By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
It’s hard to believe after only two weeks, but there are girls basketball teams in Michigan that have completed 25 percent of their regular-season schedules.
And that’s given us good opportunity to figure out some that we’ll continue to hear from as the winter goes on, including a few listed below.
Each week, we’re looking at four teams from each class that stuck out over the previous seven days or the season to that point as we point toward the start of the MHSAA District tournaments March 2. For schedules of each day’s games statewide and results as we receive them, plus links to each team’s full schedule, results and league standings, click here – and please help us by filling in missing scores or emailing them to Geoff@mhsaa.com.
Ann Arbor Huron (3-0) – The River Rats are 14-1 since the midpoint of last season with the latest victory 59-34 over 2013-14 Class B semifinalist Flint Powers Catholic.
Lansing Waverly (5-0) – The Warriors' fast start has been keyed by five players scoring at least five points per game and paced by senior Breanna Mobley at 18.2 ppg.
Lowell (3-0) – The surging Red Arrows avenged two of last season’s 12 losses by beating Ionia 43-27 in their first game and Ada Forest Hills Eastern 48-41 on Tuesday.
Marquette (4-0) – The impressive run past Petoskey and Brighton during the first week continued with a close win over Gladstone and bigger one over Ishpeming Westwood.
Frankenmuth (3-1) – The Eagles took a tough loss to a strong Midland Bullock Creek team during the season’s first week, but a three-point win over Reese on opening night and two-pointer against Saginaw Nouvel last week provide plenty to anticipate over the next three months.
Gladwin (3-1) – The Flying G’s finished second in the Jack Pine Conference last season with two league losses, both to champion Clare. A 46-44 win over Clare on Thursday was a nice way to come back from a tough loss to Bullock Creek on Monday.
Ludington (4-0) – No team including Class A Grand Haven has come closer than 14 points this season; Ludington beat the Buccaneers 40-26 on Tuesday.
Sparta (4-0) – The Spartans’ excellent play during last season’s Quarterfinal run has continued, with a 42-41 win over East Grand Rapids on Friday keeping the slate perfect so far.
Britton-Deerfield (2-0) – The Patriots finished second in the Tri-County Conference a year ago and look good to contend again considering a second straight close win over Waterford Our Lady to start the season and a 29-pointer over Morenci last week.
Detroit Edison Public School Academy (3-1) – The Pioneers, winners of 15 games a year ago, are looking like a possibility to take the step from solid to elite after defeating Class A Detroit Pershing, Macomb Dakota and Westland John Glenn so far.
Michigan Center (5-0) – A 54-48 win over Concord last week was a nice way to split up two early Cascade Conference wins for one of three teams tied atop the league standings.
Sandusky (4-0) – Only one opponent has come closer than 20 points as Sandusky has matched half of last season’s opening 8-0 run.
White Pigeon (3-0) – The Chiefs are coming off an 11-10 finish a year ago that included 53-12 and 36-25 losses to Mendon; Friday’s 49-34 win over the Hornets no doubt turned those into more distant memories.
Engadine (3-0) – The Eagles are nearly halfway to last season’s win total of seven thanks in part to a 46-44 win over Eastern UP Conference foe DeTour on Friday.
Frankfort (4-0) – The Panthers are up to 27 wins in their last 30 games with an average margin of victory of 28.5 points per so far this winter.
Morrice (4-0) – The Orioles’ start included a 27-25 overtime win Tuesday over New Lothrop, which beat Morrice twice during 2013-14.
PHOTO: Frankenmuth defeated Otisville-LakeVille in Tri-Valley Conference East play last week to move to 3-1 this season. (Photo courtesy of Frankenmuth High School.)
Championship time is quickly approaching this girls basketball season.
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.
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.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.)