Another action-filled holiday break is behind us, and it’s full speed ahead over the next seven weeks as the 2023-24 run to Breslin Center nears the halfway point for Michigan’s high school boys basketball teams.
This is always the time as well that we begin turning our attention to the Michigan Power Ratings, used each winter to seed the top two teams in each District bracket based on results against other MHSAA Tournament opponents during the regular season.
Those lists, showing all teams together, separately by division or broken down even further by District, can be found on the MPR page. A “snapshot in time” look of the top 20 in each division will be provided every Monday on the Boys Basketball Rankings page.
Read on for some of the most notable action from the break and a look at what’s coming up during the week to come. Rankings noted above and reports below all are based on schedules and results reported to MHSAA.com. “Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. East Kentwood 47, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 42 The Falcons (4-2) already were a team to watch this season again, and expectations no doubt grew with this win over Rice (8-2) at the Mike Turner Classic at Albion College.
2. Detroit Catholic Central 80, Davison 65 The Shamrocks (7-2) are making their bid to be the best in the Catholic High School League Central and followed up a 55-53 win over Brother Rice last week with this one over the Cardinals (5-3) at the Grand Blanc Showcase.
3. East Lansing 60, Detroit Martin Luther King 41 The Trojans (8-0) earned perhaps their most impressive win of a strong start over the Crusaders (8-3) at the PSL Holiday Classic at Cass Tech.
4. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 56, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian 52 On the way to winning the Cornerstone University Holiday Tournament Blue title, FHC (8-1) handed Tri-unity (8-1) what remains its lone loss of the winter.
5. Big Rapids 52, Traverse City St. Francis 51 (OT) The Cardinals (7-2) opened the new year by getting past the reigning Division 3 runner-up Gladiators (4-3) in overtime.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
North Farmington (8-0) Off a 22-2 finish a year ago, North Farmington is riding another notable start that’s included only one single-digit win – 66-57 over Zeeland West at Northville’s Winter Shootout. The Raiders opened the season with 58-46 victory over King, and a 17-pointer over Clarkston and 15-pointer over West Bloomfield also are among results jumping off the page.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (7-1) A late rush last season ended with a trip to the Division 1 Semifinals, and St. Mary’s picked right back up to start this winter with its only loss to Detroit U-D Jesuit on Dec. 18; they meet again Jan. 19. The Eaglets bounced back from that defeat with wins over Flint Beecher, Detroit University Prep, Warren Lincoln and Warren De La Salle Collegiate.
Flint Powers Catholic (8-1) After finishing 16-8 last season, Powers is halfway to equaling that win total with five of these early victories over teams with winning records including 92-65 over Fenton and 72-67 over Saginaw Arthur Hill on Friday to start the Saginaw Valley League schedule. The lone loss came to Division 1 power De La Salle at the Motor City Roundball Classic, and Arthur Hill is the only other opponent to come within 13 points of catching the Chargers.
Warren Lincoln (6-1) As noted above, Lincoln lost to St. Mary’s, 65-58, at the Roundball Classic. That remains the Abes’ lone defeat as they’ve downed West Bloomfield, Port Huron Northern and Grosse Pointe South among others – the latter two show up among the top 20 in Division 1 MPR as of today. The schedule is filled with several more high-level matchups as Lincoln looks to build on last season’s 19-5 finish.
Menominee (8-1) The Maroons finished last season 14-11 overall but with an 8-2 run, and they’ve exceeded that to start this season with their lone loss to the Milwaukee School of Languages. A 67-58 win over St. Ignace on Dec. 8 was especially strong, and Menominee opened the Great Northern Conference schedule with a 70-59 win over reigning runner-up Escanaba as the Maroons look to bounce back from finishing fourth in 2023.
Niles Brandywine (8-1) A 57-55 loss to Riverview Gabriel Richard at the Roundball Classic is all that’s kept Brandywine from a perfect start after finishing last season in the Division 3 Semifinals. Bridgman last week is the only other opponent to give Brandywine a single-digit game, as the Bobcats prevailed 55-46. And the game to circle is Friday’s, as Brandywine heads to Benton Harbor – more on that below.
Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (9-1) The Irish have bounced back from an early loss to Wyoming Tri-unity Christian with eight consecutive victories all by at least 12 points. Seven of those wins were against opponents that are above .500 or would be without the loss from Sacred Heart, and the Irish are atop the Mid-State Activities Conference in part because of a 59-39 win over second-place Fulton.
St. Ignace (5-2) That loss to Menominee (see above) and another to Division 2 Detroit Voyageur at the Roundball Classic haven’t kept the Saints from an early No. 3 ranking in Division 4 MPR. Wins over Harbor Springs and Boyne City have helped feed that rise, and Tuesday’s first of two matchups this season with undefeated Pickford should be telling as well.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Detroit Catholic Central (7-2) at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (7-1) – These Catholic League Central rivals are Nos. 2 and 1, respectively, in Division 1 MPR this week, and DCC won both matchups last winter.
Tuesday – Ann Arbor Pioneer (6-0) at Ypsilanti Lincoln (8-1) – This is the first of two matchups between two of the early leaders in the Southeastern Conference Red.
Friday – Grand Rapids Christian (7-0) at Grand Rapids Northview (5-0) – The early leaders in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White face off for the first time after Northview swept last season’s series.
Friday – Niles Brandywine (8-1) at Benton Harbor (9-0) – This is the first of two Lakeland Conference matchups between these two, and Benton Harbor handed Brandywine its only two losses before Breslin Center last season.
Saturday – Detroit Cass Tech (7-0) vs. Davison (5-3) at Ferndale – The night after a likely tough league matchup with Detroit Renaissance, Cass Tech plays in arguably the most intriguing of the Horatio Williams MLK Freedom Classic.
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PHOTOS (Top) Braylon Isom gets to the basket for Saginaw Heritage during the Hawks’ 73-66 win over Chelsea on Dec. 29 at the Motor City Roundball Classic. (Middle) Iron Mountain's Oskar Kangas goes up for a shot while being defended by Ishpeming Westwood's Edward Anderson during the Mountaineers’ 67-43 win Friday. (Photos by Terry Lyons and Cara Kamps, respectively.)