Warren may be the place to be in Michigan high school boys basketball as we close in on the end of 2022.
Our two most notable wins from this past week were by Warren-based teams on the rise. Our most intriguing game this week is a rematch of last season’s Division 1 Final, won by another notable Warren hoops power.
Of course, great basketball is being played all over the state, and we name a number of others who have impressed so far or will have some great opportunities to do so over holiday break.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Warren Michigan Collegiate 45, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 44 While Michigan Collegiate (3-1) had its share of on-court success last season and lost to Warren De La Salle Collegiate by only seven earlier this month, this was a major statement by the Division 2 Cougars with St. Mary’s (1-1) expected to contend in Division 1.
2. Warren Lincoln 56, North Farmington 55 Lincoln similarly won 19 games last season and looks ready to join the Division 2 elite after handing North Farmington (4-1) its only loss.
3. Kalamazoo Central 63, Saginaw 61 Central’s annual Don Jackson Invitational concluded with the Maroon Giants (4-0) remaining undefeated with a close win over the Trojans (3-2).
4. Grand Rapids Christian 58, Grand Rapids Catholic Central 50 The Eagles (3-0) avenged a 25-point Regional Semifinal loss from last season, plus a three-point regular-season defeat to the Cougars (0-2).
5. Detroit Edison 56, River Rouge 54 After losses to two teams that are currently 4-1, the Pioneers (1-2) got on the board at the Northville Showcase, handing River Rouge (2-1) its lone defeat.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Ann Arbor Skyline (3-0) The Eagles face some significant competition to finish out 2022, but they look up to the challenge. They’re coming off a 17-6 finish last season and picked up an especially solid win Friday, 52-49 in overtime over Ann Arbor Pioneer after those two split last winter. West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Port Huron Northern to finish this month are opportunities to see where Skyline stands.
Port Huron Northern (3-0) The Huskies ended 15-6 last season after a 1-3 start, and they’ve begun this winter on the much different note starting with a 17-point win over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley at the MAC Champions Classic. After defeating rival Port Huron on Thursday, Northern capped the week Saturday with a 60-56 win over Croswell-Lexington – which entered this season a combined 61-4 over the last three.
Flint Hamady (2-0) The Hawks got things started last week with an 87-62 win over Genesee Christian – a Division 4 semifinalist last season. Hamady then defeated Flint Southwestern by 33 the next day, and could be primed to take another step after improving from 2-10 in 2020-21 to finishing 15-7 and reaching the Regional Finals in March.
Hart (4-0) The Pirates have improved from four to five to seven wins the last three seasons, respectively, and they’re well on their way to building on those totals again. The most impressive of this start was the most recent – 92-84 on Thursday over previously-undefeated Big Rapids, an 18-game winner last season.
Niles Brandywine (4-0) Last season’s 13-6 run ended with a District-opening loss to Buchanan, but Brandywine avenged it Friday with a 51-40 win over the Bucks. Brandywine was the champion in the final season of the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference Red and hopes to carry that success into the new Lakeland Athletic Conference, which includes BCS Red opponents Buchanan and Berrien Springs as well.
Vassar (3-0) A 2-4 run to end last season put the Vulcans at 9-13 overall, but they’ve turned that around to start this fall. One of those final defeats last season came to Harbor Beach, but Vassar opened this winter with a 59-57 win over the Pirates before defeating Marlette by five and then winning big last week against Mayville.
Indian River Inland Lakes (3-0) The Bulldogs have made a strong impression already this season after going 8-13 in 2021-22. Inland Lakes opened with a 64-62 win over Harbor Springs to avenge one loss from last winter, then avenged two more by downing Johannesburg-Lewiston by 41 last week. They’ll have another chance to avenge with a trip Wednesday to Rogers City.
Mackinaw City (3-0) The Comets made major noise last week when their 71-56 win over Ellsworth ended the Lancers’ 61-game Northern Lakes Conference winning streak. Mackinaw City was second last season in the NLC – and 13-8 overall – and also has avenged a last-year loss to Onaway early this winter.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Warren De La Salle Collegiate (4-0) at Grand Blanc (2-0) – This is a rematch of last season’s Division 1 championship game, won by De La Salle 67-58.
Dec. 28 – Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (4-0) vs. River Rouge (2-1) at North Farmington – This high-profile matchup helps start the North Farmington Holiday Extravaganza.
Dec. 28 – Bridgeport (4-0) vs. East Lansing (2-1) at St. Clair County Community College – This sets up as the most intriguing matchup of the SC4 Showcase.
Dec. 30 – Warren De La Salle Collegiate (4-0) vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (0-2) at Ferndale – This Motor City Roundball Classic matchup pits the reigning Division 1 champion Pilots and Division 2 runner-up Cougars.
Dec. 30 – Detroit Cass Tech (2-0) vs. Grand Rapids Northview (3-0) at Ferndale – Another Motor City matchup pits teams that combined for 46 wins and two Regional titles last season.
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PHOTO A Davison player looks for an open teammate while surrounded by Saginaw Arthur Hill defenders Dec. 13. The Cardinals won 66-51. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)
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.