Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 10

February 12, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Aspiring boys basketball teams are taking aim at frontrunners all over Michigan as we reach the middle of February.

The Detroit Public School League experienced this most last week as arguably the three favorites for this season’s league tournament title all were eliminated. The Upper Peninsula and northern Lower also saw undefeated powers fall for the first time.

Plenty more opportunities to re-set the pecking order are coming up; see some of them below. Breslin Bound is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at To offer corrections or fill in scores we’re missing, email me at

Week in Review

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

1. Detroit Edison Public School Academy 59, Detroit Cass Tech 51 – This PSL game certainly shook up the bracket as the Pioneers eliminated the reigning league tournament champion.

2. Detroit Renaissance 66, Detroit East English 65 – This also was a bit of a PSL quarterfinal shocker, with East English the only team in the state this season to beat reigning Class A champ Clarkston.

3. Dollar Bay 51, Ewen-Trout Creek 42 – More than 3,000 fans packed Michigan Tech’s gym to see Dollar Bay emerge from this meeting of previously-undefeated Class D contenders.

4. Detroit Pershing 50, Detroit Henry Ford 44 – Despite an 8-9 record, Pershing has been mentioned as a Class C contender with its wins and losses more a reflection of its tough schedule; winning this game over a Class B contender backs up that theory.

5. Frankfort 53, McBain 48 – The Panthers should have plenty to say in Class D as well, and their play did the talking in handing Class C McBain its only defeat.

Watch List

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


Holland West Ottawa (14-1) – The Panthers are on a two-month winning streak since losing their opener to Wyoming Godwin Heights. They clinched a share of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red championship, their third straight, on Friday with three league games to play. They finished 23-2 overall last year and will look to add a Regional title this time around. 

Ypsilanti Community (11-1) – The Grizzlies have a slim lead in the Southeastern Conference White but can solidify it next week by avenging their lone loss, to Dexter. They have won league championships all four years since forming from the old Ypsilanti and Willow Run high schools.


New Haven (16-0) – The Rockets are among the least surprising successes in the state coming off last year’s Class B title and returning standout junior Romeo Weems. Saginaw Arthur Hill on Saturday was the first team to come closer than 17 points, as New Haven won 71-68.

Wyoming Godwin Heights (14-1) – The Wolverines remain among the class of the Grand Rapids area and statewide, looking to return to the season’s final week after falling in the Regional a year ago. The only loss was in overtime to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (now 13-2), with wins over West Ottawa and Pershing – and no other opponents coming closer than 11 points. 


Cassopolis (12-0) – The Rangers are holding down first place in the inaugural Southwest 10 Conference standings after winning Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph division championships the last three seasons. They’ve put up at least 70 points seven times – and dropped 111 in their last game Feb 3.

Unionville-Sebewaing (12-0) – The Patriots are looking to add a second straight league title and are perfect through the first half of the Greater Thumb Conference West schedule. Last week included a win over Jack Pine Conference leader Sanford Meridian Early College, and a December victory over Detroit Douglass also is worth noting.


Hillsdale Academy (13-1) – With a loss only to Class B neighbor Hillsdale High, the Colts look good to improve on last season’s 17-7 overall finish. Only one other opponent has come within double digits, and Hillsdale Academy leads the Southern Central Athletic Association East after tying for second last season.

Southfield Christian (12-3) – This season has been standard Southfield Christian – play a bunch of larger powerhouses to prepare for the postseason while taking care of things in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference Blue. A win over Detroit Martin Luther King was strong, and an overtime loss to Pershing was similarly impressive.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Wednesday – Buckley (11-3) at Frankfort (12-1) – Frankfort won the first round by 16, but the reigning Class D runner-up Bears lead the Northwest Conference by half a game.

Friday – Frankenmuth (13-1) at Bridgeport (12-1) – The Bearcats set the tone for an excellent run by downing the rival Eagles by 14 at the start of January; a sweep would all but secure the Tri-Valley Conference East title. 

Friday – Troy (11-3) at Clarkston (13-1) – Aside from Detroit East English, which beat Clarkston in December, few others have come close to the Wolves; Troy, which fell only 59-54 on Jan. 9, is one of those few.

Friday – Detroit PSL Final at University of Detroit Mercy – King (9-5), Pershing (8-9), Edison (8-9) and Renaissance (11-4) will play in Tuesday semifinals to set Friday’s championship matchup.

Friday – River Rouge (15-0) at Southfield Christian (12-3) – They share some motivation; both made it to the Breslin Center last season and both lost Semifinals in overtime, in Class B and D, respectively.

PHOTO: A Bridgeport player goes up for a dunk during a win over Saginaw Swan Valley this season. (Click for more from

Ferndale Caps Winter Season with 1st Boys Hoops Title Since 1966

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for

March 25, 2023

EAST LANSING – One team was going to end a long championship drought in Saturday’s boys basketball Division 2 Final.

Ferndale’s was especially lengthy, and spanned more than five decades.

And now it is no longer.

The Eagles won their first Finals championship in 57 years with a 44-38 victory over Grand Rapids South Christian at Breslin Center.

Ferndale had last won a state title in 1966.

“The drought is over,” Eagles coach Juan Rickman said. “That’s big time, and the biggest part about making it down here was seeing how charged up the community was and the school was so charged up. It’s the greatest feeling to see how vested our community was in our success.”

Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim.Ferndale senior Christopher Williams led the way with 16 points and four rebounds.

“It feels great,” Williams said. “Especially since the past four years we’ve been to the same place and lost twice in a row to the same team, and now it feels like weight is lifted off my shoulders.

“We started off the season 1-5, and going till now we knew if we stayed together through adversity then we could do it. And it made it more impactful that it was our coach’s first state title, and that’s what we wanted to do.”

Added senior point guard Cameron Reed, who had a game-high seven assists: “It’s incredibly special. I wasn't born back then, my teammates weren’t born and my coaches weren’t born. It definitely rejuvenated the whole city and community.”

Ferndale led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter, and both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Eagles connected on a paltry 24 percent from the field, and South Christian on 35 percent of its attempts. Nate Brinks drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sailors a 16-14 halftime lead. 

Junior guard Jake Vermaas opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to make it 19-14, but Ferndale made a charge.

The Eagles sliced the deficit to one (25-24) on a 3-pointer by Trenton Ruth, and Cameron Reed tied it at 28-28 with an acrobatic layup.

“Our team was mentally strong, and I’m so proud of them for their accomplishment,” Rickman said. “Just so committed to the process and just being resilient.”

Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.An 8-2 spurt by Ferndale over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter made it 36-30.

“That was extremely important, and we always want to win the first four minutes,” Rickman said. “And we tried to open up the fourth quarter with what we call a kill; we want to get five straight stops and score on two or three of those possessions so we can build a lead. We did that fairly well against a good team.”

South Christian was attempting to win football and basketball Finals championships during the same school year, and was looking for its first basketball title since 2005.

“It was a really hard-fought game and I thought we played at our speed, but it got away from us a little bit,” first-year Sailors coach Taylor Johnson said.

“But it doesn’t take away from what we accomplished this year. We’ve been through it all, including three season-ending injuries, and to still make it to the state finals is an incredible feat.”

Senior Jacob DeHaan and Vermaas led the Sailors with 14 points apiece, while senior Sam Medendorp added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Ferndale raises the Division 2 championship trophy Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim. (Below) Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.