We’ve officially reached the midpoint of another girls basketball season, and with that comes many more eyeballs turned toward the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings used to seed the top two teams in each District and place them on opposite sides of the bracket.
An explanation of how MPR is calculated and full lists for all four divisions can be found clicking here. We also reference MPR much more below than we have over the first six weeks of the season, since every game added into the equation makes MPR a more accurate representation of what teams are accomplishing this winter, and at this point many teams have played nearly half their regular-season schedules.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Traverse City Central 41, Maple City Glen Lake 29 The Trojans (9-1) are off to a scorching start, and with this victory ended Glen Lake’s 41-game regular-season winning streak.
2. Lake Fenton 45, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 39 The Blue Devils (12-0) opened last week by downing the reigning Division 3 champion Gators (5-4).
3. Escanaba 50, Hancock 49 Potentially the two best teams in a strong Upper Peninsula this winter matched up that way, with the Division 2 Eskymos moving to 11-0 and Division 3 Hancock to 9-1.
4. Jackson Northwest 50, Coldwater 46 By handing Coldwater (9-1) its first defeat, Northwest (9-1) also moved into first place alone in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference.
5. Grand Rapids Christian 46, East Grand Rapids 45 These two are tied for only third in a strong Ottawa-Kent Conference White, in part because the Eagles (6-3) handed EGR (8-2) its first league loss.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Grand Blanc (6-3) After opening this season with three defeats to top competition (Hartland, Frankenmuth and Wayne Memorial), Grand Blanc hasn’t lost since and sits No. 5 in Division 1 MPR with all nine of its games against teams with winning records. Among those wins, the Bobcats handed Blissfield its only loss, and Holt just its second.
Holland West Ottawa (11-0) The Panthers are up to No. 4 in Division 1 MPR with a 55-51 overtime win over reigning O-K Red champion Hudsonville a major highlight last week. They also handed O-K Green co-leader Muskegon Mona Shores a 45-39 defeat in early December and can assert themselves as the best in the Red with matchups against Rockford and East Kentwood coming up over the next two weeks.
North Branch (9-1) The Broncos are a two-point December loss to Division 1 Oxford from a perfect start, and only two other games have been close despite playing six teams with winning records. North Branch opened with an impressive 52-35 win over Marysville and closed last week defeating Armada after splitting with the Tigers last season. The Broncos also have avenged a pair of last-season losses to Yale and a third to Millington.
Vicksburg (10-0) The Bulldogs began accelerating toward this kind of success in finishing 14-8 last season, and they made a statement immediately this winter with a 45-31 win over reigning Wolverine Conference champion Otsego on Dec. 2 after losing twice to the Bulldogs last season. Actually, they made a statement even before that, handing Buchanan what remains the Bucks’ only defeat, 47-42 in the season opener – which also remains Vicksburg’s only single-digit game.
Buchanan (8-1) As noted above, Buchanan opened with a defeat to Vicksburg but hasn’t lost since to move up to No. 4 in Division 3 MPR. The Bucks also have the first-half lead in the first-year Lakeland Conference, a game ahead of longtime rival Niles Brandywine after handing Brandywine a 49-45 overtime loss Dec. 15. No other opponent during the winning streak has gotten closer than 18 points.
Calumet (8-1) Coming off three straight seasons with at least 19 wins, Calumet is used to being in the mix and no surprise this time with its only loss to Hancock. Impressive wins over Negaunee and Baraga have followed, but these next two weeks should be especially telling with trips to Houghton, Gwinn and Marquette followed up by home games against Escanaba and Hancock again. The Copper Kings’ only regular-season losses last year were in splits with the Gremlins and Eskymos.
Kingston (9-0) The Cardinals entered this season a combined 75-12 over their last four, with that just a sample of consistent high-level success stretching more than a decade – and they’re adding to that impressively again. A 66-60 double-overtime win over Armada to finish the season’s first week was their only single-digit game so far, despite seven wins total over teams .500 or better and five over teams that have won at least seven games – easily explaining Kingston’s top rank in Division 4 MPR.
Maple City Glen Lake (8-1) The loss to Division 1 Traverse City Central (see above) should only strengthen Glen Lake’s standing as one of the best in Division 4, as the Lakers remain No. 2 in Division 4 MPR with double-digit wins over the rest of their opponents including three more with at least seven wins. A Feb. 1 matchup with Division 3 Traverse City St. Francis should be a gem, and expectations are high again after Glen Lake’s lone loss last season came to Arbor Prep in a Division 4 Semifinal.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – DeWitt (9-0) at Haslett (10-0) – These rivals have split their last two, with DeWitt winning last year’s meeting 24-22.
Tuesday – Petersburg Summerfield (11-1) at Morenci (10-0) – This pair is tied for first in the Tri-County Conference with the only loss between them Summerfield’s to Division 2 Ida.
Thursday – North Farmington (11-0) at Oxford (10-1) – The co-leaders in the Oakland Activities Association White face off for the first of two meetings.
Friday – Lake Fenton (12-0) at Goodrich (10-0) – The co-leaders in the Flint Metro League Stars also are ranked Nos. 4 and 11, respectively, in statewide Division 2 MPR.
Friday – Rockford (9-1) at Holland West Ottawa (11-0) – As noted above, these two have the early lead in the O-K Red, and Rockford also is No. 1 in Division 1 MPR with West Ottawa No. 4.
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) Otsego’s Hannah Fitzpatrick (23) gets to the lane in her team’s 44-42 overtime win over Plainwell. (Middle) Traverse City Central’s Jakiah Brumfield (2) splits two defenders on her way to scoring in the Trojans' 41-29 win over previously-undefeated Glen Lake last week. (Photos by Gary Shook and Rick Sack, respectively.)
The MHSAA and Holly school communities are grieving this week after the sudden loss of Tony Coggins, a shining light in his educational community and an enthusiastic supporter of school sports as a public address announcer for several of our largest championship events.
But while that cheerful tone has been quieted, it surely will not be forgotten by the many fortunate to enjoy an event in the presence of that voice and the joyfulness he brought into every arena, press box and classroom.
Coggins, 51, died Saturday. He is survived by his wife Kristy and children Emma and Bradlee, among several family and friends from his local and greater sports communities.
His career as a PA announcer began during his freshman year of high school in 1985, when his father Dale Coggins – Flushing’s athletic director at the time – couldn’t find anyone else to announce middle school football games. That was 39 years ago, and this fall Tony Coggins was in his 24th announcing at Holly, where he taught and served as an administrator in addition to his role as “Voice of the Holly Bronchos” for football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, competitive cheer and swimming & diving over the years.
Coggins has been a mainstay among MHSAA Finals PA announcers over the last decade in football, basketball, softball and most recently volleyball. He lent his voice to college sports at University of Michigan as well. “Tony was a huge part of our Finals events. It’s hard to imagine it being the same without him,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said.
As part of the run-up to the MHSAA public address announcers clinic in 2018, Coggins said this about what drew him to the microphone:
“I have zero athletic ability whatsoever, which is interesting because my father was an all-state running back. But I enjoy being involved, and I've always been the one for history and statistics and knowing what's going on,” Coggins said. “This is a way for me to be involved. It's a way for me to use a talent I've been given; public speaking has always come pretty naturally for me.
“So I worked at my craft to get better. I got better from watching the people around me, from studying the people I like, and the people – if I saw someone I didn’t care for – I'd make a note and say to myself, ‘Don't do that.’ I take feedback from people very personally, and I mean that in a good way. If somebody takes the time to come up and say, ‘You did this well; I think you should change this,’ that means they care about the program also. We all have the same goal in mind, and that's to make the experience good for the high school student and the parents, the fans, that come there.”
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at St. John Vianney, 2415 Bagley Street in Flint. There will be visitation from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at the Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road, and at the church from 10 a.m. Saturday until the time of the Mass.
The Holly volleyball team played for something bigger tonight
Beloved PA announcer Anthony Coggins died on Friday night from a heart attack
— Brandon Green🍀 (@BGreenReports) October 24, 2023