By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
League games mean more, and the postseason trumps all. But some of the most intriguing matchups of each basketball season take place during holiday break.
This winter was no different.
Below is this week's list of 10 boys teams that caught my eye over the last few weeks, based in large part on some impressive wins at showcases around the state.
(Records are based on results reported to the MHSAA Score Center.)
1. Detroit Consortium (5-0, Class C) – The Cougars have built another impressive start including wins over Detroit Douglass, Saginaw by 30 and Grand Rapids Christian by 35.
2. Muskegon Heights (5-1, Class C) – The Tigers looks to be back among the contenders in their class, with holiday break wins over Benton Harbor and DeWitt both by a point and their only loss by four to Rockford.
3. Taylor Truman (5-0, Class A) – The Cougars have jumped to a quick start and tie for first place in the Downriver League, with their nonleague win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s arguably the most impressive so far.
4. North Farmington (4-0, Class A) – The Raiders’ perfect start was punctuated by their most recent win, a one-pointer over annual Class B power Lansing Sexton at the Motor City Roundball Classic.
5. Bay City John Glenn (5-1, Class B) – The Bobcats’ lone loss was to solid Class A Okemos, and a two-point win over Flint Powers Catholic last week was a great return to the win column.
6. Otsego (5-1, Class B) – The Bulldogs have beaten all of their in-state opponents by at least nine points; their lone loss was to Ontario’s St. Marguerite d’Youville in the final of the Grand Rapids Catholic Central Tournament.
7. Holt (5-0, Class A) – The Rams can make the argument, with Okemos just behind, as the Lansing area’s best team so far in 2013-14; Holt already owns a win over Lansing Eastern, another contender for the top spot.
8. Troy Athens (5-2, Class A) – The Redhawks have rattled off five straight wins including a two-pointer over Auburn Hills Avondale, and won the championship at the Northville Holiday Tournament.
9. Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (4-1, Class C) – The Warriors have been one of the most impressive small-school teams on the west side of the state, with four wins after an opening loss to Mona Shores; the latest victory was a seven-pointer over Class D power Wyoming Tri-unity Christian.
10. Lawrence (4-1, Class D) – The Tigers won only eight games last season and are halfway to equaling that total thanks in part to a 74-40 win over Climax-Scotts, a quarterfinalist in 2012-13.
PHOTO: Detroit Consortium (gray jerseys) drove past Saginaw over holiday break and the rest of its opponents so far this season. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.
Below is this week's segment – Over the Back - Listen
Did you know there is no such thing as “over the back” in basketball? If two players are going for a rebound and the player behind another player is able to grab it over the top of the player in front – that’s not necessarily a foul. He or she did not go over the back.
The player behind another player may have committed a foul such as bumping the player in front, or pushing that player – gaining an advantage to grab the rebound – but that would be whistled for a push or grab. Not over the back.
A taller player or player who can jump higher grabbing a rebound is not a foul. It’s only a foul if they create an advantage by pushing, bumping, or any other kind of illegal contact while in the process of going for a rebound. Fans yell over the back all the time, but an official will never call a foul for going over the back.
Jan. 24: Competitive Cheer Judges - Listen
Jan. 17: More Lines - Listen
Jan. 10: On the Line - Listen
Jan. 3: Basketball Measurements - Listen
Dec. 13: Pregame Dunks - Listen
Dec. 6: Gymnastics Judges - Listen
Nov. 22: Football Finals Replay - Listen
Nov. 15: Back Row Illegal Blocker - Listen
Nov. 8: Swim Turn Judges - Listen
Nov. 1: Soccer Referee Jersey Colors - Listen
Oct. 25: Cross Country Tie-Breaker - Listen
Oct. 18: Soccer Shootouts - Listen
Oct. 11: Safety in End Zone - Listen
Oct. 4: Football Overtime Penalty - Listen
Sept. 27: Kickoff Goal - Listen
Sept. 20: Soccer Timing - Listen
Sept. 13: Volleyball Replays - Listen
Sept. 6: Switching Sides - Listen
Aug. 30: Play Clock - Listen
Aug. 23: Intentional Grounding Change - Listen