Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 7

January 27, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The winter may be half over, but dig a bit and you may still come up with a few surprise contenders this boys basketball season.

Sure, there are obvious favorites to watch over the next few months – see Clarkston among them below. But a few more key wins here and there, and some of the other teams we’ve noted this week should be in the hunt when March rolls around.

Class A

Ann Arbor Skyline (7-3) – The Eagles are chasing Ann Arbor Huron after falling to their rival by 20 on Dec. 20, but remain tied for second in the Southeastern Conference Red thanks in part to five straight wins including one over Ann Arbor Pioneer. The last two victories have been nonleague but arguably their most impressive – 79-76 over surging Belleville and 60-54 over Southeastern Conference White second-place Dexter in overtime Friday.

Clarkston (11-0) – The Wolves have surged with the increased competition this month, beating Oak Park 69-63 in overtime and Southfield 55-39 last week after a 24-point win over Detroit Pershing on Jan. 17. Only Oak Park has come within 15 points. A major matchup with North Farmington on Friday should give the winner a nice advantage in the Oakland Activities Association Red.

Redford Thurston (10-1) – These Eagles are only a six-point loss to undefeated Walled Lake Western from being perfect themselves, and lead the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Red after running past second-place Dearborn Heights Crestwood 69-57 on Friday.

Taylor Kennedy (7-2) – Kennedy finished second in the Downriver League a year ago to rival Truman, but enters this week tied for first with Allen Park and Southgate Anderson (and with the first of two matchups with Truman coming up Feb. 3). The Eagles have won five straight since falling by 10 to Detroit Community at Romulus’ holiday classic.

Class B

Allendale (6-3) – The Falcons took a tough 55-53 overtime loss last week to Hamilton, but remain in first place in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue after successive wins earlier this month over contenders Grand Rapids West Catholic and Coopersville. Allendale was third and .500 overall a season ago.

Battle Creek Harper Creek (9-1) – An upset loss last week to Parma Western aside, Harper Creek looks good to increase its win total for the third straight season and sits tied for first place in the first-year Interstate 8 Athletic Conference with Jackson Lumen Christi – which the Beavers beat by 10 on Jan. 13.  

Otsego (9-2) – Thanks to a mid-December loss to Plainwell, the Bulldogs are tied for first in the Wolverine Conference East and with Plainwell up again next week. But since that loss, Otsego is 6-1 and handed Class A Stevensville Lakeshore its only defeat this season.

Yale (11-0) – We’ve seen the Bulldogs for ourselves, and there are a few reasons they have 10 wins by double digits – notably the inside-outside combination of forward Josh McClelland and guard Cody Kegley. Up next are Blue Water Area Conference first-place (with one more win) Richmond and third-place Imlay City.

Class C

East Jordan (6-1) – Last week’s 60-53 overtime loss to Kalkaska was a misstep, with East Jordan otherwise off to a strong start. The Red Devils are tied with Boyne City and Elk Rapids atop the Lake Michigan Conference standings after finishing runners-up to Boyne last season.

Iron Mountain (9-0) – The toughest opponent comes tonight – Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference rival Negaunee, also undefeated in the league – but Iron Mountain should be ready to win close after two victories of four or fewer points over the last two weeks. The Mountaineers handed Negaunee their last league loss – in the regular season finale of 2010-11.

Quincy (8-0) – The Orioles’ drive for the Big 8 Conference championship has been steady with all eight wins this season by 10 or more points and the latest no doubt the sweetest to date. Quincy, after finishing second to Homer by a win last season, beat Homer 63-48 on Friday to remain tied atop the league standings with Concord.

Vestaburg (8-0) – The Wolverines won only 24 games total over the last four seasons and need just two more victories this winter to equal the 2013-14 total. They’re tied for first place in the Mid-State Activities Conference with tonight’s opponent, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.

Class D

Bellaire (7-2) – The Eagles’ aspirations for a fourth-straight league championship got a major boost with a 57-51 win over Class C and second-place Johannesburg-Lewiston last week. Third-place Onaway broke Bellaire’s 36-game conference winning streak earlier this season and host the Eagles next week in a Ski Valley Conference showdown.

Boyne Falls (8-0) – The Loggers last lost a league game Jan. 28, 2011, and sit atop the Northern Lakes Conference standings with a 41-point win over second-place Mackinaw City to their credit. They also own a 25-point win over Johannesburg-Lewiston.

Lake Linden-Hubbell (9-0) – The Lakes have won 26 straight league games and again lead the Copper County Conference after beating second-place Republic-Michigamme 66-31 on Monday. No opponent has come within 32 points.  

Waterford Our Lady (11-0) – The Lakers are shaping up as a Class D favorite, with the only single-digit wins this season against Class A Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Class B Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. The other nine wins have come by at least 12 points.

PHOTO: Clarkston remains undefeated in part thanks to a 78-54 win over Detroit Pershing on Jan. 17 at Warren Fitzgerald.  (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com). 
 

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Quarterfinal Preview

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

March 21, 2023

It finally feels like spring, at least here in East Lansing. And tonight, 32 teams will attempt to build into their spring breaks a trip to Breslin Center.

 

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Below is a glance at all 16 of tonight’s Quarterfinals across four divisions, with all games tipping off at 7 p.m. unless noted. Winners advance to Thursday and Friday’s Semifinals, and we’ll detail the teams more then as we preview those concluding rounds of this year’s tournament.

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Division 1

Ann Arbor Huron (23-2) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (25-1) at University of Detroit Mercy, 5:30 p.m.

After an early postseason exit last season, 2021 Division 1 runner-up Huron has put together another deep playoff run. Sophomore guard Macari Moore leads three players averaging double-digit scoring at 17 points per game. After winning its first Regional title last season since 1998, Cass Tech is back at the Quarterfinals for a second straight March. Darius Acuff is another super sophomore, also leading three double-digit scorers at 21.6 ppg to go with 5.8 assists per contest.

Grand Blanc (24-2) vs. Rochester Adams (17-8) at Lake Orion

Last season’s runner-up is two wins away from playing for another title, but this time the Bobcats are led by first-year coach Tory Jackson. Seniors Tae Boyd (15.4 ppg) and RJ Taylor (14.3) are a strong 1-2 punch. Adams is coming off its first Regional title in this sport, with junior 6-foot-7 football standout Brady Prieskorn among top contributors for a Highlanders hoops team that has won seven of its last nine games.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (14-10) vs. Warren De La Salle (17-8) at University of Detroit Mercy

These Detroit Catholic League Central rivals will meet for the third time, with St. Mary’s winning the first matchup by 17 on Jan. 10 and the reigning Division 1 champion Pilots taking the rematch by 12 on Jan. 31. Sophomore Trey McKenney is a force at 25.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for the Eaglets, while Phoenix Glassnor is another sophomore standout leading De La Salle at 18.4 ppg.

Muskegon (24-2) vs. East Lansing (16-9) at Caledonia

East Lansing has won six straight and 12 of its last 14 games, with three of those wins over opponents responsible for four of their losses this winter. Only one starter is a senior, and sophomore Cameron Hutson leads the way at 19.3 ppg. Muskegon is in the midst of a ninth 20-win season over the last decade and earned its first Regional title since 2015. Senior Jordan Briggs (18.7 ppg) has qualified for the MHSAA single-season record list with 84 3-pointers, connecting on nearly 40 percent of his tries from beyond the arc.

Division 2

Cadillac (22-4) vs. Saginaw (20-6) at Alma

The Trojans are seeking their first Semifinal appearance since 2013 and have lost only to Division 1 opponents this season, with guard Javarie Holliday leading a mostly senior-powered lineup at 15.8 ppg. Cadillac also won its Regional last season and is seeking to return to the Semifinals for the first time since 2015, with 6-6 junior Charlie Howell the leading scorer (15.3 ppg) and rebounder (7.4 rpg).

Ferndale (18-8) vs. Goodrich (22-4) at Lake Orion, 5:30 p.m.

The Eagles are working to reach Breslin and the Semifinals for a third-straight season and have won 13 of their last 14 games while navigating a power-packed schedule again this winter. Senior Chris Williams leads a balanced lineup at 13.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Goodrich is a combined 93-20 over the last five seasons and playing to make the Semifinals for the first time with senior Jack Locey (18.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.0 spg, 45 3-pointers) among those filling the stat sheet.

Hudsonville Unity Christian (18-9) vs. Grand Rapids South Christian (23-3) at Calvin University

These rivals will be filling Calvin for a rematch after South Christian won the regular-season meeting 58-50 on Dec. 16. The bad news for the Sailors is they lost leading scorer Carson Vis (17.7 ppg) to injury in the Regional Final, but senior Jacob DeHaan (13 ppg) leads three others averaging at least 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Unity has won 11 of its last 12 games, with two-point upsets of Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Grand Rapids Christian along the way. Juniors Trayton Fisher and Colin Neiuwenhuis both average about 11.5 points per game and have combined for 97 3-pointers.

Chelsea (21-5) vs. Romulus Summit Academy (24-2) at Milan

These are two more teams looking to reach the Semifinals for the first time, Summit having played in a Quarterfinal as recently as 2021 and Chelsea’s last trip to the season’s final week in 2000. Juniors Jacob Stephens (22.7 ppg) and Joseph Cabana (22.2) set a strong pace for the Bulldogs. The Dragons have doubled up all four of their postseason opponents so far and done the same in 16 wins total this winter.

Tri-unity Christian’s Roy Fogg pulls in a loose ball during his team’s Regional championship victory over Lansing Christian.

Division 3

Detroit Loyola (25-1) vs. Flint Beecher (21-4) at Waterford Mott

A 67-58 loss to Division 1 Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 29 remains the only defeat on Loyola’s list this winter. All five starters are seniors, with Dashawn Martin (15.1 ppg) leading three averaging double-figure scoring. Beecher’s losses were to Division 1 and 2 opponents, including three playing tonight. Robert Lee leads a senior-dominated lineup at 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game as the Bucs attempt to make the Semifinals for a third-straight season.

Laingsburg (25-0) vs. Ecorse (19-4) at Ypsilanti Lincoln

The Wolfpack’s closest game this season was seven points, its Regional Semifinal win against Jonesville, as it attempts to reach Breslin for the first time since 2013. Junior Zander Woodruff is averaging more than a point per minute of playing time, leading at 24.4 ppg. Ecorse is seeking a return trip to the Semifinals and has won 17 of its last 18 games. Senior guard Malik Olafioye also is putting the finishing touches on a high-scoring career.

St. Ignace (22-4) vs. Traverse City St. Francis (22-4) at Gaylord

St. Ignace is playing in its first Quarterfinal since 2001, seeking to reach the Semifinals for the first time since 1983. Junior Jonny Ingalls (22.4 ppg) leads three Saints averaging at least 13, plus he’s dishing 5.4 assists per game. St. Francis has won 11 of its last 12 games with that lone loss to Cadillac (see above) in overtime in the regular-season finale. Senior Wyatt Nausadis has paced the scoring at 20.1 ppg after quarterbacking the football team to a Division 7 runner-up finish in the fall.

Pewamo-Westphalia (19-6) vs. Niles Brandywine (24-2) at Portage Central

Brandywine has reached the final week for the first time with its first Regional title, and its only losses this season remain against Division 2 Benton Harbor. Junior Jaremiah Palmer leads a lineup with four players averaging at least 9.7 ppg at 12.9 per game. P-W is making its second-straight Quarterfinal appearance after edging North Muskegon by three and then Grandville Calvin Christian by two last week. Senior Jamison Eklund is averaging 22.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

Division 4

Painesdale Jeffers (25-1) vs. Munising (24-1) at Negaunee

The Upper Peninsula is guaranteed to send a one-loss team downstate to the Division 4 Semifinals, and for both programs it would be a first-time trip. Jeffers is playing its first Quarterfinal, and Munising its first since 1954. Junior Levi Frahm leads four Jets scoring in double digits at 20.5 ppg, while senior Kane Nebel is surrounded by a similar balanced attack and leads four double-digit scorers at 15.8 ppg.

Taylor Trillium Academy (21-3) vs. Marine City Cardinal Mooney (15-11) at West Bloomfield

Trillium is another first-time Regional champion, taking this step after falling just a four-point loss shy of reaching the Quarterfinals a year ago. Senior DaMaryon Fishburn is averaging 22.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for the Wildcats, and junior Keymarryon Fishburn adds 15.3 ppg. Cardinal Mooney has won seven of its last nine games to reach the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2016 and after falling in Regional Finals the last two seasons – avenging the 2022 loss to Genesee Christian to advance. Senior Trent Rice leads three double-digit scorers at 12.9 ppg.

Frankfort (17-8) vs. Hillman (22-4) at Gaylord, 5 p.m.

Frankfort is another team on a nice streak with eight wins over its last nine games including 50-44 over 2022 semifinalist Lake Leelanau St. Mary in last week’s Regional Final. Senior Emmerson Farmer and sophomore Carter Kerby supply the backcourt with between 10-11 ppg apiece. This will be Hillman’s fourth Quarterfinal over the last nine seasons as the Tigers seek their first Semifinal trip. Trenton Taratuta is a big-time scorer averaging 27.4 ppg with 60 3-pointers but also 9.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 5.2 steals per game.

Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (20-6) vs. Kalamazoo Phoenix (17-2) at Richland Gull Lake

This is a familiar spot for Tri-unity Christian, the reigning Division 4 champion. All five starters average between 6-13 ppg and four have high games of at least 20 points this season; senior Roy Fogg tops both lists at 13 ppg and 25, respectively. This is new territory for Phoenix, which won one game just two seasons ago but has won 10 in a row heading into this week. Senior Cameron Lewis-Atkins (19.9 ppg) leads five players averaging 11 or more points per game. Phoenix avenged one of its losses, to Eau Claire, in the Regional Semifinal.

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PHOTOS (Top) A fan holds up a sign supporting Painesdale Jeffers between the third and fourth quarters of last week’s Regional Final win over Stephenson. (Middle) Tri-unity Christian’s Roy Fogg pulls in a loose ball during his team’s Regional championship victory over Lansing Christian. (Top photo by Cara Kamps; middle photo by High School Sports Scene.)