Breslin Bound: Boys Quarterfinal Preview

March 18, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

1927. 1948. 1953. 1955. 1968.

A number of boys basketball teams playing in MHSAA Quarterfinals tonight are celebrating returns to the final week of the season for the first time in seemingly forever. And for a few others, tonight will mark the first time, ever, they've advanced this far. 

See below for brief previews of all 16 Quarterfinal games, and click for brackets and more to be updated as scores are reported tonight. 

(NOTE: ppg=point per game, rpg=rebounds per game, apg=assists per game, spg=steals per game, bpg=blocks per game.)

Class A

Howell (19-5) vs. Mount Pleasant (21-4) at Davison

Howell is playing in its first Quarterfinal since 1927 and advanced by avenging two regular-season losses to Kensington Lakes Activities Association West champion Grand Blanc by winning in the Regional Final. Senior 6-foot-3 guard Tyler Johnson leads with 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Mount Pleasant also is back after a shorter but still lengthy absence, playing in its first Quarterfinal since 1982. Senior 6-6 forward Jaleel Hogan averages 16.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.

Ann Arbor Skyline (17-7) vs. Muskegon (25-0) at Lansing Eastern

Skyline has improved from 10-11 each of the last two seasons and stunned Kalamazoo Central in the Regional Final to advance. The task is tall again though in Muskegon, led by recently-named Mr. Basketball Award winner and senior guard Deshaun Thrower (18.6 ppg) and 6-9 junior center Deyonta Davis (14.2 ppg, 13.6 rpg). Skyline is in its first Quarterfinal; Muskegon missed the Semifinals by falling to Grand Rapids Christian by three in this game a year ago.  

Romulus (21-4) vs. Detroit U-D Jesuit (21-2) at Detroit Mercy

U-D Jesuit won the regular-season matchup between these two 67-57 three weeks ago, but reigning Class A champion Romulus surely won’t go quietly. Sophomore guard Cassius Winston leads three Jesuit scorers averaging double figures with 18.4 ppg along with 7.2 rpg. The Eagles are directed by first-year coach Jerret Smith, a standout on the 2005 Class A runner-up team who went on to play at the University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University.

Warren Mott (21-4) vs. Bloomfield Hills (22-3) at Detroit Mercy

Both are playing in their first Quarterfinal; Mott despite opening this season 2-3 and Bloomfield Hills because it is a first-year school, although the schools that merged to form it – Lahser and Andover – also had never advanced past Regionals. Mott is scoring a school-record 73.2 points per game, led by 6-8 senior forward Kenny Goins (21.1 ppg, 14.8 rpg, 5.4 bpg). 

Class B

Benton Harbor (15-9) vs. Wyoming Godwin Heights (25-0) at Middleville Thornapple Kellogg

Longtime power Benton Harbor is back in the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2001 thanks in part to a three-point win over Stevensville Lakeshore in the District opener and an overtime win over Otsego in the Regional Final. Senior 6-6 forward Cortez Moore leads with 21 points and 12 rebounds per game. Godwin Heights reached the Semifinals a year ago and is a combined 72-4 over the last three. Senior 6-4 center Markese Mayfield and 6-3 junior forward Delaney Blaylock both average 17 points per game.

Big Rapids (20-4) vs. Cadillac (18-6) at Ferris State University

This is a rematch from last season’s Quarterfinal round, when Cadillac won 41-29. Senior forward Quinn Tyson has keyed Big Rapids’ return with 23.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Cadillac will play in its fourth straight Quarterfinal after surviving three straight tournament games decided by five points or fewer. Senior forward Jalen Brooks is averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game to lead the Vikings.

Detroit Douglass (16-9) vs. Goodrich (20-5) at Marysville 

Douglass is in its second Quarterfinal ever and seeking its first Semifinal appearance, and has suffered eight of its losses to Class A or Chicago-area teams. The Hurricanes have won District titles in eight of 10 seasons under coach Nkwane Young. Goodrich tied for second in the Genesee Area Conference Red with Class C Regional finalist Montrose and behind reigning Class C champion Flint Beecher.

Milan (22-3) vs. Wayland (21-4) at Chelsea

Milan has won 17 straight going back to mid-January to reach its first Quarterfinal since 1948. Junior guard Latin Davis (15.9 ppg) and junior 6-7 center Nick Perkins (15 ppg) key an offense that has won all but one of its tournament games by at least 14 points. Wayland is in a Quarterfinal for the first time since 1955. The Wildcats advanced with an overtime win over No. 2-ranked Jackson Lumen Christi in the Regional Final and get a big boost from a pair of juniors, 6-6 center Lacey James (14.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg) and guard Dilon Aten (18.5 ppg).

Class C

Flint Beecher (22-3) vs. Pewamo-Westphalia (21-2) at Owosso

Reigning Class C champion Beecher has five new starters this season including three underclassmen, but the Buccaneers have won 17 straight since their last loss Jan. 18 to Class A Detroit Cass Tech. A strong group of nine seniors has been building for this Pewamo-Westphalia run, especially after the Pirates suffered their only 2011-12 loss in the Quarterfinal. Senior guard Nick Spitzley has led a balanced lineup with 18.7 points per game.

Muskegon Heights (19-3) vs. Hillsdale (24-1) at Vicksburg

Muskegon Heights has one of the longest traditions of success in MHSAA boys basketball history, and that has continued through its closing and re-opening as a public school academy two years ago. The Tigers are making their fourth Quarterfinal appearance in five seasons. Hillsdale is back in the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2005 and hasn’t lost since falling to P-W in its opener. Senior guard Brandon Bisher scores 18 points per game for the Hornets.

Detroit Consortium (22-2) vs. Mount Clemens (24-1) at West Bloomfield

Consortium has fallen only to annual powers Detroit Pershing and Country Day and defeated a number of strong, larger teams including Saginaw, Detroit Southeastern, Detroit Douglass and Saginaw Arthur Hill. Sophomore 6-8 forward Joshua Jackson has been a big part averaging 25 points and 14.7 rebounds per game. Mount Clemens’ lone loss came just last month to Class A favorite Muskegon, and the Battling Bathers have won all of their tournament games by at least 13 points. They are in their first Quarterfinal since 1985.

East Jordan (19-4) vs. Negaunee (23-1) at Petoskey

East Jordan last played in a Regional Final in 1953, but bounced back from two losses to end the regular season to return to the final week – thanks also to an overtime win over Beaverton in the Regional Final. Neguanee is much more familiar with this spot; this is the Miners’ fourth straight Quarterfinal, and they missed last season’s championship game by falling just two points short in the Semifinal. Standout senior guards Tyler Jandron and Eric Lori average 17.5 and 16.6 points per game, respectively.

Class D

Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (20-3) vs. Frankfort (19-6) at Cadillac

Sacred Heart advanced with a nationally-replayed buzzer-beater over Fulton-Middleton and hopes to follow its girls team to an MHSAA title. Senior 6-6 forward Kevin Gamble, son of the former NBA player by the same name and brother to the girls team’s standout center Averi, averages 15 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Frankfort finished second in the Northwest Conference thanks to two losses to Suttons Bay, but beat Suttons Bay by 19 on the way to reaching the final week for the second straight season. Senior 6-3 center David Loney averages 20.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.

Southfield Christian (23-1) vs. Peck (22-0) at Burton Bendle

Peck is back in the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1968 and led by a pair of standouts from its 8-player football MHSAA championship team – 6-4 junior Kyle Abrego (15.1 ppg) and 6-3 senior Tristen Haener (10.9 ppg). The Pirates must next defeat two-time reigning champion Southfield Christian, which has a new coach in promoted assistant Clennie Brundidge and returning standouts in senior forward Lindsey Hunter IV (14.8 ppg), junior guard Bakari Evelyn (16 ppg) and sophomore guard Eugene Brown (11.4). The Eagles’ only loss was to Class A Saginaw Arthur Hill.  

Cedarville (22-2) vs. Powers North Central (25-0) at Marquette

This too is a rematch of a 2013 Quarterfinal, which North Central won 71-57. The Jets were virtually untouchable during the regular season with only Carney-Nadeau and Munising getting within single digits – although those two and Crystal Falls Forest Park all got within eight or fewer points of North Central during the last two weeks. Senior forward Travis Vincent (15.1 ppg) leads four Jets averaging double-figure scoring. Cedarville’s only losses were to a pair of solid Class C teams, and the Trojans are more than capable of taking the next step; they’ve won Regional titles eight of the last nine seasons and beat Quarterfinalist Frankfort earlier this winter.

Battle Creek St. Philip (24-1) vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian (19-4) at Battle Creek Central

St. Philip is back in a Quarterfinal for the first time since 1984 and with 10 straight wins by 15 or more points. Senior guard Tyler Hubbard-Neil leads four Tigers averaging double-figure points with 13.9 per game. Lenawee Christian is making its second Quarterfinal appearance in four seasons and thanks in part to surviving a two-point scare against Morenci in the District Final after losing two of its final three regular-season games. 

PHOTO: Mount Pleasant, here against Saginaw Arthur Hill, advanced to the MHSAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 1982. (Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.) 

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Report Week 9

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 6, 2023

We are down to the final four weeks of this MHSAA boys basketball season – and while the entertaining part is detailed below in our regular Monday report, there’s some major data crunching underway behind the scenes as well.

MI Student Aid

Seeding the top two teams in every District requires thousands of data points – and a season-long process of collecting them all. More than 720 varsity teams are playing this winter, and we’re in the midst of a process of checking their schedules one by one – about a 24-hour task by itself to make sure all scheduled games are showing, league standings are set up correctly, etc.

Additionally, daily we’re sorting through disputed scores, changes to schedules because of weather or teams that have discontinued their seasons, and other adjustments. But we’re always striving for perfection – and when Districts are drawn and those top teams seeded Feb. 26, we hope to have every schedule up to date and every score filled in.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com.

Week in Review

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

1. North Farmington 68, Muskegon 55 These two have lived at or near the top of Division 1 MPR all season, making this win by the Raiders (12-1) at the 2K23 Showcase at Aquinas College arguably their best, especially considering it also was the first loss for the Big Reds (13-1). 

2. Saline 57, Ann Arbor Huron 47 The Hornets (11-4) saw an eight-game winning streak end three days later, but in this one handed Huron (13-1) its lone defeat of the season. 

3. Ann Arbor Huron 67, Benton Harbor 55 The River Rats, meanwhile, rebounded immediately with a 13-point win over Dexter and then a 67-55 victory over Benton Harbor (13-3) at Aquinas. 

4. Warren Lincoln 52, Grand Rapids Northview 37 The Abes (12-3) just keep impressing, this time with a big win over a Northview team matching their 12-3 record, also during the 2K23 Showcase. 

5. Iron Mountain 64, Powers North Central 58 This matched arguably the best in the Upper Peninsula in Divisions 3 and 4, respectively, with the Mountaineers moving to 13-1 and the Jets to 11-2.

A Montabella player gets to the basket during his team's 43-28 win last week over Carson City-Crystal.

Watch List

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

DIVISION 1

Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-2) The Cubs have won outright or shared the last two Detroit Catholic League Central championships, and they’re hoping to run that streak to three by winning Friday’s rematch with first-place Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-1). A 68-53 defeat to the Warriors on Jan. 24 and a 67-64 loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on Jan. 6 have left Jesuit a game back, but the Cubs do have a sweep of reigning Division 1 champion Warren De La Salle Collegiate plus early impressive nonleague wins over Clarkston and Ferndale.

Kalamazoo Central (13-2) After just missing the Division 1 Semifinals a year ago – losing to Northview by two in a Quarterfinal – the Maroon Giants are ahead of their 16-win pace from that finish with their only losses to Brother Rice and Battle Creek Lakeview (11-3), the latter by a point. They also defeated Lakeview in the teams’ first meeting, handed Mattawan its only loss and most recently defeated Detroit Renaissance at the 2K23 event. 

DIVISION 2

Ferndale (7-6) Few if any have played a tougher schedule, especially considering Ferndale is Division 2 playing most of the Division 1 powers. The Eagles are No. 5 in Division 2 MPR despite a 1-5 start including losses to Brother Rice, Jesuit, St. Mary’s and Muskegon, and then a two-point loss to North Farmington last week. Meanwhile, Ferndale has defeated Grosse Pointe South (13-3), Flint Beecher (12-3), Clarkston (11-5) and River Rouge (10-5). The North Farmington rematch is Feb. 24, and a Feb. 11 matchup with Port Huron Northern should also boost MPR.

Grand Rapids Christian (10-4) The Eagles may be in fourth in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White, but they are No. 6 in Division 2 MPR. Three of the four losses were to league opponents, but Christian is coming off a 55-53 double-overtime win over Warren Michigan Collegiate (13-2) on Saturday at Aquinas. An early win over Grand Rapids Catholic Central and a Jan. 21 victory over De La Salle also stand out.

DIVISION 3

Flint Beecher (12-3) The Bucs are off to another big start after last season’s finish at the Division 3 Semifinals, losing only to Detroit Cass Tech (17-0), Benton Harbor and Ferndale as Beecher also has loaded up its nonleague schedule. Beecher also has four wins over teams with double-digit victories, with an 80-71 defeat of Flint Hamady (14-2) on Jan. 10 putting the Bucs in first in the Genesee Area Conference Red. The Hamady rematch is Feb. 18, before a major regular-season finish against Goodrich (13-1) and Grand Blanc (14-2).

Napoleon (14-0) The Pirates aren’t sneaking up on anyone after going 19-3 last season, but they are dominating nonetheless. All but one win have been by eight points or more, and Napoleon leads the Cascades Conference after finishing second last year with a pair of losses to Vandercook Lake. The Pirates not only defeated Vandercook in their first meeting, by 40, but next defeated Michigan Center by 17 after the Cardinals ended their season last winter. Napoleon also has a 63-45 win over Big 8 Conference co-leader Concord.

DIVISION 4

Baldwin (13-1) The Panthers are coming off an 18-5 finish and second place in the West Michigan D League, and they lead it this time by two games and with a win over Mesick after losing both meetings to the eventual league champ a year ago. Baldwin also has avenged a 2021-22 loss to Mason County Eastern and could avenge another hosting Traverse City Christian on Tuesday. The Panthers also have given Marion (11-4) half its losses.

Powers North Central (11-2) As noted above, the Jets are at least among the handful of elite small-school Upper Peninsula teams, No. 4 in statewide Division 4 MPR although second in D4 in the U.P. with Painesdale Jeffers in the top spot. Those two wouldn’t see each other until a Regional Final, where North Central’s 19-5 run ended last season. The Jets only defeats this time are to Division 2 Kingsford and Division 3 Iron Mountain, which stand a combined 25-3.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Goodrich (13-1) at Corunna (12-2) – They’re tied atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Goodrich winning the first meeting 69-54 on Jan. 10.

Friday – Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-2) at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-1) – As noted above, the Detroit Catholic League Central title will be on the line, as Jesuit can force a shared championship.

Saturday – Hamtramck (10-5) vs. Kalamazoo Central (13-2) at Benton Harbor – The Cosmos have faced their share of statewide elite as well, and will be seeking what would be one of their most notable wins in this Wilson Chandler Shootout matchup.

Saturday – Flint Hamady (14-2) at Davison (10-5) – Old rivals meet again as Davison is coached by longtime Beecher leader Mike Williams.

Saturday – Saginaw Arthur Hill (7-9) at Saginaw (14-4) – They’ll still have 2023-24 left before one the best rivalries in state history ends with a school merger, but this year’s rematch comes after Saginaw won 57-55 on Jan. 14.

MHSAA.com's weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. 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 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) A Saginaw player gets to the rim during Friday's 59-54 loss to Mount Pleasant. (Middle) A Montabella player goes to the basket during his team's 43-28 win last week over Carson City-Crystal.(Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)