Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 8
February 3, 2015
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
A number of MHSAA boys basketball teams finished the first half of their league schedules last week.
A number of games set up which teams will chase over this final month of the regular season, as well as which will be chased with little to no room for error.
See some of those teams below that stuck out for how they stayed in or joined league races over the final week in January.
Battle Creek Central (7-6) – Opponents can’t sleep on the Bearcats despite their middling record; Battle Creek Central started 0-5 but has won five straight including two by five or fewer points last week. Central trails Kalamazoo Central by a win in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East and faces the Maroon Giants on Friday.
Dearborn Fordson (9-3) – A brief downturn of three losses in four games in mid-January is over thanks to wins over rivals Robichaud and Dearborn last weekend. The Tractors’ next games are against the teams ahead of them in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Blue standings – co-leaders Belleville and Romulus.
Novi (10-2) – Barring something unexpected, only Salem can still challenge Novi in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association Central. The Wildcats finished fifth in the league last season; a 77-65 win over Salem on Jan. 20 separates the two at this point.
Saginaw Arthur Hill (11-2) – Playing potentially its last season (the school reportedly may merge with Saginaw High), the Lumberjacks are taking advantage and haven’t lost in 2015. They own a one-game lead in the Saginaw Valley Association North thanks to an 88-66 win last week over second-place Saginaw.
Alma (9-2) – The Panthers took a tough Tri-Valley Conference crossover loss to West leader Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary on Friday, but opened last week by beating East co-leader Millington by 15 and then extended their Central advantage to two games with a win Saturday over Hemlock.
Dowagiac (10-1) – The Chieftains retained their grip on a share of first place in the Wolverine Conference West with a 68-66 win over third-place Edwardsburg last week. Dowagiac has won seven straight and gets its rematch Friday with Paw Paw, the other first-place team and the only one to beat Dowagiac this winter.
Haslett (10-1) – The Vikings have quietly set the pace in the Capital Area Activities Conference Red behind standout junior point guard Brandon Allen, and he’s gotten plenty of help during a six-game winning streak that last week included an overtime win over Class A Holt. The only loss was to second-place DeWitt, up again Feb. 13.
Marysville (9-2) – Marysville missed a league title by a win last season but has two more than the field in the Macomb Area Conference Silver after rolling through the first half of the league schedule undefeated. The Vikings needed three overtimes to beat Clawson 51-46 last week.
Carson City-Crystal (8-2) – The Eagles extended their recent winning streak to five with a 62-55 win over Vestaburg on Friday that pushed both teams and Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart into a tie for first place in the Mid-State Activities Conference. The second half of the league schedule starts this weekend.
Fennville (11-1) – A halfcourt shot make was the most memorable play of Friday’s 67-61 overtime win over Saugatuck that kept Fennville in first place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference North. The big shot sent it to the extra period as Fennville went on to win the “Never Forgotten” game played in honor of former standout Wes Leonard, who died on the court in 2011.
Manton (8-3) – The Rangers won 10 games last season and can equal that total in 2014-15 with two victories this week. Manton lost big to Highland Conference leader McBain three weeks ago, but maintains second place and gets McBain again Feb. 20.
Maple City Glen Lake (7-4) – The Lakers opened 3-4 but haven’t lost since to hold on to a share of first place in the Northwest Conference. Glen Lake owns that piece of the top spot after beating Frankfort – also tied for first – 45-44 on Jan. 13.
Alanson (8-2) – The Vikings have won six straight and sit alone in second in the Northern Lakes League after defeating third-place Mackinaw City 45-42 on Friday. Alanson fell to the Comets by 21 points on Jan. 6 and won nine games a year ago.
Felch North Dickinson (7-5) – The Nordics started 1-5 but are making their way back up the Skyline Central Conference East standings. North Dickinson sits in third but beat second-place Crystal Falls Forest Park 57-53 last week.
Lawrence (10-1) – The Tigers’ 8-player football MHSAA title kicked off a strong year for the school’s boys teams; the basketball team leads the Southwestern Athletic Conference South and has won seven straight.
Rudyard (10-3) – The Bulldogs are second to Class A Sault Ste. Marie in the Straits Area Conference and have won four straight including 75-65 over third-place St. Ignace on Friday. Rudyard gets its second shot at Sault Ste. Marie on Feb. 24 after losing by 10 in their first meeting Jan. 16.
PHOTO: Alma defeated Millington in a crossover matchup of Tri-Valley Conference leaders last week. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).
Second-Half Surge Sends Tri-unity Christian to 3rd-Straight Final
By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com
March 23, 2023
EAST LANSING — The Defenders will once again have a chance to do just that.
In what has become a usual rite of March during longtime head coach Mark Keeler’s 36-year tenure, the Wyoming Tri-unity Christian Defenders are once again headed for the Division 4 boys basketball championship game following a 54-37 win over Frankfort in a Semifinal on Thursday.
Making its third-straight appearance in a Final and 11th in school history, Tri-unity Christian will attempt to repeat as champion when it faces Munising in the 10 a.m. title game Saturday.
Junior Owen Rosendall scored 13 points and senior Roy Fogg added 11 on Thursday to lead Tri-unity Christian (22-6), which will go for its sixth Finals win.
“At the beginning of the year, we had some ups and downs in the season,” Rosendall said. “But we stuck to it and kept working.”
Tri-unity Christian got it done mainly by dominating the board, collecting a 41-22 rebounding advantage.
“I think our quickness on the boards outdid their size,” Keeler said. “I was really happy with how explosive we were on the boards.”
The discrepancy even surprised Frankfort head coach Dan Loney, who said rebounding has been a strength of his team all year.
“Going into the game, I would not have guessed they would have outrebounded us like that,” Loney said. “It’s one thing we’ve done well all year. I think honestly a lot of that came from their guard play. When their guards got to the rim (and) our bigs stepped over to help, their bigs were there to get their missed layups.”
Sophomore Carter Kerby led all scorers with 21 points to pace Frankfort (18-9).
“It was a fun season for sure. We look forward to the future,” Loney said.
Tri-unity Christian separated itself in the third quarter after Frankfort cut the lead to 29-26 with 4:40 to go in the period.
From there, Tri-unity Christian ended the third on an 11-1 run to take a 40-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We have a little more depth, and it helped,” Keeler said. “We were really trying to push the ball, and we were really trying to pressure them on defense. I think we wore them down a little bit.”
The Defenders continued to grow the lead in the fourth, taking a 48-32 advantage with 4:17 remaining after a 3-pointer by Rosendall and a basket by Akais Giplaye.
Tri-Unity Christian forced Frankfort into 12 turnovers and 38.9-percent shooting from the field while committing only six turnovers itself.
“We played great defense,” Keeler said. “That is what I was really happy about. We made them work for everything they had.”
Tri-unity Christian got off to a good start, taking a 16-8 lead after the first quarter before Frankfort settled in during the second.
Frankfort outscored Tri-unity Christian 13-9 in the second quarter to cut its deficit to 25-21 by halftime.
PHOTOS (Top) Tri-unity’s Jordan VanKlompenberg (3) puts up a shot over the outstretched arm of Frankfort’s Xander Sauer on Thursday. (Middle) Emmerson Farmer (0) gets a hand up high as Owen Rosendall puts up a jumper.