailors a 16-14 halftime lead. 

Junior guard Jake Vermaas opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to make it 19-14, but Ferndale made a charge.

The Eagles sliced the deficit to one (25-24) on a 3-pointer by Trenton Ruth, and Cameron Reed tied it at 28-28 with an acrobatic layup.

“Our team was mentally strong, and I’m so proud of them for their accomplishment,” Rickman said. “Just so committed to the process and just being resilient.”

Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.An 8-2 spurt by Ferndale over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter made it 36-30.

“That was extremely important, and we always want to win the first four minutes,” Rickman said. “And we tried to open up the fourth quarter with what we call a kill; we want to get five straight stops and score on two or three of those possessions so we can build a lead. We did that fairly well against a good team.”

South Christian was attempting to win football and basketball Finals championships during the same school year, and was looking for its first basketball title since 2005.

“It was a really hard-fought game and I thought we played at our speed, but it got away from us a little bit,” first-year Sailors coach Taylor Johnson said.

“But it doesn’t take away from what we accomplished this year. We’ve been through it all, including three season-ending injuries, and to still make it to the state finals is an incredible feat.”

Senior Jacob DeHaan and Vermaas led the Sailors with 14 points apiece, while senior Sam Medendorp added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Ferndale raises the Division 2 championship trophy Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim. (Below) Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.