By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
After nearly four months, we’ll know by the end of tonight which 16 Michigan boys basketball teams will be “Breslin Bound” this weekend to play for this season’s championships.
We’re already guaranteed at least two new title winners when Saturday’s Finals are done, and there are plenty of storylines as a number of teams reached tonight’s Quarterfinals for the first time in a long time – or first time in their program’s histories.
Our final “Breslin Bound” report of 2018-19 – powered by MI Student Aid – takes a glance at all 16 Quarterfinals, which tip off at 7 p.m. unless noted. All Quarterfinals will be broadcast and viewable with subscription on MHSAA.tv. Come back Wednesday night for a more in-depth look at our 16 finalists as they head into this weekend.
Saginaw (22-3) vs. Howell (19-6) at Grand Blanc
After a rare down season a year ago, Saginaw is back at the Quarterfinals for the fourth time in eight seasons under coach Julian Taylor. Howell, coming off its first Regional title since 2014, follows talented senior guard Josh Palo (17.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game).
Ypsilanti Lincoln (20-4) vs. Detroit Martin Luther King (20-4) at University of Detroit Mercy, 5:30 p.m.
Lincoln freshman Emoni Bates has been perhaps even more exciting than anticipated, with game-winning shots in both of last week’s Regional wins just the latest highlights as he’s led the team to its first Regional title. King rebounded from two losses to end the regular season to win a District title for the second straight season and first Regional title since 2000.
Detroit U-D Jesuit (23-2) vs. Roseville (20-4) at University of Detroit Mercy, 7:30 p.m.
Jesuit will play in a Quarterfinal for the sixth straight season, this team with senior forward Daniel Friday (16.9) leading an attack with four scorers averaging at least 9.6 ppg. Roseville also lost its final two games of the regular season, but has won all five of its postseason matchups by at least 11 points on the way to its first Regional title since 1952.
East Kentwood (16-9) vs. Okemos (22-2) at Caledonia
Led by junior guard Ja’moni Jones (17.6 ppg), East Kentwood has bounced back from four straight losses to end the regular season and defeated a pair of league champions last week in Muskegon and Hudsonville to reach the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. Okemos held off DeWitt for the third time this season in their Regional Final to advance to the final week for the first time since 2012. Senior Evan Thomas (17.3 ppg) is the lead scorer.
Ludington (13-10) vs. Alma (19-3) at Mount Pleasant
Alma stunned previously-undefeated Bridgeport in a Regional Semifinal last week and will play its first Quarterfinal since 1999. Senior guard Camden Sutherland (11.1 ppg) is the high scorer for a balanced attack. Ludington, the Class B runner-up two seasons ago, lost five of its last six regular-season games but rebounded by winning a third straight District title. Senior Joshua Laman (15.8 ppg) leads in most statistical categories.
Grand Rapids South Christian (22-3) vs. Hudsonville Unity Christian (23-2) at Calvin College
The Sailors are coming off their first Regional title since winning the Class B championship in 2005, thanks to a two-point win over Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Thursday. The Sailors have their share of 3-point aces, and senior guards Luke Schrotenboer and Peyton Vis both score between 13-14 ppg. South Christian won its Dec. 21 meeting with Unity Christian 63-61, but the Crusaders are riding high after downing 2018 Class B champ Benton Harbor to win their second Regional title in four seasons. Senior TJ VanKoevering (13.8 ppg) is the leading scorer and rebounder.
Haslett (20-5) vs. River Rouge (21-2) at Chelsea
Haslett, in its first Quarterfinal since 2006, beat league champions Williamston and Parma Western on the way to the final week. Senior guard Ty Andrades (14.1 ppg, 65 3-pointers) leads four players averaging double-digit scoring. River Rouge, a Class B semifinalist last season, has wins over Ypsilanti Lincoln and Flint Beecher among others. Senior guard Nigel Colvin (13 ppg) leads three scorers averaging in double figures.
Harper Woods Chandler Park (20-0) vs. New Haven (24-1) at Ortonville Brandon
Newly-awarded Mr. Basketball Romeo Weems (27.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 4.2 spg) is looking to lead New Haven to its third straight Semifinal and second title in three seasons as the Rockets won Class B in 2017. Senior guard Ronald Jeffery III (21.9) also is a major contributor. Chandler Park can claim impressive wins over Detroit Edison, Macomb Dakota, Detroit Henry Ford and Ferndale as it moves from its first Regional title into the final week.
Iron Mountain (25-0) vs. Sanford Meridian (23-1) at Petoskey, 6 p.m.
Iron Mountain won a Regional title for the second straight season and is now a combined 48-2 over the last two. Junior guard Marcus Johnson and sophomore guard Foster Wonders are both scoring just above 23 points per game. Meridian is also playing in a Quarterfinal for the second straight season, entering tonight a combined 44-5 over the last two winters after handing previously-unbeaten Oscoda a 21-point defeat in the Regional Final.
Detroit Edison (18-7) vs. Flint Beecher (23-2) at St. Clair County Community College
This Quarterfinal pits the Class C champions of the last two seasons, both with similar success this season. Reigning champ Edison has wins over Benton Harbor and Canton and is led by senior forward Brian Taylor (16.6 ppg). Beecher has beaten Detroit Renaissance, Grand Blanc and Flint Carman-Ainsworth among others, keyed by junior guard Jalen Terry, and is seeking its fourth MHSAA title in five seasons.
Hanover-Horton (23-1) vs. Erie-Mason (22-2) at Tecumseh
Hanover-Horton will play in its third Quarterfinal over the last five seasons and first since 2016, with its only defeat this winter to Ohio’s Toledo St. Francis de Sales. Junior Luc Laketa scores 14 ppg to lead five averaging at least 9.3. Erie Mason won its first Regional title since 1973 and has wins over league champs Detroit Loyola and Petersburg Summerfield over the last two weeks. Junior guard Joe Liedel pours in 28 points with 5.1 assists per game.
Pewamo-Westphalia (25-0) vs. Cassopolis (23-1) at Richland Gull Lake
P-W has emerged from winning a league that produced three District champs and then defeated league champions Morley Stanwood and Carson City-Crystal during these playoffs. Senior Andre Smith has helped the Pirates reach the final week for the first time since 2014 by averaging a team-high 14.1 ppg. After going 24-1 a season ago but falling in the Regional Final, Cassopolis has broken through to make its first Quarterfinal since 1989. Senior guard Tyrese Hunt-Thompson scores 22 points per game, and sophomore forward Brayden Saxton adds 18 ppg.
Dollar Bay (20-4) vs. Pellston (23-2) at Escanaba
Dollar Bay finished second in its league but has won 13 of its last 14 games and defeated that league champion, Chassell, on the way to reaching the Quarterfinals again after making the Semifinals in 2018. Junior forward Ashton Janke (16.4) leads three scorers at 12 ppg or higher. Pellston won its first Regional title since 2012, downing previously-unbeaten Brimley in last week’s Regional Semifinal. Senior guard Tanner Byard scores 25.9 ppg and junior guard Blake Cassidy adds 23.
Southfield Christian (18-6) vs. Burton Genesee Christian (18-7) at West Bloomfield, 6 p.m.
Southfield Christian is the reigning Class D champion and has won 16 of its last 17 games. Senior guard Jon Sanders and junior guard Da’Jion Humphrey both average 16.5 points per game. Genesee Christian is coming off its first Regional title since 2005 and is 17-3 after a slow start in December.
Frankfort (19-5) vs. Big Rapids Crossroads (23-1) at Cadillac
Frankfort fell in its regular-season finale and then won its District opener by just two points in overtime, but has surged ahead to claim its first Regional title since 2015. Senior guard Will Newbold and sophomore guard Jack Stefanski both average 14 points per game. Crossroads won its first Regional title last week, with its only defeat of the season all the way back on Dec. 5 to Manistee Catholic Central. Senior guard Britton Angell leads at 26 ppg.
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (21-3) vs. Bellevue (24-1) at Charlotte
In its third straight season with at least 22 wins, Bellevue has reached the final week for the first time after claiming its first Regional title. Senior guard Wyatt Waterbury scored 16.4 ppg to lead the way. Tri-unity is a regular at this stage but also back after missing out on the Quarterfinals last season after three straight appearances. Senior forward Bennett Sinner and freshman guard Brady Titus both score 12 ppg to lead a balanced effort.
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PHOTO: Okemos junior Noah Pruitt gets to the basket during the Chiefs’ Regional Final win over DeWitt last week at Holt. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)
Foster Loyer’s four-season career at Clarkston from 2014-15 through 2017-18 certainly must be considered among the most accomplished in state history as he led the Wolves to back-to-back Class A championships in 2017 and 2018 and is listed in the record book 25 times.
Among Loyer’s most notable entries were 2,325 career points (12th most), 272 career 3-pointers (tied for ninth), records of 119 consecutive free throws and 634 career free throws, a .921 free-throw percentage as a junior (tied for fourth) and .900 career percentage (second), 589 career assists (sixth), 278 career steals (15th) and 102 games played (tied for sixth).
Loyer went on to play at Michigan State and then Davidson.
See below for more recent record book entries for boys basketball.
Four Onaway standouts were added for single-season and/or career records. Jager Mix, who graduated in 2022, was added for 92 steals last season and 225 over his four-season career. Kevin Pearson, a 2021 grad, was added for 81 steals as a senior and 247 over his career. Joe Sigsby, a 2016 grad, was added for 127 steals, and Jadin Mix was added for 124 in 2021-22. Their totals rank ninth and tied for 10th, respectively, on that all-time list. Jager Mix also was added for 967 career rebounds, and Onaway as a team was added for tying the record for most points in a quarter with 49 during the first quarter of a win over Fife Lake Forest Area on Feb. 3, 2022. Jager Mix is playing at Alpena Community College, and Jadin Mix is a senior this school year.
Uchenna Amene was added for 11 steals in a March 7, 2022, game against West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy and for 97 steals total over 25 games. He was a sophomore at Southfield Christian that season and now is a senior at Detroit Catholic Central.
Owen Franklin graduated from Oscoda in 2021 as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and nearly 44 percent of those 1,477 points came on 3-pointers. Franklin made the state career 3-pointers list with 216 over four seasons. He’s playing baseball at Northwood.
Traverse City Christian sophomore Reece Broderick became one of the state’s most accomplished long-distance shooters in just his second year of high school this past winter, drilling 104 3-pointers – good for third-most for one season all-time – over 23 games. He connected on 42 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
A pair of Rudyard four-year varsity standouts entered the record book after their graduations in 2022. Tate Besteman made the career rebounds list with 762 over 89 games, and EJ Suggitt made the career 3-pointers list with 215 over the same 89 contests. Besteman played this past season for Mid Michigan College, and Suggitt is playing baseball at Spring Arbor.
Success from 3-point range played a significant role in Mesick finishing 21-1 in 2021-22, as the team made 195 of its 578 attempts – with game highs of 15 twice in wins over Baldwin and Pentwater.
Then-senior Tristan McFolley earned the first listing under single-game rebounds since 2013 with 30 in Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy’s game with Hope of Detroit Academy on Dec. 8, 2022.
Tawas found its groove from long range Jan. 10 against Oscoda, drilling 22 3-pointers in an 86-31 win. The total tied for fifth-most in one game.
Although Norway felt just short, 40-37, in its District loss to Crystal Falls Forest Park on March 8, Alex Ortman kept the Knights close scoring 20 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to make the single-quarter scoring list. He’s now a senior.
Kobe Clark has listings in two MHSAA record books, with three for boys basketball joining those he earned for football during his Schoolcraft career. He was added in hoops for 531 career assists and 290 career steals over 94 games from 2016-17 through 2019-20, and also for 82 steals as a senior. Tyler DeGroote also was added to the record book, for scoring 20 points during the first quarter against Delton Kellogg during Schoolcraft’s Jan. 11, 2022, victory. Clark began at Saginaw Valley State for football and now plays basketball and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and DeGroote is continuing at Rockhurst (Mo.).
Past Detroit Cooley star Larry Fogle has added a seventh record book listing a half-century later. Fogle grabbed 33 rebounds on Jan. 18, 1972, during a win over Detroit Mackenzie. He went on to play at Louisiana and Canisius, and then briefly with the New York Knicks.
Trevon Gunter scored 42 points in Kalamazoo Central’s 84-56 win over Richland Gull Lake on Jan. 17, 2020, including 31 during the third quarter – second-most and just one shy of the record for points during one period. A senior that season, Gunter plays currently at Grand Valley State.
Mark Wittbrodt held the record for consecutive free throws at 70 until 2008, and that entry in the record book has been joined by several others from the Bay City Western star. He was added for his 192 3-pointers, 436 free throws, .842 free-throw percentage and 266 career steals over three seasons from 1991-93, as well as for six single-season accomplishments. He went on to play at Michigan Tech.
Ellsworth’s Jacob Jenuwine tied for 12th on the single-game 3-pointers list when he connected on 11 as part of scoring 39 points total in his team’s Feb. 14 win over Alanson. Jenuwine graduated this spring.
Bellevue senior Dawson Wing capped his three-season varsity career last winter with three entries in the record. He was added for 12 blocked shots in a 2021-22 game against Colon, 107 for the season last winter and 203 blocks over his career. Teammate Caleb Betz, a senior this fall, was added for 12 steals in a game against Athens.
Logan Mansfield capped his Morenci career in a big way last winter. The senior drilled 90 3-pointers over 24 games to earn his school’s first individual record book entry in boys hoops since the 1987-88 season, when John Craig had 132 blocked shots that would have been the second-most recorded at that time. They currently rank 13th.
New Haven earned a pair of record book entries during its March 10 win over Memphis. The Rockets bested their previous single-quarter school record with 41 points during the opening period, and they also made the statewide single-game 3-pointers list with 16.
Whitehall’s Camden Thompson, a junior this fall, earned his first record book entry last winter – and the first for his school in boys basketball. He grabbed 303 rebounds over 21 games.
Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep junior Zeekeal Jackson earned his school's first boys basketball record book entry this past season as well. He made the single-season steals list with 106, over 22 games, and just missed the single-game list with a high of 10.
Jonesville’s Brady Wright was among his team’s leading scorers during his three varsity seasons ending this past winter, but he also was a major contributor defensively. He made the records with a season-high 101 steals over 25 games as a senior, and made the career list with 232 steals over 61 games.
Sophomore Christopher McLavish Jr. made a memorable impact last season with a pair of record book entries. He made the single-quarter points list with 20 in a Feb. 21 game against Flint Powers Catholic, but even more memorable were his 97 3-pointers over 25 games for the season – tying him for 11th all-time on that list.
PHOTO Foster Loyer directs Clarkston's offense during its 2018 Class A Semifinal.