Their Place, Forever
February 9, 2012
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
It’s surreal, Terry Reid said, humbling and overwhelming every time he sees his name hanging on Marlette’s gymnasium wall.
A little more than a month has passed since the school dedicated one of its most visible buildings to the longtime basketball coach. Thing is, Reid added, those honors usually are bestowed after a person has died – not while he’s still working the sideline, as Reid has done for Raiders teams over the last 40 years.
On the opposite wall hangs a new scoreboard, also dedicated Dec. 28. At the top is the name “Kyle Hall,” one of Reid’s eight grandchildren, a standout player who graduated last spring. Below hangs a photo of number 35, palming a basketball, gazing across the floor where Reid guides his junior varsity team through the same drills he’s been teaching for decades – and where he helped his grandson earn an opportunity to play at the college level.
“Every practice, … there’s a picture of him. And those eyes. I look up, and it kinda chokes me up,” Reid said.
“We’ve been blessed with grandkids who have let you know their feelings for them. ‘Hey Grandpa, see ya, I love ya.’ Those were the last words I heard from him, the day before he died.”
Reid wasn’t sure if he could return to coaching after that day, July 16, when during the early morning hours a car crash claimed Hall’s life as he drove home from a friend’s house.
Reid’s wife of 52 years, Jackie, convinced him to go back – both for himself, and for his grandson. And it seems just right they will be remembered in a place that has meant so much to both.
The plan comes together
Reid, 72, grew up in Redford Township, coached at Redford and then Detroit Benedictine for a short time before moving to Marlette in 1972. He’s coached a variety of teams, including the girls varsity for 21 seasons and the boys for 12 over two tenures, and hundreds of athletes including his daughter and Kyle’s mom Tammi, and currently Kyle’s little brother Dakota.
Kyle Hall got serious about the game as a junior. At 6-foot-5 and at a Class C school, he was a post player – but realized he’d need better perimeter skills to play after high school. Reid never officially coached Kyle – Hall skipped Reid’s JV team to join the varsity as a sophomore. But that summer before senior year, Grandfather and Grandson got to work, a few hours three days a week, through tough times and good ones that come in part with coaching one’s child, or in this case, grandchild.
After earning all-league and all-area honors in his final high school season, Hall was slated to join the Alma College men’s basketball team this fall – in fact, the Scots wear his initials on their pre-game warm-up shirts. Alma College also recently acquired a new scoreboard, and Kyle “told me one time … I’m going to light that sucker up,” Reid remembered.
That was Hall. He’d visit potential colleges with Tammi and his father Mike, and coaches would ask Kyle to list his strong point. Answer: Confidence. Weak point? Same answer. “He went out every game with the plan to win,” she said.
She recalled Kyle’s big feet: “He could run down the floor in three leaps.” Sports were his obvious first love. A three-sport athlete every year of high school, Kyle played football in fall, track and later golf in the spring. Every inch of his bedroom wall was covered either with pictures or clips from newspapers, his workout plan, and the terminology he was learning for nursing. Hall had passed his certification test to work as a nurse assistant two weeks before the crash. He had plans to pursue jobs at the hospitals in Marlette and Alma, and after getting his bachelor’s degree head to University of Michigan or Ferris State University for his master’s in nurse administration.
“When Kyle got something in his head, that’s what he’s going to do,” Tammi Hall said.
‘You just knew that he cared’
Terry Reid is an old-school basketball coach. Fundamentals rule. Defense first. Life has been basketball, golf, and family. He’s Marlette to the core – after all, the dog’s name is Red Raider Reid.
Prior to the gym dedication, the Huron Daily Tribune reported Terry’s various successes: a 315-149 girls varsity record, 100-98 with the boys varsity, and a combined seven District and five league championships. He also led the baseball team to a league title, coached in the football program and was athletic director for 18 years on top of teaching a variety of subjects.
The branches of his coaching tree spread throughout Michigan’s Thumb, and further. Reid estimates at least 40 former players have gone on to run their own teams. Brown City boys basketball coach Tony Burton and Bad Axe girls coach Brent Wehner both played for Reid, as did Kentucky Wesleyan College co-women’s coaches Caleb and Nicole Nieman. Closest to home, former players Chris Storm and his wife Cathy Storm now run Marlette’s boys and girls varsities, respectively.
“You just knew that he cared. … At the time you don’t realize it, but he becomes a true friend shortly after high school and throughout your career,” Chris Storm said.
“You always live through the tough times as well as the good times of teams. He’s been one who has persevered over the years. Everyone certainly goes through it; there are certain teams that don’t accomplish what they should, and that falls on the coach. But he’s always been able to keep his focus on the kids. That’s what we’re here for, and they know it.”
Like any grandparent, Reid takes pride in all of his grandchildren. An athletic bunch, he can recognize basketball potential – even in those who have chosen to play that other winter sport, hockey, instead.
But admittedly, Reid’s relationship with Hall took on another level because of their time together on the court. Storm’s son Alex teamed with Hall in 2010-11 and now plays at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, and Chris Storm recognized the similar tensions to his coaching his son.
But, “there’s certainly no question the time (Reid) spent with him and put in paid off for Kyle,” Storm said. “It was kinda neat they were able to share in that success at the end.”
He will be remembered
Reid said between 30 and 40 people came to the Halls’ home the night Kyle died.
His showing at the funeral home was scheduled to run from 1-9 p.m., but went until 10:20. After a small private funeral, the family went to the gym for a community ceremony – and found it packed.
“I really found out I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The support we received at that time, and to the present, has just been unreal,” Reid said. “They stuck with Mike and Tammi, and they still do.”
For the dedication, Kingston agreed to have its varsity girls and boys teams play at Marlette on the same night, instead of the usual JV/varsity doubleheader. Every Kingston player came into the stands and hugged Mike and Tammi. The Raiders boys team has had a bit of a tough one this winter coming off last season’s 17-5 finish – it was just 6-8 heading into Friday – but beat Kingston that night by 20.
In a small town, Storm said, something like Hall’s death brings somberness to the entire community. And, of course, it still hits the family hardest. But Reid is back coaching his junior varsity, with no plans to stop.
And after Dakota is done playing for the JV, Mike and Tammi stick around for the boys varsity games. They watch and support the friends and community that have supported them – and now in the building where they are surrounded by reminders that will continue to live on.
“He was so much fun to watch. I realize he was my own, so obviously I think higher of him. … But it was just so much fun to watch him play,” Tammi said.
“My husband and I talked quite a bit, and that’s where he’ll be remembered, on the basketball court. He packed a lot in those 19 years. ... I think he would think that’s pretty cool.”
PHOTOS courtesy of Reid and Hall families.
TOP: Terry Reid waves to the crowd during the Marlette gym dedication Dec. 28. (Middle) The scoreboard dedicated to Kyle Hall hangs on the eastern wall of the gym. (Right) Hall's retired jersey also hangs at the high school.
MIDDLE (1): A sign honoring Reid and remembering Hall hangs on the western wall of the gym.
MIDDLE (2): Hall (jumping) celebrates his team's outright league championship in 2011. Grandfather Terry Reid is among those pictured behind him.
MIDDLE (3): Reid (left) and Hall posed for a shot during the postgame celebration of that championship win.
BELOW: The full scoreboard, plus a photo of Hall, also were dedicated on Dec. 28.
Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Semifinals Preview
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 22, 2023
For several reasons, crossing over all four divisions, this weekend’s MHSAA Boys Basketball Semifinal & Finals could be among the most memorable we’ve played in some time.
The longtime powers will be back at Breslin Center. Six teams with at least three Finals championships will be looking to add to those totals. At the same time, eight teams will be playing for their first title – and a ninth may be playing for the last of its storied history.
There will be favorites. In Division 1 alone, all four semifinalists finished the regular season among the top nine in Michigan Power Rating. But numbers have a tough time anticipating an unpredictable story, and we have plenty – in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 only half the remaining contenders finished among the top 20 in MPR in their respective rankings.
DIVISION 1 - Friday
Detroit Cass Tech vs Grand Blanc - Noon
Orchard Lake St Mary's vs Muskegon - 2 p.m.
DIVISION 2 - Friday
Saginaw vs Ferndale - 5:30 p.m.
Grand Rapids South Christian vs Romulus Summit Academy North - 7:30 p.m.
DIVISION 3 - Thursday
Flint Beecher vs Ecorse - Noon
Traverse City St Francis vs Niles Brandywine - 2 p.m.
DIVISION 4 - Thursday
Munising vs Marine City Cardinal Mooney - 5:30 p.m.
Frankfort vs Wyoming Tri-unity Christian - 7:30 p.m.
Finals - Saturday
Division 1 - 12:15 p.m.
Division 2 - 6:45 p.m.
Division 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Division 4 - 10 a.m.
Tickets for this weekend’s games are $12 for both Semifinals and Finals and available via the Breslin Center ticket office; for information and links visit the Boys Basketball page.
All Semifinals will be broadcast and viewable with subscription on MHSAA.tv, and all four Finals will air live Saturday on Bally Sports Detroit – Divisions 4, 3 and 2 on the primary channel and Division 1 on BSD Extra – as well as on the BSD website and app. Audio broadcasts of all Semifinals and Finals will be available free of charge from the MHSAA Network.
The Boys Basketball Semifinals & Finals are sponsored by Sparrow Health System.
Here’s a look at the 16 semifinalists (with rankings by MPR and statistics through Regional Finals unless noted):
DETROIT CASS TECH
Record/rank: 26-1, No. 4
League finish: First in Detroit Public School League Blue and overall
Coach: Steven Hall, seventh season (149-30)
Championship history: Class A runner-up 1974.
Best wins: 55-49 over No. 10 Ann Arbor Huron in Quarterfinal, 71-59 (District Semifinal), 74-70 (OT) and 57-55 over Detroit Martin Luther King, 59-42 over No. 15 Grand Rapids Northview, 69-63 over Division 3 No. 3 Flint Beecher, 46-39 over Division 3 No. 8. Traverse City St. Francis.
Players to watch: Darius Acuff, 6-2 soph. G (21.6 ppg, 5.8 apg); Kenneth Robertson, 6-0 sr. F (15.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg); Travon Cooper, 6-5 sr. C/F (11.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg).
Outlook: After falling just two points shy in a Quarterfinal last season, Cass Tech is returning to the Semifinals for the first time since 1993 and only a one-point overtime loss to Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice from a perfect run this season. Hall led Detroit Rogers to three straight Class D titles from 2003-05 and returned to his alma mater Cass Tech in 2015-16 after serving as a college assistant at Duquesne and Youngstown State. Acuff earned an all-state honorable mention as a freshman and is one of the top sophomores in the state, and he’s got lots of help – after Robertson and Cooper as well, four more players average at least six points per game.
Record/rank: 25-2, No. 3
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley League
Coach: Tory Jackson, first season (25-2)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2021, two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 70-62 (OT) over No. 5 Muskegon, 60-49 over No. 9 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 42-31 over No. 11 Warren De La Salle Collegiate, 74-46 over Division 2 No. 5 Cadillac, 57-43 over Division 3 No. 3 Flint Beecher.
Players to watch: Tae Boyd, 6-3 sr. F (15.4 ppg); RJ Taylor, 6-0 sr. G (14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.2 apg); Bryce O’Mara, 6-7 jr. F (8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg).
Outlook: Grand Blanc has played in the last two Division 1 championship games, finishing runner-up to De La Salle last season. Three starters plus the top two subs from last year’s Final are back – and that’s with another returning starter, Nathan Richardson, out since February with an injury. Taylor made the all-state first team last season and will continue at Northern Iowa, and Boyd earned an all-state honorable mention in 2022 and intends to play basketball and football at Ferris State. Jackson was part of two Class C championships as a player at Saginaw Buena Vista and played at Notre Dame and in the NBA G-League before getting his start in coaching at Buena Vista in 2012-13.
Record/rank: 25-2, No. 5
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Green
Coach: Keith Guy, 11th season (229-36)
Championship history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2014), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 68-48 over East Kentwood in Regional Semifinal, 67-60 over No. 8 Kalamazoo Central, 50-45 over Division 2 No. 6 Warren Lincoln, 62-51 over Division 2 No. 1 Ferndale, 81-79 (OT) over Division 2 No. 19 Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
Players to watch: Jordan Briggs, 6-1 sr. G (18.7 ppg, 84 3-pointers, 5.1 rpg, 6.0 apg); Anthony Sydnor III, 6-2 sr. G (14.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.6 spg); David Day III, 5-9 sr. G (8.1 ppg, 4.3 apg).
Outlook: Muskegon has won 20 or more games nine of the last 10 seasons despite annually loading the schedule with elite opponents. Briggs, Sydnor and Day are the only three seniors and set the pace as the team’s top three scorers and 3-point shooters. Briggs made the all-state first team last season and signed with Wayne State, and Sydnor earned an all-state honorable mention and signed with Ferris State. They are surrounded by several teammates contributing big in their roles, including 6-6 junior Terrance Davis (6.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and 6-5 junior Stanley Cunningham (7.6 rpg) in the frontcourt and junior guard M’Khi Guy (5.0 apg) off the bench.
ORCHARD LAKE ST. MARY’S
Record/rank: 16-10, No. 9
League finish: Tied for fourth in Detroit Catholic League Central
Coach: Todd Covert, eighth season (127-52)
Championship history: Four MHSAA titles (most recent 2000), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 55-44 (Quarterfinal) and 63-45 over No. 11 Warren De La Salle Collegiate, 56-44 over No. 2 North Farmington in Regional Final, 72-69 (Regional Semifinal) and 67-64 over No. 6 Detroit U-D Jesuit, 57-50 over No. 1 Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice in District Final, 56-41 over East Kentwood, 68-64 (3OT) over Division 2 No. 6 Warren Lincoln, 67-51 over Division 2 No. 19 Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 54-39 over Division 2 No. 1 Ferndale.
Players to watch: Trey McKenney, 6-5 soph. G/F (25.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg); Sharod Barnes, 6-2 soph. G (10 ppg); Daniel Smythe, 6-3 jr. G (10 ppg).
Outlook: St. Mary’s rumbled through one of the state’s toughest schedules during the regular season, and it’s certainly paid off during a postseason run that’s been perhaps the most impressive regardless of division. The Eaglets had reached the Quarterfinals the last two years and will make their first Semifinal appearance since 2006. McKenney made the all-state second team last season and is already considered among the state’s best as well as just a sophomore. Juniors Andrew Smith and Mason Wisniewski round out the starting lineup, both averaging just over six points per game and the 6-6 Wisniewski also grabbing 7.4 rebounds per contest.
Record/rank: 19-8, No. 1
League finish: Second in Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Juan Rickman, fifth season (87-32)
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 1966).
Best wins: 69-50 over No. 16 Warren Michigan Collegiate in Regional Final, 64-47 and 60-52 over Division 1 No. 20 Oak Park, 82-65 over Division 1 No. 12 Port Huron Northern, 72-60 over Division 1 No. 7 River Rouge, 67-61 over Division 1 No. 13 Grosse Pointe South, 63-52 over Division 3 No. 3 Flint Beecher.
Players to watch: Christopher Williams, 6-5 sr. G/F (13.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg); Cameron Reed, 6-0 sr. G (10.1 ppg, 7.5 apg); Noah Blocker, 6-1 sr. G (12.8 ppg).
Outlook: Ferndale is another contender that navigated a difficult regular-season schedule but is up to 14 wins over its last 15 games as it makes a third-straight trip to the Semifinals. All five starters are seniors, and Williams, Reed and Blocker all started in last year’s Semifinal as well, plus seniors Caleb Renfroe and Jacoby Jackson were the most-played subs in that game. Senior Jayden Hardiman adds another 9.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and provides a 6-7 presence in the middle. Junior Trenton Ruth (8.1 ppg) is among the top options off the bench this season.
GRAND RAPIDS SOUTH CHRISTIAN
Record/rank: 24-3, No. 12
League finish: Tied for first in O-K Gold
Coach: Taylor Johnson, first season (24-3)
Championship history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2005), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 82-54 over No. 19 Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 61-38 (Quarterfinal) and 58-50 over Hudsonville Unity Christian, 64-48 over East Kentwood, 58-36 over Division 3 No. 14 Detroit Edison.
Players to watch: Jake Vermaas, 6-1 jr. G (12.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.5 apg); Jacob DeHaan, 6-2 sr. G (13 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Sam Medendorp, 6-6 sr. F/C (8.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg).
Outlook: South Christian has upped its winning streak to 15 straight since losing its first meeting with GRCC on Jan. 24, and all 15 of those wins have come by double digits. Johnson came to South Christian this season after six as an assistant coach at Grand Valley State and has the Sailors in their first Semifinal since 2005. They did lose leading scorer Carson Vis (17.7 ppg) with a season-ending injury in the Regional Final, but DeHaan responded with a team-leading 27 points in the Quarterfinal win. DeHaan earned an all-state honorable mention last season.
ROMULUS SUMMIT ACADEMY
Record/rank: 25-2, No. 22
League finish: First in Charter School Conference West
Coach: Mark White, fifth season (91-22)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 68-62 over Chelsea in Quarterfinal, 57-27 over Flat Rock in District Final, 74-43 over Brownstown Woodhaven, 73-60 over Division 3 No. 14 Detroit Edison.
Players to watch: James Wright, 6-4 sr.; Dontez Scott Jr., 6-0 jr. G; Amir Perryman, 5-10 soph. G. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: White, who led Detroit Renaissance to Class B championships in 2004 and 2006, has Summit in its first Semifinal after guiding the Dragons to their first Quarterfinal in 2021. Their only losses this season were to teams that finished a combined 46-5 – Warren Michigan Collegiate and Detroit Loyola. Wright made the all-state second team last season, and Scott earned an honorable mention.
Record/rank: 21-6, No. 32
League finish: Sixth in SVL
Coach: Julian Taylor, 12th season (203-75)
Championship history: Six MHSAA titles (most recent 2012).
Best wins: 61-57 over No. 5 Cadillac in Quarterfinal, 78-58 over Flint Hamady in Regional Final, 47-33 over Shepherd in Regional Semifinal, 74-38 over Carrollton in District Final.
Players to watch: Javarie Holliday, 6-2 sr. G (15.8 ppg); DaRon Sherman, 6-2 sr. G (10 ppg, 8.0 apg, 3.9 spg); Taelor Lowery, 6-0 sr. G (11 ppg).
Outlook: This will be Saginaw’s first trip to the Semifinals since 2013, and potentially carries even more historical significance with the school set to merge with Arthur Hill for the start of the 2024-25 school year. Playing in the predominantly Division 1 SVL, Saginaw’s losses all were to D1 opponents. Four of five starters are seniors, and 6-3 senior forward D’Quan Lowe Patman adds 6.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and three steals per game. Holliday earned an all-state honorable mention last season.
Record/rank: 20-4, No. 34
League finish: Tied for second in Michigan Metro Athletic Conference Black
Coach: Gerrod Abram, fourth season (59-25)
Championship history: Class B runner-up 1978, Class B Lower Peninsula runner-up 1942.
Best wins: 57-46 over No. 5 Laingsburg in Quarterfinal, 69-58 over Plymouth Christian Academy in Regional Final, 63-46 over No. 19 Riverview Gabriel Richard in Regional Semifinal, 85-69 over Brownstown Woodhaven.
Players to watch: Malik Olafioye, 6-3 sr. PG; Kenneth Morrast Jr., 6-1 sr. PG; Dennell Kemp Jr., 6-0 jr. G. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: After reaching the Semifinals last season for the first time since 1980, Ecorse is making a second-straight trip. Olafioye, Morrast and Kemp all started in last season’s Semifinal, and Olafioye made the all-state first team while Morrast earned an honorable mention. The losses this season came to Division 1 Oak Park, Detroit Renaissance and Detroit Catholic Central – all in December – and Division 2 Detroit University Prep on Feb. 17 after having defeated the Panthers three weeks earlier.
Record/rank: 22-4, No. 3
League finish: First in Genesee Area Conference Red
Coach: Marquis Gray, second season (44-7)
Championship history: Nine MHSAA titles (most recent 2021), four runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 55-49 over No. 1 Detroit Loyola in Quarterfinal, 65-41 over No. 7 Saginaw Nouvel in Regional Final, 57-33 over No. 9 Cass City in Regional Semifinal, 70-55 over Goodrich, 48-43 and 80-71 over Flint Hamady.
Players to watch: Kevin Tiggs Jr., 6-2 sr. F (14 ppg, 5.4 rpg); Keyonta Menifield, 5-10 jr. G (8.5 ppg); Robert Lee Jr., 6-2 sr. F/G (24.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.2 apg).
Outlook: Beecher is making its third-straight Semifinals appearance and bringing back two starters and the top two subs from the lineup that played at Breslin a year ago. Lee made the all-state first team last season and can erupt at any time making more than 50 percent of his shots from the floor total and 3-point range as well. Tiggs is making more than 60 percent of his shots from the floor and also has put up big numbers. Beecher once again loaded up its regular-season schedule; the Bucs’ losses were to Division 1 Grand Blanc and Cass Tech – both playing this weekend – and Division 2 Ferndale (also still playing) and Benton Harbor.
Record/rank: 25-2, No. 28
League finish: Second in Lakeland Conference
Coach: Nathan Knapp, 18th season (212-170)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 71-62 over Pewamo-Westphalia in Quarterfinal, 58-42 over Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep in Regional Semifinal, 42-36 over No. 6 Watervliet in District Final, 61-35 over Cassopolis.
Players to watch: Jamier Palmer, 6-0 jr. G (10.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 apg); Jaremiah Palmer, 6-0 jr. G (12.9 ppg); Byron Linley, 6-1 jr. G (9.7 ppg).
Outlook: Brandywine is making its first trip to the Semifinals after also winning its first Regional title, and Knapp has led an incredible transformation of the program. After not posting a winning record until his seventh season, Brandywine has reached 18 wins five of the last eight seasons with six league and three District titles during that time as well. The only losses this season were to Division 2 Benton Harbor, and 19 wins have come by double-digit margins. There’s only one senior in the eight-player regular rotation, and freshman guard Nylen Goins also averages 9.7 ppg and had a team-high 43 3-pointers entering the week.
TRAVERSE CITY ST. FRANCIS
Record/rank: 23-4, No. 8
League finish: Tied for first in Lake Michigan Conference
Coach: Sean Finnegan, sixth season (106-26)
Championship history: Class C runner-up 2012.
Best wins: 46-37 (Regional Final) and 61-49 over No. 18 McBain, 58-22 and 60-42 over No. 16 Elk Rapids, 58-34 over Division 2 No. 11 Boyne City, 63-54 over Canton.
Players to watch: Wyatt Nausadis, 6-4 sr. G (20.1 ppg, 40 3-pointers, 3.0 apg); Joey Donahue, 6-3 sr. F (7.8 ppg, 3.1 apg); John Hagelstein, 6-0 soph. G (10.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg). (Statistics through end of regular season.)
Outlook: St. Francis has been building toward this first Semifinal since 2012, improving from 12 wins two seasons ago to 19 last winter and now this run. They bounced back from a six-point loss to Boyne City on Jan. 24 for a 24-point win Feb. 21 to share the league title, and playoff wins over Maple City Glen Lake (19 wins) and St. Ignace (22) also were among the most noteworthy. Nausadis made the all-state second team last season, and 6-5 senior Drew Breimayer (7.7 ppg) is among more contributors who can pick up scoring load.
Record/rank: 18-8, No. 57
League finish: Fourth in Northwest Conference
Coach: Dan Loney, fifth season (86-41)
Championship history: Division 4 runner-up 2019.
Best wins: 59-57 over Hillman in Quarterfinal, 50-44 over No. 7 Lake Leelanau St. Mary in Regional Final, 52-47 over No. 12 Gaylord St. Mary in Regional Semifinal, 60-51 over Maple City Glen Lake.
Players to watch: Emmerson Farmer, 5-10 sr. G (10.7 ppg, 37 3-pointers); Nick Stevenson, 6-2 sr. F (9.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg); Carter Kerby, 5-10 soph. G (11 ppg, 3.0 apg).
Outlook: Frankfort found its stride at the right time with nine wins over its last 10 games and the Glen Lake and Lake Leelanau St. Mary victories avenging earlier losses. It didn’t come easily, as all five of the Panthers’ playoff opponents finished the regular season with winning records. Frankfort had made the Quarterfinals as recently as 2021, but fell back to 11-12 last season before bouncing back big this winter. A balanced lineup gets contributions from several players; senior Xander Sauer is another, averaging 10.2 points per game.
MARINE CITY CARDINAL MOONEY
Record/rank: 16-11, No. 49
League finish: Tied for fifth in Detroit Catholic League Intersectional #1
Coach: Mike McAndrews, 25th season (303-207)
Championship history: Class D runner-up 2010.
Best wins: 59-56 over No. 9 Taylor Trillium Academy in Quarterfinal, 57-44 over No. 6 Genesee Christian in Regional Final, 75-65 over Plymouth Christian Academy, 52-46 over Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep.
Players to watch: Brian Everhart, 6-0 jr. G (12.3 ppg); Dominic Cattivera, 6-5 sr. C (10.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Trent Rice, 6-0 sr. G (12.9 ppg).
Outlook: This run might seem a little unexpected as well, especially given the teams Cardinal Mooney has defeated the last two rounds. But the Cardinals have won nine of their last 12 after working through a league that included only one other Division 4 team along with two from Division 2 and two from Division 3. All but one loss came to an opponent from D1, D2 or D3, including a pair to Loyola and another to Division 1 De La Salle. Rice earned an all-state honorable mention last season and is one of our senior starters. Quentin Hillaker is another, averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Record/rank: 25-1, No. 2
League finish: First in Skyline Central Conference – Large
Coach: Terry Kienitz, seventh season (128-22)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 52-43 over No. 1 Painesdale Jeffers in Quarterfinal, 60-28 over No. 11 Mackinaw City in Regional Final, 61-50 (Regional Semifinal) and 67-64 over No. 17 Rudyard, 70-65 over No. 18 Norway, 62-59 and 54-49 over No. 3 Powers North Central.
Players to watch: Kane Nebel, 6-2 sr. G (15.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 6.8 apg, 4.5 spg); Trevor Nolan, 5-8 soph. G (15 ppg, 54 3-pointers); Jack Dusseault, 6-3 soph. C (10.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg). (Statistics through end of regular season.)
Outlook: Munising emerged from a powerful group of Upper Peninsula teams in Division 4, and that on its own says a ton about its chances this weekend. This also will be the program’s first Semifinal since 1954. The Mustangs have won 14 straight games since losing a four-pointer to Brimley on Jan. 17, and this run came after last year’s ended with the team 19-3 and the 2020-21 team finished 15-2. Carson Kienitz is a third sophomore starter and provides more size at 6-3 and scoring at 11.4 ppg along with 5.4 rpg.
WYOMING TRI-UNITY CHRISTIAN
Record/rank: 21-6, No. 15
League finish: Tied for second in Alliance League
Coach: Mark Keeler, 36th season (669-210)
Championship history: Five MHSAA titles (most recent 2022), five runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 54-41 over No. 5 Kalamazoo Phoenix in Quarterfinal, 62-44 over Lansing Christian in Regional Final, 79-36 over No. 13 Baldwin in Regional Semifinal, 57-52 over Pewamo-Westphalia, 51-46 over Schoolcraft.
Players to watch: Jordan VanKlompenberg, 6-1 jr. G (10.8 ppg, 59 3-pointers, 3.5 apg); Roy Fogg, 6-3 sr. G/F (13 ppg); Owen Rosendall, 6-0 jr. G (7.1 ppg, 36 3-pointers).
Outlook: Tri-unity is the reigning champion and also was the Division 4 runner-up in 2021. VanKlompenberg and Rosendall started last season, and Rosendall also was a top sub as a freshman. The Defenders have won 10 of their last 11 games this winter and all five playoff matchups by at least 13 points, and all six losses came to opponents from Divisions 1-3. Sophomore Keaton Blanker adds 7.8 ppg, and junior Akais Giplaye (6.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) also has moved into the starting lineup after seeing 12 minutes off the bench in last year’s championship game.
PHOTOS (Top) Flint Beecher’s Damarcus Burke Jr. (13) drives with Grand Blanc’s Trevon Johnson defending during their regular-season finale matchup. (Middle) Munising's Kane Nebel (0) works to get past Jeffers' Ashton Kunishige (13) and Levi Frahm (3) during a Tuesday Quarterfinal. (Top photo by Terry Lyons; middle photo by Cara Kamps.)