Breslin Bound: 2021-22 Girls Report Week 11

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 14, 2022

We’re another step closer to starting the MHSAA Tournament in girls basketball, and we don’t have many steps left as the regular season draws to a close.

MI Student Aid

The formula for determining which teams will be placed on which lines was released today. This week’s games will be the last before the top two seeds in every District are determined and those brackets filled in Sunday.

“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. Hudsonville 72, Rockford 62 The Eagles (14-2) finished a regular-season sweep of the Rams (14-2) to gain a two-game advantage in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red with four league games to play.

2. Frankenmuth 65, Saginaw Swan Valley 37 The Eagles (10-0) ran their league winning streak to 25 and pulled two victories from clinching a repeat in the Tri-Valley Conference 8 as Swan Valley (14-3) fell back into a tie for second.

3. Williamston 37, Haslett 33 The Hornets (12-6) can this week claim a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference Red title after avenging a Jan. 6 loss to the second-place Vikings (11-4), who also have only one loss in the league but more games left to play.

4. Hartland 48, Howell 36 The Eagles (15-1) avenged their only loss of the season to create a tie atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West with the Highlanders (12-4).

5. Sparta 57, Belding 33 The Spartans (13-2) pulled ahead by half a game to lead the the O-K Silver, but second-place Belding (13-2) will hope to make up ground in tonight’s rematch.

Watch List

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

Division 1

Dexter (14-2) The Dreadnaughts will finish with at least a share of the Southeastern Conference Red title and likely more with a three-game lead and three league games to play. They moved to the Red after finishing second in the SEC White last season and sharing that league’s championship in 2019-20. After opening with a loss at Salem, Dexter has been nearly unstoppable with its only other defeat to Division 2 contender Redford Westfield Prep (16-1), 66-59 on Jan. 20. The Dreadnaughts have downed Temperance Bedford (11-4) twice and Saline (13-3) once, and see the latter and old rival Chelsea (14-2) during the final week of the regular season.

East Lansing (11-4) The Trojans clinched a share of their seventh-straight CAAC Blue championship, and that doesn’t include what could’ve been during last season’s 16-1 run to the Division 1 Quarterfinals when league standings weren’t kept because of the abbreviated schedule. There are a few more defeats this winter, but they came against Division 2 powers Detroit Edison (7-2) and Portland (15-1) and also-Division 1 contenders Parma Western (15-1) and Haslett (11-4). The Trojans have handed pairs of losses to DeWitt (11-3) and Holt (11-4) with wins over Williamston (12-6) and Muskegon (10-5) also helping push them into the No. 3 spot in Division 1 MPR.

Division 2

Clawson (14-2) A win tonight over Warren Woods-Tower will lock up a share of the Macomb Area Conference Silver title after Clawson won it outright the last two seasons. The Trojans showed how much difference a few weeks can make, falling to league co-leader St. Clair Shores South Lake (15-3) by 22 on Jan. 21 but winning the rematch 53-51 last Tuesday. The team’s only other loss was to Division 3 contender Madison Heights Bishop Foley (12-1), and Clawson has a pair of victories of Madison Heights Lamphere (11-5) and close one over a league champ in New Haven (11-4).

Sault Ste. Marie (13-4) The Blue Devils are likely to finish second to rival St. Ignace in the Straits Area Conference, but other intriguing possibilities are ahead for a team that’s tested against the best of the Upper Peninsula with some solid downstate games in the memory bank as well. Sault Ste. Marie split the season series with the Saints (14-2) and is 6-0 against Big North Conference opponents with a win over league leader Petoskey (10-6) and two apiece against second-place Alpena (10-7) and Gaylord (10-6). The Blue Devils also have defeated Great Northern Conference leader Marquette, with other losses to Division 1 DeWitt (11-3) and Muskegon Mona Shores (14-2).

Division 3

St. Ignace (14-2) The Saints are 11-0 during calendar year 2022, avenging an early 22-point loss to Sault Ste. Marie with a 47-36 win Feb. 4 to move into first alone in the Straits Area Conference after finishing league runner-up last winter. Always one to schedule tough, St. Ignace’s only other defeat came to Division 1 Port Huron (11-6), and the Saints are up to No. 3 in Division 3 MPR thanks in part to wins over Mackinaw City (16-1), Pickford (12-2) twice, Engadine (10-5) and Gaylord. Only Pickford and Gaylord have come within single digits since the new year began.

Schoolcraft (14-1) After falling to Division 4 contender Plymouth Christian Academy in the season opener, Schoolcraft is unbeaten and rarely challenged. A five-point win over Vicksburg (10-6) on Dec. 7 is the last time the Eagles have played a single-digit game, and that’s included pairs of matchups with Kalamazoo Christian (13-4) and Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep (11-6). They defeated both last week on the way to clinching the Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley title outright and moving into No. 5 in Division 3 MPR. A Jan. 25 win over Buchanan (14-3) also is a booster for a team that finished second in its league a year ago but surged all the way to the Quarterfinals.

Division 4

Fowler (13-2) This winter has worked out almost as well as the reigning Division 4 champion could have wanted, save for its games against one opponent – Portland St. Patrick, which has won both regular-season meetings to all but lock up the Central Michigan Athletic Conference title. But the Eagles should get another opportunity against the Shamrocks in the District, and they have plenty to boast with wins over Saginaw Nouvel (12-3), Plymouth Christian (14-3) and Stockbridge (12-5) and a nice test this week against reigning Division 2 champion Portland (15-1). They also have all-state sisters Mia and Emma Riley still leading the way after scoring 34 of the team’s 54 points in last season’s Final.

Saginaw Nouvel (12-3) A 1-3 start against some tough competition no doubt vaulted Nouvel into its 11-game winning streak that has the Panthers a half-game ahead of the field in the TVC 10 and No. 8 in Division 4 MPR. Nouvel avenged its lone league loss, in December in overtime to Standish-Sterling (13-3), with a 55-33 victory Feb. 1. The Panthers also have wins over Hemlock (12-3), Saginaw Valley Lutheran (10-6), and Midland Bullock Creek (10-6) twice. Nouvel had finished second to Standish in the TVC 10 a year ago before reaching the Division 4 Quarterfinals.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Midland Dow (15-1) at Flushing (15-2) – This is a rematch of a 2021 Division 1 Regional Final, won by Dow by 10 as the Chargers eventually reached the Semifinals at Breslin Center.

Thursday – Hart (14-2) at Montague (13-3) – Hart won the first meeting 37-36 on Jan. 11 and can clinch a share of the West Michigan Conference title, but a Montague victory would set up the likely possibility of a shared championship.

Thursday – McBain (15-2) at Lake City (16-1) – As long as both win their Tuesday games, this will be a winner-take-all for the Highland Conference championship and with Lake City having won the first meeting 44-42 on Jan. 18.

Thursday – Harbor Springs (16-1) at Elk Rapids (14-2) – Elk Rapids has a half-game lead on Harbor Springs in the Lake Michigan Conference, but also must go through third-place Traverse City St. Francis on Tuesday.

Thursday – Detroit Edison (7-2) at Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (13-1) – This was previously scheduled for last week but would be one of the biggest games statewide no matter when it would be played.

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PHOTO Frankenmuth’s Clare Conzelmann (10) moves the ball around the arc during last week’s win over Saginaw Swan Valley. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)

Lansing Catholic Closes Season With Memorable Victory Close to Home

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

March 18, 2023

EAST LANSING – The Lansing Catholic girls basketball team took a short drive to end a long wait.

Playing just three miles from their high school, the Cougars defeated Frankenmuth 43-29 Saturday at the Breslin Center to win the MHSAA Division 2 Final. It was the first Finals title for the program since 1995.

“It felt like homecourt advantage a little bit,” Lansing Catholic senior guard Hannah Pricco said. “Our bus trip wasn’t super long. It just kind of felt like we were coming to our own court.”

The Cougars treated it that way, dominating from the beginning of the matchup in their first Finals trip since that 1995 title. They scored the game’s first 11 points and never looked back.

The Cougars’ Anna Richards (10) attempts to get a shot up over Frankenmuth’s Lexi Boyke.“This is, as you can imagine, extremely surreal,” Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid said. “You’re going through literally every emotion on the bench, especially in a game like that. Frankenmuth is making such a great comeback, and we knew they were going to fight to the end. To go through the anger and sadness and happiness, and now it’s over and we’ve won it. It’s just been a rollercoaster of emotions, and I can’t describe the pride I have in these girls.”

It was the second meeting between the two teams, with Lansing Catholic taking the first 74-42 on Feb. 2. But Reid wasn’t going to let her team come in overconfident.

“They didn’t get here by accident,” Reid said. “They’re in the state championship because they’re playing their best ball of the year. We played them a month and a half ago. … We’re a totally different team, and we knew they were a totally different team. We knew they had been playing some really good basketball, and it didn’t matter at all what that first outcome was. We knew this was going to be a battle.”

Lansing Catholic (24-5) never trailed, and led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter. Leah Richards led the Cougars with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Anna Richards had 14 points. Gabby Halliwill added seven.

The Cougars were spurred by their defense throughout, holding Frankenmuth to 9 of 36 shooting from the field and forcing 13 turnovers.

“For us, defensively, we had to switch it up,” Reid said. “We had to keep switching up between man and zone. They were making adjustments and we couldn’t really sit in one thing for too long; they got comfortable. That’s a credit to their coaching staff always making adjustments. We had to continue to switch things up defensively and try to hopefully make their shooters second-guess their shot, or maybe not know where we were coming from.”

Frankenmuth (25-3) didn’t go away, despite trailing by double digits for the majority of the game. 

That was helped by Lansing Catholic shooting 1 of 11 from the field in the third quarter, and going scoreless for the final 5:26 of the frame.

Tessa Roe (12) works to get past Clare Conzelmann and to the basket.The Eagles cut the lead to seven with 2:45 to play on a steal and layup from Clare Conzelmann, but never got closer.

“There was always belief no matter what detriment we got ourselves in,” Frankenmuth senior Lexi Boyke said. “I wouldn’t want to choose any other girls to play with and be in with at that point. I think we fought back and really prided ourselves on, ‘We can still do it.’ We didn’t stop fighting until the end.”

Lansing Catholic always figured Frankenmuth would make a run to get into the game, but was ready when it came.

“We knew they were going to make runs, we knew we weren’t going to hold them to seven points the whole game,” Anna Richards said. “We knew in the third quarter they were going to score, so we just had to stay composed, work the ball around on offense to get the good shots that we wanted.”

Boyke, who scored Frankenmuth’s first 10 points and was its only scorer well into the third quarter, finished with 16. She also reached 1,000 career points in the game, and had six rebounds, while Izzy Bernthal had seven.

Frankenmuth was making its first Finals appearance since winning the Class C title in 1996, one year after Lansing Catholic. 

“That’s a really good Lansing Catholic team, and you’ve seen that from their postseason run and beating an undefeated West Catholic team, and tonight finishing their season off with a state championship. So, congratulations to them,” Frankenmuth coach Joe Jacobs said. “I’m super proud of our kids. They didn’t quit tonight. They could have. … Fun experience, one that we want to treasure forever, but the motivation to come back again is here after tonight’s loss.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Lansing Catholic celebrates its Division 2 championship Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) The Cougars’ Anna Richards (10) attempts to get a shot up over Frankenmuth’s Lexi Boyke. (Below) Tessa Roe (12) works to get past Clare Conzelmann and to the basket.