Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 8
January 27, 2014
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The number of undefeated girls basketball teams left this late in the season is dwindling. But there are plenty of strong squads who have stumbled only once or a few times along the way.
These are some that impressed last week in adding to impressive runs so far this season.
1. Flat Rock (10-2, Class B) – Save for losses to outstanding Detroit County Day and Flint Powers Catholic at the Motor City Roundball Classic, Flat Rock is perfect and leads the Huron League.
2. Brighton (9-3, Class A) – The Bulldogs have a two-win lead in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West with seven victories in their last eight games (and the only loss of that string by five to strong Waterford Mott).
3. Hamilton (9-3, Class B) – The Hawkeyes are looking good to repeat as O-K Green champions and make a run at equaling last season’s 20 wins.
4. Napoleon (8-2, Class B) – The Pirates finished second in the Cascades Conference in 2012-13 to eventual Class C champion Manchester, but beat Manchester and Michigan Center last week to move into the top spot.
5. Brooklyn Columbia Central (7-2, Class B) – The Golden Eagles are one of two teams undefeated in Lenawee County Athletic Association play; the first game against co-leader Blissfield was postponed, but another is scheduled for Feb. 6.
6. Breckenridge (9-3, Class C) – The Huskies have raised their play another level after winning 13 games a year ago; they are tied for second to St. Louis in the Tri-Valley Conference West.
7. Muskegon Oakridge (9-2, Class B) – A 12-point win over second-place Mason County Central has Oakridge atop the West Michigan Conference standings after the first round of league games.
8. Sault Ste. Marie (8-3, Class A) – The Blue Devils are nearly to last season’s 12 wins and have won four straight, all by six points or fewer.
9. Reading (10-3, Class C) – The Big 8 Conference is one of the most competitive among small-school leagues in the state, and Reading is tied for first with a win over co-leader Concord.
10. Ishpeming Westwood (7-5, Class C) – A nine-point win over rival Ishpeming on Thursday was no doubt an enjoyable way for the Patriots to equal last season’s win total.
PHOTO: St. Louis (in red uniforms), here in a win over Saginaw Valley Lutheran, is in first place in the Tri-Valley Conference West. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
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.)