By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
To say some of last week’s boys basketball results shook things up around the state might be an understatement.
Contenders in all four classes took defeats as others looked to fill their spots among the elite. Those that made our just-miss list this week included impressive upsets – like East Kentwood over Grand Haven and Ravenna over Whitehall – and the titanic Bridgeport win over Saginaw Swan Valley. But take a look at the games we did note, and more, as we move within four weeks of the start of this season’s MHSAA Tournament.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Clarkston 70, Hazel Park 39 – The reigning Class A champion Wolves are still the team to beat after handing Hazel Park its first loss of the season.
2. Holland West Ottawa 45, Flint Carman-Ainsworth 27 – The most intriguing matchup of the Redhawks Showcase at Grand Rapids Union saw Ottawa-Kent Conference Red leader West Ottawa down the first place team in the Saginaw Valley League.
3. Hazel Park 77, Benton Harbor 70 – Hazel Park rebounded quickly from the Clarkston loss with two wins, including dealing this first defeat to Class B contender Benton Harbor also at Grand Rapids Union.
4. Detroit Henry Ford 76, Detroit Cass Tech 73 (OT) – A Cass Tech win would’ve led to a shared Detroit Public School League West Division 1 championship; instead, Ford finished first alone.
5. Flint Hamady 77, Flint Beecher 71 – The Hawks avenged a one-point loss to their rival from Dec. 19 and now sit with Beecher as the only Genesee Area Conference Red teams with only one league defeat.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (11-2) – The Rangers opened the season with back-to-back losses on consecutive days by a combined three points. Since, they’ve been nearly unstoppable, with Friday’s 54-45 win over East Grand Rapids (9-4) the most recent of solid outings. Forest Hills Central finished perfect over the first half of the O-K White schedule and also earned impressive late December wins over Wyoming Godwin Heights (13-1) and Spring Lake (11-3).
Petoskey (12-1) – The Northmen took a two-game lead in the Big North Conference with a buzzer-beating 51-49 win over Traverse City West on Friday. The only loss was to host Grand Haven at the Buccaneers’ Invitational in late December. With size and experience, Petoskey will be dangerous emerging from the north during tournament time.
Parchment (9-3) – The Panthers can clinch a share of the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference Red championship with a win over fifth-place Comstock on Friday after surviving back-to-back scares against league foes. They’ll take it after finishing 4-17 overall and sixth in the league only a season ago.
Parma Western (10-3) – The Panthers are back on top of the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference after sharing the championship with Marshall a year ago. Last week’s loss to Mason was the team’s first since Dec. 15 – but Western then closed the week Friday by avenging that first defeat with a 51-43 win over league foe Coldwater.
Bath (7-5) – The Bees’ overall record isn’t that impressive, but they’ve won six straight with victories over Pewamo-Westphalia and Fowler over the last two weeks to stir up the Central Michigan Athletic Conference standings. The last loss before the streak came against league leader Laingsburg, which has to be more cautious heading into the rematch Wednesday.
Madison Heights Madison (10-3) – The Eagles clinched the Macomb Area Conference Bronze title last week and added to a seven-game winning streak. Madison should be plenty prepared for Class C teams when the tournament begins coming out of a regular-season schedule featuring mostly bigger teams. The three losses were by a combined six points to Royal Oak Shrine, Class A Berkley and Class B Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.
Dollar Bay (11-0) – For good reason, undefeated Ewen-Trout Creek has gotten the majority of Upper Peninsula hoops attention this winter. But Dollar Bay shouldn’t be sneaking up on anyone and has a chance to snag some of the spotlight playing the Panthers on Wednesday. Dollar Bay leads the Copper Country division of the Copper Mountain Conference.
Mio (9-3) – The Thunderbolts trail undefeated Hillman and Oscoda in a strong North Star League Big Dipper division that has five teams with at least eight wins. They added to the league’s reputation with a 59-51 defeat last week of Ski Valley Conference leader Johannesburg-Lewiston, which is in Class C. Mio hosts Hillman on Tuesday.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Wayne Memorial (11-3) at Canton (14-0) – Among the most impressive wins of Canton’s perfect start was a 27-pointer over Wayne, which sits second behind the Chiefs in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association Black.
Tuesday – Ewen-Trout Creek (14-0) at Dollar Bay (11-0) – As noted above, this matches two of the most intriguing teams in all of the Upper Peninsula, with the Panthers also a Copper Mountain Conference leader in the Porcupine Mountain division.
Wednesday – Rapid River (9-1) at Powers North Central (9-3) – Not only is North Central chasing only leader Rapid River in the Skyline Central Conference small-schools division, but Rapid River on Dec. 7 ended the Jets’ 84-game winning streak.
Friday – Buckley (9-3) at Maple City Glen Lake (12-1) – Glen Lake holds a narrow lead in the Northwest Conference with one more league game played and won, but Buckley won the first meeting Jan. 9 by 14 points.
Saturday – Muskegon (10-3) at Ypsilanti Community (10-1) – The leader in the O-K Black and the co-leader in the Southeastern Conference White, respectively, should be among Class A teams to watch at tournament time.
PHOTO: Muskegon, here against Muskegon Mona Shores in a 63-49 win on Jan. 26, takes on Ypsilanti Community in one of this week’s most intriguing matchups. (Photo by Tim Reilly.)
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.