Carson Making Up For Lost Time, Making Buchanan Contender as Districts Begin

By Wes Morgan
Special for

February 23, 2023

There’s really nothing about Faith Carson’s high school basketball career that went according to script.

Southwest CorridorYet, it has developed into quite a compelling story with one last chapter to be penned.

When asked if she felt four years ago that she would have ended up as arguably the top college prospect in the state of Michigan despite missing more than 30 games due to a pandemic-shortened sophomore season and a junior campaign mostly wiped out by an ankle injury, the Buchanan High School phenom and Ohio State University signee said all of that would have been laughable.

However, there were plenty of times, particularly last winter when the 6-foot-4 center was relegated to a walking boot and a chair on the sideline, when it was difficult simply to remain upbeat.

“I was talking to my mom the other day and said I never really realized how much I loved basketball until I couldn’t play,” said Carson, who did return in time last season to help the Bucks win a second consecutive Division 3 District championship before falling to Schoolcraft in the Regional Finals. “Going to practice every day and watching them play, it was a struggle.

“At first it was really hard. I do have a lot of individual goals for myself, but you just have to support your teammates and put a smile on your face. You never want to show up and be the person that is negative.”

Before school and after volleyball practice throughout the fall, Carson put in around three hours a day working on her shot in preparation for this season.

With the MHSAA Tournament set to commence, the Bucks benefitted greatly by Carson’s strong return to the tune of a 19-1 record, a Lakeland Conference title and No. 3 ranking in the latest Associated Press Division 3 poll. The Bucks opened the year with a five-point loss to still-undefeated Vicksburg and have mostly dominated ever since.

Carson elevates for a shot against Schoolcraft. Carson is averaging 19.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game as Buchanan gears up for a District Semifinal on Wednesday against the winner of the Bridgman/Cassopolis opener Monday.

She spent her spring and summer playing with her travel team and playing with us at the high school level trying to work herself back into shape,” Buchanan coach Gabe Miller said. “She really ramped it up in August and in the fall while simultaneously working her butt off on the volleyball court.”

Carson was named Lakeland Conference MVP after the Bucks’ volleyball squad went undefeated in league play en route to a District crown.

“She was getting up at 5 a.m. and lifting weights at the local fitness center and then coming in and shooting baskets with me from 6:30-7:15 about four or five days a week,” Miller said. “It wore me out, but I welcomed it. It was good to see. And she’d come in on Sundays, too. She was really adamant about making up for lost time the best she could.”

This year’s Buchanan group is primed for a postseason run as Carson combines with some savvy players who helped keep the wheels on last year in her absence, including junior point guard LaBria Austin, versatile senior forward Hannah Tompkins, junior defensive specialist Hannah Herman and sophomore forward (and sister) Alyssa Carson just to name a few.

Clearly, though, the Bucks are a decidedly more ferocious group with Faith Carson back in the lineup.

The things that get overlooked, unless you coach basketball, you might not see right off the bat is she always had really good hands and feet, even when she was younger,” Miller explained. “She spent a lot of time, especially this last year, working on her diet and researching things, being in the weight room and adding to her physicality and conditioning. 

“I think she’s got good court vision as far as seeing plays, seeing cutters, which helps her game out with double- and triple-teams. She wants to play basketball, so she spends a lot of time on it. Losing as much time as she lost last year — a full season — could have been a hindrance. But she definitely made up for it this year. When you take her love for the game with her God-given talents, her size, feet and hands, the work ethic she has put in, and the fact that she wants to work to meet her goals when she goes to college, that’s kind of got us to the player we have today.”

And now, after all the hours working on her shooting, that includes being a threat from range.

“In a game — I can’t remember which one — I had the ball at the 3-point line and their coach was yelling, ‘shooter!’” Carson recalled. “My whole family started to laugh because I’ve never really been called a shooter. It felt great.

“I’m going to do everything I can to help us go really far in the postseason. This is one of my favorite teams I’ve ever been a part of. I’m just really excited because I know what we’re capable of.”

Wes MorganWes Morgan has reported for the Kalamazoo Gazette, ESPN and, 247Sports and Blue & Gold Illustrated over the last 12 years and is the publisher of He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Buchanan’s Faith Carson (54) gets a hand up on defense against St. Joseph. (Middle) Carson elevates for a shot against Schoolcraft. (Photos courtesy of the Buchanan girls basketball program.)

Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Girls Report Week 12

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 26, 2024

February is nearly at its end, and the girls basketball regular season will finish this week as well. And, of course, anticipation couldn't be higher for what's next as the calendar turns to March.

MI Student Aid

We have a much clearer picture of how this season's MHSAA Tournament will begin to unfold as District brackets were announced Sunday – find them all on the Brackets page. But keep in mind as well, several teams still have much to play for this week, and actually over the next four days, as almost all of our teams will finish up their regular-season schedules by the end of Thursday.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

1. Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard 54, Detroit Renaissance 39 The Irish (21-0) moved within a win of a perfect regular season by defeating the Phoenix (18-3) in the Operation Friendship league champions matchup.

2. Detroit Edison 57, Belleville 46 The Pioneers (16-2) will enter the Division 2 tournament among favorites again, further bolstered by this victory over the Division 1 Tigers (18-2).

3. Goodrich 44, Flushing 26 The Martians (21-0) also are one win from a perfect regular season, and one of those Division 2 contenders, coming off this Flint Metro League Tournament championship clincher over Flushing (14-8).

4. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 45, Jackson Lumen Christi 31 The Eaglets (20-0) are closing in on a possible perfect regular season as well after finishing a Catholic High School League Cardinal Tournament title run against the Titans (17-5).

5. Bark River-Harris 52, Munising 31 The Broncos (20-1) secured an outright championship in the Skyline Central Conference Large schools division by winning this matchup of co-leaders entering the game, with Munising (16-4) finishing runner-up.

Plainwell's Brooklyn Timpe (13) works to wall off Otsego's Audrey Lingbeek during the Bulldogs' 41-37 win earlier this month.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Clarkston (15-6) The Wolves have hovered between Nos. 10-20 on the Division 1 MPR list over the last five weeks before bumping up to No. 8 heading into this one. They’ve played tough teams and won key games, the most notable victory lately 53-27 over Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (14-5) to avenge a 43-38 loss three weeks earlier. The other defeats have come to West Bloomfield (18-1) twice, Lake Orion (12-7) by a point, Detroit Country Day (15-5) and Chelsea (17-4) – and Clarkston has six wins over opponents with at least 14 victories, the most recent 50-33 last week over Royal Oak (14-6).

Grand Blanc (16-3) The Bobcats have won three straight District titles and sit a combined 65-17 over the last three-plus seasons, and they’ve created an opportunity to win their first Saginaw Valley League championship during this run of success. Grand Blanc will host Midland Dow on Tuesday in a winner-take-all for the SVL title, as neither has lost a conference game. The Bobcats are riding an 11-game winning streak, with their defeats to Goodrich (21-0), Lake Fenton (15-6) and Hartland (14-7). A 47-46 win over Flint Powers Catholic (17-13) on Feb. 6 factored significantly in creating this championship chance.


Vicksburg (17-2) The Bulldogs – 23-1 last season – added an exclamation point to another strong run by handing Portage Central (17-1) its only loss of the season last week, 47-33. Vicksburg did the same to Niles Brandywine (18-1) on Feb. 6, winning 46-38, which followed a 53-49 win over Paw Paw (18-2). That win over the Red Wolves avenged a 60-50 loss during the season’s first week, and has Vicksburg atop the Wolverine Conference with a share of the league title and a chance to clinch it outright Thursday against Otsego. The Bulldogs’ only other loss was 47-31 to Coldwater (17-3) on Jan. 30 – and Vicksburg bounced back for the Paw Paw and Brandywine wins over their next two games.

Williamston (16-4) The Hornets are winners of 12 straight games and took back the Capital Area Activities Conference Red championship after finishing runner-up to Haslett a year ago. Williamston swept the Vikings (14-7), winning 45-43 and then 57-38, and also owns a 44-34 victory over Ovid-Elsie (18-2) during this nearly two-month run. A 4-4 start surely provided some prep for this success, with the losses to Howell (15-6), Lansing Catholic (16-4), DeWitt (19-2) and Chelsea (17-4) – and Chelsea and Haslett both are on the other side of the bracket from Williamston at the Division 2 District at Fowlerville.


Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (18-3) The Kestrels won their first Huron League championship since sharing the title in 2017-18, and clinched this one outright by defeating Monroe Jefferson in the league finale as co-leader Riverview lost to Flat Rock by a point to move into second place. SMCC doubled their win total between 2021-22 and 2022-23, from nine to 18, and the Kestrels can surpass that this season with a victory over Ida on Thursday. Their losses were to Temperance Bedford (18-2), Carleton Airport (13-7) and Grosse Ile (12-9), and SMCC avenged the Airport defeat during this current eight-game winning streak that’s also seen victories over Riverview (15-4) and Flat Rock (13-7).

Sandusky (19-1) The Wolves claimed a fourth-straight Greater Thumb Conference East championship, avenging their lone loss – 30-26 to Harbor Beach on Jan. 2 – by defeating Harbor Beach 36-23 in the rematch Jan. 25. Six more wins have come against teams with 11 or more victories this season, with a chance to add to that list this week against Cass City and Caro before jumping into the District at Vassar as the top seed. Of the Wolves’ 19 wins, 15 have come by double digits.


Clarkston Everest Collegiate (13-4) The Mountaineers finished second in the CHSL Intersectional #1 this winter, but defeated champion Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 46-30 on Saturday to claim the league’s St. Anne Tournament title. The victory also avenged two four-point losses to the Cranes (14-4), and Everest’s other defeats were to two more Division 2 teams, Macomb Lutheran North and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (20-0). The Mountaineers will be the top seed at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian as they seek to win a third-straight District title.

Mio (17-4) Statewide eyes have turned toward 140-student Mio, which didn’t field a varsity in 2021-22, came back and finished 5-16 last winter and has jumped to 17-4 and a shared championship in the North Star League Big Dipper this season. A lot of that attention has come with freshman Mia McGregor, who according to a Bay City Times story from last week was averaging 39.3 ppg at the time. Mio defeated Bay City All Saints (16-4) that night, 61-52, and also has a win over Big Dipper co-champ Oscoda (16-4).

Can’t-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – Midland Dow (18-2) at Grand Blanc (16-3) – As noted above, the winner will be the outright Saginaw Valley League champion, and Dow is seeking its second league title over three seasons.

Tuesday – Belleville (18-2) vs. Howell (15-6) at Northville – The winners of the KLAA East and West, respectively, face off for the overall championship.

Tuesday – Frankenmuth (18-2) at Lansing Catholic (16-4) – Frankenmuth starts a substantial final week of the regular season with this rematch of last year’s Division 2 Final, won by the Cougars, before taking on Detroit Edison on Thursday.

Tuesday – Muskegon (16-4) at Grand Rapids West Catholic (20-1) – These champions of the O-K Green and Blue, respectively, should give each other a nice test before they pursue postseason aspirations in Divisions 1 and 2, respectively.

Thursday – Colon (19-2) at Mendon (18-2) – The Magi own a share of the Southern Central Athletic Association West title thanks to a 54-31 win on Jan. 18, but Mendon can finish with the other share by avenging that defeat.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) Goodrich's Kayla Hairston leads her team on a break during a 61-48 win over Lake Fenton on Feb. 16. (Middle) Plainwell's Brooklyn Timpe (13) works to wall off Otsego's Audrey Lingbeek during the Bulldogs' 41-37 win Feb. 16. (Top photo by Terry Lyons; middle photo by Gary Shook.)