Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Girls Report Week 10

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 12, 2024

As we begin the final three weeks of this regular season, we’re keeping an eye on all of the usual signs of this point in the season – league title clinchers, conference tournament winners, and ratings climbers playing to earn a top-two seed when District brackets are released Feb. 25.

MI Student AidBut this week’s “Breslin Bound” definitely has another theme woven throughout – revenge, with plenty taking place over the last few weeks and a few more opportunities we’ll be watching for especially this week but also as we surge into the postseason.

“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. West Bloomfield 61, Detroit Edison 42 The best rivalry in Michigan girls basketball the last few years continued with the reigning Division 1 runner-up Lakers (15-1) making it three straight over Division 2 contender Edison (13-2).

2. Frankenmuth 51, Hemlock 31 The Eagles (14-2) played their third game this season against a team that also reached Breslin Center last year, and ran their winning streak to 11 with this one over the reigning Division 3 champion Huskies (13-3).

3. Negaunee 65, Ishpeming 56 The Miners (17-1) moved into a first-place tie with the Hematites (15-1) in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference East by avenging a 57-53 loss to Ishpeming from Jan. 12.

4. Detroit Edison 46, Detroit Renaissance 38 Edison bounced right back from the West Bloomfield loss to hand another Division 1 contender Renaissance (15-1) its only defeat this season.

5. South Lyon East 47, South Lyon 41 The Cougars (12-4) stand alone atop the Lakes Valley Conference after completing a regular-season sweep of the rival Lions (15-2).

Mount Pleasant puts up a shot on the way to its 46-42 win over Saginaw Heritage last week.

Watch List

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


Holland West Ottawa (12-4) The Panthers’ four losses this season have come to opponents that are a combined 60-8, and they won Ottawa-Kent Conference Red rematches with East Kentwood (53-50) and Grand Haven (54-45) over the last 10 days with a trip to Rockford coming up Feb. 20. East Kentwood and Grand Haven both have 14 wins, and West Ottawa also has defeated Byron Center (13-4), Zeeland West (11-5) and Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills (11-5) among notables. Grand Haven and Zeeland West will be among those joining the Panthers at the District at Zeeland East as they also look to bounce back from last year’s first-game exit against Grandville.

Midland Dow (12-2) The Chargers have strung together 10 straight wins over the last two months, a streak that started with a 47-40 victory over reigning Division 3 champ Hemlock and also has included solid wins over Mount Pleasant and Flushing (both 11-6). Dow and Grand Blanc are the only teams without a loss in Saginaw Valley League play, and they meet Feb. 27 after originally being scheduled to play Jan. 23. Dow fell to the Bobcats during last season’s 17-8 run, but the Chargers already have avenged losses to Hemlock and Howell – and Tuesday will attempt to do the same at Flint Carman-Ainsworth.


Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (17-0) The Eaglets have quickly ascended from their first season as a program in 2020-21 and have already doubled their win total from last winter’s 8-13 finish. They clinched the Catholic High School League AA championship outright with a 44-31 win over second-place Jackson Lumen Christi on Friday, and they haven’t played a single-digit game since Dec. 22. They’ll have a bye to start the league tournament later this week as they prepare for a District that will include CHSL Intersectional #1 champ Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood.

Tecumseh (12-3) A nine-game winning streak began Dec. 30 and has Tecumseh atop the Southeastern Conference White standings heading into arguably its biggest game of the season. Tecumseh travels to Chelsea for a make-up from Jan. 12, and its 60-57 win in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 30 broke a 17-game losing streak against the Bulldogs. That remains Chelsea’s only league loss, and Tecumseh is undefeated in SEC White play, with its only setbacks to Temperance Bedford (13-1), Detroit Country Day (12-5) and Grass Lake (13-4) during the first three weeks of the season.  


Morley Stanwood (13-2) Last season, as the Central State Activities Association moved to one 11-team league instead of splitting into two divisions, Morley Stanwood finished lower than second in its standings for the first time since 2016-17 (coming in third). But the team is only a half-game out of the lead this winter, with the single matchup against first-place Grant set for Feb. 23. A 38-34 loss to Big Rapids two weeks ago put Morley Stanwood in position to chase, but its only other defeat was to Lake City (15-2) – and wins over Fremont (13-3) and Kent City and Brethren (both 12-4) have been attention grabbers.

Saugatuck (14-1) The Trailblazers are fresh off avenging their lone loss of the season, defeating Martin 47-36 to also move past the Clippers into first place alone in the SAC Central. No other opponent has come within single digits of catching Saugatuck, including South Haven (12-3), Gobles (11-4) twice, Bridgman (10-4) and Lawton (10-6). Two more 10-win teams – North Muskegon and Muskegon Western Michigan Christian – will provide more prep as the Trailblazers look to build as well on last year’s District title.


Lake Linden-Hubbell (16-1) The Lakes are in second place in the overall Copper Mountain Conference standings, and only because that lone defeat came to Baraga – last season’s Division 4 runner-up. One more win will give Lake Linden-Hubbell as many as it finished with a year ago, which itself was a jump from eight victories in 2021-22 and three in 2020-21. The Lakes also defeated Baraga (14-3) by three points in December and have wins over Houghton (13-5), Ewen-Trout Creek (12-3) and Ironwood (11-6) – with a chance to meet Baraga one more time in a Regional Final.

Mendon (14-2) The Hornets are another very good second-place team, with a chance to move up, as they trail leader Colon by a game in the Southern Central Athletic Association West after falling to the Magi 54-31 on Jan. 18. Mendon also lost to Colon during last year’s District, after finishing second in the Southwest 10 Conference South before joining the SCAA this season. But the Hornets will host the Magi for the second meeting this season, Feb. 29, and already have swept third-place Climax-Scotts (10-4). The only other defeat came to Division 1 Sturgis.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Lansing Catholic (12-3) at Portland (14-1) – The Cougars’ 62-34 win when these rivals met Jan. 9 has them a game ahead in the Capital Area Activities Conference White standings.

Friday – East Kentwood (14-2) at Rockford (17-1) – Statewide eyes will be watching this one after East Kentwood broke Rockford’s 33-game winning streak 60-54 on Jan. 19, and first place in the O-K Red also will be on the line.

Friday – Lake Fenton (14-4) at Goodrich (17-0) – The Martians own a one-game lead in the Flint Metro League Stars over Lake Fenton heading into this conference finale, thanks to a 44-36 win Jan. 19 that was Goodrich’s second-closest victory this season.

Saturday – Detroit Catholic High School League Tournament at Detroit Mercy – The Semifinals on Tuesday have Farmington Hills Mercy (8-8) facing Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard (18-0) and Toledo Central Catholic facing Toledo Notre Dame for the opportunity to play in this 5 p.m. finale.

Sunday – Detroit Public School League Tournament at Wayne State – Quarterfinals are Monday and Semifinals are Thursday leading into this 1 p.m. championship game.'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 (Top) Houghton's Jacey Sleeman drives between Marquette's Lexi Curran and Lexi L'Huillier (3) during Marquette's 48-41 win Feb. 5. (Middle) Mount Pleasant puts up a shot on the way to its 46-42 win over Saginaw Heritage last week. (Top photo by Cara Kamps; middle photo by High School Sports Scene.)

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

July 10: Nightingale Embarking on 1st Season as College Football Head Coach - Read
June 28:
 E-TC's Witt Bulldozing Path from Small Town to Football's Biggest Stage - Read

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.)