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.) 

High School 'Hoop Squad' Close to Heart as Hughes Continues Coaching Climb

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

July 11, 2024

Jareica Hughes had a Hall of Fame collegiate basketball career playing at University of Texas-El Paso and has played professionally overseas, but her most prized possession is something she earned playing high school basketball in Michigan. 

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosA standout at now-closed Southfield-Lathrup High School during the early-to-mid 2000s, Hughes proudly displays a signature symbol of Lathrup’s Class A championship team in 2005. 

“I have my state championship ring on me right now,” said Hughes, now an assistant head coach for the women’s basketball program at UTEP. “I wear this ring every single day. Not so much for the basketball aspect. Inside of the ring it says ‘Hoop Squad.’ It’s more the connection I’ve had with those particular young ladies. Friends that I’ve known since I was kid. Every once in a while when we talk, we go back in time.”

Believe it or not, Hughes and her high school teammates next year will have to go back 20 years to commemorate a run to the title that started when they were freshmen. 

It was a gradual build-up to what was the first girls basketball state championship won by a public school in Oakland County. Lathrup, which has since merged with the former Southfield High School to form Southfield Arts & Technology, remained the only public school in Oakland County to win a state girls basketball title until West Bloomfield did so in 2022 and again this past March. 

Lathrup lost in the District round to Bloomfield Hills Marian during Hughes’ freshman year, and then after defeating Marian in a District Final a year later, lost to West Bloomfield in a Regional Final.

When Hughes was a junior, the team got to the state’s final four, but a bad third quarter resulted in a heartbreaking one-point Semifinal loss to eventual champion Lansing Waverly. 

A year later, when Hughes and other core players such as Brittane Russell, Timika Williams, Dhanmite’ Slappey and Briana Whitehead were seniors, they finished the job and won the Class A crown with a 48-36 win over Detroit Martin Luther King in the Final.

However, the signature moment of that title run actually came during the Semifinal round and was produced by Hughes, a playmaking wizard at point guard who made the team go. 

Trailing by three points during the waning seconds of regulation against Grandville and Miss Basketball winner Allyssa DeHaan – a dominant 6-foot-8 center – Hughes drained a tying 3-pointer from the wing that was well beyond the 3-point line. 

Lathrup went on to defeat Grandville in overtime and prevail against King.

Hughes said the year prior, she passed up on taking a potential winning or tying shot in the Semifinal loss against Waverly, and was reminded of that constantly by coaches and teammates. “I just remember in the huddle before that shot, that just kept ringing in my mind,” she said. “That was special. I cried for weeks not being able to get a shot off (the year before) and leaving the tournament like that.”

Growing up in Detroit, Hughes got into basketball mainly because she had five older brothers and an older sister who played the game. In particular, Hughes highlights older brother Gabriel for getting her into the game and taking her from playground to playground.

“I’m from Detroit,” she said. “We played ball all day long. Sunup to sundown. When the light comes on, you had to run your butt into the house.”

Hughes, second from left, begins the championship celebration with her Lathrup teammates at Breslin Center.Hughes played for the Police Athletic League and also at the famed St. Cecilia gym in the summer, developing her game primarily against boys.

“My first team was on a boys team,” she said. “I was a captain on a boys team.” 

The family moved into Lathrup’s district before she began high school. 

Once she helped lead Lathrup to the 2005 championship, she went on to a fine career at UTEP, where she was the Conference USA Player of the Year twice and helped lead the Miners to their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Hughes still holds school records for career assists (599), steals (277) and minutes played (3,777). On Monday, she was named to Conference USA’s 2024 Hall of Fame class. 

After a brief professional career overseas was derailed by a shoulder injury, Hughes said getting into coaching was a natural fit. 

“I had to make the hard decision, and I knew as a kid I wanted to be around basketball,” she said. “Once I made that decision (to quit), I knew I was going to coach.”

Hughes started coaching in the Detroit area, first serving as an assistant at Southfield A&T from 2016-20 and then at Birmingham Groves for a season. She then served as interim head coach at Colby Community College in Kansas before being named an assistant at UTEP in May 2023, a month after her former coach Keitha Adams returned to lead the program after six seasons at Wichita State.  

While fully immersed in her job with UTEP, Hughes’ high school memories in Michigan certainly aren’t going away anytime soon – especially with the 20th anniversary of Lathrup’s championship coming up. 

“We are still close friends because we all essentially grew up together,” she said. “They are still my friends to this day.”

2024 Made In Michigan

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PHOTOS (Top) At left, Southfield-Lathrup’s Jareica Hughes drives to the basket against Detroit Martin Luther King during the 2005 Class A Final; at right, Hughes coaches this past season at UTEP. (Middle) Hughes, second from left, begins the championship celebration with her Lathrup teammates at Breslin Center. (UTEP photo courtesy of the UTEP sports information department.)