Breslin Bound: Girls District Review

March 10, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The first week of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament is done, and what do we know so far?

There will be a new Class B champion this winter, and a number of emerging contenders could shake things up in all four classes.

See below for our take on four District champs from each class that especially stuck out during last week’s action; click to follow this week’s Regional Tournament. Next week’s Breslin Bound report will preview all 16 Quarterfinals.

Class A

Byron Center (18-5) – The Bulldogs have steadily climbed the last four seasons from sub-.500 in 2011-12, with this District title a nice crowning achievement no matter what happens this week. Byron Center opened with a five-point win over East Kentwood (11-10), then avenged last season’s District Final loss by beating Grand Rapids Christian (17-5) in this Semifinal, 48-44. Byron Center then downed Caledonia (15-7) in the championship game, 39-27.

Marquette (23-0) – The Redettes pushed their sphere of domination further downstate, extending their perfect run against some of the biggest and best from the northern Lower Peninsula. Marquette first beat Big North Conference champion Traverse City West (17-4), which had eliminated Marquette the last two seasons. The Redettes then beat Traverse City Central (9-12) in the Semifinal before finishing the run with a 65-41 win over Big North runner-up Gaylord (18-5).

Muskegon Mona Shores (20-3) – Mona Shores shared the Ottawa-Kent Conference Black title with Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (16-5) because it lost to the Rockets – twice – during the regular season. But the Sailors won with the season on the line, beating Reeths-Puffer 50-46 in the District opener. They then beat Grand Haven in the Semifinal and won the championship against Muskegon, which eliminated Mona Shores last winter.

Salem (19-4) – The Rocks followed up their Kensington Lakes Activities Association overall championship with three wins including two over familiar opponents. Salem opened with a three-point victory over Plymouth (17-4), which had eliminated the Rocks the last two seasons, and then beat Northville (13-8), which finished second to Salem in the KLAA Central. The Rocks moved on with a 42-29 win over Canton (11-11), last season’s Class A runner-up.

Class B

Midland Bullock Creek (23-0) – Arguably the favorite for the entire tournament, Bullock Creek had to survive an early scare and another strong opponent to advance. After beating Pinconning (8-11) in the opener, the Lancers just edged Bay City John Glenn (15-4) by a point, 40-39, in the Semifinal. Bullock Creek came back big in the Final with a 65-30 win over Gladwin (16-7).

Haslett (18-5) – The Vikings are looking again like the contenders they were expected to be at the start of this winter. They opened by avenging a regular-season loss against Williamston (19-2), downing the Hornets 53-43, and then beat Perry (15-6) by 28 in the Semifinal. Haslett finished with a 66-30 win over Lansing Catholic (12-11) in the championship game.

Jackson Northwest (19-4) – The Mounties opened by ending the season for the reigning Class B champion, Eaton Rapids (7-14), by beating the Greyhounds 48-44 in overtime after falling to them in last season’s District. Northwest moved on with double-digit wins over Leslie (14-7) and then Olivet (17-5).

Macomb Lutheran North (20-3) – The Mustangs took a step farther than last season after falling in the District championship game a year ago. After eliminating Algonac and Marine City (12-8) by double figures, Lutheran North beat Marysville 42-40 on a put-back with 10 seconds to play in the Final. Marysville shared the Macomb Area Conference Gold title this season, while Lutheran North won the Detroit Catholic League AA.

Class C

Laingsburg (23-0) – The undefeated Wolfpack kept their perfection going against two of their toughest regular-season opponents and then the team that eliminated it last season. Laingsburg opened with a 32-26 win over league rival Pewamo-Westphalia (17-4), then beat Bath (12-7) by 10 before avenging last season’s District Final loss to Carson City-Crystal (20-3), beating the Eagles this time 28-17.   

Napoleon (16-6) – The Pirates advanced in impressive fashion with an upset and then a little bit of vengeance. After downing Jackson Lumen Christi (8-12) in the opener, Napoleon – runner-up in the Cascades Conference – downed Big 8 Conference champion Concord (18-3) by nine. The Pirates finished the week by defeating Cascades third-place finisher Michigan Center (18-5) which had beaten Napoleon by 10 on Jan. 29.

Reese (17-5) – The Rockets followed up on their shared Greater Thumb Conference West championship with a pair of wins over tough District opponents – Millington (13-9) by 30 points and then New Lothrop (18-5) by 35 in the championship game.

Traverse City St. Francis (21-2) – After a quick first-game exit last season, the Gladiators won a strong District that included a pair of league runners-up. St. Francis, co-champ in the Lake Michigan Conference, opened by beating Ski Valley Conference runner-up Johannesburg-Lewiston (18-3) by 12 points, 52-40, and then defeated Mancelona in the Semifinal and Northwest Conference runner-up Maple City Glen Lake (15-7) in the Final, 47-38.

Class D

Bellaire (22-1) – The Eagles claimed their second straight District title with three wins over teams .500 or better. Bellaire opened by doubling up Boyne Falls (11-10), tripled up Ellsworth (10-10) and then downed rival Gaylord St. Mary 46-32. Bellaire beat the Snowbirds (18-5) by a nearly identical score in last season’s District Final as well.

Kingston (19-3) – The Cardinals also won their second straight District title with a pair of double-digit wins over North Central Thumb League rivals. Kingston, the league champion, beat third-place Carsonville-Port Sanilac (12-7) in the Semifinal and then second place Deckerville (16-5) in the championship game, 38-21.

Pickford (16-7) – The Panthers finished second in the Eastern Upper Peninsula Athletic Conference this winter, but avenged a pair of losses to league champion Cedarville (16-6) to advance last week. Pickford opened with a win over EUPAC third-place Brimley (11-9), then downed Kinross Maplewood Baptist (11-5) before edging Cedarville 59-54 in the Final.

Pinckney Livingston Christian (14-5) – LCS claimed its first girls basketball District title with a series of wins including two over similarly-successful teams. After opening with a victory over Ann Arbor Central, Livingston Christian downed Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner (13-7) and then Adrian Lenawee Christian (14-5) by a bucket, 27-25, in the Final. 

PHOTO: Ithaca defeated St. Louis 61-32 in a Class C District Final last week to advance to the MHSAA Regionals for the first time since 2000. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Girls Report Week 10

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 6, 2023

Championship time is quickly approaching this girls basketball season.

MI Student Aid

We’re still three weeks out from the start of District play. But league contenders are clashing all over the state, with a handful of conferences finishing up their schedules this week and several favorites facing off soon with titles on the line. We make mention of a number of those below.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com.

Week in Review

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

1. West Bloomfield 59, Detroit Edison 49 Last season, West Bloomfield (15-2) became the first in-state team to defeat Edison (12-3) since 2018 – and the Lakers have become the only one to do so again this winter.

2. Maple City Glen Lake 51, Traverse City St. Francis 45 The Lakers (13-2) are up to No. 2 in Division 4 MPR, while St. Francis (12-2) sits No. 4 in Division 3.

3. Holt 55, DeWitt 53 The Rams (14-2) sit alone atop the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue after sending the Panthers (13-2) into second in a matchup of top Division 1 teams statewide.

4. Hancock 50, Calumet 47 The Bulldogs (13-1) maintained their one-game lead in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference West with their second win this season over third-place Calumet (11-3). Both are among the top seven statewide in Division 3 MPR.

5. Detroit Edison 44, Farmington Hills Mercy 42 The Pioneers bounced back from the West Bloomfield loss with a pair of close wins, this one over Mercy (14-2) followed by a one-pointer over Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Saturday.

Watch List

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

DIVISION 1

Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (11-5) After a 2-4 start with those losses to top Division 1 and 2 teams statewide, Reeths-Puffer is 9-3 and tied for first in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green with Muskegon after edging the Big Reds 56-52 on Friday. That avenged a 14-point loss to Muskegon on Jan. 6, and the Rockets have since gone on an eight-game winning streak. They also opened last week with a 42-39 victory over 11-win Ludington.

Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week.

Wayne Memorial (13-4) The Zebras further solidified their standing atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East standings with last week’s 75-57 win over second-place Belleville. That followed up a 44-41 win over the Tigers on Jan. 6, and total Wayne has won 12 straight since a 1-3 start that included two-point losses to Division 1 contenders Detroit Renaissance and Hudsonville and a third defeat to Illinois power Chicago Whitney Young.

DIVISION 2

Goodrich (14-1) The Martians are locked in another battle atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Lake Fenton and trail the Blue Devils by a game after a 50-44 loss Jan. 20. That’s Goodrich’s only defeat, and they’ll attempt to avenge it in the league finale Feb. 17. In the meantime, the Martians can continue their statewide push upward with 13-win Flushing coming up Wednesday and 15-win Ovid-Elsie next week as well.

Redford Westfield Prep (11-6) The Warriors take on many of the state’s best, evidenced by their No. 8 MPR despite six losses. Westfield has won seven of its last eight games, the lone defeat during that streak 55-53 to still-undefeated Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 16 – and with perhaps its most notable instate win of the season 46-45 in double overtime Jan. 12 over reigning Division 3 champion Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.

DIVISION 3

McBain (13-4) The Highland Conference race could go down to the finish, especially after McBain avenged its earlier 17-point loss to second-place Evart with a 51-35 win last week. McBain also has a six-point loss to league leader Lake City from Jan. 20, but can avenge that in the regular-season finale Feb. 23. The Ramblers additionally have a pair of victories over 12-win Beal City and a solid early loss to still-undefeated Division 2 Escanaba.

Ovid-Elsie (15-2) The Marauders haven’t slowed down a bit after last season’s 21-2 finish with league and District titles, the latter in Division 2. This season in Division 3, Ovid-Elsie is up to No. 6 in MPR with a 14-game winning streak since suffering its lone losses early to Pewamo-Westphalia (10-5) and Dansville (15-1). The Marauders handed Mackinaw City its first defeat Saturday, 59-55 on a neutral court, and also has a victory over 14-win Ithaca plus a two-game lead in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference.

DIVISION 4

Fowler (11-6) Coming off back-to-back Division 4 championships, Fowler put together a schedule featuring solid-to-strong teams from Divisions 1-4 and sit No. 3 in Division 4 MPR. The losses have come to Midland Dow, Haslett, Lansing Catholic, Kent City and league rivals Dansville and Portland St. Patrick, and the Eagles avenged the Shamrocks defeat 51-44 last week. Fowler will need help to catch Dansville in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, down two games from the league leader, but will try to get one back from the Aggies on Feb. 14.

Norway (16-1) The Knights are leading the large-school division of the Skyline Central Conference with the likely deciding matchup coming at Bark River-Harris next week. Norway has lost only to Niagara (Wis.), by five two weeks ago, and handed Carney-Nadeau (13-2) one of its losses among other strong work – and after ending last season’s 11-10 run with a 15-point District loss to the Wolves.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Coldwater (15-1) at Jackson Northwest (15-1) – The Mounties lead Coldwater by a win in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference thanks to a 50-46 win in their first meeting Jan. 10.

Tuesday – Utica Ford (14-1) at Grosse Pointe North (13-2) – North has clinched a share of the Macomb Area Conference Red title heading into tonight’s league finale, while Ford won by a large margin in the MAC White.

Thursday – Houghton (13-1) at Hancock (13-1) – As noted above, Hancock leads the West-PAC West by a game – but will face second-place Houghton twice over the next two weeks.

Friday – Standish-Sterling (15-1) at Hemlock (13-3) – Hemlock owns the lead in the Tri-Valley Conference West 10-1 thanks to a 62-31 doubling up in the first meeting Jan. 6. But that remains the Panthers’ lone loss, and they’ve since handed TVC 10-2 co-leader Saginaw Valley Lutheran one of its two defeats.

Friday – Saline (15-2) at Temperance Bedford (16-1) – Saline is first and Bedford second in the Southeastern Conference Red thanks to Saline’s 41-22 win in their first meeting Jan. 27.

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) A trio of Fowler defenders surround a Bath player driving to the basket during a 49-27 win earlier this season; they meet again Thursday. (Middle) Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week. (Top photo by Click by Christine McCallister. Middle photo by Rick Sack/TC Rick Photo.)