Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Boys Report Week 11

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 12, 2024

Anticipation and prognostication are among themes this week all over Michigan, whether your favorite team is one of the best around or hasn’t had much success but is looking to finish this winter on a higher note.

MI Student AidSunday morning, the MHSAA will announce this season’s District brackets. The formula for this season’s brackets has been released, making it possible to forecast throughout this week how teams will be placed based on Michigan Power Ratings.

But keep in mind, teams can still move up and down those ratings through their games Saturday night. And there are several notable matchups coming up, including finales to multiple league tournaments and more likely eventual championship deciders in conferences across the state.

“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. West Bloomfield 60, North Farmington 58 Avenging a 61-46 loss to the Raiders (15-2) on Jan. 4, West Bloomfield joined reigning champ North Farmington as teams with only one loss in Oakland Activities Association Red play – and West Bloomfield (13-5) finishes its league schedule against the bottom three teams in the standings.

2. Muskegon 48, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 28 Just 10 days after Reeths-Puffer’s 63-45 win over the Big Reds gained statewide attention, Muskegon (13-2) took the rematch in a big way to create a tie with the Rockets (15-2) atop the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green.

3. Menominee 60, Iron Mountain 58 (OT) The Maroons (13-5) made their upcoming Division 3 District even more interesting by handing the Mountaineers (17-1) their only loss. Those two are Nos. 2 and 4 in statewide Division 3 MPR and will be expected to meet again in the District Final at West Iron County.

4. Saginaw Heritage 73, Saginaw 66 The Hawks (13-2) opened a close Saginaw Valley League race even more, downing the former solo leader to join the Trojans (12-6) and Davison as teams with only one conference loss.

5. Painesdale Jeffers 73, Lake Linden Hubbell 49 The Jets (18-1) remain undefeated in Copper Mountain Conference play after handing Lake Linden-Hubbell (15-3) its first league loss and as the overall CMC race draws to a conclusion.

Detroit Renaissance takes on Flint Carman-Ainsworth, also earlier this winter. Renaissance is among contenders for the Detroit Public School League Tournament title.

Watch List

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


Dearborn (18-0) The Pioneers steadily have climbed toward this run, and they head into this week a win from tying last year’s total (after finishing 19-7) and atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East standings after sharing the championship last season with Livonia Franklin. Dearborn is alone on top this time thanks in part to a 78-68 win over Belleville (14-4) on Jan. 19, and those two meet again Friday. An early win over Detroit Catholic Central (12-7) showed what was possible, and only the Shamrocks and Wayne Memorial (13-4) have gotten within single digits of catching the Pioneers.

East Lansing (16-2) The Trojans’ only losses have come to a pair of championship contenders – Division 1 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (17-1) and Division 2 Warren Lincoln (16-3) – and despite that 56-37 defeat to the Eaglets two weekends ago, East Lansing has moved into the top spot in statewide Division 1 MPR. A 57-53 win over Lansing Waverly (13-5) on Friday certainly helped, and the Trojans have maintained a half-game lead on Okemos (16-2) in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue with their rematch set for Feb. 23. East Lansing won the first meeting 66-54 and also has defeated East Kentwood, River Rouge, Detroit Martin Luther King, Saline and West Bloomfield among others.


Ferndale (11-7) The Eagles graduated all five starters and most of their top subs off last season’s Division 2 championship team, so a few defeats certainly could be expected this winter especially considering they continue to play one of the state’s toughest schedules. That slate has helped Ferndale reach No. 10 in statewide Division 2 MPR, and they’re on the move with a 7-2 record over their last nine games including an 84-62 win Saturday over Port Huron Northern (15-4) and with the two defeats during that time by four to West Bloomfield and five in overtime to North Farmington (see above). The other losses came to those two in their first meetings as well, plus Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-5), Muskegon (13-2) and Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-5).

Lansing Sexton (11-4) The J-Dubbs are another team surging, with a 75-54 win over Flint Beecher before holiday break starting a nine-game streak that has Sexton one win from tying last year’s total when it finished 12-10. A 2-4 start included four losses to Division 1 teams – Okemos and Lansing Waverly (see above), plus Holt and Kalamazoo Central. Sexton also is three games ahead of second-place Charlotte and Olivet in the CAAC White and one win from clinching a share of the league title after edging both by three points over the last 10 days.


Pewamo-Westphalia (15-2) The Pirates’ only losses this winter have come to undefeated rival Laingsburg (18-0), and while that likely will keep them from a piece of the Central Michigan Athletic Conference title, it also speaks well to P-W’s overall work. The Pirates opened with a 20-point win over Saginaw Nouvel (14-4) and have swept Fowler (12-7) and downed Division 1 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern at the Cornerstone University Holiday Showcase. Another Division 3 contender, Sanford Meridian (15-2), comes to Westphalia on Friday, and a third meeting with Laingsburg is possible – it would be played at Breslin Center in the Division 3 championship game.

Schoolcraft (15-3) The Eagles have clinched a share of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley title, their fourth-straight league championship, and can make it their first outright since 2020-21 with a win Friday against Parchment. Schoolcraft is only two seasons removed from winning the Division 3 championship and has built on last season’s 16-8 finish with a pair of big wins over Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep – which ended the Eagles’ season a year ago – and 12 straight victories after a .500 start that included losses to Division 2 Flint Powers Catholic (15-3), Hudsonville Unity Christian (14-4) and Olivet (13-5). Wins over Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (13-4), Watervliet (14-4) and Centreville (13-2) have highlighted this run.


Crystal Falls Forest Park (15-2) After also winning 15 games last season (in finishing 15-9), the Trojans need just one more victory to guarantee their best season since 2015-16. They’ve also won nine straight, with the lone losses by five to Division 2 Kingsford (16-2) and one to reigning Division 4 champion Munising (14-4) back-to-back in early January. A 27-point win over second-place Powers North Central on Feb. 2 has Forest Park closing in on the Skyline Central Conference Small schools title, and a Feb. 21 trip to Lake Linden-Hubbell (15-3) will give the Trojans another nice test before the postseason.

Rudyard (12-4) The Bulldogs control their league title aspirations with a chance to earn at least shares of both. They avenged a 22-point loss to Pickford from Jan. 4 with a 62-52 win Friday to join the Pirates tied for first in the Eastern Upper Peninsula Conference with two league games to play. Rudyard also will face Straits Area Conference leader Sault Ste. Marie this Friday with a win potentially setting up a three-way tie atop that league with one game to go for that trio. Rudyard did lose its first matchup with the Blue Devils, 50-44 on Jan. 11, but has avenged a previous loss to SAC second-place St. Ignace. Rudyard is the reigning champ in the EUPC and finished third in the SAC a year ago.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Grand Rapids Christian (15-2) at Grand Rapids Northview (13-3) – After Christian’s 54-43 win over Northview on Friday, combined with the Eagles’ loss to Byron Center three days before, these two are tied atop the O-K White with five league games to play.  

Thursday – Ithaca (11-6) at Saginaw Nouvel (14-4) – Ithaca pulled into a first-place tie with Nouvel in the Tri-Valley Conference White last week with a 43-41 victory, and the winner of the rematch will clinch a share of the championship.

Friday – Saginaw (12-6) vs. Saginaw Arthur Hill (12-4) at Dow Event Center – Barring a possible Regional rematch, this will be the final meeting in the 114-year rivalry between these longtime state powers, as the schools will merge this summer.

Saturday – Detroit Catholic High School League at Detroit Mercy – Warren De La Salle Collegiate (12-6) faces Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (17-1) and Detroit Catholic Central (12-7) takes on Brother Rice (14-5) in Tuesday’s semifinals to reach this Cardinal division championship tipping off at 7 p.m.

Sunday – Detroit Public School League Tournament at Wayne State – Detroit Cass Tech (17-1) faces Detroit Western (10-7) and Renaissance (14-4) takes on King (14-5) in Tuesday’s semifinals to reach this 5 p.m. championship game.'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) Detroit Catholic Central and Davison face off earlier this season. DCC will play in the Catholic High School League Bishop Tournament this week. (Middle) Detroit Renaissance takes on Flint Carman-Ainsworth, also earlier this winter. Renaissance is among contenders for the Detroit Public School League Tournament title. (Photos by Terry Lyons.) 

Harbor Light Building on Rock-Solid Foundation in Bringing Success to New Home

By Tom Spencer
Special for

March 1, 2024

A review of Harbor Light Christian’s boys basketball rosters over the last couple of decades would show a lot of familiar names.

Northern Lower PeninsulaThat would be especially true of the coaching slots.

Or are the players now coaches?

The coaches’ names are extremely familiar, and nothing much has changed – except some of the former players are now coaches, and the head coaches have returned to assist the program.

Today, the head coach is Jason Roussin. He’s in his 12th season at the helm of the Swordsmen. Jeff Jakeway, who was the head coach during Roussin’s junior and senior seasons at Harbor Light, is back on the Swordsmen’s staff as an assistant coach. Roussin is also assisted by long-time coach William Henagan and previous head coach Clark Hewitt.

Hewitt also serves as the Harbor Light junior varsity coach. The JV squad went 19-1 this season and 18-2 the year before.

“In 38 years, really there’s been three consistent coaches and then Pat Collins who had done one year when the program started, and now we’re all back on the sidelines working together,” Roussin said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

The facilities Collins, Hewitt and Jakeway coached in are nothing like the Swordsmen have today – the newly-built Solid Rock Center in Harbor Springs. In fact, they used to play on a cement floor. A year ago, the Swordsmen played their first game in their new home.  

A walk around the facility, five years in the making, provides the feeling of more like a small college program’s setup. Along with the new gym, the Solid Rock Center was equipped with a cafe and concession area, locker rooms, a film lounge and hangout area for the players, an upper-level full track around the gym, and three classrooms for art, music, science and more.

Jakeway served as project manager on the building — fully funded and debt-free through community support. He was the head coach of the Harbor Light girls basketball team when the facility opened.

David Chamberlin (22) elevates over a Pellston defender as the Swordsmen work toward a 75-20 victory Jan. 19.Harbor Light’s boys suffered a 76-74 loss to hot-shooting Pellston in the facility’s first game Jan. 20, 2023, but haven’t been doing much losing since. The Swordsmen started this season 2-2, and after a heart-breaking loss to Traverse City Christian on Dec. 8 went on to share the Northern Lights Conference title with Alanson and have built that record to 20-4 heading into tonight’s District Final against St. Ignace.

The title game will be played at the Solid Rock Center. Another Jakeway, Jeff Jakeway’s son and freshman point guard Landon, will be getting his second chance to lead the Swordsmen to a District championship. He was the point guard as a seventh grader when Harbor Light won the District title two years ago. (Small schools like Harbor Light may request, for most sports, an MHSAA Executive Committee waiver to play eighth-grade students if the school’s enrollment is less than 125 and seventh-graders if the enrollment is less than 75. Harbor Light’s enrollment count for this school year is 61.)

Landon Jakeway is the team’s leading scorer, contributing 15 points per game. He scored 25 to lead the Swordsmen to a 67-31 win over Mackinaw City in Wednesday’s District Semifinal. That was Harbor Light’s third win this season over its league rival, allowing the Swordsmen to keep the Mack Light Ball, which goes to the winning team’s school after each victory in the rivalry. Wins over Mackinaw have been hard to come by in previous seasons.

David Chamberlin, at 13 points per game, and Corin Palus, scoring nine per contest, are the other leading scorers. Jakeway adds seven assists and four steals per game. Chamberlin kicks in seven rebounds per game, and Jackson Mesner and Kirk Rose contribute eight and five rebounds, respectively. 

Chamberlin, Paulis, Mesner and Rose are all seniors.

“The team goal was really to ‘put the team before me’ mentality,” Roussin said. “We were going to work as a team, be loyal, be committed to one another and battle together.”

The Swordsmen also entered the season with their eyes on the Mack Light Ball, a conference championship and a long postseason run.

“We wanted to chase the conference and to battle for a District,” Roussin noted. “Obviously, we knew St. Ignace is in there and they are the favorite team.”

Senior leadership has been one of the keys to Harbor Light’s finishing atop the conference for the first time in more than a decade.

“We want to show up and play the best basketball you can to make your team the best they can,” Roussin said. “That’s what has been awesome with the leadership we’ve had on this team.

“Through all the guys is ‘it is not about me,’” Roussin continued. “It is about ‘what can I do to make the team better?’”

St. Ignace brings a 16-6 record into the Solid Rock Center. The Saints will have a chance to view some NBA history in addition to playing the final.

Above the main gym resides a mini court containing the Detroit Pistons floor from the Pontiac Silverdome. Before moving to The Palace of Auburn Hills, and most recently Little Caesars Arena, the Pistons played at the Silverdome from 1978-88.

Jeff Jakeway was able to get the court to Northern Michigan through connections in Novi.

Tom SpencerTom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Harbor Light’s Vaughn Henagan (23) gets to the basket during a 59-39 win over Kinross Maplewood Baptist on Dec. 21. (Middle) David Chamberlin (22) elevates over a Pellston defender as the Swordsmen work toward a 75-20 victory Jan. 19. (Photos by Billy Mac Photos.)