By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
If you’re a regular reader to our “Breslin Bound: Girls Report” as well, what follows will sound pretty familiar – but remains extremely important.
Teams earning the top spots will do so based on success and strength of schedule, and it’s imperative for MHSAA.com to list all games played and correct scores for each. Know a score we don’t or realize a game is missing that should be added? Send corrections or missing scores to [email protected]. Every result affects multiples of others, and we thank you for your help in advance.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Benton Harbor 64, Grand Rapids Catholic Central 51 – Another Saturday showcase, another huge win for the Tigers, who followed up their previous Saturday victory over Ypsilanti Lincoln with this one against a possible postseason foe.
2. Frankenmuth 43, Bridgeport 38 – The Eagles avenged a 26-point defeat from Dec. 20 to hand the Bearcats their first of the season.
3. Grand Blanc 54, Muskegon 51 – The Bobcats dealt the Big Reds only their second loss this season and first to an in-state opponent.
4. Kalamazoo Central 66, Portage Central 44 – The Maroon Giants handed Central its first and only defeat this winter.
5. Beaverton 49, Sanford Meridian 45 – The Beavers moved into first place alone in the Jack Pine Conference by finishing a sweep of second-place Meridian.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Grand Blanc (12-3) The Bobcats have clinched a share of the Saginaw Valley League Blue title and posted one of the most impressive runs in the state against a slate of opponents that has won just a tick under 70 percent of its games this winter – giving Grand Blanc the second-highest strength of schedule in Division 1. They started this week by finishing a sweep of Flint Carman-Ainsworth (10-5) to clinch that league title and also have wins over Muskegon (11-2), Kalamazoo Central (10-3), U-D Jesuit (9-6) and Detroit Douglass (14-3).
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (13-1) The Eaglets have clinched the Detroit Catholic League Central title, and that’s just the start of the story. They also have handed the only losses to Clarkston and Hudsonville, and one of few to Grand Blanc with the only defeat against Division 3 contender Flint Beecher. The league title is St. Mary’s first in more than a decade and comes against a group that includes 2019 Division 1 runner-up Detroit U-D Jesuit among three nine-win teams that also were in the chase.
Benton Harbor (14-1) As noted above, Benton Harbor put up another big win at the Floyd Mayweather Classic on Saturday to go others over Ypsilanti Lincoln, Kalamazoo Central and Battle Creek Pennfield. Add in a loss to Beecher, and the Tigers’ strength of schedule ranks 10th in Division 2 – and they are one of only four teams in that top 10 with a winning record. And Benton Harbor isn’t done prepping for what should be another long tourney run, with River Rouge (15-1), Niles Brandywine (11-1) and Wyoming (12-1) rounding out the regular-season schedule.
Grand Rapids Christian (13-0) The Eagles are one of three undefeated teams left in Division 2. They handed Grand Rapids Catholic Central its first loss on Dec. 17 and also gave the only defeat to Wyoming. Grand Rapids Christian has survived its share of close games – two by two points apiece and two more by seven or fewer – but that’s pretty impressive too. They lead an Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold that also includes Wyoming (12-1) and East Grand Rapids (10-4).
Flint Beecher (13-1) The Bucs are unbeaten since falling to Division 2 Ferndale in their season opener, and they’ve loaded up the nonleague portion of their resume with wins over Benton Harbor, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (both mentioned above) and Flint Carman-Ainsworth, with a matchup with Grand Blanc coming up. For any other team, it would be impressive alone that Beecher leads a Genesee Area Conference with two other teams at 11-3. But the Bucs have won five MHSAA Finals titles over the last eight seasons and will be in the statewide mix again.
Niles Brandywine (11-1) The Bobcats took over the top spot this week in Division 3 MPR thanks in part to a schedule against opponents that have won nearly 63 percent of their games. Of course it helps a ton that Brandywine is 11-1 against those teams. The Bobcats lead the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference Red by a game despite losing their first meeting with second-place Parchment in overtime Jan. 24. They meet again Feb. 28, and a March 3 matchup with Benton Harbor will be a great test heading into the postseason.
Kingston (14-0) The Cardinals appear to be closing in on the North Central Thumb League Stars championship and haven’t had a game closer than 11 points since Jan. 10 against Dryden – which happens to be tonight’s opponent and lost by just a point in their first meeting. Kingston shared the league title and won its District last season and could be poised to achieve that and more carrying the top Division 4 MPR into this week.
Southfield Christian (11-3) The reigning Division 4 champion has wrapped up at least a share of a ninth-straight league title despite having three games left to play in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference Blue. They’ll be seeking a third-straight Finals championship carrying into the postseason a win over Division 3 contender Detroit Edison and good playoff-preparation losses to Division 1 West Bloomfield, Southfield Arts & Technology and Detroit Catholic Central.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Detroit Martin Luther King (13-3) vs. Detroit Douglass (14-3) at Cass Tech – This Detroit Public School League Tournament semifinal matches up the champion and runner-up, respectively, from the PSL East.
Tuesday – Detroit Communication Media Arts (12-3) at Detroit Cass Tech (15-1) – Similarly, the other PSL Tournament semifinal features the runner-up vs. the champ, respectively, in the West.
Tuesday – Detroit Edison (9-3) at Clarkston (12-1) – Both have championship aspirations, Edison as mentioned above in Division 3 and the Wolves in Division 1.
Thursday – Belleville (11-2) at Westland John Glenn (10-4) – Belleville holds a one-game lead in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East thanks to a 58-50 win over John Glenn on Jan. 21.
Thursday – Escanaba (10-5) at Marquette (12-3) – This could decide the Greater Northern Conference championship outright, as the teams are tied for first with two league games to play and Marquette won the first meeting 63-56 on Jan. 7.
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PHOTO: Marquette's Thomas Albarello drives to the basket while being defended by Ishpeming's Jacob Kugler during their game last month. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)
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.