Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Boys Report Week 8

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

January 22, 2024

Tuesday’s matchup of Cadillac (11-0) hosting Whitehall (12-0) would crack our five “Can’t-Miss Contests” for the upcoming week most weeks every season – and it's lined up to be a great one. 

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But perhaps indicating the decisive stretch we've reached this season, it falls just outside our preview list below – which is loaded with potential league title deciders, be they the first meetings between expected favorites or rematches from early-season faceoffs that now mean much more.

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Week in Review

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

1. Iron Mountain 48, Kingsford 47 Coming out of this matchup of arguably the top two teams in the Upper Peninsula, Iron Mountain (11-0) stands alone as the last undefeated team on its side of the Bridge after handing the neighboring Flivvers (11-2) just their second defeat.

2. Port Huron Northern 59, Warren Lincoln 57 The Huskies (10-2) drew even with Lincoln atop the Macomb Area Conference White by avenging an 80-46 loss to the Abes (9-2) from Dec. 15.

3. Zeeland West 61, Detroit Cass Tech 42 West (8-3) delivered the only defeat this season to the reigning Division 1 champion Technicians (9-1) during the Gottagetit Hoops Classic at East Kentwood.

4. Warren Lincoln 49, Grand Rapids Christian 47 Lincoln bounced back from its loss to PHN quickly, defeating Romeo on Thursday and then handing Grand Rapids Christian (8-1) its only loss, also at East Kentwood.

5. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 76, Detroit U-D Jesuit 68 The Eaglets (10-1) avenged their lone loss this winter, 60-55 to Jesuit on Dec. 18, to take a two-game lead in the Detroit Catholic League Central.

Flint Southwestern and Kearsley face off Jan. 5.

Watch List

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


Detroit Martin Luther King (11-3) After opening this season with losses to a pair of strong opponents in Lansing Waverly and North Farmington, King has reasserted itself among the elite with 11 wins over its last 12 games (and the only defeat during that time to undefeated East Lansing). The Crusaders join Cass Tech at the top of the Detroit Public School League Blue heading into Tuesday’s matchup, and are coming off handing Grand Rapids Northview a 54-53 loss in East Kentwood on Saturday – adding to wins over Kalamazoo Central, Saginaw and Detroit Southeastern and Renaissance among others.

Rockford (9-3) The Rams also got off to a slow start, relatively speaking, opening 2-3 but with those losses to Muskegon by a point, Byron Center and Grand Rapids South Christian. Rockford has won its last seven games, defeating Zeeland West (see above) to win the Zeeland Holiday Tournament and last week moving into first place alone in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red by handing the only losses this season to Hudsonville (55-52 OT) and East Kentwood (61-56). Rockford tied for third in the league behind those two last season.


Benton Harbor (13-0) After stumbling a bit to end last season on a 3-6 streak, Benton Harbor has cruised to another magnificent start with Saturday’s 58-48 victory over Wyoming Lee in East Kentwood tying its closest win this winter. A 72-59 victory over Niles Brandywine on Jan. 11 has the Tigers atop the Lakeland Conference again as they look to repeat, with a 92-46 win over Detroit Douglass from Dec. 28 also among their most impressive. Big-time matchups await against South Haven, Kalamazoo Central, Watervliet, Brandywine again Feb. 16 and Niles in the regular-season finale after the Vikings ended Benton Harbor’s 2022-23 run.

Tecumseh (10-1) A nine-game winning streak last February and March was stopped by an overtime Regional Final loss to Chelsea, but Tecumseh picked right back up this winter with this start and its only defeat 55-51 to Riverview over the break. Tecumseh has avenged losses from last season to Adrian Madison and Temperance Bedford, can avenge another in Tuesday’s matchup with Pinckney, and sees Chelsea for the first time Jan. 30 after Chelsea dealt Tecumseh three defeats total during last season’s 20-7 campaign.


Alcona (9-4) The Tigers are showing a nice ability to rebound – first from a 1-3 start with their current 8-1 run, and more recently after falling 38-37 to Ogemaw Heights on Jan. 8 but coming back a week later to defeat Oscoda 47-36 to stand alone in first place in the North Star League Big Dipper. That was the closest of Alcona’s nine wins, and the second game in the Oscoda series is on the Tigers’ homecourt Feb. 6. Alcona was 10-12 but second in the league a year ago.

Iron Mountain (11-0) As noted above, Iron Mountain is the lone undefeated team left in the Upper Peninsula, and Kingsford was the first team to come within single digits of the Mountaineers since their 51-43 victory over Gladstone in the season opener. This is familiar territory for Iron Mountain, of course, and three more of these victories came over opponents that have won at least nine games. Iron Mountain does go to Kingsford Feb. 13, and circle as well a home game Feb. 5 against Menominee, which ended the Mountaineers’ seasons the last two winters.


Lake Linden-Hubbell (8-2) The Lakes have enjoyed a nice climb from seven to 13 to 17 wins over the last three seasons, respectively, and they could be ready to take another step. The losses came to Houghton and Painesdale Jeffers, which both have 11 wins this season, and Lake Linden-Hubbell welcomes Jeffers for a rematch Feb. 6. A 74-42 season-opening win over Chassell also was a highlight, and the Lakes travel to Chassell on Feb. 9 and for possibly another telling matchup a week later at Stephenson.

Saginaw Nouvel (9-3) The Panthers, coming off a Division 3 Regional Final run, tested themselves right away this winter and went 0-3 the first week against Essexville Garber, Pewamo-Westphalia and still-undefeated Cass City (falling 54-53). They haven’t lost again. Nouvel sits atop the Tri-Valley Conference White with just Ithaca to play to complete a first-half run through the league, defeated nine-win opponents Imlay City and Standish-Sterling, and will test itself again Feb. 20 at Chesaning, which is off to an 11-0 start.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Detroit Cass Tech (9-1) at Detroit Martin Luther King (11-3) – Both are undefeated in the PSL Blue, and Cass Tech won all three matchups last season: 57-55, 74-70 (OT) in the PSL championship game and 71-59 in a District Semifinal.

Tuesday – Pewamo-Westphalia (9-1) at Laingsburg (10-0) – The Wolfpack are first and the Pirates second in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference thanks to Laingsburg’s 59-55 overtime win Dec. 6.

Thursday – East Lansing (11-0) at Okemos (10-1) – These rivals split last season’s two matchups just three days apart, and they enter this one as the only two teams undefeated in Capital Area Activities Conference Blue play.

Friday – Riverview Gabriel Richard (11-1) at Jackson Lumen Christi (10-0) – This eventually could decide the Detroit Catholic League AA title as these two are undefeated in league play and the next contender has two conference losses.

Friday – Beal City (11-2) at McBain (9-1) – The Aggies also are trying to even the season score in this series, as McBain leads the Highland Conference thanks to its 60-43 win over Beal on Dec. 13.'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) Jayce Branson (3) gets to the rim during East Lansing's 52-29 win over DeWitt last week. (Middle) Flint Southwestern and Kearsley face off Jan. 5. (Top photo by Max McCallister; middle photo by Terry Lyons.)