By the end of tonight, we’ll know which 16 girls basketball teams are Breslin Bound this weekend.
Below is a glance at all 16 Quarterfinals across four divisions, with all games tipping off today at 7 p.m. unless noted.
We’ll come back Thursday with more detailed looks at the teams making the trip to East Lansing.
“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid.
Salem (20-6) vs. Riverview (23-3) at Ypsilanti Lincoln
Riverview is playing in its first Quarterfinal, and Salem its first since 1990. The Rocks are paced by junior Madison Morson (22.4 points, 7.6 rebounds per game). Seniors Elyssa Kincaid (16.8 ppg) and Cadence Kaminske (14.7 ppg) lead Riverview, which won both of its Regional games by a point.
Flint Carman-Ainsworth (23-0) vs. West Bloomfield (24-2) at Bay City Central
The Cavaliers bring a perfect record and five players averaging double-digit scoring into this meeting with the reigning Division 1 champion. Senior Armonie Smith and junior Ravyn Guy lead at 15 ppg, and senior DeAndrea’ Smith provides 12.6 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per contest. West Bloomfield has three starters back from its title-winning lineup – junior twins Summer Davis (19.1 ppg, 74 3-pointers) and Indya Davis (15.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and senior Sydney Hendrix (10.6 ppg).
Detroit Renaissance (22-1) vs. Grosse Pointe North (23-2) at University of Detroit Mercy
The Phoenix are a one-point overtime loss to Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard from perfection this winter and defeated Farmington Hills Mercy (22-4) to reach this week. North’s only losses were to Lake Fenton and Utica Eisenhower, the latter by a point. Three players average double-digit scoring for the Norsemen, led by senior Annabel Ayrault at 14 ppg. Junior Christian Sanders (14.1 ppg) leads four Renaissance players averaging at least 11 points per contest.
Rockford (25-1) vs. Holt (22-4) at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix
The Rams were a three-point Semifinal loss to West Bloomfield from playing for last year’s Division 1 title, and their only loss this time was to still-undefeated Grand Rapids West Catholic. Sophomore Anna Wypych (14.2 ppg) is the leading scorer for a team that’s connected on 231 3-pointers. Holt is coached by Tori Brooks, who made the Finals as a player with DeWitt in 2009 and East Lansing in 2008, and the Rams are keyed by senior Janae Tyler (18.1 ppg, 12.2 rpg).
Houghton (21-5) vs. Frankenmuth (23-2) at Gaylord, 5 p.m.
The Gremlins have defeated league champions two of their last three games to reach this week and feature for senior starters including leading scorer Meghan Trewhella (16.1 ppg). Frankenmuth earned its second-straight Regional title and has won 11 straight games, with 6-foot-1 Lexi Boyke (13 ppg, 8.5 rpg) the lone senior in the Eagles’ starting lineup.
Warren Regina (10-12) vs. Goodrich (23-3) at University of Detroit Mercy, 5:30 p.m.
Regina is playing in its first Quarterfinal since 2011 after handing Warren Fitzgerald its lone loss 52-19 in the Regional Final. Junior Maddy Mlynarek (6.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is the leading scorer and rebounder for a balanced lineup. Goodrich built on its one-point win over rival Lake Fenton in the District Final with a triple-overtime victory over Detroit Country Day in the Regional championship game. Senior Riley Place leads at 13.2 ppg.
Grand Rapids West Catholic (25-0) vs. Holland Christian (19-7) at Hopkins
Last season’s Division 2 runner-up West Catholic hasn’t lost since, led by senior Miss Basketball Award finalist Cadence Dykstra (13.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.0 apg). The Falcons defeated Holland Christian by 17 and 32 during the regular season. The Maroons won their first Regional title since 2009, and sophomore Camryn VandenBosch (11.5 ppg) leads four starters averaging at least six points per game.
Lansing Catholic (21-5) vs. Redford Westfield Prep (16-8) at Chelsea
Both of these teams have earned stunning victories this postseason, Westfield over reigning Division 2 champion Detroit Edison 57-54 in the Regional Final and Lansing Catholic handing second and final losses to Haslett in the District and Chelsea in the Regional. Senior guard Shamya Reid is Westfield’s leading scorer at 15.5 ppg, while junior twins Anna and Leah Richards pace the Cougars at 12.2 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
Sandusky (23-3) vs. Madison Heights Bishop Foley (20-6) at West Bloomfield
Sandusky earned its first Regional championship since 1999, avenging an overtime regular-season loss to Cass City to advance. Senior Morgan Taege averages 12.6 ppg with 50 3-pointers. Bishop Foley has won three straight Regional championships and this time is led by junior Ryan Moorer (11.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and four seniors filling out the rest of the starting lineup.
Blissfield (25-1) vs. Ovid-Elsie (22-4) at Springport
The Royals defeated reigning Division 3 champion Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 50-38 in a Regional Final to return to the season’s final week. Five players average between 5.9 and 11 ppg, with junior Avery Collins that leading scorer and also pace-setter with 4.5 assists and four steals per contest. Ovid-Elsie won its first Regional title since 1984 and starts four juniors including Ava Bates, who leads at 12.6 points, 5.7 rpg and 1.4 blocks per game.
Elk Rapids (21-3) vs. Hemlock (23-3) at Gaylord
Elk Rapids will play in its first Quarterfinal since 1993, with wins over Harbor Springs and Negaunee highlighting the Elks’ tournament path. Junior Kendall Standfest has been a force averaging 16.7 ppg and 11.2 rpg. Hemlock has won 14 straight and follows a pair of big-time shooters in seniors Regan Finkbeiner (17.1 ppg, 60 3-pointers) and Chloe Watson (14.1 ppg, 71 3-pointers).
Hart (23-3) vs. Buchanan (23-1) at Bangor
Hart avenged a regular-season loss to 2022 Division 3 runner-up Kent City to win its first Regional championship, with leading scorers Abby Hicks (14.5 ppg) and Addi Hovey (16.4 ppg) surrounded by three seniors in the starting lineup. Buchanan’s first Quarterfinal trip since 2001 has been paced by 6-4 Miss Basketball finalist Faith Carson at 20.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. The Bucks have won 23 straight since falling to Vicksburg in their season opener.
Baraga (21-5) vs. Mackinaw City (25-1)
Baraga is back after making the Division 4 Semifinals last season, in part thanks to avenging regular-season losses to Lake Linden-Hubbell and Ewen-Trout Creek during the playoffs. Corina Jahfetson is among the standouts again, this time with a team-leading 18 ppg and 90 3-pointers. Mackinaw City broke through with its first Regional title, with seniors Madison Smith (16.1 ppg, 10 rpg) and Marlie Pastula (15.8) leading four players averaging double-digit scoring.
Fowler (19-7) vs. Kingston (25-1)
The Eagles have won the last two Division 4 championships and prepped this time with another strong schedule; their only Division 4 loss was to Portland St. Patrick and was avenged twice. Senior Emma Riley has plenty of Breslin experience and leads at 15.1 ppg. Kingston’s lone loss came to Division 2 Saginaw Swan Valley, and nine of the team’s last 10 wins were over opponents with winning records. Junior Delaney St. George paces the Cardinals at 15.8 ppg with 91 3-pointers.
Maple City Glen Lake (23-2) vs. St. Charles (24-2)
Glen Lake won its third-straight Regional title but this time in Division 4 after advancing in Division 3 the last two seasons. Senior guard Ruby Hogan (19.1 ppg, 5.2 apg) will direct the offense as the Lakers attempt to reach the Semifinals for the second-straight March. St. Charles was another first-time Regional champion last week and is keyed by a balanced lineup with three starters averaging between 9-10 ppg, led by Emily Zelinko at 9.8.
Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep (18-8) vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian (17-10)
Hackett made its first Quarterfinal with a 35-29 victory over 21-win Colon in the Regional Final. Junior Alyse Baughman (13.6 ppg) is the leading scorer for a lineup with only one senior starter. Lenawee Christian is making a return trip to the Quarterfinals, following another distance-shooting ace in senior Avery Sluss (14.1 ppg, 56 3-pointers).
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) Carman-Ainsworth’s Armoni Strozier (15) gets a hand on a shot during a District win over Flushing. (Middle) Kalen Williams (3) gets a shot up for Goodrich against Davison earlier this season. (Photos by Terry Lyons.)
TECUMSEH – First, the good news: Nearly everyone on the Tecumseh girls basketball team has aspirations to play college basketball – and several of them at a very high level.
Now, the twist: There are only eight girls in the entire program.
Tecumseh head coach Kristy Zajac, starting her seventh season, is unfazed by the lack of numbers. Tecumseh will field just a varsity team this season but should contend for a Southeastern Conference White championship and pursue a deep playoff run as well.
“This is a great group of girls,” Zajac said. “At least six or seven of them want to play college basketball. The basketball IQ is so much higher than we have had in the past. We’ve never had a full team of basketball-first kids.”
Zajac said that dynamic has changed practices and the approach on the court.
“We do a lot more high-level skill stuff and high-level thinking,” she said. “We do more read-and-react stuff where they have to play on the fly, which makes us harder to scout. We want to try and give the kids a chance to use that basketball IQ and make opportunities for themselves on the floor so they can score without having to run a set play.”
The list of college prospects starts with her daughter, 6-foot-2 junior Alli Zajac. She holds about 15 Division I offers, and the list seems to grow daily.
She’s been receiving recruiting attention since before she played a game in high school. As a freshman, she was the Lenawee County Player of the Year and has been all-state both of her first two seasons. Last winter, she scored 433 points as Tecumseh went 20-5.
Her sister, Addi Zajac, hasn’t played a varsity game yet but has received a lot of attention as well as a college prospect after several great years of travel ball. She’s 6-foot and a true center.
“She wears a size 14 shoe,” Zajac said. “We are hoping next year she is 6-3 or 6-4. She has such a strong body; I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone that strong at her age. She can push people around.”
The sisters are very different types of players. They also are extremely competitive, as witnessed when they play 1-on-1 at home.
“It usually ends in a fistfight,” Zajac said. “They are both very competitive.”
The team is loaded with more talent than just the Zajac sisters.
Sophomore Makayla Schlorf made 28 3-pointers last season, and sophomore Chloe Bollinger made 26. Junior Ashlyn Moorhead averaged just under double figures in scoring and averaged 3.7 assists a game last year. Junior Lauren Kilbarger also is back from last season and joined by newcomers Faith Wiedyk, a junior, sophomore Sophia Torres and freshman Amaria Brown.
Maddie VanBlack is another travel ball veteran but is out this season due to tearing an ACL.
Tecumseh athletic director Jon Zajac – Kristy’s husband – said it is disappointing Tecumseh won’t field a junior varsity team this year. He said kids playing travel ball in other sports, along with the youth of the current team, are factors.
“It is frustrating,” he said. “Hopefully this is the only year for that.”
Kristy (Maska) Zajac grew up near Tecumseh in Britton, played four years on the varsity and scored more than 1,800 career points under coach Bart Bartels, now an assistant on her staff. She played at Eastern Michigan University, where she was one of the top scorers in school history. Jon Zajac, played at EMU and professionally overseas.
The entire family is crazy about basketball. In addition to Alli and Addi, son Ryder played four years at Tecumseh before heading off to college to play football, and the youngest in the family, Avery, is a budding star in her own right.
“There were a few travel games this year where my team was short on numbers and Avery got to play with Addi and Alli,” Kristy Zajac said. “That was cool to see. She held her own. She won’t get to play with Alli in high school (Avery is in seventh grade), but she’ll get two years with Addi. I got to play with my sister, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.”
Jon Zajac stops by practice now and then to coach as well. He and Kristy coach Avery’s travel team.
“He is a great person to have as part of the program,” Kristy Zajac said of her husband. “Anytime I can get him to help with the post players and with the girls is great. He’s a huge help.”
The family often schedules trips around basketball and is seemingly always pulled in multiple directions as the three girls compete at various levels.
“It’s pretty much basketball all day, every day,” Zajac said. “It’s fun to see how the kids enjoy it and love the game.”
Tecumseh, which has won a combined 39 games over the past two seasons, has loaded up its schedule, playing a collection of nonconference teams that made deep tournament runs and won conference championships last season. Tecumseh plays in the Icebreaker event at Ypsilanti Arbor Prep against Detroit Country Day on Saturday and also faces Temperance-Bedford (23-1 last season), reigning Division 3 runner-up Blissfield and Grand Blanc.
Without a senior on the team and no JV squad, Tecumseh will play essentially this group for the next 50 or more games. It’s a two-year window with virtually the same team.
“We’re doing what we can to win this year,” Zajac said. “We want this year to be super successful. We are just taking it one game at a time and going from there. We want to keep building and getting better every day, every game. Hopefully by the end of next year, we’ll be where we need to be.”
Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.
PHOTOS (Top) Tecumseh’s Alli Zajac makes her move toward the lane last season against Adrian. (Middle) Kristy Zajac coaches her team, which finished 20-5 in 2022-23. (Photos by Deloris Clark-Osborne/Adrian Daily Telegram.)