By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
It's difficult to draw much from the first two weeks of a four-month basketball season.
But it doesn't take long to sense a turnaround coming (see Detroit Mumford below) or a new championship contender on the rise (hello Grand Rapids Catholic Central?). This week's installment includes a few more teams that quickly have made an impression, to carry us through the end of 2017.
Breslin Bound is powered by MI Student Aid, and will return during the first week of January. These reports are based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com – to offer corrections, email me at [email protected].
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 73, Grand Rapids Christian 49 – The Cougars reversed a 39-point loss suffered last season to the eventual Class A runner-up.
2. Hazel Park 74, Detroit U-D Jesuit 63 – Last week a win over Detroit East English got Hazel Park on this list, and this time it’s a double-digit victory over the Cubs (20-4 last season).
3. Dansville 42, Pewamo-Westphalia 34 – The Aggies followed a win over Class B Detroit Osborn with this one over reigning Central Michigan Athletic Conference champion P-W, which beat Dansville by 18 and two points in their meetings last season.
4. Saginaw 69, Saginaw Arthur Hill 61 – The Trojans bounced back from an early-week loss to Detroit Renaissance to beat the rival Lumberjacks for the seventh straight time since falling to them during the 2014-15 postseason.
5. Warren DeLaSalle 77, West Bloomfield 67 – The Pilots have played two of their first three games against teams that made at least the MHSAA Semifinals last season, winning this one over the Class A Lakers.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Mount Pleasant (3-0) – The Oilers improved to post upper-division finishes in the formerly two-division Saginaw Valley League the last two seasons, going 15-9 overall last winter. All of the SVL will play in one division this winter, and Mount Pleasant is off to a nice start with three double-digit wins including a 22-pointer over a Midland Dow team it split with last season.
Troy (3-0) – The Colts play in a tough Oakland Activities Association Red that includes Clarkston, West Bloomfield and Hazel Park among others, but they could be in the mix after reaching the Quarterfinals (and falling there to West Bloomfield) last winter. Troy finished last week by handing rival Athens its first loss, 66-58.
Detroit Mumford (4-0) – With one more win, Mumford will be halfway to bettering last season’s 9-12 finish. The Mustangs have three straight double-digit wins after beating St. Clair Shores South Lake, Oak Park and Warren Michigan Collegiate on successive days over the weekend.
Spring Lake (3-0) – Back-to-back overtime wins over Class A teams has Spring Lake riding high. The Lakers got past Rockford 48-46 and Grand Haven 69-66 last week as they prepped for the Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue season and powerhouse Grand Rapids Catholic Central – which Spring Lake eliminated in last year’s Regional Final after finishing third to the Cougars in league play.
Houghton Lake (2-0) – They are only two games win, but a 35-28 overtime win over Beaverton on Thursday should have the Bobcats’ spirits high. The Beavers were runners-up in the Jack Pine Conference last season and Houghton Lake came in fifth after losing to Beaverton by 29 and 23.
Iron Mountain (4-0) – The Mountaineers might be the favorites in the Mid-Peninsula Conference after finishing third last winter despite going 2-1 (including a District win) over co-champion Norway. The Knights left the league this year, but Iron Mountain surely still enjoyed taking a 48-40 win from them Friday.
Bear Lake (3-0) – Only two weeks into the season, the Lakers are making some noise in the West Michigan D. They sit atop the conference after opening with a 12-point win over reigning champion Baldwin, and that’s been by far Bear Lake’s closest game. The Lakers finished 15-7 overall and tied for third in the league last season.
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (4-0) – As usual, Tri-unity will play a wide variety of opponents including many larger to prepare for the postseason, a strategy that frequently pays off. One of the losses it took last year on the way to the Quarterfinals was against Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, and Tri-unity avenged with a 49-41 win Friday.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Flint Hamady (3-0) at Flint Beecher (3-1) – The reigning Class C champion Buccaneers took three from their rivals last season, but one meeting by only four points.
Tuesday – McBain (2-0) at Buckley (1-1) – Although the Bears took a four-point loss on opening night two weeks ago, both of these teams were perfect for the regular season last winter and Buckley is the reigning Class D runner-up.
Wednesday – Grand Rapids Catholic Central (3-0) at Wyoming Godwin Heights (2-0) – By early returns, these are looking like two of the best teams from Grand Rapids and two of the state’s best in Class B as well.
Dec. 26 – Detroit Martin Luther King (2-0) vs. Southfield Christian (2-1) at Cass Tech – Southfield Christian was a last-second basket from playing for the Class D title last season and can see how it stacks up against the Class A Crusaders.
Dec. 29 – Saginaw (1-1) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (2-0) at Detroit Renaissance – There are high expectations for the Technicians, making this matchup with an annual power arguably the most intriguing at the Motor City Roundball Classic.
PHOTO: Spring Lake got past Grand Haven in overtime last week to stay undefeated. (Photo by Tim Reilly)
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.