By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The third week of this Michigan high school boys basketball season was topsy-turvy, to say the least.
The first month of the season always includes a lot of sorting out as top teams face off in nonleague play – and in the end, of course, the most important games are when those teams potentially meet again at the end of the winter.
But after how some of the state’s best took turns defeating each other last week, we might have a hard time knowing what to expect down the road.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Okemos 63, Rockford 29 – The headliner of the Battle of I-96 Classic at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills went to Okemos, which moved to 6-0 with its second-biggest victory of the season.
2. Rockford 65, Muskegon 47 – This Friday night stunner of the annually contending Big Reds was set for the top spot on this list until Saturday’s matchup with the Chiefs; Rockford fell to Muskegon by 16 a year ago.
3. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 50, Grand Rapids Christian 45 – The was expected to be the big game of the week for the Cougars, but wasn’t even their closest as they then survived with a two-point overtime win over Grand Rapids Covenant Christian on Friday.
4. Detroit U-D Jesuit 57, Grand Blanc 44 – The Cubs have had one of the toughest early schedules in the state, and this win was made more impressive when Grand Blanc beat Flint Carman-Ainsworth by 10 to end the week.
5. Ann Arbor Skyline 66, Belleville 56 – The Eagles came back from a loss earlier in the week to Sterling Heights Stevenson to win their fifth straight against Belleville, which rebounded last season to make the Class A Quarterfinals.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Grand Rapids Northview (3-0) – The Wildcats have held on through three overtimes over their last two games to keep a perfect start intact, the most recent Friday in a 77-69 win over always-powerful Wyoming Godwin Heights. Northview is looking to take another step after improving five wins to 15-7 last winter.
• Utica Eisenhower (5-0) – The Eagles have nearly equaled last season’s seven wins and haven’t played a game in single digits since defeating Romeo by five on opening night. Eisenhower can make an even louder statement tonight against another quick starter in Sterling Heights Stevenson.
• Alma (6-0) – The Panthers are off to another fast start in trying to build on last season’s league and District championships. Alma has three double-digit wins but also has pulled out victories of six or fewer points against Fowlerville, Frankenmuth (in overtime) and Carrollton.
• Williamston (6-0) – The Hornets can make an argument as the Lansing area’s best team and have high aspirations after going 22-3 and falling to eventual champion Benton Harbor in the Quarterfinals last season. Despite needing overtime against Howell last week, Williamston is winning this winter by nearly 19 points per game.
• Carson City-Crystal (5-0) – The Eagles have shared three straight Mid-State Activities Conference championships and already own a one-win advantage in the league standings this winter thanks to a 47-41 win over reigning co-champ Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart two weeks ago. A 46-35 win over Division 2 Lansing Eastern last week was eye-catching.
• Hanover-Horton (5-0) – League titles and 20-win seasons are frequent accomplishments for the Comets, and they appear on the way toward chasing both again. Hanover-Horton took a big step toward repeating as Cascades Conference champ with a 66-56 win over reigning league runner-up Michigan Center last week – the Comets’ closest game so far.
• Bessemer (4-1) – The Speedboys fell from sharing a league title two seasons ago to finishing third last winter, but look like the team to chase in the Copper Mountain Conference’s Porcupine Mountain division again. Bessemer handed 2017-18 Class D semifinalist Dollar Bay a 73-60 loss last week, Dollar Bay’s first regular-season defeat since Feb. 17, 2017.
• Carney-Nadeau (4-0) – The Wolves frequently are league title contenders but might be the team to beat in the Skyline Central Conference Small-school division. Although the 61-43 win Thursday against Powers North Central did not count in the league standings, it was a good sign against the reigning league champ.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Detroit Martin Luther King (2-0) at Detroit Cass Tech (3-1) – The last time these two met, King advanced in last season’s District with a two-point overtime win. They are back in the same league this winter.
Tuesday – Clinton Township Clintondale (5-0) at Madison Heights Madison (6-0) – It’s early in the Macomb Area Conference Silver, but this could end up one of the most meaningful games of the league schedule.
Tuesday – Utica Eisenhower (5-0) at Sterling Heights Stevenson (4-1) – Noted above as well, this could be telling as the MAC Red gets rolling. League foes Roseville and Macomb Dakota also are off to strong starts.
Tuesday – Escanaba (3-1) at Marquette (4-2) – Marquette swept Escanaba to win last season’s Great Northern Upper Peninsula Conference title by one victory.
Wednesday – Wyoming Godwin Heights (1-3) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (3-0) – Against strong competition, Godwin Heights is off to a slow start. But it’s all relative, and GRCC won’t take the Wolverines lightly.
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PHOTO: Alma is off to an unbeaten start this winter, earning a victory last week over Essexville Garber. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)