Breslin Bound: 2021-22 Girls Quarterfinal Preview

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 15, 2022

We're reached the final stretch of this season's Breslin Bound trip, as 685 varsity teams have become just 32 remaining for tonight's Quarterfinals across the state. 

MI Student AidWe've given a glance at all 16 games below as we prepare for a more significant preview of Thursday and Friday's Semifinals at Michigan State. We'll be posting those throughout Wednesday.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid.


West Bloomfield (22-1) vs. Troy (13-11) at University of Detroit Mercy, 7 p.m.

Troy is appearing in its first Quarterfinal, and West Bloomfield its first since 2003. They both play in the Oakland Activities Association Red, clinched by West Bloomfield with Troy finishing fourth and the Lakers winning both regular-season meetings. West Bloomfield made its biggest headline with a 65-62 win over Detroit Edison, and they’re led by sophomore twins Summer Davis (14.5 ppg) and Indya Davis (14.3). Four seniors start for Troy, with 6-foot-2 Kendal Zeiter leading the scoring at 17.4 points per game.

Rockford (22-2) vs. East Lansing (19-4) at Calvin University

The Trojans, returning to the Quarterfinals for the second-straight season, are looking to advance for the first time since 2018. Senior guard Soraya Timms sets the pace at 13.9 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 steals per game. Rockford is making its second Quarterfinal appearance, and first since 2010, after defeating reigning Division 1 champion Hudsonville in the Regional Final. Sophomore guard Grace Lyons leads a balanced lineup scoring 11.8 points per game with 49 3-pointers, making nearly 47 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc.

Midland Dow (23-1) vs. Hartland (23-1) at Lapeer

This is a rematch of last season’s Quarterfinal, won by Dow 42-32, as the Chargers went on to fall to eventual champion Hudsonville in a Semifinal. Dow’s only loss this season was in overtime in mid-January to Division 2 quarterfinalist Frankenmuth, and the Chargers are paced by senior standouts Alexa Kolnitys (18.1 ppg, 4.7 assists per game) and Abby Rey (17.6 ppg, 56 3-pointers). Hartland, which lost to Howell but avenged that defeat twice, features a balanced lineup with four players averaging 8-10 ppg, with 6-2 senior Lauren Sollom a tough post matchup.

Wayne Memorial (22-2) vs. Riverview (20-4) at Ypsilanti Lincoln

Wayne is playing in its fourth-straight Quarterfinal (not counting 2020, when the season was ended early because of COVID-19), and made the Semifinals a year ago. The Zebras have only one senior in the starting lineup and should continue to surge. Riverview is coming off its first Regional championship and has won 18 straight since its last loss Jan. 2. The Pirates downed Temperance Bedford (17-6) and Dearborn Divine Child (19-5) last week to advance. Junior Elyssa Kincaid (16 ppg) leads three averaging at least 14 points per game for Riverview.


Grand Rapids West Catholic (23-1) vs. Edwardsburg (24-0) at Wayland

Both of these teams took the next step last week after falling in Regional Finals a year ago, Edwardsburg reaching the Quarterfinals for the first time and West Catholic the first time since 1995. The Falcons’ only loss was in December, by four, to Division 1 quarterfinalist Rockford. Senior guard Abbey Kimball, the Miss Basketball Award runner-up, leads with 25.1 ppg and 97 3-pointers – the latter good for third-most in one season in MHSAA history. Edwardsburg has a major long-distance threat as well – senior Katie Schaible is one of three Eddies averaging in double figures (11.6 ppg), and she has 69 3-pointers.

Detroit Country Day (12-7) vs. Marysville (22-2) at University of Detroit Mercy, 5:30 p.m.

Country Day is returning to the season’s final week after making the Semifinals last season, while Marysville is here for the first time. Four of last season’s Semifinal starters fill the lineup again for the Yellowjackets. Marysville has won 19 straight since last losing Dec. 21. Senior guard Kaitlyn Cain leads at 14.4 ppg and also tops the team in rebounds and steals.

Portland (23-1) vs. Detroit Edison (16-3) at Williamston

This highly-anticipated matchup sends the reigning Division 2 champion and current No. 3 (by MPR) Raiders against the overall Division 2 top-seeded Pioneers, who celebrated senior Ruby Whitehorn (23.9 points, 12.1 rebounds per game) as the Miss Basketball Award winner Monday. The West Bloomfield defeat (see above) was Edison’s only in-state loss playing a schedule loaded with Division 1, 2 and 3 contenders. Portland’s lone loss came to No. 7 Lansing Catholic and was avenged twice. Senior guard Ashley Bower (19.1 ppg) also was the team’s leading scorer last season.

Ludington (19-5) vs. Frankenmuth (22-2) at Cadillac

Frankenmuth is returning to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1996, and despite losing an all-stater to injury in the season opener. Sophomore Mia McLaughlin leads a balanced lineup in scoring (14.3 ppg), rebounds, assists and steals and is tied for the team lead in blocks. Ludington is returning to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2008, with senior RyAnn Rohrer and junior Keelyn Laird leading another balanced lineup scoring 10.7 ppg apiece.

Detroit Country Day basketball


Maple City Glen Lake (24-0) vs. Lake City (20-4) at Traverse City Central

Glen Lake is returning to the Quarterfinals for the second straight season and seeking to make the Semifinals for the first time since 2018 after its only loss last season was in that Quarterfinal to Calumet. Senior guard Grace Bradford leads in scoring (22.9 ppg), 3-pointers, rebounds, assists and steals. Lake City returned to the Quarterfinals most recently in 2019, and avenged two late losses this winter during the postseason. Cousins Chloe Bisballe (13.1 ppg), a senior, and sophomore Mackenzie Bisballe (15.4) combine to lead the team in most major stat categories.

Dansville (17-7) vs. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (22-2) at Concord

Arbor Prep is the No. 1 overall seed in Division 3 and lost only to Division 1 Parma Western and Division 2 top seed Detroit Edison, with wins over Wayne Memorial and Frankenmuth among others. Senior Mya Petticord (22.9 ppg) was a Miss Basketball Award finalist. Arbor Prep made the Quarterfinals as recently as 2019, while Dansville is making an appearance for the first time since 2008. The Aggies avenged a regular-season loss to Leslie and defeated 2021 Division 3 champion Grass Lake last week. Senior Erin Sherwood is the leading scorer at 16.4 ppg.

Kent City (24-0) vs. Schoolcraft (23-1) at Otsego

This is another Quarterfinal rematch from last season. After falling a two-point loss shy from claiming a first Finals championship last year, Kent City is back and undefeated again with four starters returning from that runner-up team. Junior Lexie Bowers (17 ppg) and sophomore Madelyn Geers (14.4) should make the team a contender next season as well. Schoolcraft’s only defeat was in its season opener to Division 4 quarterfinalist Plymouth Christian Academy, and it is looking to reach the Semifinals for the first time. Senior Mackenzie Miller leads at 16 ppg.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley (19-3) vs. Reese (20-4) at West Bloomfield

Reese is making its first appearance in a Quarterfinal and Bishop Foley its second after advancing last year for the first time. The Rockets defeated two league champions in winning last week’s Regional, with senior standouts from the Division 3-winning volleyball team Aydan Dalak (15 ppg) and Josie Johnson (12) the leading scorers. Senior center Melanie Moore (17.1 ppg) leads a Bishop Foley team that fell to Arbor Prep by only five in the regular-season finale before starting a dominating tourney run.


Baraga (22-1) vs. Pickford (19-2) at Munising

Pickford has broken through with its first Regional title since 1988, its only losses this season to Division 3 St. Ignace and impressive tournament wins over Mackinaw City (18-4), Engadine (15-8) and Posen (21-2). Senior Kennedy Guild leads four averaging double-digit scoring at 19.2 ppg, with 61 3-pointers. Baraga is back at the Quarterfinals having most recently advanced in 2019, and with its only loss this season to Division 2 Houghton. Senior Reide Osterman (16.1 ppg) and junior Cori Jahfetson (13.8) set the pace for the Vikings.

Gaylord St. Mary (22-2) vs. Fowler (21-3) at Clare

The reigning Division 4 champion Eagles last saw St. Mary in a 2019 Quarterfinal win, and they bring three starters from last year’s championship game back into this final week including all-state guards Mia and Emma Riley. St. Mary avenged one of its two losses, to 2021 Division 4 runner-up Bellaire, during this postseason as part of a 10-game winning streak. The Snowbirds have four scoring in double digits, led by junior Ava Schultz (13.3 ppg, 74 3-pointers).

Muskegon Heights Academy (9-8) vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian (18-6)

Lenawee Christian is back at the Quarterfinals for the third time in four seasons (not counting 2020’s COVID-related early ending). Senior guard Kylie Summer is the leading scorer at 11.3 points per game, and she’s drilled 62 3-pointers. Muskegon Heights is coming off its first Regional title since 1995 and has won seven of its last nine games. The future looks bright as well, as the team starts all sophomores and juniors.

Plymouth Christian Academy (20-4) vs. Genesee Christian (20-4) at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore

Plymouth Christian Academy entered the postseason as the No. 1 overall seed in Division 4, and has returned to the Quarterfinals for the second time and first since 2013. Genesee Christian is making its first appearance in this round. Lone senior Anna Fernandez paces PCA at 17.1 ppg, while Genesee Christian is similarly well-positioned for the future with a freshman and sophomore in the starting lineup.

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PHOTOS (Top) Hartland's Gracey Metz (23) works to get the ball upcourt against Clarkston last week. (Middle) Country Day's Aysia Yokely (21) bursts past halfcourt during last week's win over Livonia Clarenceville. (Top photo by Terry Lyons, middle photo by Douglas Bargerstock.)

Howardsville Christian Striving to Transfer Fall Successes to Basketball Court

By Scott Hassinger
Special for

November 28, 2023

HOWARDSVILLE - There is a sign that hangs inside Howardsville Christian School's tiny gymnasium that accurately depicts the mission for the Eagles during the 2023-24 boys basketball season.

Southwest CorridorIt reads "In Jesus' name we play."

Ken Sparks and the eight players on his varsity basketball roster have challenged themselves to help one another understand what it means to give their season to  God.

"My goal is to help these boys find gratitude in playing for a greater power than themselves," said Sparks, a varsity standout himself at Howardsville from 1996-2000, member of the 1,000-point club and an honorable mention all-stater his senior year.

Nestled on the border between St. Joseph and Cass counties along Bent Road, Howardsville Christian, a Division 4 school for its sports with fewer than 80 students, has enjoyed a rich tradition of spiritual learning both in the classroom and on the court and playing fields.

The contribution of many talented athletes from several families has been instrumental in Howardsville's athletic success for years, especially this school year.

Howardsville won District titles this fall in boys soccer and girls volleyball. Now the Eagles hope to carry that momentum over to the basketball court.

With four starters returning, Sparks is looking for Howardsville’s boys team to battle for supremacy in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph League and improve on a 13-10 record from last season. The Eagles finished 7-7 in the league last winter and endured a disappointing District Semifinal loss to Marcellus. Howardsville Christian had won its District the season in 2021.

"We competed well with all the teams on our schedule and lost to some teams we shouldn't have," Sparks said. "There are eight teams in our conference, and this season we need to beat Benton Harbor Countryside to be the top team. It's been a good league for us."

Senior twin brothers Colin and Dylan Muldoon return for Howardsville, along with junior cousin Kaden Sparks, son of the head coach, and junior John Paul Rose.

The Muldoon brothers both are beginning their third year as varsity starters.

"Working together as a team is something we really want to do well. A lot of teams set a goal of winning Districts. The last two years we've fallen short of that goal. It's definitely something we want to achieve this year," Colin Muldoon said.

Dylan Muldoon echoed that sentiment.

"Our success in soccer makes us want to attain the same goals in basketball. We know we are capable of reaching those, so I think it makes us want to pull things together," Dylan Muldoon said. "There's a lot of long-distance running in soccer, but there's also a lot of quickness and turning in basketball, especially when you're guarding or driving around someone. You just have to be quick."

Eagles varsity boys basketball coach Ken Sparks, far left, is pictured by the school's trophy case with his four returning starters Colin Muldoon, Dylan Muldoon, Kaden Sparks and John Paul Rose. Kaden Sparks, another three-year starter, will be Howardsville's best shooting guard.

"Winning Districts is achievable. We have to learn to work together. I played summer ball, and the biggest takeaway is that it taught me that I have to always give 100-percent effort out there. We had a great soccer season, and It’s taught us a lot about accountability," Kaden Sparks said.

Rose will be Howardsville Christian's starting point guard. He has been a starter since his freshman year, along with Kaden Sparks.

"The team chemistry and communication we had in soccer easily transfers over to basketball. As our point guard, it's important for me to try to get the ball to other guys who have open looks," Rose said. "I want to be more aggressive defensively, push the ball up the floor more and increase my scoring."

In addition, Ken Sparks believes the physicality a majority of his team learned from soccer will be a big benefit on the basketball floor.

"You build up your physicality from playing soccer with having to always body up. Watching them play sometimes hurts me, but that's what I want them to do in basketball. It helps them to want to draw contact and be physical on the floor," Ken Sparks said.

The lack of upperclassmen on Howardsville's varsity the last couple of years gave Rose and Kaden Sparks an immediate opportunity to play as freshmen.

"The fact John Paul and Kaden had that early chance at the varsity level is really paying off now,” Ken Sparks added. “Kaden is an excellent shooter. I want him to get the confidence that I had when I was in high school. He tends to be a little more passive on the floor than I like, but he's finally getting that aggressive nature that you need offensively.”

Kaden, Colin Muldoon and Rose all averaged double-digit scoring last season, while Dylan Muldoon is the Eagles' best defensive player. The Muldoon brothers will serve as Howardsville's team captains.

"Kaden is very self-motivated to become a better basketball player. His goal is to be the best player that he can be," Ken Sparks said. "John Paul is explosive and has really refined his jump shot to where he can be a scoring threat. He sees the floor very well and can really push the ball up the floor without turning it over. We're going to see big strides from him because of his determination and drive.

"Colin is a great overall player. He's a threat from the outside and can score inside with his height as well. If we're going to be successful, he and Dylan have to bring the same drive that John Paul and Kaden bring to the court.”

"I've coached all of the guys on our team for the last three seasons except one,” Sparks added. “We talk about being well-rounded. These guys are the best academically and spiritual leaders in our school."

Howardsville Christian’s most well-known alumni is Dylan Jergens, the third-leading scorer in state history with 2,782 career points.

The boys soccer and girls volleyball teams earned District titles during the fall. (During the fall soccer season, the Muldoons, Kaden Sparks and Rose helped Howardsville win a second-straight District title. The Eagles then lost 5-0 in the Regional Semifinal to eventual Division 4 champion Muskegon Western Michigan Christian. Both Muldoons, Kaden Sparks and Rose were named to the first-team all-BCS and District soccer squads.

The Muldoons were the two main catalysts in the Eagles' soccer run, along with Lukas Krueger. Dylan Muldoon had 28 goals and nine assists, while Colin Muldoon posted 14 goals and eight assists. Krueger added 19 goals to go with 16 assists. Kaden Sparks had five goals and four assists, and Rose added three goals and three assists.

Steve Muldoon, Colin and Dylan's father and Howardsville's head boys soccer coach, sees many correlations between soccer and basketball that will bring the Eagles success in hoops this winter.

"Communication is key. A team that doesn't talk on the field/court isn't going to win. They learn how to correct and encourage one another to deal with problems without getting too negative," Steve Muldoon said. "Individually, they learn how to anticipate. There isn't much difference between anticipating a pass and stepping in front of it in soccer or basketball or making a hard run down the court/field to get open for a layup/counterattack. They learn how to react and make the correct decision under pressure. The skills needed to do it in soccer and basketball are different, but most of it is mental and that carries over."

Determination was another big factor for Howardsville's soccer success this fall.

"We beat Lansing Christian this fall in a weekend soccer tournament and they are a much bigger and physical team than us, but we managed to beat them," Colin Muldoon said. "That win gave us a lot of confidence for the remainder of the season that we could beat anyone."


The family dynamic doesn't stop with Howardsville's boys basketball team.

Senior Kyla Sparks, Ken's daughter and Kaden's older sister, is one of three cousins on the roster for a Howardsville girls team that finished 12-11 last year. All five starters are back for that Eagles team as well.

"As a team, we want to improve on last year's record. With all our starters back, we feel we have a good shot to finish at the top of both our conference and District. Most of our basketball team also played volleyball this fall, and we view us all as family," Kyla Sparks said. "Being able to play with my two cousins makes good lifelong memories."

Kyla Sparks, who averaged 12 points per game her junior year, starts with sophomore cousins Kelsie Muldoon and Kate Evans. Those three also started on the varsity volleyball team that captured its first District title since 1997.

Coincidently, the mothers of Kyla, Kelsie and Kate were all on the 1997 District champion volleyball team.

Scott HassingerScott Hassinger is a contributing sportswriter for Leader Publications and previously served as the sports editor for the Three Rivers Commercial-News from 1994-2022. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Colin Muldoon drives to the basket against his twin brother Dylan Muldoon during recent Howardsville Christian boys basketball practice. (Middle) Eagles varsity boys basketball coach Ken Sparks, far left, is pictured by the school's trophy case with his four returning starters Colin Muldoon, Dylan Muldoon, Kaden Sparks and John Paul Rose. (Below) The boys soccer and girls volleyball teams earned District titles during the fall. (Top and middle photos by Scott Hassinger. District championship photos courtesy of Howardsville Christian School.)