We're midway through another basketball season – which means not only increased focus on league title races but also many more people watching the daily movement of the MHSAA's Michigan Power Ratings used to seed the top two teams in each District and place them on opposite sides of the bracket.
An explanation of how MPR is calculated and full lists for all four divisions can be found clicking here. We also reference MPR much more below and will continue to do so moving forward over the next six weeks, as every game added into the equation makes MPR a more accurate representation of what teams are accomplishing this winter.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Benton Harbor 64, Flint Beecher 62 Benton Harbor (9-2) opened a big week by handing Watervliet its first loss and closed it by handing Beecher (9-2) its second in this nail-biter at the GottaGetIt Hoops Classic at East Kentwood.
2. Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 67, Kalamazoo Central 50 Also at the GottaGetIt Hoops Classic, Rice (11-1) continued its run through top competition by handing Kalamazoo Central (9-1) its lone defeat.
3. Detroit Cass Tech 57, Detroit Martin Luther King 55 The Technicians edged their rivals to move to 12-0, a win that’s more key than what’s on paper as King’s 2-5 record includes losses to several of the state’s best.
4. Saline 62, Chelsea 60 Another two-point game saw the Hornets (8-3) hand Chelsea (10-1) its first defeat this season.
5. Grand Rapids Christian 63, Warren De La Salle Collegiate 58 Another strong matchup at East Kentwood saw the Eagles improve to 7-2 with a close win over the reigning Division 1 champion Pilots (7-5).
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Muskegon (10-0) The Big Reds have put it all together so far to build on last season’s 20-3 finish, even avenging one of those few losses by downing Ferndale 62-51 at its Muskegon Basketball Showcase two weeks ago. Also among impressive wins was an 81-79 overtime thriller against 2022 Division 2 runner-up Grand Rapids Catholic Central and a 50-45 victory over Warren Lincoln, both also at showcase events. A matchup with North Farmington (see below) is coming up Feb. 4.
North Farmington (8-1) A one-point loss to Warren Lincoln at the Dec. 17 Northville Showcase is all that separates North Farmington from a perfect record, and the Raiders have moved into the top spot in Division 1 MPR this week. The schedule has been loaded, with wins also over Benton Harbor, Grand Blanc, Hamtramck, Detroit King and Detroit Edison among others.
Onsted (9-2) Coming off a 22-1 finish that saw its only loss in a Regional Semifinal to eventual Division 2 champion Williamston, Onsted is impressing again with its only in-state defeat to still-unbeaten Olivet in the Dec. 29 Shot Clock Classic at Spring Arbor. (The other defeat was last week to Ohio contender Rossford at the MLK Day Classic in Toledo.) Onsted also has handed Clinton one of its two losses and has a two-game lead on the field in the Lenawee County Athletic Association.
Standish-Sterling (10-0) The Panthers also have built a quick two-game lead in their league, the Tri-Valley Conference 10-1, after tying with Carrollton for a TVC division title last season. Standish-Sterling opened this winter with a 44-32 victory over the Cavaliers, and is riding a solid string this calendar year starting with a win over Tawas and lately including victories over Reed City in overtime and by 17 over league opponent Millington.
Iron Mountain (9-0) Seven of nine opponents Iron Mountain has faced so far are .500 or better, and the Mountaineers have downed 60 percent of the Great Northern Conference defeating larger Kingsford, Escanaba and Gladstone over the last three weeks. Iron Mountain also has a win over Ishpeming Westwood, which like Kingsford handed the Mountaineers two defeats last season. More tests are on the way including Negaunee on Tuesday and undefeated Powers North Central on Jan. 30.
Michigan Center (7-4) Even with four losses, Michigan Center is up to No. 4 in Division 3 MPR, with those defeats to Onsted (see above), undefeateds Olivet and Napoleon, and eight-win Division 2 Croswell-Lexington. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are just a game behind Napoleon in the Cascades Conference standings with strong nonleague wins over Concord, Leslie and Reading. They see Napoleon again Feb. 16.
Painesdale Jeffers (10-0) A 74-71 win over Escanaba on Friday put an exclamation point on a great start as Painesdale Jeffers has played only two single-digit games despite five opponents that remain .500 or better and a sixth that’s south of .500 because of a loss from the Jets. Jeffers also won last week over Ewen-Trout Creek, which with Escanaba were two of four teams to hand the Jets defeats as they finished 18-4 a year ago.
Traverse City Christian (8-2) Two losses by a combined four points are all that’s kept Traverse City Christian from a perfect start, and those defeats were to Onekama (6-3) and Gaylord St. Mary (10-1) – two of six opponents that remain .500 or better. A pair of wins over Marion and others over Ellsworth and Harbor Light Christian are notable, as was a 66-63 win over Buckley that avenged a pair of defeats from last season.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (11-1) at Detroit U-D Jesuit (10-1) – These two join Orchard Lake St. Mary’s atop the Detroit Catholic League Central with one loss apiece, and Jesuit hosts the Eaglets on Friday.
Tuesday – Traverse City St. Francis (8-1) at Boyne City (10-1) – These are the only two left without a Lake Michigan Conference defeat as Boyne attempts to dethrone the reigning champion Gladiators.
Thursday – Clarkston (10-3) at North Farmington (8-1) – North Farmington swept last season’s two meetings and may have to again to stay atop a loaded Oakland Activities Association Red.
Friday – Grand Rapids Christian (7-2) at Grand Rapids Northview (10-1) – Northview has a one-game lead on Christian in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White standings after the pair split last season’s meetings on the way to Northview winning the title.
Sunday – Flint Beecher (9-2) at Detroit Cass Tech (12-0) – The Technicians host the Bucs as part of their Downtown Throw Down, with this 7:45 p.m. game capping the event.
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PHOTOS (Top) New Lothrop's Jaden Curry (44) looks for an open teammate while Frankenmuth defends during the Eagles' 75-45 win. (Middle) Otsego and Paw Paw met last week as Otsego went on to a 71-42 victory. (Photos by Terry Lyons and Gary Shook, respectively.)
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.