Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Girls Report Week 9

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 5, 2024

No fewer than 12 girls basketball league championships could be decided on the spot or eventually by what takes place on courts across the state this week. 

With just under a month remaining this regular season, title time has begun. And even then, arguably the two most intriguing matchups over the next seven days from a statewide standpioint have nothing to do with league titles – but do involve one MHSAA Finals contender playing in both.

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Week in Review

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

1. Macomb Dakota 53, Grosse Pointe North 43 The Cougars (14-2) set themselves up to clinch the Macomb Area Conference Red title, which they’ve now won outright, and avenged their only league loss of the season after previously falling 50-41 to the Norsemen (11-3).

2. Tecumseh 60, Chelsea 57 Tecumseh (10-3) broke a 17-game losing streak against the Bulldogs (11-4) to take over first place alone in the Southeastern Conference White.

3. Belleville 61, Wayne Memorial 50 The Tigers (13-1) stand alone atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East after sending Wayne (10-4) into second place.

4. Byron Center 49, East Grand Rapids 42 Byron Center (11-4) emerged from a jam at the top of the Ottawa-Kent Conference White standings to move a game ahead of East Grand Rapids (9-6) and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern.

5. Portland St. Patrick 45, Fowler 30 The Shamrocks (12-2) have a one-game lead on Fowler (11-3) and Dansville and avenged a Dec. 14 69-63 loss to the rival Eagles, who made the Division 4 Semifinals last season.

Bath applies defensive pressure during its 61-58 win over Springport.

Watch List

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


Belleville (13-1) As noted above, Belleville is in first in the KLAA East thanks to its win last week over Wayne and also after finishing second in the league to Wayne the last three seasons. The Tigers are undefeated in Michigan this winter, with their only loss to Mason (Ohio) on Mason’s homecourt last month. Belleville led into the Wayne win with a 64-44 victory over Detroit Country Day the week before, and has solid victories over Dearborn (10-7) and Romulus (11-3) as well – with a Feb. 23 matchup with Detroit Edison (11-1) one to keep an eye on.

Grand Haven (14-2) The Ottawa-Kent Conference Red has gotten plenty of type this season with Rockford and East Kentwood at the top. But Grand Haven leads another set of contenders (with Holland West Ottawa and Hudsonville) that likely would win several leagues across the state. The Buccaneers have lost only to Rockford and East Kentwood, and have the rematch with Rockford on Tuesday and East Kentwood in the regular-season finale Feb. 23. Victories over West Ottawa (10-4), Spring Lake (11-3) and Traverse City Central (10-3) arguably have been the most notable – but Grand Haven has to be careful Friday with West Ottawa, which is coming off a win over East Kentwood.


Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard (16-0) The Irish have won all of their games by at least 12 points this season and can finish a perfect run through the Catholic High School League Central on Tuesday against Farmington Hills Mercy – which FGR defeated by 20 last week. The Irish boasted one of the most impressive starts to 2023-24 with wins over Midland Dow (11-2), Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (12-2), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (10-5) and Lansing Catholic (10-3), with the three over Mercy, Arbor Prep and Lansing Catholic avenging losses from last year’s 19-4 campaign.

Freeland (13-2) The Falcons may be one obstacle away from a major run over the next two months. They are a combined 33-8 over the last two seasons, but their last five losses have come to Frankenmuth (11-2) – including both defeats this winter. Freeland did avenge two losses from last season, to Bay City Western and Chelsea, and can avenge another Feb. 12 at Sanford Meridian. The Falcons also have wins over Alma (11-3) and Essexville Garber (11-5), and would see Frankenmuth a third time in a Regional Semifinal.


Harbor Springs (12-2) After finishing 18-5 and third in the Lake Michigan Conference last season, Harbor Springs is tied for first in the LMC with last week’s 48-41 win over co-leader Elk Rapids – which also had ended the Rams’ 2022-23 season. Harbor Springs is enjoying an eight-game winning streak since falling to Elk Rapids in their first meeting this winter, 61-51 on Jan. 9, and the Rams’ only other loss came in mid-December to St. Ignace, 60-54. They’ve avenged their other two losses from last season, to Traverse City St. Francis and Boyne City, and have a nice challenge on the way in reigning Division 4 champion Maple City Glen Lake (11-4) on Feb. 27.

Hemlock (12-2) The reigning Division 3 champion took losses to Division 1 Midland Dow (11-2) and Division 2 Goodrich (15-0) to finish off December, but that’s it during an otherwise strong run that’s also included handing St. Charles (12-1) its only defeat and downing St. Louis (12-3), Garber (11-5) and Standish-Sterling (11-4). The Huskies have clinched a share of the Tri-Valley Conference Blue title and can finish an outright championship run next week. They will get further prep for the postseason against Division 2 Frankenmuth (11-2) on Saturday and Freeland (13-2) on Feb. 27.


Baraga (12-3) A 49-37 win over Lake Linden-Hubbell last week left Baraga as the only team without a loss in the overall Copper Mountain Conference standings and also avenged a 48-45 loss to LL-H from Dec. 8. The 2023 Division 4 runner-up’s only other defeats this winter were to Division 2 Negaunee on Dec. 29 and Division 3 Calumet, by just four points, on Jan. 9. They’ve won their six games since falling to the Copper Kings and can make major noise over the next month starting with a matchup at Ewen-Trout Creek (11-2) tonight and then a trip to Ishpeming (14-0) next week.

Maple City Glen Lake (11-4) The reigning Division 4 champion has pushed its lead in the Northwest Conference to two games as it plays for a sixth-straight league title. A pair of wins over Frankfort (10-4) and others over Kingsley (11-5) and Brethren (10-3) stick out, but the losses are impressive too – coming to Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep (11-4), Elk Rapids (13-2), Mason County Central (11-3) and Lake Leelanau St. Mary (11-1). The Kingsley rematch is Wednesday, and Harbor Springs (12-2) comes to Glen Lake on Feb. 27 – with St. Mary part of the same District bracket at Leland next month.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Detroit Edison (11-1) at West Bloomfield (13-1) – West Bloomfield is the only team to defeat Detroit Edison during the regular season both of the last two, and both teams are coming off Saturday losses to out-of-state opponents but remain unbeaten in Michigan.

Thursday – Detroit Renaissance (14-0) at Detroit Edison (11-1) – Edison is lined up to have one of the most challenging weeks of any team in the state this season, but has prepared for it against top competition all winter.

Friday – Negaunee (15-1) at Ishpeming (14-0) – A 57-53 win by Ishpeming in the first meeting remains Negaunee’s lone defeat as these teams top the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference East.

Friday – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (15-0) at Jackson Lumen Christi (14-2) – St. Mary’s has a one-game lead on Lumen Christi in the CHSL AA thanks to a 46-18 win in their first meeting.

Friday – Saugatuck (11-1) at Martin (10-2) – The winner will have a one-game lead in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Central with two league games to play. Saugatuck won the first meeting 32-27.'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) Clare defenders surround a Shepherd player heading toward the basket during last week's 46-21 win over the Bluejays. (Middle) Bath applies defensive pressure during its 61-58 win over Springport. (Top photo by High School Sports Scene; middle photo by Click by Christine McCallister.)