Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 7

January 22, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Last week was unkind to many who had enjoyed perfect runs through most of the first half of this boys basketball season.

We started last Monday with 34 unbeaten teams – and ended with only 22, as five of 10 in Class D and three of seven in Class A were among those to suffer first defeats.

Of course, the best teams rarely make it through an entire season unscathed – and often that’s a good thing. Five of eight teams on this week’s “Watch List” below have lost at least once and a couple have three defeats – but are still making major impressions as we roll along toward March.

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 [email protected].

Week in Review

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

1. Detroit Renaissance 60, Detroit Cass Tech 57 – More on Renaissance’s surge below, but this one announced it as Cass Tech had been in the talk as the best in Class A.

2. Kalamazoo Central 55, Mattawan 47 – The Maroon Giants are quietly off to another strong first half, sitting alone in first in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East after handing Mattawan its first loss of the season.

3. Maple City Glen Lake 54, Frankfort 45 – The Lakers had quite a week, handing Frankfort its first loss to move into a three-way tie atop the Northwest Conference before defeating Lake Michigan Conference leader Traverse City St. Francis two days later.

4. Rochester 71, Berkley 55 – Rochester moved into first place alone in the Oakland Activities Association Blue while handing Berkley its first loss overall.

5. Buckley 62, Manton 60 – These teams went a combined 47-6 last season in both making it to the Breslin Center; they are a combined 13-6 with high aspirations again this winter.

Watch List

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


Detroit Renaissance (8-3) – The Phoenix finished 6-14 only a season ago, but the rise has been sharp and impressive over the last two months. Right after downing Cass Tech last week, Renaissance also defeated Class B contender Detroit Henry Ford – which beat the Phoenix by three Dec. 19. The three loses this season are by a combined nine points; Renaissance fell early by four to Flint Carman-Ainsworth and then by a basket to Ann Arbor Huron in overtime (those two are 15-3 combined).

Okemos (7-3) – Last week’s 60-55 win over East Lansing requires context; Trojans all-stater Brandon Johns was unable to play, reportedly resting a lingering knee injury. Regardless, the victory pushed the Chiefs into a first-place tie with Grand Ledge in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue after Okemos finished fourth and 12-9 overall last season. The only losses this winter were to the Comets, DeWitt and Troy Athens (24-6 combined) in December; the Chiefs are 4-0 in 2018.


Coloma (9-0) – A 54-49 overtime win over nonleague foe Kalamazoo Hackett on Saturday didn’t enhance Coloma’s standing atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference Lakeshore, but did further the Comets’ standing as a team to watch statewide (Hackett fell to 9-2). Coloma improved from five wins two seasons ago to 13 and second in the Lakeshore last winter, and it has a one-game lead on Fennville heading into their second meeting this season Friday. The Comets won the first 71-64 on Dec. 8.

Fremont (7-2) – After two seasons winning only six games apiece, Fremont improved to 13-8 last winter and has continued to climb. The Packers have won five straight to rise to first place in the Central State Activities Association Gold despite suffering a loss to third-place Reed City during a 2-2 start. They are perfect this month and started the run with a 54-49 win over second-place Big Rapids.


Capac (9-0) – The Chiefs have nearly guaranteed their first winning season since 2010-11, and are set up to play for more. Coming off an 8-13 finish a year ago, Capac finds itself tied for first in the Blue Water Area Conference with Richmond, and they’ll meet for the first time next week. The Chiefs handed former co-leader Almont its first league loss Friday, 41-35, and have won six games by double digits.

Ottawa Lake Whiteford (7-2) – The Bobcats’ Division 8 championship football success seems to be following into the winter, as they moved into first place alone in the Tri-County Conference with a 63-42 win over Sand Creek on Thursday. Next up is second-place Petersburg-Summerfield, and a victory would be coach John Rice’s 500th. Whiteford’s only losses this winter are to Class A Temperance Bedford and also much larger Toledo Waite.


Ashley (9-1) – The Bears have run off nine straight victories to move into first place in the Mid-State Activities Conference with a matchup against second-place Carson City-Crystal coming up this week. Ashley won nine games total a year ago – and had 19 victories over the last five seasons combined entering this winter. The lone loss was by only three to Portland St. Patrick in its opener.

Bellevue (8-0) – Last season’s 23-2 run – an improvement of five wins from the solid season before – might have been just another step as the Broncos are surging again. The most impressive win may have come Thursday, 45-39 over Camden-Frontier which sent the Redskins to 9-3. The Broncos also beat Class C Carson City-Crystal and Lakeview to win the Central Montcalm Holiday Hoops Tournament, and have a two-win lead in the Southern Central Athletic Association West.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Grand Rapids Christian (6-2) at East Grand Rapids (9-1) – These two sit together at the top of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold after Christian was first and EGR only fifth last season.

Tuesday – Warren DeLaSalle (7-2) at Detroit U-D Jesuit (8-2) – This will be the first of two meetings (at least) between the current co-leaders of the Detroit Catholic League Central.

Tuesday – Grandville Calvin Christian (7-1) at Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (10-2) – Both should be in the Class C statewide mix again after Covenant was runner-up last season and Calvin was runner-up in 2016.

Tuesday – Coloma (9-0) at Kalamazoo Christian (9-0) – The leaders of the SAC Lakeshore and Valley, respectively, have made similar big moves in their divisions with a similar opportunity to gain a little more statewide acclaim.

Thursday West Bloomfield (5-4) at Clarkston (10-1) – The overall records don’t look close, but West Bloomfield trails the Wolves by just a win in the OAA Red after both made the Class A semifinals last season (and Clarkston won it all).

PHOTO: Ottawa Lake Whiteford coach John Rice provides some pointers for his 7-2 Bobcats. (Photo by Cari Hayes.)

Harbor Light Building on Rock-Solid Foundation in Bringing Success to New Home

By Tom Spencer
Special for

March 1, 2024

A review of Harbor Light Christian’s boys basketball rosters over the last couple of decades would show a lot of familiar names.

Northern Lower PeninsulaThat would be especially true of the coaching slots.

Or are the players now coaches?

The coaches’ names are extremely familiar, and nothing much has changed – except some of the former players are now coaches, and the head coaches have returned to assist the program.

Today, the head coach is Jason Roussin. He’s in his 12th season at the helm of the Swordsmen. Jeff Jakeway, who was the head coach during Roussin’s junior and senior seasons at Harbor Light, is back on the Swordsmen’s staff as an assistant coach. Roussin is also assisted by long-time coach William Henagan and previous head coach Clark Hewitt.

Hewitt also serves as the Harbor Light junior varsity coach. The JV squad went 19-1 this season and 18-2 the year before.

“In 38 years, really there’s been three consistent coaches and then Pat Collins who had done one year when the program started, and now we’re all back on the sidelines working together,” Roussin said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

The facilities Collins, Hewitt and Jakeway coached in are nothing like the Swordsmen have today – the newly-built Solid Rock Center in Harbor Springs. In fact, they used to play on a cement floor. A year ago, the Swordsmen played their first game in their new home.  

A walk around the facility, five years in the making, provides the feeling of more like a small college program’s setup. Along with the new gym, the Solid Rock Center was equipped with a cafe and concession area, locker rooms, a film lounge and hangout area for the players, an upper-level full track around the gym, and three classrooms for art, music, science and more.

Jakeway served as project manager on the building — fully funded and debt-free through community support. He was the head coach of the Harbor Light girls basketball team when the facility opened.

David Chamberlin (22) elevates over a Pellston defender as the Swordsmen work toward a 75-20 victory Jan. 19.Harbor Light’s boys suffered a 76-74 loss to hot-shooting Pellston in the facility’s first game Jan. 20, 2023, but haven’t been doing much losing since. The Swordsmen started this season 2-2, and after a heart-breaking loss to Traverse City Christian on Dec. 8 went on to share the Northern Lights Conference title with Alanson and have built that record to 20-4 heading into tonight’s District Final against St. Ignace.

The title game will be played at the Solid Rock Center. Another Jakeway, Jeff Jakeway’s son and freshman point guard Landon, will be getting his second chance to lead the Swordsmen to a District championship. He was the point guard as a seventh grader when Harbor Light won the District title two years ago. (Small schools like Harbor Light may request, for most sports, an MHSAA Executive Committee waiver to play eighth-grade students if the school’s enrollment is less than 125 and seventh-graders if the enrollment is less than 75. Harbor Light’s enrollment count for this school year is 61.)

Landon Jakeway is the team’s leading scorer, contributing 15 points per game. He scored 25 to lead the Swordsmen to a 67-31 win over Mackinaw City in Wednesday’s District Semifinal. That was Harbor Light’s third win this season over its league rival, allowing the Swordsmen to keep the Mack Light Ball, which goes to the winning team’s school after each victory in the rivalry. Wins over Mackinaw have been hard to come by in previous seasons.

David Chamberlin, at 13 points per game, and Corin Palus, scoring nine per contest, are the other leading scorers. Jakeway adds seven assists and four steals per game. Chamberlin kicks in seven rebounds per game, and Jackson Mesner and Kirk Rose contribute eight and five rebounds, respectively. 

Chamberlin, Paulis, Mesner and Rose are all seniors.

“The team goal was really to ‘put the team before me’ mentality,” Roussin said. “We were going to work as a team, be loyal, be committed to one another and battle together.”

The Swordsmen also entered the season with their eyes on the Mack Light Ball, a conference championship and a long postseason run.

“We wanted to chase the conference and to battle for a District,” Roussin noted. “Obviously, we knew St. Ignace is in there and they are the favorite team.”

Senior leadership has been one of the keys to Harbor Light’s finishing atop the conference for the first time in more than a decade.

“We want to show up and play the best basketball you can to make your team the best they can,” Roussin said. “That’s what has been awesome with the leadership we’ve had on this team.

“Through all the guys is ‘it is not about me,’” Roussin continued. “It is about ‘what can I do to make the team better?’”

St. Ignace brings a 16-6 record into the Solid Rock Center. The Saints will have a chance to view some NBA history in addition to playing the final.

Above the main gym resides a mini court containing the Detroit Pistons floor from the Pontiac Silverdome. Before moving to The Palace of Auburn Hills, and most recently Little Caesars Arena, the Pistons played at the Silverdome from 1978-88.

Jeff Jakeway was able to get the court to Northern Michigan through connections in Novi.

Tom SpencerTom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Harbor Light’s Vaughn Henagan (23) gets to the basket during a 59-39 win over Kinross Maplewood Baptist on Dec. 21. (Middle) David Chamberlin (22) elevates over a Pellston defender as the Swordsmen work toward a 75-20 victory Jan. 19. (Photos by Billy Mac Photos.)