By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Being successful in the MHSAA Tournament can be all about playing well at the right time.
Some of the records for teams on this week's list of high performers aren't too pretty. But if these teams can keep up their strong play the rest of this month, postseason foes better beware.
Results and overall records below again are drawn from our MHSAA Score Center. The Breslin Bound report will not be published next week but will return Feb. 18
1. Saginaw Valley Lutheran (10-4) – The Class C Chargers beat two strong B teams, Bridgeport and Saginaw Swan Valley, in Tri-Valley Conference crossovers last week; Valley Lutheran had lost to Bridgeport by 24 on opening night.
2. Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (12-1) – The Crusaders have won 11 straight to take control in the Macomb Area Conference Red and last week finished a sweep of Macomb Dakota.
3. Battle Creek Central (11-2) – The Bearcats' two losses came over a four-game span to Richland Gull Lake and Holt; they avenged the first by beating Gull Lake 50-45 on Friday.
4. Covert (9-2) – The Bulldogs weren't their usually-powerful selves in finishing 11-13 last season, but they've won five straight and could soon eclipse last year’s win total.
5. East Jackson (9-4) – The Trojans have bounced back from three straight losses with four straight wins, including victories over solid Napoleon and Vandercook Lake.
6. Cass City (9-4) – The Red Hawks need one more win to tie last season’s total and are second in the Greater Thumb Conference West; they got one win closer to first by beating league leader Reese 52-47 last week.
7. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (6-7) – Don’t forget about the Eaglets despite their sub-.500 record; St. Mary’s has won four of its last five and beat Detroit Catholic League Central leader Detroit U-D Jesuit 77-72 last week.
8. Powers North Central (9-2) – The Jets have won five straight and beat Carney-Nadeau 52-49 last week to avenge their first loss of this season.
9. Williamston (7-6) – The Hornets have been up and down, starting 0-3, and now winning three straight for a second time. This streak includes a victory over impressive Class A DeWitt last week.
10. Paw Paw (8-5) – The Redskins have won four straight and five of their last six, and during this streak avenged an opening-night loss to Vicksburg with a 17-point victory.
PHOTO: Class C Saginaw Valley Lutheran got two wins over Class B teams during last week's league crossovers. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.
Below is this week's segment – Over the Back - Listen
Did you know there is no such thing as “over the back” in basketball? If two players are going for a rebound and the player behind another player is able to grab it over the top of the player in front – that’s not necessarily a foul. He or she did not go over the back.
The player behind another player may have committed a foul such as bumping the player in front, or pushing that player – gaining an advantage to grab the rebound – but that would be whistled for a push or grab. Not over the back.
A taller player or player who can jump higher grabbing a rebound is not a foul. It’s only a foul if they create an advantage by pushing, bumping, or any other kind of illegal contact while in the process of going for a rebound. Fans yell over the back all the time, but an official will never call a foul for going over the back.
Jan. 24: Competitive Cheer Judges - Listen
Jan. 17: More Lines - Listen
Jan. 10: On the Line - Listen
Jan. 3: Basketball Measurements - Listen
Dec. 13: Pregame Dunks - Listen
Dec. 6: Gymnastics Judges - Listen
Nov. 22: Football Finals Replay - Listen
Nov. 15: Back Row Illegal Blocker - Listen
Nov. 8: Swim Turn Judges - Listen
Nov. 1: Soccer Referee Jersey Colors - Listen
Oct. 25: Cross Country Tie-Breaker - Listen
Oct. 18: Soccer Shootouts - Listen
Oct. 11: Safety in End Zone - Listen
Oct. 4: Football Overtime Penalty - Listen
Sept. 27: Kickoff Goal - Listen
Sept. 20: Soccer Timing - Listen
Sept. 13: Volleyball Replays - Listen
Sept. 6: Switching Sides - Listen
Aug. 30: Play Clock - Listen
Aug. 23: Intentional Grounding Change - Listen