Frankfort 'Factory' Producing Contenders

December 9, 2015

By Dennis Chase
Special for Second Half

FRANKFORT – Tim Reznich and Reggie Manville are fly fishing and coaching buddies.

They share and enjoy mutual interests, especially when it comes to running Frankfort's two successful basketball programs.

Reznich, now in his 14th season, has guided the girls to nine District, four Regional and two MHSAA Class D titles.

Manville, beginning his fifth season, has led the boys to four District and three Regional championships in a row, with a Semifinal appearance in 2014. Before Manville's arrival, the Panthers had gone 11 years without a District crown, nearly 40 without a Regional title and almost 50 without a Semifinal berth.

"Our expectations are high (in both programs)," Manville said. "We've set that bar, and now it's a situation where people expect us to be there. It's a product of past success. Last year our girls and boys were a combined 45-5. That's an unbelievable record when you stop and think about it.

"One of the programs I tried to emulate when I took over was the girls program," Manville added. "They had been there (to the big stage) before; the boys hadn't. I wanted to get us to the point where we were at the same elite level. When I say elite, I mean that you're usually winning a Regional because then you've got a shot at winning a state title. That's where both programs are right now. I joke around with Tim. Being from Flint, a factory town, I like to say this is our Frankfort basketball factory. We've got two shifts going 24/7."

The girls made a serious run at a third MHSAA crown last March, losing to eventual champion St. Ignace in the Semifinals. The Panthers led by 13 in the first half. Then Margo Brown hit seven 3-pointers to fuel the Saints’ comeback.

"They were deep 3s, 23-footers coming off screens," Reznich said. "It was something."

The boys reached the Quarterfinals before falling in overtime to Fulton.

Optimism is high as the teams embark on their 2015-16 campaigns.

Reznich returns three starters, including two-time all-state pick Mackenna Kelly, who signed with Central Michigan University last month. Junior Cecelia Schmitt and senior point guard Anna Hunt are also back. They all have their eyes on the top prize.

"The goal is the same as it is every year – to win a state championship," Kelly said. "That's the ultimate goal, and we're working hard in practice every single day to reach it. That's the plan."

Reznich believes that goal is realistic.

"They've been preparing for this," he said. "They feel good, they feel confident, they feel it's their time to shine.”

The Panthers boast an experienced team with seven seniors, plus Schmitt, who averaged about 11 points a game as a sophomore. Kelly said the chemistry between the players is the strength of the team.

"We've all been together a long time," she said. "We know each other really well."

Chemistry is not the only strength, though. Reznich likes two other qualities his team possesses.

"This might be the most athletic, and the quickest, team I've had," he said.

That helps make up for a lack of size, although Kelly and Schmitt play bigger than their listed heights of 5-foot-10.

Frankfort opened last week with a 57-37 win over McBain, traditionally one of the stronger Class C teams in the north. The Panthers, who shot better than 60 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, led 22-2 after the first quarter.

Satisfying? Sort of, Kelly said. She thought the Panthers lost some intensity after building their lead. She described it as a learning moment.

"That game told us we need a lot of work," the 17-year-old said. "We came out pretty hot – we weren't missing a lot of shots – but we kind of fizzled out. Most of our action was in the first half, which can't happen. It needs to be (like that) the whole game."

Kelly finished with 24 points. A year ago, she averaged 17 points and seven rebounds for the 24-2 Panthers. She said she spent her offseason working on her range and a pull-up jumper.

"I've had a tendency on the fast break to try and plow through everyone, which doesn't go in my favor most of the time," she said.

"She still gets to the rim, but instead of forcing her way to the rim she's worked on a pull-up jumper," Reznich added. "She shot really well against McBain. I expect her to do that all season."

Frankfort’s run the table in the Northwest Conference the last two seasons. Reznich is expecting a battle this season, especially with Maple City Glen Lake picking up Sarah Carney, a transfer from Traverse City St. Francis. 

The Gladiators remain a challenge, though, as Frankfort fell to St. Francis 76-72 on Wednesday. The Panthers’ schedule also includes Manistee, Saginaw Arthur Hill and Harper Woods Chandler Park. They'll play Arthur Hill in the Motor City Classic later this month in Detroit. Chandler Park will travel to Frankfort in January.

"We've put ourselves out there (with this schedule)," Reznich said.

So has Manville's team, whose nonleague schedule includes larger schools like St. Francis, Elk Rapids, McBain and Boyne City. The Panthers opened the season Tuesday with a 67-16 win over Class B Remus Chippewa Hills. 

"One of reasons we've had success in the postseason is that we've toughened our schedule up," he said. "Like I said, I'm from Flint. That's all we did, played tough teams – Saginaw, three Flint schools, Pontiac. It didn't matter who you played. They were all good.

"As a coach, you want your regular season to prepare you for the tournament. You don't want any surprises. You want your kids to see everything so they're well-seasoned. Wins and losses? I would like to win every game. I'm very competitive. But my main goal is winning championships. That's what I want."

Manville, who coached Charlie Bell at Flint Southwestern, returns five players from last year's rotation. Plus, senior Mason Loney is back. The 6-2 Loney, who was on varsity as a freshman, injured a knee in football and missed his entire junior year.

"Physically, he's about 100 percent," Manville said. "Mentally, he's still working on being more aggressive. He'll be fine. He'll get there."

When Loney was out last season, the Panthers replaced him in the lineup with his younger brother, Matt. Now a sophomore, Matt will be one of the go-to players on the team, along with sophomore Jaylon Rogers, senior point guard Nate Frieswyk, four-year veteran Kole Hollenbeck – a standout on the football team that reached the Regionals – and Tristan Rogers.

"I think this will be the best shooting team I've had here, and the quickest team," Manville said. "We're going to get up and down the floor. We're not big, though, and that could be a problem on the boards. That's something we'll have to continually work at."

The Panthers are 73-25 over the last four years. They were 21-3 last season, one in which the 70-year-old Manville missed several games with health issues. He had back surgery in December, a hip replacement in February. Manville returned to the bench, but then spent the night of the Quarterfinal game in the hospital after having a bad reaction to the medication he was given. He credits his assistant, Dan Loney, for keeping the team on task and on track. Former head coach Dave Jackson also assisted.

"I can't be more pleased with the job he's doing," Manville said of Loney.

Loney had to step in the previous year, too, when Manville suffered a heart attack during the season.

He said he feels "great" now and that coaching gives him a positive outlet in his life.

"Walking in that gym is a plus," he said. "You need positives in your life when things are going bad, and basketball's always been there. Coaching's a love."

Right now, basketball’s a love in Frankfort. The teams are generously supported by the community, the school administration and a lively student body that was a 2014 finalist in the MHSAA’s Battle of the Fans contest.

“The atmosphere here is awesome,” Kelly said. “Everyone talks about the games the day before, the day of, the day after. It’s a fun thing.”

Dennis Chase worked 32 years as a sportswriter at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, including as sports editor from 2000-14. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Mackenna Kelly, left, and Nate Frieswyk have helped Frankfort's teams to MHSAA Semifinals at the Breslin Center during the last two seasons, the girls advancing in 2015 and the boys in 2014. (Middle) Anna Hunt (22) is among returnees for a Panthers team expected to contend. (Below) Boys coach Reggie Manville, with clipboard, discusses strategy with his team during the 2014 trip to East Lansing. 

Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Girls Report Week 12

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 26, 2024

February is nearly at its end, and the girls basketball regular season will finish this week as well. And, of course, anticipation couldn't be higher for what's next as the calendar turns to March.

MI Student Aid

We have a much clearer picture of how this season's MHSAA Tournament will begin to unfold as District brackets were announced Sunday – find them all on the Brackets page. But keep in mind as well, several teams still have much to play for this week, and actually over the next four days, as almost all of our teams will finish up their regular-season schedules by the end of Thursday.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

1. Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard 54, Detroit Renaissance 39 The Irish (21-0) moved within a win of a perfect regular season by defeating the Phoenix (18-3) in the Operation Friendship league champions matchup.

2. Detroit Edison 57, Belleville 46 The Pioneers (16-2) will enter the Division 2 tournament among favorites again, further bolstered by this victory over the Division 1 Tigers (18-2).

3. Goodrich 44, Flushing 26 The Martians (21-0) also are one win from a perfect regular season, and one of those Division 2 contenders, coming off this Flint Metro League Tournament championship clincher over Flushing (14-8).

4. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 45, Jackson Lumen Christi 31 The Eaglets (20-0) are closing in on a possible perfect regular season as well after finishing a Catholic High School League Cardinal Tournament title run against the Titans (17-5).

5. Bark River-Harris 52, Munising 31 The Broncos (20-1) secured an outright championship in the Skyline Central Conference Large schools division by winning this matchup of co-leaders entering the game, with Munising (16-4) finishing runner-up.

Plainwell's Brooklyn Timpe (13) works to wall off Otsego's Audrey Lingbeek during the Bulldogs' 41-37 win earlier this month.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Clarkston (15-6) The Wolves have hovered between Nos. 10-20 on the Division 1 MPR list over the last five weeks before bumping up to No. 8 heading into this one. They’ve played tough teams and won key games, the most notable victory lately 53-27 over Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (14-5) to avenge a 43-38 loss three weeks earlier. The other defeats have come to West Bloomfield (18-1) twice, Lake Orion (12-7) by a point, Detroit Country Day (15-5) and Chelsea (17-4) – and Clarkston has six wins over opponents with at least 14 victories, the most recent 50-33 last week over Royal Oak (14-6).

Grand Blanc (16-3) The Bobcats have won three straight District titles and sit a combined 65-17 over the last three-plus seasons, and they’ve created an opportunity to win their first Saginaw Valley League championship during this run of success. Grand Blanc will host Midland Dow on Tuesday in a winner-take-all for the SVL title, as neither has lost a conference game. The Bobcats are riding an 11-game winning streak, with their defeats to Goodrich (21-0), Lake Fenton (15-6) and Hartland (14-7). A 47-46 win over Flint Powers Catholic (17-13) on Feb. 6 factored significantly in creating this championship chance.


Vicksburg (17-2) The Bulldogs – 23-1 last season – added an exclamation point to another strong run by handing Portage Central (17-1) its only loss of the season last week, 47-33. Vicksburg did the same to Niles Brandywine (18-1) on Feb. 6, winning 46-38, which followed a 53-49 win over Paw Paw (18-2). That win over the Red Wolves avenged a 60-50 loss during the season’s first week, and has Vicksburg atop the Wolverine Conference with a share of the league title and a chance to clinch it outright Thursday against Otsego. The Bulldogs’ only other loss was 47-31 to Coldwater (17-3) on Jan. 30 – and Vicksburg bounced back for the Paw Paw and Brandywine wins over their next two games.

Williamston (16-4) The Hornets are winners of 12 straight games and took back the Capital Area Activities Conference Red championship after finishing runner-up to Haslett a year ago. Williamston swept the Vikings (14-7), winning 45-43 and then 57-38, and also owns a 44-34 victory over Ovid-Elsie (18-2) during this nearly two-month run. A 4-4 start surely provided some prep for this success, with the losses to Howell (15-6), Lansing Catholic (16-4), DeWitt (19-2) and Chelsea (17-4) – and Chelsea and Haslett both are on the other side of the bracket from Williamston at the Division 2 District at Fowlerville.


Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (18-3) The Kestrels won their first Huron League championship since sharing the title in 2017-18, and clinched this one outright by defeating Monroe Jefferson in the league finale as co-leader Riverview lost to Flat Rock by a point to move into second place. SMCC doubled their win total between 2021-22 and 2022-23, from nine to 18, and the Kestrels can surpass that this season with a victory over Ida on Thursday. Their losses were to Temperance Bedford (18-2), Carleton Airport (13-7) and Grosse Ile (12-9), and SMCC avenged the Airport defeat during this current eight-game winning streak that’s also seen victories over Riverview (15-4) and Flat Rock (13-7).

Sandusky (19-1) The Wolves claimed a fourth-straight Greater Thumb Conference East championship, avenging their lone loss – 30-26 to Harbor Beach on Jan. 2 – by defeating Harbor Beach 36-23 in the rematch Jan. 25. Six more wins have come against teams with 11 or more victories this season, with a chance to add to that list this week against Cass City and Caro before jumping into the District at Vassar as the top seed. Of the Wolves’ 19 wins, 15 have come by double digits.


Clarkston Everest Collegiate (13-4) The Mountaineers finished second in the CHSL Intersectional #1 this winter, but defeated champion Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 46-30 on Saturday to claim the league’s St. Anne Tournament title. The victory also avenged two four-point losses to the Cranes (14-4), and Everest’s other defeats were to two more Division 2 teams, Macomb Lutheran North and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (20-0). The Mountaineers will be the top seed at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian as they seek to win a third-straight District title.

Mio (17-4) Statewide eyes have turned toward 140-student Mio, which didn’t field a varsity in 2021-22, came back and finished 5-16 last winter and has jumped to 17-4 and a shared championship in the North Star League Big Dipper this season. A lot of that attention has come with freshman Mia McGregor, who according to a Bay City Times story from last week was averaging 39.3 ppg at the time. Mio defeated Bay City All Saints (16-4) that night, 61-52, and also has a win over Big Dipper co-champ Oscoda (16-4).

Can’t-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – Midland Dow (18-2) at Grand Blanc (16-3) – As noted above, the winner will be the outright Saginaw Valley League champion, and Dow is seeking its second league title over three seasons.

Tuesday – Belleville (18-2) vs. Howell (15-6) at Northville – The winners of the KLAA East and West, respectively, face off for the overall championship.

Tuesday – Frankenmuth (18-2) at Lansing Catholic (16-4) – Frankenmuth starts a substantial final week of the regular season with this rematch of last year’s Division 2 Final, won by the Cougars, before taking on Detroit Edison on Thursday.

Tuesday – Muskegon (16-4) at Grand Rapids West Catholic (20-1) – These champions of the O-K Green and Blue, respectively, should give each other a nice test before they pursue postseason aspirations in Divisions 1 and 2, respectively.

Thursday – Colon (19-2) at Mendon (18-2) – The Magi own a share of the Southern Central Athletic Association West title thanks to a 54-31 win on Jan. 18, but Mendon can finish with the other share by avenging that defeat.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) Goodrich's Kayla Hairston leads her team on a break during a 61-48 win over Lake Fenton on Feb. 16. (Middle) Plainwell's Brooklyn Timpe (13) works to wall off Otsego's Audrey Lingbeek during the Bulldogs' 41-37 win Feb. 16. (Top photo by Terry Lyons; middle photo by Gary Shook.)