Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Girls Quarterfinal Preview

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 18, 2024

The home stretch of this Michigan high school girls basketball season – and the MHSAA winter season as a whole – begins tonight with Quarterfinals across the state.

MI Student AidWe glance at all 16 matchups below. Games tip off at 7 p.m. unless noted. Details on tickets, brackets and more can be found on the Girls Basketball page. To watch all 16 games online, visit the NFHS Network.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at (Abbreviations below denote ppg - points per game, rpg - rebounds per game, apg - assists per game, spg - steals per game, and bpg - blocks per game.)

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

2. Tecumseh 56, Lansing Catholic 52 Tecumseh (22-4) advanced to this week by ending the season for last year’s Division 2 champion Cougars (20-6).

2. Lake City 54, Sanford Meridian 41 Lake City (24-2) still hasn’t taken a defeat since the first week of the season and downed a Meridian team in a Division 3 Regional Final that had lost only to Division 2 Freeland in finishing 23-2.

3. Flint Powers Catholic 62, Freeland 59 The Chargers (23-3) took on a Falcons team that finished 22-4 and was coming off its biggest win of the season over 2023 Division 2 runner-up Frankenmuth.

4. Holland West Ottawa 40, Byron Center 38 The Panthers (20-6) defeated a league champion in the Bulldogs (21-5) to earn a Division 1 rematch with Rockford.

5. West Bloomfield 61, Detroit Renaissance 48 This was a Division 1 Regional Semifinal but matched up two teams that reached the 2023 Semifinals in the Lakers (24-1) and Phoenix (21-4). 

Quarterfinals at a Glance


Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (20-5) vs. Grand Blanc (21-4) at University of Detroit Mercy, 5:30 p.m.

Stoney Creek is playing in its first Quarterfinal and Grand Blanc its first since 1977. The Bobcats also won the Saginaw Valley League this season for the first time, and are led by senior guard Chelsea Bishop (17 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.2 spg). Stoney Creek has steadily built to this run and has broken through this season with just one senior in the starting lineup, guard Sarah Laprairie, and two total on the roster.

Holt (18-8) vs. Belleville (23-2) at Jackson Lumen Christi

Belleville has made good on its contender status all season, with freshman Sydney Savoury (25 ppg, 7.0 rpg) leading four Tigers scoring at least 10 points per game. Their only in-state loss was to Division 2 contender Detroit Edison. Holt has emerged during a tough tournament run that’s included handing the third losses all season to DeWitt and Portage Central. Senior guard Rhema Dozier has set the pace with 12.9 points per game and 57 3-pointers.

Rockford (25-1) vs. Holland West Ottawa (20-6) at Grandville

Reigning Division 1 champion Rockford defeated West Ottawa 61-42 and 70-54 on the way to winning the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red, while the Panthers finished third. Junior guard Anna Wypych averages 16 points per game and is joined by Grace Lyons (10 ppg), who became the Rams’ all-time leading scorer this season. West Ottawa counters with newly-selected Miss Basketball Award winner Gabby Reynolds. The senior guard is averaging 29.4 points and four assists per game.

Temperance Bedford (24-2) vs. West Bloomfield (24-1) at University of Detroit Mercy

West Bloomfield is playing for a third-straight trip to Breslin Center after winning Division 1 in 2022 and finishing runner-up a year ago. Standout twins Summer Davis (17.9 ppg, 68 3-pointers, 4.0 apg, 4.4 spg) and Indya Davis (15.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) have helped key both runs and will be playing their final high school games this week. Bedford’s only in-state loss was to Saline, and the Kicking Mules still finished a game ahead of the Hornets to win the Southeastern Conference Red. Junior 6-foot-2 forward Victoria Gray leads with 13.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and two blocked shots per game.


Negaunee (25-1) vs. Flint Powers Catholic (23-3) at Sault Ste. Marie

Negaunee moved from Division 3 to Division 2 this season and has reached the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. Guard Ella Mason (19.7 ppg, 50 3-pointers) is one of three senior starters for the Miners. Powers also is recapturing previous glory with its first trip to the final week since 2014. Senior guard Amaya Smith requires attention beyond the arc as she’s made 65 3-pointers to go with an 11.4 ppg average.

Detroit Edison (20-3) vs. Goodrich (26-0) at West Bloomfield

Both are regulars in the annual championship conversation, Edison seeking to reach the Finals again after winning Division 2 in 2022 and Goodrich undefeated since playing in last season’s Semifinals at Breslin. Junior guard Isis Johnson-Musah (16.9 ppg) is the lead scorer and one of the Pioneers’ top shooters from the field and line, while sophomore guard Kayla Hairston (12.2 ppg) helps pace the Martians, who have four players including Hairston averaging between 2-3 assists per game.

Grand Rapids West Catholic (25-1) vs. Vicksburg (23-2) at Battle Creek Harper Creek

West Catholic’s only loss a year ago was in the Division 2 Semifinals to eventual champion Lansing Catholic, and its only defeat this season was to Division 1 Rockford in December. Senior Reese Polega (11.2 ppg) and junior Elisha Dykstra (11.4) are returning starters from last year’s run and the lead scorers this time. Vicksburg is making its first trip into the final week, with senior Maddison Diekman (12.4 ppg) and junior Makayla Allen (12.3) leading a similarly-balanced lineup.

Tecumseh (22-4) vs. Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard (26-0) at Ypsilanti Lincoln

Tecumseh is coming off its first Regional title since 1975 after defeating Lansing Catholic 56-52 to advance. Five players average at least 8.5 ppg, with 6-2 junior forward Alli Zajac topping the list with 17.6 points per with a team-high 51 3-pointers. FGR made the Quarterfinals just three years ago but is seeking its first Semifinals appearance since 1993 with a lineup bolstered by five players averaging at least 7.7 ppg and led by sophomore guard Vanessa Rodriguez (13.5, 50 3-pointers) and junior guard Charlotte Miller (11.2/49).

Flint Powers' Grace Cameron (5) attempts to steer a pass around a Davison defender during the regular season.


Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (19-5) vs. Niles Brandywine (24-1) at Fennville

Brandywine’s girls are attempting to follow up the school’s boys team’s Division 3 championship this past weekend as they return to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2019. Senior guard Ellie Knapp runs the show with 14 points and 4.6 assists per game. Brandywine’s only defeat was to Vicksburg, and Covenant Christian’s losses all came to Division 1 and 2 opponents on the way to its first Regional title since 2016. Senior guards Lindsay Minderhoud (14.3 ppg) and Sophia Meulenberg (12.6) form a talented backcourt.

Elk Rapids (24-2) vs. Lake City (24-2) at Houghton Lake

Elk Rapids is a return quarterfinalist after being eliminated last season this round by eventual champion Hemlock, and the Elks will take on a somewhat familiar opponent – Lake City, which won their Dec. 20 matchup 44-40 and made the Quarterfinals most recently in 2022. Lake City senior guard MacKenzie Bisballe (22.3 ppg) vs. Elk Rapids senior guard Kendall Standfest (19.3 ppg) could be an interesting matchup if they lock up.

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest (17-9) vs. Sandusky (25-1) at St. Clair County Community College

MHSAA coaching wins leader Al DeMott just missed taking Sandusky to the Semifinals last season as his team fell by two points to Madison Heights Bishop Foley in this round. Freshman guard Caroline Reinke is filling the stat sheet at 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 4.4 steals per game. The Wolves take on first-time quarterfinalist Lutheran Northwest, which avenged a regular-season loss to Bishop Foley to start this postseason. The Crusaders also feature a notable freshman in Keaira Spiehs, who’s averaging 7.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.

New Lothrop (20-7) vs. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (22-4) at Dansville

New Lothrop has navigated a postseason path that’s seen its last four opponents finish a combined 81-17 this winter. The Hornets avenged a pair of regular-season defeats to Ovid-Elsie with a 43-26 win in their District Semifinal and have continued to charge with freshman Katelyn Wendling (15.6 ppg) among reasons the future looks bright. Arbor Prep was the Division 3 champion as recently as 2022 and has playoff wins this time over three league champions. Senior forwards Stephanie and Stacy Utomi also started on that title-winning team as sophomores.


Ishpeming (25-1) vs. St. Ignace (18-7) at Gladstone

This Quarterfinal features a rising Upper Peninsula power against the most established on the north side of Mackinac Bridge. Ishpeming won its first Regional title since 1985 and has lost only to Negaunee, splitting the season series with the Miners. Sophomore Jenessa Eagle (16 ppg) and senior Jenna Maki (15.6) provide a one-two backcourt punch. St. Ignace is making its first Quarterfinal appearance since finishing Division 4 runner-up in 2019, led by an impressive pair of juniors in Addison Cullen (16 ppg) and Jillian Fraser (17.4).

Fowler (23-3) vs. Mendon (23-3) at Gobles

Fowler is playing in a Quarterfinal for the fifth straight season (not counting COVID-canceled 2020) and has advanced to the Semifinals the last four, winning back-to-back Division 4 titles in 2021 and 2022. Junior guard Katie Spicer leads a balanced group at 11.7 points and 3.4 assists per game. Mendon is making its first Quarterfinal appearance since 2014 and has gone a combined 60-13 over the last three seasons. Senior center Makennah Mullin also leads a balanced bunch at 10.4 points and eight rebounds per game.

Frankfort (21-5) vs. Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (23-3) at McBain Northern Michigan Christian

Frankfort is making its first Quarterfinal appearance since 2017, and its last three matchups in this round have been against Sacred Heart. The Panthers have won 10 straight this winter and own a victory over St. Ignace, and are led by three players averaging at least 10 points a game topped by senior center Evelyn VanTol (14.9). This will be Sacred Heart’s first Quarterfinal since 2018, and the Irish have won all four of their playoff games by at least 13 points. Freshman guard Karis Terwilliger sets the pace at 14.3 ppg.

Morenci (21-3) vs. Kingston (25-1) at West Bloomfield, 5 p.m.

Morenci has reached its first Quarterfinal since 2011 with three losses this season by a combined eight points, all to larger opponents. The Bulldogs have five players averaging between 5.5 and 10.2 ppg, sophomore guard Emersyn Bachelder at the top of that list. Kingston’s lone loss came to Division 2 Goodrich on Dec. 13, and the Cardinals have had one single-digit game since in returning to the Quarterfinals for the second year in a row and after finishing last season 25-2. Delaney St. George (16.2 ppg, 84 3-pointers) leads the lineup.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). 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 scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS Ewen-Trout Creek's Irelynd McGeshick (44) guards Ishpeming's Addison Morton (2) as she drives to the basket during the Hematites' 70-42 Division 4 Regional Final win last week. (Middle) Flint Powers' Grace Cameron (5) attempts to steer a pass around a Davison defender during the regular season. (Top photo by Cara Kamps; middle photo by Terry Lyons.) 

JoBurg 3-Sport Great Capping Career Filled with All-State Honors, Team Trophies

By Tom Spencer
Special for

April 5, 2024

It won’t be hard for Jayden Marlatt to remember opening day on the softball field from any of her four years at Johannesburg-Lewiston.

Northern Lower PeninsulaAs a freshman, she missed the opener due to needing to quarantine. Her sophomore and junior years started on the road because the Cardinals’ field was under construction.  

This season the Cardinals will open up — weather permitting — on their brand-new field, hosting Mio on Monday, April 8.  Marlatt is slated to be the starting pitcher again and add to her school record collection.

While Johannesburg-Lewiston is looking forward to playing on the new diamond, Marlatt and her teammates have high hopes of finishing the season almost 200 miles south. They’re looking to get back to Michigan State University – the site of the Division 4 Semifinals and Final.

The Cards have had their sites on that goal since they fell 4-2 to Mendon in last year’s Semifinal at Secchia Stadium. The loss ended a 30-4-1 campaign that saw the Cardinals play every game on the road for a second consecutive year, but come up only one victory short of a first championship game appearance.

The trip to East Lansing also came after the Cards won the program’s first District title since 2008 and advanced to the Semifinals for the first time since 1981.

“It has been a long two seasons on the road,” said eighth-year head coach Kim Marlatt, noting the team utilized a Little League field for practices during the stretch. “They’ve been putting in a lot of work in the offseason, so it is excited to get going.”

Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. The new field isn’t the only new things this spring. The Cardinals will have a junior varsity team for the first time during the Marlatt’s tenure. The JV squad is coached by Ryan Marlatt, who has been serving the program the past eight years as assistant coach. He also has been the head girls basketball coach at JoBurg the past two seasons.

The Marlatt coaches are the proud parents of Jayden, who continues to garner recognition as perhaps the greatest athlete in Johannesburg-Lewiston’s history. 

The three-sport star had a huge hand in all that JoBurg accomplished last season leading the team in batting average (.670), home runs (13) and runs batted in (61). As the team’s ace pitcher, she collected 249 strikeouts and compiled a 1.32 ERA.

“Jayden has put in the hard work,” Kim pointed out.  “She is a very humble athlete. ‘She doesn’t like to talk about herself. She likes to compete, and she likes to be on the top of her game for her teammates.”

Jayden has been named all-conference and all-state in softball, basketball and volleyball nearly every season over her four years at JoBurg. She’s led her teams to Ski Valley Conference, District and Regional titles along the way.

She’s also been named Player of the Year by multiple publications. And she’s a front runner to be voted the Most Valuable Player of the Ski Valley Conference in softball. Earlier this year, league coaches voted her the MVP for both basketball and volleyball.  

“The Ski Valley never used to vote on an MVP,” Ryan Marlatt said. “Hopefully she can add the triple crown and get softball this year.”

Jayden Marlatt, who has played all three sports all four years, acknowledged softball is perhaps her most treasured, and she’ll continue in that sport at Ferris State. Her career total of more than 500 strikeouts, and her 14 home runs last season, are both JoBurg school records. "I like them all but probably softball,” she confirmed when asked to name her favorite sport.

She averaged 12 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and four steals per game this winter helping the Cards basketball team to a conference runner-up finish. She was key to JoBurg's ability to put a 12-game winning streak together, and she topped the 1,000-point career mark along the way.

Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season.Her outstanding senior year on the basketball court and this spring’s possibilities nearly vanished as the volleyball season ended.

She suffered what looked to be a serious lower-leg injury in the final game of the JoBurg volleyball season. “She finished in the emergency room,” Kim Marlatt said.  

Diagnosed a high ankle sprain, it was an aggravation to an injury from her junior year in basketball. She wasn’t quite at 100 percent on the basketball court this season until the holiday break. She’s starting the softball season healthy, though.

Before the injury, Jayden led the Cards to their third volleyball conference championship over the last four years. After becoming JoBurg's all-time kills leader during her junior season, and with many of her teammates from her first three seasons graduating, Jayden had to fill a variety of roles while anchoring the offense from her outside hitter spot.

She ended up leading the team in both kills with 421 and digs, with 431, in her final season on the volleyball court. And she is listed among MHSAA’s all-time leaders in kills for a single match and career.

It’s more than Marlatt’s stats that stand out for Kristine Peppin, the school’s volleyball coach the past 15 years.

“It is not about the size of the school or the size of the player, it’s the heart that they have inside,” she proclaimed. “This girl would be a successful player on whatever team she was on. 

“Yes we’re a small school, small town,” she continued. “That kind of leadership and heart and drive to be the best is what’s given her that success.”

Marlatt’s work ethic is second to none, Peppin noted. She never saw Jayden give less than a “1,000” percent in practice or games in her career. 

Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt.“She’s a super hard worker and extremely modest for the kind of skill she possesses and the success she’s had,” Peppin said. “Her teammates think it’s amazing to be on her team.”

Marlatt’s volleyball skills caught the eye of at least one of her conference opponents’ coaches back in junior high. Ron Stremlow was performing one of his many coaching duties for Fife Lake Forest Area when he first saw Jayden on the volleyball court.

“I could tell then this girl was somebody special,” said Stremlow, who became one of the winningest coaches in state volleyball history with the Warriors. “When she got in high school, it just took off.

“She puts the time into it, and she works hard,” Stremlow continued. “Kids like that get what they deserve – they work for it.”

Stremlow, now retired, also acknowledged he’s enjoyed being able to watch the hard-throwing Marlatt on the softball field the last couple of seasons as Forest Area hosted the Cardinals consecutively due to JoBurg’s lack of a home field.

It’s something he’ll have to travel to do this year though, as JoBurg is scheduled to host the Warriors on April 15.

The Cardinals also will host a Regional on their new field June 8. The winners of District play at Rogers City, Harbor Springs, St. Ignace and Gaylord St. Mary will participate.

To play in the Regional, the Cards will have to emerge from the Rogers City District featuring the host Hurons, Atlanta, Hillman, Onaway, and Posen.

Tom SpencerTom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Jayden Marlatt drives a pitch during softball season. (2) Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. (3) Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season. (4) Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt. (Action shots by Dylan Jespersen/Petoskey News-Review; family photo by Breya Domke.)