Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Report Week 6

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

January 16, 2023

Mid-January always is something of a transition time in boys basketball season, and this week’s “Breslin Bound” report reflects that change of focus as we near the midway point.

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We highlight top matchups from events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, the last showcases for many teams this season as they move into the league schedule grind. And we dive into some of the early conference action as well as that becomes the next chapter for most over the next seven weeks.  

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

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

1. Ferndale 63, Flint Beecher 52 Playing many of the state’s best, Ferndale has been much better than its 3-5 early record – and this win at its Horatio Williams Foundation MLK Freedom Classic, handing Beecher (8-1) its only loss, says a lot. 

2. Warren Michigan Collegiate 64, Detroit Renaissance 55 Another Freedom Classic matchup saw Michigan Collegiate (8-1) add another impressive victory to its first-half run with Renaissance (9-4) having won nine straight heading into the weekend. 

3. Muskegon 50, Warren Lincoln 45 The Big Reds (8-0) also earned a big win at the Freedom Classic, as Lincoln (6-3) has been among eye-openers during the season’s first half. 

4. Cadillac 68, Petoskey 65 (OT) The reigning Big North Conference co-champ Vikings (7-1) got a major boost with Petoskey (7-3) another favorite this winter. 

5. Clarkston 50, Troy 48 – Both stand 8-2 after this matchup, and both could end up Oakland Activities Association champs in their respective divisions. 

Watch List

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


Grand Ledge (7-1) Handing Okemos its first loss, 50-47 on Friday, was a big step in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue – but just the latest of a strong bounce-back from last year’s 9-14 finish. The Comets’ lone loss was in overtime at Petoskey, and Grand Ledge picked up a nice overtime road win two weeks later at Mount Pleasant. Blue co-leader Lansing Waverly comes to Grand Ledge on Thursday.

Grand Rapids Northview (9-1) The Wildcats picked right back up where they left of reaching last season’s Division 1 Semifinal, with their only loss this winter to still-undefeated Detroit Cass Tech. Northview has impressed with some close wins, early by two points over Grand Rapids South Christian, later by three over East Grand Rapids and Saturday by one in overtime over Chicago Hyde Park (15-4) at the Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills MLK Day Hoops Classic.


Big Rapids (6-1) The Cardinals won the last two Central State Activities Association Gold titles and could be lining up for a third-straight championship with the CSAA back to one division this winter. Big Rapids has a nonleague win over Reed City, which is looking like another possible CSAA contender, and defeated former league rival Fremont after splitting with the Packers last season. Big Rapids’ lone loss was to still-undefeated Hart.

Olivet (9-0) The Eagles have gone from five to 13 to 19 wins over the last three seasons, respectively, and they’re on their way again with five wins over teams with winning records. Olivet handed Onsted its only loss, 59-42, on Dec. 29 at Spring Arbor’s Shot Clock Classic, and also avenged one of its two losses from last season with a 67-61 win over Battle Creek Harper Creek.


Detroit Loyola (9-0) Six of the Bulldogs’ nine wins have come against teams with winning records, highlighted by a 69-51 victory over Romulus Summit Academy at the Motor City Roundball Classic that remains Summit’s lone loss. Wins over Division 1 Grosse Pointe South, Fenton and Livonia Franklin also stand out among the notable, and a matchup with Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 28 at Cass Tech could be another indication of Loyola’s potential in March.

Jonesville (8-1) After starting last season 0-4 before rebounding to 13-8, Jonesville started this season 5-0 with wins over three of the teams that defeated the Comets during the 2021-22 opening string. Jonesville’s only loss this time has come to Reading in the Pat Patterson Classic Pool A final. Jonesville shared the Big 8 Conference title last season with Concord, and it sees the Yellow Jackets for the first time Thursday.


Genesee Christian (7-1) The Soldiers are off to another solid start coming of last year’s trip to the Division 4 Semifinals. The only loss this winter came in mid-December to Division 2 Flint Hamady, and right after Genesee Christian opened with an impressive 60-57 win over Saginaw Nouvel. A strong finish to December included victories over Division 2 Lake Fenton and Division 1 Fenton and Port Huron.

Taylor Trillium Academy (7-0) After finishing 17-4 and just missing a Regional title last season with a four-point loss to Southfield Christian, Trillium is making plenty of noise again. The only single-digit game was a 46-44 win over Division 2 Redford Union at the Mitten Recruit Christmas Classic, and the remaining schedule is filled with mostly Division 2 opponents with Division 1 Detroit Mumford up next today.

Otsego’s Nicholas Lopez tries for a reverse lay-up during his team’s 63-36 win over Plainwell on Friday.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Grand Haven (9-0) at East Kentwood (6-2) – The Buccaneers have an early one-game edge at the top of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red, but East Kentwood certainly is among contenders as well.

Wednesday – New Haven (9-1) at Port Huron Northern (8-0) – This could turn into one of the season’s most notable wins for whichever comes out on top, and a great momentum builder as both chase Macomb Area Conference division titles.

Thursday – Croswell-Lexington (8-2) at Richmond (8-1) – Croswell-Lexington was first and Richmond second in the Blue Water Area Conference last season, and they are the only teams still without a loss in league play this winter.

Saturday – Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (9-1) vs. Kalamazoo Central (7-0) at East Kentwood – This matchup of top Division 1 teams is arguably the headliner of the Gotta Get It Hoops Classic.

Saturday – Romulus (7-1) at Saginaw (10-2) – Few have had more combined success at the statewide level over the last 20 years, and both are off to big starts again.'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 and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) Flint Beecher’s Robert Lee (22) works to find an opening with Ferndale’s Cameron Reed (0) defending Saturday. (Middle) Otsego’s Nicholas Lopez tries for a reverse lay-up during his team’s 63-36 win over Plainwell on Friday. (Photos by Terry Lyons and Gary Shook, respectively.)

Second-Half Surge Sends Tri-unity Christian to 3rd-Straight Final

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

March 23, 2023

EAST LANSING — The Defenders will once again have a chance to do just that.

In what has become a usual rite of March during longtime head coach Mark Keeler’s 36-year tenure, the Wyoming Tri-unity Christian Defenders are once again headed for the Division 4 boys basketball championship game following a 54-37 win over Frankfort in a Semifinal on Thursday.

Making its third-straight appearance in a Final and 11th in school history, Tri-unity Christian will attempt to repeat as champion when it faces Munising in the 10 a.m. title game Saturday. 

Junior Owen Rosendall scored 13 points and senior Roy Fogg added 11 on Thursday to lead Tri-unity Christian (22-6), which will go for its sixth Finals win. 

“At the beginning of the year, we had some ups and downs in the season,” Rosendall said. “But we stuck to it and kept working.”

Tri-unity Christian got it done mainly by dominating the board, collecting a 41-22 rebounding advantage.  

Emmerson Farmer (0) gets a hand up high as Owen Rosendall puts up a jumper.“I think our quickness on the boards outdid their size,” Keeler said. “I was really happy with how explosive we were on the boards.”

The discrepancy even surprised Frankfort head coach Dan Loney, who said rebounding has been a strength of his team all year. 

“Going into the game, I would not have guessed they would have outrebounded us like that,” Loney said. “It’s one thing we’ve done well all year. I think honestly a lot of that came from their guard play. When their guards got to the rim (and) our bigs stepped over to help, their bigs were there to get their missed layups.”

Sophomore Carter Kerby led all scorers with 21 points to pace Frankfort (18-9). 

“It was a fun season for sure. We look forward to the future,” Loney said. 

Tri-unity Christian separated itself in the third quarter after Frankfort cut the lead to 29-26 with 4:40 to go in the period.

From there, Tri-unity Christian ended the third on an 11-1 run to take a 40-27 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We have a little more depth, and it helped,” Keeler said. “We were really trying to push the ball, and we were really trying to pressure them on defense. I think we wore them down a little bit.”

The Defenders continued to grow the lead in the fourth, taking a 48-32 advantage with 4:17 remaining after a 3-pointer by Rosendall and a basket by Akais Giplaye. 

Tri-Unity Christian forced Frankfort into 12 turnovers and 38.9-percent shooting from the field while committing only six turnovers itself.

“We played great defense,” Keeler said. “That is what I was really happy about. We made them work for everything they had.”

Tri-unity Christian got off to a good start, taking a 16-8 lead after the first quarter before Frankfort settled in during the second. 

Frankfort outscored Tri-unity Christian 13-9 in the second quarter to cut its deficit to 25-21 by halftime. 

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Tri-unity’s Jordan VanKlompenberg (3) puts up a shot over the outstretched arm of Frankfort’s Xander Sauer on Thursday. (Middle) Emmerson Farmer (0) gets a hand up high as Owen Rosendall puts up a jumper.