Things may be winding down on the girls basketball regular season – but only in the fact that there are three weeks remaining until the playoffs begin.
Parma Western earned one of the most eye-popping wins of the winter last week, and this week may well feature two of the top matchups of this entire regular season.
Week in Review
1. Parma Western 56, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 55 The Panthers (14-1) handed Division 3 powerhouse Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (12-1) its lone defeat and just second game decided by single digits.
2. Portland St. Patrick 58, Fowler 51 (OT) The Shamrocks (14-0) strengthened their status as Division 4 contenders by completing a regular-season sweep of league rival and reigning Division 4 champ Fowler (11-2).
3. Harbor Springs 57, Traverse City St. Francis 47 The Lake Michigan Conference has four teams within two wins of each other at the top of the standings, and Harbor Springs (14-1) has a slim lead on the field after this win over the Gladiators (10-4).
4. Grass Lake 61, Detroit Renaissance 57 The reigning Division 3 champ Warriors (9-4) would have been excused for falling back after losing their top player to a season-ending injury in December, but this win over the 2021 Division 1 runner-up Phoenix (10-4) reaffirmed Grass Lake as a challenger.
5. St. Ignace 47, Sault Ste. Marie 36 The Saints (13-2) avenged a 51-29 loss to the Blue Devils (11-4) from Dec. 16 to move into first alone in the Straits Area Conference.
Farmington Hills Mercy (12-2) The Marlins enter the final week of Detroit Catholic League Central play tied for first after avenging their lone league loss, to co-leader Dearborn Divine Child (14-1), on Jan. 28. Mercy’s only other defeat came in December to Brighton (9-5), and the Marlins sit second in Division 1 MPR behind only reigning champion Hudsonville.
Rockford (13-1) The Rams are No. 3 in Division 1 MPR, helping to make Friday’s rematch at top-ranked Hudsonville one of the state’s biggest games of the entire season. The Eagles won the first meeting 62-48 on Jan. 14, but the Rams otherwise have piled up impressive victories over Byron Center (11-2), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (11-3), Grand Rapids West Catholic (13-1) and Holland West Ottawa (10-4) among others.
Chelsea (11-2) The Bulldogs have a 1½-game lead in the Southeastern Conference White after handing second-place Tecumseh its only loss and with that rematch coming up Feb. 22. Chelsea’s only defeats were to reigning Division 2 champ Portland (13-1) and Marshall (10-5), and it has wins over Freeland (11-4), Riverview (11-4), Stockbridge (10-4) and Grass Lake (9-4) among others.
Redford Westfield Prep (15-1) In its third year as a program, Westfield is a contender with an impressive set of wins and its only loss 54-51 to Arbor Prep (see above). The Warriors defeated Detroit Cass Tech and Kalamazoo Central by double digits most recently, with wins as well over Dexter (12-2), Riverview (11-4), Grand Blanc (10-4), Hart (12-2) and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (11-4).
Kent City (15-0) The Eagles’ only loss last season was by two to Grass Lake in the Division 3 Final, and they haven’t slowed a bit under first-year coach Aleah Holcomb despite also graduating two of the state’s most prolific 3-point shooters of the last few seasons. Friday’s 50-38 win over second-place Morley Stanwood (11-3) put Kent City a win from clinching a share of the Central State Activities Association Silver title. The Eagles also have wins over Grand Rapids Christian (10-4) and Sparta (11-2).
McBain (14-2) The Ramblers are a combined 28-3 over the last two seasons and looking to finish a Highland Conference championship run after sharing last season’s title with Lake City. McBain lost to Lake City 44-42 on Jan. 18 but have a half-game lead in the standings with the rematch with the Trojans (13-1) set for Feb. 17. McBain’s only other defeat was in the season opener to Big Rapids (9-5), and last week the Ramblers finished a regular-season sweep of Northern Michigan Christian (10-3).
Bellaire (9-4) Last season’s Division 4 runner-up navigated a rough stretch early, finishing December with three straight losses. But over the last two weeks the Eagles have avenged all three including handing Gaylord St. Mary (13-2) its lone league defeat, 36-25 on Feb. 2. Lake City (13-1) and Mackinaw City (14-1) will present challenges over the next two weeks, and Bellaire also will get a chance to avenge its fourth defeat with a rematch against Johannesburg-Lewiston (9-3) on Feb. 15.
Colon (11-2) The Magi are riding a two-season District title run and have a chance to affect the Southern Central Athletic Association West race this week with a rematch Thursday against Athens – which defeated Colon on Jan. 14. The Magi’s only other loss was two weeks ago to Pittsford (8-3), and they have a slim lead after Athens for the second seed in their District – with an important opportunity to up their MPR at Schoolcraft (12-1) on Feb. 16.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Howell (11-3) at Hartland (13-1) – Howell won the first meeting 37-31 on Jan. 11 to take its current one-game lead in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West.
Tuesday – Sparta (11-2) at Belding (12-1) – Both are undefeated in Ottawa-Kent Conference Silver play and will see each other again less than a week later, Feb. 14.
Friday – Rockford (13-1) at Hudsonville (12-2) – As noted above, the Eagles lead the O-K Red and handed second-place Rockford its only defeat.
Friday – Detroit Edison (6-2) at Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (12-1) – These two could make strong arguments to be the favorites in Divisions 2 and 3, respectively, as the postseason approaches.
Friday – Saginaw Swan Valley (13-2) at Frankenmuth (12-1) – The Eagles’ 42-30 win over the Vikings on Jan. 7 remains the difference at the top of the Tri-Valley Conference 8 race.
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PHOTO Flint Carman-Ainsworth defenders create a wall near the basket during last week’s 56-40 win over Davison. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)
Championship time is quickly approaching this girls basketball season.
We’re still three weeks out from the start of District play. But league contenders are clashing all over the state, with a handful of conferences finishing up their schedules this week and several favorites facing off soon with titles on the line. We make mention of a number of those below.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. West Bloomfield 59, Detroit Edison 49 Last season, West Bloomfield (15-2) became the first in-state team to defeat Edison (12-3) since 2018 – and the Lakers have become the only one to do so again this winter.
2. Maple City Glen Lake 51, Traverse City St. Francis 45 The Lakers (13-2) are up to No. 2 in Division 4 MPR, while St. Francis (12-2) sits No. 4 in Division 3.
3. Holt 55, DeWitt 53 The Rams (14-2) sit alone atop the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue after sending the Panthers (13-2) into second in a matchup of top Division 1 teams statewide.
4. Hancock 50, Calumet 47 The Bulldogs (13-1) maintained their one-game lead in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference West with their second win this season over third-place Calumet (11-3). Both are among the top seven statewide in Division 3 MPR.
5. Detroit Edison 44, Farmington Hills Mercy 42 The Pioneers bounced back from the West Bloomfield loss with a pair of close wins, this one over Mercy (14-2) followed by a one-pointer over Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Saturday.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (11-5) After a 2-4 start with those losses to top Division 1 and 2 teams statewide, Reeths-Puffer is 9-3 and tied for first in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green with Muskegon after edging the Big Reds 56-52 on Friday. That avenged a 14-point loss to Muskegon on Jan. 6, and the Rockets have since gone on an eight-game winning streak. They also opened last week with a 42-39 victory over 11-win Ludington.
Wayne Memorial (13-4) The Zebras further solidified their standing atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East standings with last week’s 75-57 win over second-place Belleville. That followed up a 44-41 win over the Tigers on Jan. 6, and total Wayne has won 12 straight since a 1-3 start that included two-point losses to Division 1 contenders Detroit Renaissance and Hudsonville and a third defeat to Illinois power Chicago Whitney Young.
Goodrich (14-1) The Martians are locked in another battle atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Lake Fenton and trail the Blue Devils by a game after a 50-44 loss Jan. 20. That’s Goodrich’s only defeat, and they’ll attempt to avenge it in the league finale Feb. 17. In the meantime, the Martians can continue their statewide push upward with 13-win Flushing coming up Wednesday and 15-win Ovid-Elsie next week as well.
Redford Westfield Prep (11-6) The Warriors take on many of the state’s best, evidenced by their No. 8 MPR despite six losses. Westfield has won seven of its last eight games, the lone defeat during that streak 55-53 to still-undefeated Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 16 – and with perhaps its most notable instate win of the season 46-45 in double overtime Jan. 12 over reigning Division 3 champion Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.
McBain (13-4) The Highland Conference race could go down to the finish, especially after McBain avenged its earlier 17-point loss to second-place Evart with a 51-35 win last week. McBain also has a six-point loss to league leader Lake City from Jan. 20, but can avenge that in the regular-season finale Feb. 23. The Ramblers additionally have a pair of victories over 12-win Beal City and a solid early loss to still-undefeated Division 2 Escanaba.
Ovid-Elsie (15-2) The Marauders haven’t slowed down a bit after last season’s 21-2 finish with league and District titles, the latter in Division 2. This season in Division 3, Ovid-Elsie is up to No. 6 in MPR with a 14-game winning streak since suffering its lone losses early to Pewamo-Westphalia (10-5) and Dansville (15-1). The Marauders handed Mackinaw City its first defeat Saturday, 59-55 on a neutral court, and also has a victory over 14-win Ithaca plus a two-game lead in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference.
Fowler (11-6) Coming off back-to-back Division 4 championships, Fowler put together a schedule featuring solid-to-strong teams from Divisions 1-4 and sit No. 3 in Division 4 MPR. The losses have come to Midland Dow, Haslett, Lansing Catholic, Kent City and league rivals Dansville and Portland St. Patrick, and the Eagles avenged the Shamrocks defeat 51-44 last week. Fowler will need help to catch Dansville in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, down two games from the league leader, but will try to get one back from the Aggies on Feb. 14.
Norway (16-1) The Knights are leading the large-school division of the Skyline Central Conference with the likely deciding matchup coming at Bark River-Harris next week. Norway has lost only to Niagara (Wis.), by five two weeks ago, and handed Carney-Nadeau (13-2) one of its losses among other strong work – and after ending last season’s 11-10 run with a 15-point District loss to the Wolves.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Coldwater (15-1) at Jackson Northwest (15-1) – The Mounties lead Coldwater by a win in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference thanks to a 50-46 win in their first meeting Jan. 10.
Tuesday – Utica Ford (14-1) at Grosse Pointe North (13-2) – North has clinched a share of the Macomb Area Conference Red title heading into tonight’s league finale, while Ford won by a large margin in the MAC White.
Thursday – Houghton (13-1) at Hancock (13-1) – As noted above, Hancock leads the West-PAC West by a game – but will face second-place Houghton twice over the next two weeks.
Friday – Standish-Sterling (15-1) at Hemlock (13-3) – Hemlock owns the lead in the Tri-Valley Conference West 10-1 thanks to a 62-31 doubling up in the first meeting Jan. 6. But that remains the Panthers’ lone loss, and they’ve since handed TVC 10-2 co-leader Saginaw Valley Lutheran one of its two defeats.
Friday – Saline (15-2) at Temperance Bedford (16-1) – Saline is first and Bedford second in the Southeastern Conference Red thanks to Saline’s 41-22 win in their first meeting Jan. 27.
MHSAA.com's weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. 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 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
PHOTOS (Top) A trio of Fowler defenders surround a Bath player driving to the basket during a 49-27 win earlier this season; they meet again Thursday. (Middle) Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week. (Top photo by Click by Christine McCallister. Middle photo by Rick Sack/TC Rick Photo.)