By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
This week will see many of Michigan’s high school boys basketball teams cross the midpoint of their seasons, and things are starting to move quickly.
Most will finish Saturday at least 10 games into their schedules and with Districts beginning six weeks from tonight – which seems a long way off until you consider this season is already eight weeks old.
Expect to see District brackets added to the MHSAA Website this week and first-round games added to team schedules. Breslin Bound is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. 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 Catholic Central 69, Okemos 57 – The Shamrocks handed Okemos its first loss after a 10-0 start, and on the Chiefs’ home court, as they prepped for this week’s Detroit Catholic League Central clash with first-place Detroit U-D Jesuit.
2. Kalamazoo Central 46, Grand Blanc 43 – The Maroon Giants are just a two-point loss to Detroit Martin Luther King from undefeated and earned another impressive win in this one over the leader in the Saginaw Valley League Blue.
3. Hudsonville Unity Christian 63, Holland Christian 42 – Two-time reigning champ Unity Christian has the early upper hand in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green after handing rival Holland Christian its first loss of this winter.
4. Belleville 81, Westland John Glenn 78 (OT) – These two remain among four tied for first in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East after a matchup that saw Connor Bush score 26 for Belleville and Joe Moon IV score 44 for John Glenn to go over 1,000 for his career and break the school record for points in a game set in 1966.
5. Bellevue 57, Camden-Frontier 47 – Bellevue remains undefeated and atop the Southern Central Athletic Association West, while Camden-Frontier took its first loss this season but holds a slight lead in the SCAA East.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Mattawan (9-0) – The Wildcats have gone one better than their 8-0 start last season, and now will look to best their final 15-7 mark from a year ago. Mattawan leads the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West thanks to a 56-50 double-overtime win over second-place Stevensville Lakeshore on Friday. The Wildcats last season finished second in the SMAC East last season to Kalamazoo Central; those two meet in a nonleague game Feb. 5.
• Oxford (9-0) – These Wildcats have bested already last season’s final 8-14 record. And instead of tying for last in the Oakland Activities Association White like last season, they are tied for the lead in the OAA Blue. Oxford has won five straight games by double figures and takes on league co-leader Pontiac on Thursday.
• Bridgeport (8-0) – The Bearcats, Class B quarterfinalists a year ago, are pursuing their third straight Tri-Valley Conference East title and beat rival Frankenmuth 70-41 last week to kick off the league schedule. That big win followed up an impressive 82-69 victory over Detroit Renaissance at the Detroit Public School League Holiday Hoops Classic, and Bridgeport also owns a notable win over Detroit Henry Ford.
• Richmond (11-0) – Known most as a wrestling school perhaps, Richmond also boasts a boys basketball team that has won at least 16 games four straight seasons and is the reigning champ in the Blue Water Area Conference. This start has outdone any of the others from recent seasons, and the Blue Devils already own a one-game lead in the BWAC thanks to a 60-44 win over second-place Yale on Dec. 14.
• Clinton Township Clintondale (9-1) – A 12-point loss to league leader Madison Heights Madison on Dec. 18 is all that’s kept Clintondale from a perfect start and first place in the Macomb Area Conference Silver – and the Dragons get a second chance against Madison on Thursday. An opening win this season over Royal Oak Shrine is one of only two losses for the Knights and looking more and more like a good indication Clintondale will improve substantially on last year’s 12-10 finish.
• Quincy (9-0) – The two-time reigning league champ Orioles have charged into first place in the Big 8 Conference with wins against both second-place teams, Union City and Homer. Quincy finished 18-5 a year ago but lost to Homer in the District Final. The Orioles also have dealt nonleague foe Adrian Lenawee Christian one of its two defeats this winter.
• Bellevue (9-0) – The Broncos are a combined 54-4 over the last two-plus seasons and have won three straight league titles. As noted above, they lead the SCAA West and handed Camden-Frontier its first defeat last week; the Broncos then knocked Pittsford out of first in the SMAC East with a 10-point win Saturday. Circle Jan. 25, the first of two meetings between Bellevue and also-undefeated league rival Athens.
• Pellston (9-1) – The Hornets are tied for first in the Ski Valley Conference with Gaylord St. Mary, and will face the Snowbirds for the first time Wednesday after last week’s schedule meeting was postponed. Pellston’s defeat came by just two points to Division 3 Mancelona, and seven of its nine wins were by 30 or more points.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Macomb Dakota (8-1) at Roseville (9-1) – Coming off a big win over Sterling Heights Stevenson last week, MAC Red leader Dakota must continue the surge after beating Roseville 55-52 last month in their first meeting.
Thursday – Pontiac (11-0) at Oxford (9-0) – As noted above, these two are tied for first in the OAA Blue, and Pontiac obviously also has had a noteworthy start including an early victory over OAA Red leader Clarkston.
Friday – Detroit Cass Tech (7-3) at Detroit Martin Luther King (9-1) – The Technicians lead the PSL Midtown division by a win over King, with this their only meeting before a potential PSL Tournament rematch.
Friday – Okemos (10-1) at DeWitt (8-1) – Okemos can’t let the sting of last week’s first loss last long, as DeWitt is tied with the Chiefs for first in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue.
Saturday – Flint Beecher (9-0) vs. River Rouge (7-1) at Warren Fitzgerald – The most intriguing of a strong slate at the Horatio Williams Freedom Classic pits strong statewide contenders in Divisions 3 and 2, respectively.
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PHOTO: Although Clinton Township Chippewa Valley made the stop on this drive, Utica Eisenhower went on to a 44-33 win in the MAC Red last Tuesday. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)
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.