Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 1
December 5, 2016
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Welcome to the second week of the 2016-17 girls basketball season – and this winter’s first renovated “Breslin Bound” report, powered by MI Student Aid.
Over the last few seasons, we’ve weekly posted looks at teams to watch in each class with an eye on the end-of-season MHSAA Tournament. We’re changing things up and expanding a little too to make sure you know about all of the most significant scores from the week that was – like, for example, two of last year’s MHSAA champions suffering losses over the first seven days of this season – plus a few ideas on what games could be especially important in the week to come.
Results and schedules are based on what’s published for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or missing scores, please contact me at Geoff@MHSAA.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Bloomfield Hills Marian 56, Warren Cousino 42 – The Mustangs bounced back from an opening-night loss to hand reigning Class A champion Cousino a double-digit defeat at University of Detroit Mercy.
2. Williamston 37, Marshall 31 – The Hornets were District champs a year ago but can set their sights higher, especially after handing this loss to the reigning Class B champion Redhawks.
3. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 52, Muskegon Mona Shores 39 – The Sailors rightly have Class A title aspirations this winter, but reigning Class C champion Arbor Prep is loaded with future college players as well and should be a contender despite moving into Class B.
4. Manistee 50, Frankfort 34 – One of the few hiccups on Manistee’s run to the Class B Quarterfinals last season was a loss in the regular-season finale to Frankfort, which won 18 games total as the Chippewas finished 21-4.
5. Dearborn 50, Northville 49 – The Mustangs beat Dearborn 49-38 on opening night last season and ended the winter in the Class A Quarterfinals; Dearborn, which won 16 games last season, will be hoping for similar momentum.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Canton (2-0) – The Chiefs are coming off a league title and 17-5 record after ending last season in the District Final; they look poised for more after a week that included handing Detroit Cass Tech a 56-30 defeat and avenging last season’s opening loss to Marian with a 43-40 victory over the Mustangs.
Marquette (2-0) – The Redettes are seeking their third straight 20-win season and finished last week with a 39-38 victory over Brighton, which had opened with two wins.
Edwardsburg (2-0) – The Eddies tied for second last season in the Wolverine Conference South, just a win behind champion Sturgis; they have the upper hand early this time after beating Sturgis 61-38 following a 37-32 opening-night win over Niles.
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (3-0) – The Gators are wasting no time making their Class B presence felt after winning Class C a year ago; the win over Mona Shores is proof last winter’s 25-2 record could transfer, especially since Arbor Prep played mostly bigger schools last regular season too.
Charlevoix (2-0) – Much is expected from 6-foot-1 freshman Elise Stuck, and she’s made good by turning last season’s 36-point loss to Petoskey in a 43-39 win this time and last year’s 28-point defeat to Cheboygan into a 60-32 victory for the Rayders.
Michigan Center (1-0) – The Cardinals have played only one game, but hope a 43-40 overtime win over Jonesville proves telling. Last season, Michigan Center fell by nine to Jonesville and went on to finish 6-15 while Jonesville was 19-3.
Portland St. Patrick (2-0) – An up-and-down 2015-16 saw St. Patrick enter the ostseason with a losing record but reach its Regional Final; all signs point to keeping the good times rolling after a first week with wins over Lansing Christian (43-36) and Fulton (55-51).
Wolverine (2-0) – With nine losses over its final 10 games last winter, Wolverine slid to a 6-14 finish. The Wildcats are one-third of the way to equaling their success after beating Northport 39-33 in overtime and then Atlanta.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday: East Lansing (1-0) at DeWitt (2-0) – These two Lansing-area Class A powers regularly meet, with DeWitt claiming a 12-point win last winter before both went on to division championships in the Capital Area Activities Conference.
Tuesday: Muskegon (1-0) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (1-1) – After graduating the Miss Basketball runner-up from a year ago, the Big Reds can continue to see how they might measure up against an annual Class B power.
Tuesday: Reese (1-1) at Millington (1-0) – These two combined to go 32-13 last season, with Reese winning their lone meeting by 18 points; the Rockets are coming off an 11-point win over Frankenmuth, which won Millington’s Tri-Valley Conference East last winter.
Wednesday: Morenci (1-1) at Pittsford (2-0) – The reigning Class D champion Wildcats have increased their winning streak to 29 straight; Morenci won 13 games last season before falling to Pittsford in their District.
Friday: Sault Ste. Marie (1-0) at St. Ignace (0-0) – The Blue Devils’ 15-6 run last season included a split with the Straits Area Conference rival Saints, who as usual ended up in a Class C Quarterfinal.
Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau 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, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
PHOTO: Flint Carman-Ainsworth (defending) earned its first win of the season Friday, 65-26 over Swartz Creek. (Click for more from Varsity Monthly.)
Teams of the Month: Hart Girls & Boys Basketball
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 23, 2023
Few communities in Michigan this winter celebrated as many sizable basketball achievements as small-town Hart.
The 2,000-resident Oceana County seat, about seven miles off the Lake Michigan shore and sitting about 20 miles south of Ludington and 30 north of Muskegon, celebrated accomplishments by both its girls and boys basketball teams that carried statewide significance – and made choosing either over the other’s impossible.
The Hart girls and boys basketball teams are the MHSAA/Applebee’s “Teams of the Month” for February, and this announcement is coming toward the end of March as both just kept winning and adding to their season-long lists of feats.
The Pirates girls made the first major headline when they defeated second-place Mason County Central 51-32 on Feb. 10 to clinch the outright West Michigan Conference Rivers championship. The Hart girls had also won the formerly one-division WMC in 2021-22, and this year’s run ran their league winning streak to 31 games.
Then the boys took their turn, clinching a share of the Rivers championship Feb. 17 with a 67-51 win over North Muskegon and then the title outright by defeating Mason County Central 63-45 on Feb. 23. This league title received some statewide buzz as it was the Hart boys’ first since 1963.
A week later, Hart’s boys finished a 22-0 regular season – becoming the only boys team, and joined by only three girls teams – to go 22-0 this first season that MHSAA member schools were allowed to play 22 games instead of the previous longtime maximum of 20.
The Hart boys then drew into one of the strongest Districts in the state in any division, with the Division 2 group at Big Rapids including four league champions. The Pirates opened with a win over the host Cardinals – winners of the Central State Activities Association – before ending their season at 23-1 with a loss to Big North Conference co-champ Cadillac in the District Final.
The Pirates girls, meanwhile, had clinched their Division 3 District with a third win over Mason County Central, and then won a Regional by edging two-time reigning Finals runner-up Kent City 37-34 – in the process also avenging Hart’s first loss of this season, from Dec. 20. The Regional title was the Hart girls' first since 1992.
Next up was 23-1 Buchanan – and Hart made its biggest statewide splash by handing the Bucks a 45-41 Quarterfinal defeat that sent the Pirates to the MHSAA Girls Basketball Semifinals for the first time.
Hart would end up falling to eventual champion Hemlock 57-26 at Breslin Center, finishing the season 24-4.
“I said it the other day: We’re kinda overlooked. Last year we had a really good team, probably one injury away from another run like this,” said Hart girls basketball coach Travis Rosema during the press conference after the Semifinal. “It started with people investing into the girls. Now that players like Aspen (Boutell) and Abbey (Hicks) have made this run, I saw so many young faces. … We left this morning, the elementary school was packed, and every kid had a sign. It’s a positive impact (and) it’s going to be a lot moving forward.”
The Pirates girls were keyed by Hicks, a junior, sophomore Addi Hovey and Boutell, one of three senior starters.
The boys were paced by senior Parker Hovey, who went over 1,000 points for his career and will continue at Hope College.
Past Teams of the Month, 2022-23
January: Taylor Trillium Academy bowling - Report
December: Byron Center hockey - Report
November: Martin football - Report
October: Gladwin volleyball - Report
September: Negaunee girls tennis - Report
(PHOTOS by Kara Raeth/CatchMark SportsNet.)