Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 9

January 29, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Only a month's worth of games remain before the start of MHSAA girls basketball District tournaments. And the teams that made this week's list of high performers surely have hit their strides.

A few have been on point since opening night. Most of the rest this week have suffered only close losses to top competition or have avenged one of their early-season defeats. 

Results and overall records below are drawn from our MHSAA Score Center. Are either incorrect? Please help us make the necessary fixes after filling in this brief registration

1. Reese (13-0) – The Rockets are weeks away from finishing their second-straight perfect regular season, and highly-touted Saginaw Nouvel, by 10 points, was only opponent to come that close.

2. Lansing Christian (13-0) – This might be the best Pilgrims team since it won back-to-back Class D titles in 2003-04; Lansing Christian has played a number of larger schools, and only four total have come within 10 points.

3. Farmington Hills Harrison (13-1) – The Hawks have won 12 straight since falling to Oxford by three on the last day of November; Harrison avenged that with a 48-27 win over Oxford last week.

4. Kent City (12-1) – This level of success is the norm for Kent City, and it's perfect since falling by two to Class A Muskegon in the Eagles’ opener.

5. Petoskey (11-2) – The Northmen have won eight straight since their last loss, to Cadillac, on Dec. 14; they avenged that loss with a 41-40 win over Cadillac on Friday.

6. Haslett (10-2) – Only DeWitt and Saginaw Nouvel, by a combined nine points, have slowed the Vikings this season; Haslett has won six of its last seven.

7. Portland St. Patrick (12-1) – The Shamrocks, Class D Semifinalists last season, have won nine straight with their only loss to Class C Pewamo-Westphalia on Dec. 11.

8. St. Clair Shores South Lake (7-4) – South Lake has won seven straight since opening 0-4; the Cavaliers’ most recent win also was Center Line’s first loss, 45-40.

9. Carson City-Crystal (10-2) – It’s tough to remember the Eagles won only two games two seasons ago; they've lost only two this winter, and already avenged one defeat, to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.

10. Dearborn Divine Child (8-2) – Divine Child’s 2-2 start included close losses to Nouvel and equally-talented Westland John Glenn. The Falcons have won the close ones too, with four wins by six or fewer points.

PHOTO: Farmington Hills Harrison (yellow and green uniforms) has won 12 straight games, including this one over Detroit Consortium earlier this season. (Click to see more at

High School 'Hoop Squad' Close to Heart as Hughes Continues Coaching Climb

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

July 11, 2024

Jareica Hughes had a Hall of Fame collegiate basketball career playing at University of Texas-El Paso and has played professionally overseas, but her most prized possession is something she earned playing high school basketball in Michigan. 

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosA standout at now-closed Southfield-Lathrup High School during the early-to-mid 2000s, Hughes proudly displays a signature symbol of Lathrup’s Class A championship team in 2005. 

“I have my state championship ring on me right now,” said Hughes, now an assistant head coach for the women’s basketball program at UTEP. “I wear this ring every single day. Not so much for the basketball aspect. Inside of the ring it says ‘Hoop Squad.’ It’s more the connection I’ve had with those particular young ladies. Friends that I’ve known since I was kid. Every once in a while when we talk, we go back in time.”

Believe it or not, Hughes and her high school teammates next year will have to go back 20 years to commemorate a run to the title that started when they were freshmen. 

It was a gradual build-up to what was the first girls basketball state championship won by a public school in Oakland County. Lathrup, which has since merged with the former Southfield High School to form Southfield Arts & Technology, remained the only public school in Oakland County to win a state girls basketball title until West Bloomfield did so in 2022 and again this past March. 

Lathrup lost in the District round to Bloomfield Hills Marian during Hughes’ freshman year, and then after defeating Marian in a District Final a year later, lost to West Bloomfield in a Regional Final.

When Hughes was a junior, the team got to the state’s final four, but a bad third quarter resulted in a heartbreaking one-point Semifinal loss to eventual champion Lansing Waverly. 

A year later, when Hughes and other core players such as Brittane Russell, Timika Williams, Dhanmite’ Slappey and Briana Whitehead were seniors, they finished the job and won the Class A crown with a 48-36 win over Detroit Martin Luther King in the Final.

However, the signature moment of that title run actually came during the Semifinal round and was produced by Hughes, a playmaking wizard at point guard who made the team go. 

Trailing by three points during the waning seconds of regulation against Grandville and Miss Basketball winner Allyssa DeHaan – a dominant 6-foot-8 center – Hughes drained a tying 3-pointer from the wing that was well beyond the 3-point line. 

Lathrup went on to defeat Grandville in overtime and prevail against King.

Hughes said the year prior, she passed up on taking a potential winning or tying shot in the Semifinal loss against Waverly, and was reminded of that constantly by coaches and teammates. “I just remember in the huddle before that shot, that just kept ringing in my mind,” she said. “That was special. I cried for weeks not being able to get a shot off (the year before) and leaving the tournament like that.”

Growing up in Detroit, Hughes got into basketball mainly because she had five older brothers and an older sister who played the game. In particular, Hughes highlights older brother Gabriel for getting her into the game and taking her from playground to playground.

“I’m from Detroit,” she said. “We played ball all day long. Sunup to sundown. When the light comes on, you had to run your butt into the house.”

Hughes, second from left, begins the championship celebration with her Lathrup teammates at Breslin Center.Hughes played for the Police Athletic League and also at the famed St. Cecilia gym in the summer, developing her game primarily against boys.

“My first team was on a boys team,” she said. “I was a captain on a boys team.” 

The family moved into Lathrup’s district before she began high school. 

Once she helped lead Lathrup to the 2005 championship, she went on to a fine career at UTEP, where she was the Conference USA Player of the Year twice and helped lead the Miners to their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Hughes still holds school records for career assists (599), steals (277) and minutes played (3,777). On Monday, she was named to Conference USA’s 2024 Hall of Fame class. 

After a brief professional career overseas was derailed by a shoulder injury, Hughes said getting into coaching was a natural fit. 

“I had to make the hard decision, and I knew as a kid I wanted to be around basketball,” she said. “Once I made that decision (to quit), I knew I was going to coach.”

Hughes started coaching in the Detroit area, first serving as an assistant at Southfield A&T from 2016-20 and then at Birmingham Groves for a season. She then served as interim head coach at Colby Community College in Kansas before being named an assistant at UTEP in May 2023, a month after her former coach Keitha Adams returned to lead the program after six seasons at Wichita State.  

While fully immersed in her job with UTEP, Hughes’ high school memories in Michigan certainly aren’t going away anytime soon – especially with the 20th anniversary of Lathrup’s championship coming up. 

“We are still close friends because we all essentially grew up together,” she said. “They are still my friends to this day.”

2024 Made In Michigan

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June 28:
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PHOTOS (Top) At left, Southfield-Lathrup’s Jareica Hughes drives to the basket against Detroit Martin Luther King during the 2005 Class A Final; at right, Hughes coaches this past season at UTEP. (Middle) Hughes, second from left, begins the championship celebration with her Lathrup teammates at Breslin Center. (UTEP photo courtesy of the UTEP sports information department.)