Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Boys Report Week 10

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 5, 2024

Maybe it’s driven by the warmer-than-usual winter across the state, but more than a few people have brought up lately that this boys basketball season has seemed to fly by.

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And it’s about to speed up even more, relatively speaking.

Three weeks remain of this regular season. Four leagues have begun or this week will start their tournaments, teams are clinching championships in other conferences all over Michigan, and two weeks from today first-round MHSAA brackets will be set.

Speaking of, be sure to keep an eye on Michigan Power Ratings as those District seeds are worked out over the next 13 days – and check out the MPR FAQ page for explanations of all things brackets, as the seeding process actually begins Sunday with the release of this season’s bracket formula.

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Week in Review

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

1. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 56, East Lansing 37 The Eaglets (15-1) finished a week that saw them also defeat Detroit Catholic Central and Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice by downing the Trojans (14-2) at the 2K24 Showcase at Aquinas College in a matchup of teams currently ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in Division 1 MPR.

2. East Kentwood 70, Warren Lincoln 43 After falling in Saturday showcase games the last two weekends, East Kentwood (10-5) made a loud statement in this one also at the 2K24 Showcase against a Warren Lincoln team (13-3) expected to contend in Division 2.

3. Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 63, Muskegon 45 The Rockets (14-1) moved into first place alone in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green, handing Muskegon (11-2) its first defeat of the season and first at home in nearly two years.

4. Ann Arbor Huron 72, Grand Rapids Northview 71 The River Rats (13-2) ran their winning streak to seven with one of their best this season, sending Northview to 12-2 in another matchup of top-seven Division 1 MPR teams at the 2K24 event.

5. Grand Rapids Christian 60, Muskegon 51 As noted in last week’s report, the 2K24 Showcase was loaded, and the Eagles (14-1) sit atop Division 2 MPR after this win over the Big Reds at Aquinas.

Painesdale-Jeffers' Matthew Shutz (21) brings the ball up the court during his team’s game with Ishpeming this season.

Watch List

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


Cadillac (14-1) The Vikings’ lone loss was 58-56 to still-undefeated Whitehall on Jan. 23, and they’ve bounced back with wins over Dearborn Fordson, Ludington and Traverse City West. The 58-44 victory over the second-place Titans moved Cadillac within one more win of clinching a share of the Big North Conference championship after sharing it with Traverse City Central last season. The Vikings finished 22-5 overall a year ago and have avenged 2022-23 losses to Mount Pleasant, Central and Petoskey. Wayne Memorial (10-4), Reed City (15-2) and Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (15-1) are among interesting tests remaining.

Port Huron Northern (14-3) The Huskies are waiting on the result of tonight’s Warren Lincoln/New Haven matchup to find out if they’ll tie Lincoln for the Macomb Area Conference White title or finish second. But aside from last week’s upset loss to Romeo, Northern’s only other defeats were to Lincoln in their first of two meetings (winning the second 59-57) and to still-undefeated Utica in its season opener. The Huskies have built on last season’s 20-4 finish with nine wins total against teams with double-digit victories, and bounced back from the Romeo loss with a 62-36 rebound against St. Clair (13-5). A Dec. 28 win over Saginaw, 67-64, also is among highlights.  


Adrian (12-2) The Maples have been solid the last two seasons with 13 wins last winter and 15 the season before. But they’ve taken a major step and could add significantly to it against Chelsea on Tuesday in a matchup that could eventually lead to a shared Southeastern Conference White title between the two. Adrian lost the Jan. 19 meeting with the Bulldogs 97-87, but otherwise have fallen only to Parma Western (12-4) on Dec. 5. Adrian bounced back from that first loss by defeating Mason (15-2), and head into this rematch coming off a 65-43 victory over Tecumseh (12-3).

Chelsea (10-5) As noted, Chelsea sees Adrian again Tuesday with league championship implications, but also had a win over Tecumseh 61-48 last week. The Bulldogs have won six straight, starting with a 59-57 edging of Saline (12-3) on Jan. 16. Chelsea was 4-5 heading into that game, but has seen several of the state’s best with those losses to Division 1 Ann Arbor Huron (13-2), Saginaw Heritage (11-2), Detroit Cass Tech (14-1), Detroit U-D Jesuit (13-4) and Ypsilanti Lincoln (12-3). The Bulldogs also won their matchup with Parma Western, 56-40.


Chesaning (15-0) After finishing 17-6 both of the last two seasons, Chesaning has nearly equaled that win total during this perfect run and sits alone atop the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference standings after sharing last year’s title with Ovid-Elsie and Durand. Chesaning has swept the Railroaders this regular season and won the first meeting with Ovid-Elise 43-38 in double overtime, with the rematch ending the regular season Feb. 23. A 55-50 season-opening win over Lake Fenton (12-5) has been a good indicator for this winter, and matchups with Saginaw Nouvel (12-3) on Feb. 20 and then O-E could be just as telling about the playoffs.

Painesdale Jeffers (16-1) The Copper Mountain Conference overall championship could be on the line Tuesday when Jeffers travels to Lake Linden-Hubbell (14-2), as they are the only teams undefeated in league play. Jeffers won all three of their meetings last season including in the District Final as the Jets finished 25-2 and reached the Division 4 Quarterfinals. The only loss this winter was 75-72 to Ishpeming on Dec. 27, and Jeffers could see the Hematites again in District play. The Jets have a chance to avenge their other 2022-23 defeat Feb. 16 when they go to Escanaba.


Bellaire (12-3) The Eagles are 8-1 since the calendar turned to 2024, their only loss of that streak Jan. 16 to Mancelona 50-49. That’s left Bellaire and Mancelona tied for first in the Ski Valley Conference, with the rematch Feb. 20 at Bellaire. The Ski Valley has five teams with 10 or more wins, and Bellaire is a combined 5-0 against the other three, with the Eagles’ only other defeats at the Reed City holiday tournament to the host Coyotes (15-2) and Fremont. Next week’s matchup with Division 3 Charlevoix (13-3) should also provide some notable prep for the postseason.

Maple City Glen Lake (11-3) A 60-51 loss to Benzie Central two weeks ago put the Lakers a game back in the Northwest Conference standings as they seek a repeat championship. But those two see each other again Feb. 16 at Benzie, and Glen Lake could bring in some momentum from facing Traverse City St. Francis six days earlier – the Gladiators ended the Lakers’ season a year ago. Glen Lake’s only other defeats this winter were to Charlevoix during the first week and 81-80 in double overtime to Harbor Springs also during the first half of December. Last week’s opponents, Buckley and Frankfort, both have 10 wins this season, and the Lakers won 68-48 and 57-30, respectively.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – West Bloomfield (11-5) at North Farmington (14-1) – North Farmington can clinch a share of the Oakland Activities Association Red championship, or West Bloomfield could join the Raiders as the only teams with just one league loss after North Farmington won the first round 61-46.

Friday – Grand Rapids Northview (12-2) at Grand Rapids Christian (14-1) – These two are tied atop the O-K Conference White with 7-0 league records after their Jan. 12 game was postponed to Feb. 14.

Friday – Muskegon (11-2) at Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (14-1) – With their first meeting this season also originally scheduled for Jan. 12 but played Jan. 30, this will be a quick turnaround for the rematch and likely O-K Green decider.

Friday – Pickford (13-1) at Rudyard (11-4) – The Pirates are in first in the Eastern Upper Peninsula Conference by a game ahead of Rudyard after winning their first meeting 70-48.

Saturday – Saginaw (11-4) at Davison (10-3) – This Cardinal Classic game matches up the Saginaw Valley League-leading Trojans and second-place Cardinals, with Saginaw winning their SVL matchup 78-70 on Dec. 7.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). 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 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) Grand Ledge and DeWitt players meet in the lane during the Panthers’ 52-35 win Friday. (Middle) Painesdale-Jeffers' Matthew Shutz (21) brings the ball up the court during his team’s game with Ishpeming this season. (Top photo by Terry Lyons; middle photo by Cara Kamps.)