By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The new year and end of break means midseason is approaching for MHSAA girls basketball teams – and the elite are beginning to separate from the rest of the pack.
See below for four teams from each class that shined especially brightly while school was out. Also new from Second Half this week – we’ll print by class each Monday a list of the undefeated teams left in Michigan and add in those with one and two losses as the season rolls on and the undefeated are down to just a few. (Click for this week’s list.)
Detroit Martin Luther King (7-0) – The Crusaders are again among the elite regardless of class, and no opponent has gotten within 23 points – including one-loss Port Huron Northern, discussed more below.
Grand Rapids Union (4-1) – The Red Hawks stumbled to just four wins last season but equaled that total with a 63-59 victory over McBain on Dec. 27 at the Motor City Roundball Classic. The day before, Union fell by only eight to strong Bay City John Glenn.
Port Huron Northern (6-1) – The Huskies did lose to King but have dominated locally with the second win this season over Marysville claiming that school's invitational title Saturday.
Warren Cousino (5-1) – Despite losing big to Bloomfield Hills Marian during the second week, Cousino has beaten its other opponents all by at least 14 points and swept Dexter and Northville to win the latter’s tournament at the end of December.
Kingsford (5-2) – The Flivvers entered the break on a two-game losing streak, but did defeat West Iron County 57-27 to break the brief downward run; Kingsford is only three wins from equaling last season’s total.
Manistee (7-0) – After going 22-1 last season, Manistee hasn’t slowed a bit in dominating its first seven opponents by an average of 30 points per.
Spring Lake (6-0) – Spring Lake turned a 2-5 start last season into 13-8, but is on the move earlier this winter with only one of its wins by fewer than 19 points.
Wayland (6-0) – The Wildcats are nearly halfway to last season’s 13 wins after winning the Blue division of the Cornerstone University Holiday Invitational; only Grand Rapids Christian in that title-deciding game has come closer than 20 points.
Galesburg-Augusta (5-2) – The Rams should be contenders in the Kalamazoo Valley Association and won their holiday tournament with victories over Sturgis and Bronson; the losses came to Class B Plainwell and Battle Creek Pennfield.
Laingsburg (6-0) – The Wolfpack heads into 2015 coming off wins over league rivals Fowler (33-29) and Pewamo-Westphalia (36-33) and with three more over Class B teams.
Sandusky (7-0) – The Redskins are following up nicely on last season’s Regional Final run and have only one loss total over the last two regular seasons.
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (7-0) – Arbor Prep’s perfect start included a pair of strong wins at the end of December, 58-53 over Dayton Carroll of Ohio and 59-55 over one-loss Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
Bellaire (4-0) – The Eagles finished second to Gaylord St. Mary in the Ski Valley Conference last season and get their first of two matchups with the Snowbirds on Friday.
Big Rapids Crossroads Academy (6-0) – The Cougars could be on their way to repeating in the West Michigan D League with all of their wins – including five in league – by at least 16 points; second place Bear Lake is next up.
Mackinaw City (6-0) – The Comets have started 6-0 for the second straight season and lead the Northern Lakes Conference with a big win over Boyne Falls the highlight so far.
McBain Northern Michigan Christian (5-0) – These Comets are already halfway to equaling last season’s win total with 30 points their closest win margin so far.
PHOTO: Detroit Martin Luther King’s perfect run has included a win against Chicago Crete Monee during the Detroit Public School League Holiday Classic. (Photo courtesy of Detroit Public School League.)