Countdown to Calvin: Girls Report Week 12

February 19, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

We’re filled with anticipation as we begin the final week of this girls basketball regular season.

Most league titles have been determined – although some excellent deciding matchups do still remain. What’s more, every team has had three months to figure out what it does best – and we’re on the eve of seeing them make a final dash with everything on the line.

Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school on our site. To offer corrections or help us fill in missing scores, email me at [email protected].

Week in Review

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

1. Saginaw Heritage 59, Detroit Country Day 49 – Heritage is one of three undefeated teams left in Class A and reinforced it’s a serious contender by downing the reigning champ in Class B.

2. Marysville 53, St. Clair Shores Lakeview 44 – Although Lakeview lost its leading scorer to an injury two minutes in, Marysville handing the Huskies their first loss in this Macomb Area Conference Blue/Gold championship game remains significant.

3. Detroit Mumford 60, Detroit Renaissance 58 – Mumford downed Renaissance earlier this season to clinch first in their division of the Detroit Public School League, and this classic rematch gave the Mustangs the overall league tournament title.

4. Jackson Northwest 47, Coldwater 37 (OT) – The Interstate 8 Athletic Conference title very well may have been decided during overtime between these teams that are a combined 33-3 overall this winter.

5. Detroit Edison 88, St. Ignace 56 – In what looked like a possible matchup of the best in Class C, reigning champion Edison showed it’s still the team to beat (and with only a loss to Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, which beat Country Day this week).

Watch List

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


Bloomfield Hills Marian (14-3) – Despite being swept by Dearborn Divine Child during the league season, Marian shared the Detroit Catholic League Central championship with Farmington Hills Mercy – and then finished off a run to the A-B tournament title with a 49-30 win over the Falcons on Sunday. The only other loss this season was by a point to Royal Oak (15-2).

DeWitt (17-1) – After falling to still-undefeated rival East Lansing by a point Dec. 5, the Panthers have quietly run off 15 straight wins and claimed the Capital Area Activities Conference Red championship. DeWitt and East Lansing could see each other again in a District Final at Owosso. Both games last season, including the Trojans’ District Final win, were decided by a point as well.


Freeland (16-2) – The Falcons have clinched another Tri-Valley Conference Central title, running their league winning streak to 40 straight games with Friday’s victory over Shepherd. Freeland also posted double-digit crossover wins against Birch Run and Hemlock teams that are a combined 29-5, with the only defeats to Class A powers Saginaw Heritage (17-0) and Bay City Western (14-3).

Hamilton (17-1) – The Hawkeyes followed up last year’s run to the Regional Finals by opening this winter with a four-point loss to Class A Jenison (14-4). Hamilton hasn’t lost again, claiming a share of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green title with its 40-27 win over now-third place Zeeland East on Friday. The Hawkeyes also own a win against Comstock Park, the leader in the O-K Blue.


Centreville (18-1) – The Bulldogs have won 26 straight league games including their first 16 in the first year of the Southwest 10 Conference. The defeat came in overtime Dec. 1 against former league rival Bronson. The Bulldogs will be tested immediately in the District though, with Homer (16-2) first up next week. 

New Lothrop (16-1) – Since falling to reigning Class C runner-up Pewamo-Westphalia in its opener, New Lothrop is undefeated and finished 10-0 in the Genesee Area Conference White. The Hornets also have a nice win over Birch Run and beat GAC Blue co-leader Byron by nine last week. The league title was the second straight after New Lothrop shared with Burton Bendle last season.


Fruitport Calvary Christian (16-3) – The Eagles got off to a middling start at 0-2 and then 4-3, but have won 12 straight and finished a perfect run through the Alliance League. Next they’ll go for a fifth straight District title and hope for more; two of the three losses came to Class C teams, and Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (16-2) also went on to win a league title.

Hillman (18-1) – The Tigers ran their North Star League winning streak to 46 straight in claiming the Big Dipper championship outright with a 51-38 victory over second-place Rogers City on Thursday. The lone defeat came against another small school power in Cedarville (13-3), by three on opening night – but Hillman does need to be cautious facing Rogers City (13-4) again in its first District game Feb. 28. 

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Detroit Edison (15-1) at Saginaw Heritage (17-0) – Fresh off a win over the reigning Class B champion, Heritage will try to add another against last season’s Class C title winner.

Tuesday – Kingsley (19-0) at Maple City Glen Lake (17-1) – Glen Lake will try to avenge an earlier 16-point loss and share the Northwest Conference title.

Wednesday – St. Clair Shores Lakeview (18-1) at Utica Eisenhower (17-2) – A pair of MAC divisional champs get one last tune-up before the start of Districts.

Thursday – Sandusky (16-3) at Marlette (14-4) – The Greater Thumb Conference East title comes down to this meeting between co-leaders, and Marlette won the first by 17.

Thursday – Charlevoix (14-3) at Traverse City St. Francis (14-3) – These two are tied for first in the Lake Michigan Conference, and Charlevoix won their first meeting by two.

PHOTO: Saginaw Heritage held on to its perfect record with a big win last week over Bay City Western. (Click for more from

JoBurg 3-Sport Great Capping Career Filled with All-State Honors, Team Trophies

By Tom Spencer
Special for

April 5, 2024

It won’t be hard for Jayden Marlatt to remember opening day on the softball field from any of her four years at Johannesburg-Lewiston.

Northern Lower PeninsulaAs a freshman, she missed the opener due to needing to quarantine. Her sophomore and junior years started on the road because the Cardinals’ field was under construction.  

This season the Cardinals will open up — weather permitting — on their brand-new field, hosting Mio on Monday, April 8.  Marlatt is slated to be the starting pitcher again and add to her school record collection.

While Johannesburg-Lewiston is looking forward to playing on the new diamond, Marlatt and her teammates have high hopes of finishing the season almost 200 miles south. They’re looking to get back to Michigan State University – the site of the Division 4 Semifinals and Final.

The Cards have had their sites on that goal since they fell 4-2 to Mendon in last year’s Semifinal at Secchia Stadium. The loss ended a 30-4-1 campaign that saw the Cardinals play every game on the road for a second consecutive year, but come up only one victory short of a first championship game appearance.

The trip to East Lansing also came after the Cards won the program’s first District title since 2008 and advanced to the Semifinals for the first time since 1981.

“It has been a long two seasons on the road,” said eighth-year head coach Kim Marlatt, noting the team utilized a Little League field for practices during the stretch. “They’ve been putting in a lot of work in the offseason, so it is excited to get going.”

Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. The new field isn’t the only new things this spring. The Cardinals will have a junior varsity team for the first time during the Marlatt’s tenure. The JV squad is coached by Ryan Marlatt, who has been serving the program the past eight years as assistant coach. He also has been the head girls basketball coach at JoBurg the past two seasons.

The Marlatt coaches are the proud parents of Jayden, who continues to garner recognition as perhaps the greatest athlete in Johannesburg-Lewiston’s history. 

The three-sport star had a huge hand in all that JoBurg accomplished last season leading the team in batting average (.670), home runs (13) and runs batted in (61). As the team’s ace pitcher, she collected 249 strikeouts and compiled a 1.32 ERA.

“Jayden has put in the hard work,” Kim pointed out.  “She is a very humble athlete. ‘She doesn’t like to talk about herself. She likes to compete, and she likes to be on the top of her game for her teammates.”

Jayden has been named all-conference and all-state in softball, basketball and volleyball nearly every season over her four years at JoBurg. She’s led her teams to Ski Valley Conference, District and Regional titles along the way.

She’s also been named Player of the Year by multiple publications. And she’s a front runner to be voted the Most Valuable Player of the Ski Valley Conference in softball. Earlier this year, league coaches voted her the MVP for both basketball and volleyball.  

“The Ski Valley never used to vote on an MVP,” Ryan Marlatt said. “Hopefully she can add the triple crown and get softball this year.”

Jayden Marlatt, who has played all three sports all four years, acknowledged softball is perhaps her most treasured, and she’ll continue in that sport at Ferris State. Her career total of more than 500 strikeouts, and her 14 home runs last season, are both JoBurg school records. "I like them all but probably softball,” she confirmed when asked to name her favorite sport.

She averaged 12 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and four steals per game this winter helping the Cards basketball team to a conference runner-up finish. She was key to JoBurg's ability to put a 12-game winning streak together, and she topped the 1,000-point career mark along the way.

Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season.Her outstanding senior year on the basketball court and this spring’s possibilities nearly vanished as the volleyball season ended.

She suffered what looked to be a serious lower-leg injury in the final game of the JoBurg volleyball season. “She finished in the emergency room,” Kim Marlatt said.  

Diagnosed a high ankle sprain, it was an aggravation to an injury from her junior year in basketball. She wasn’t quite at 100 percent on the basketball court this season until the holiday break. She’s starting the softball season healthy, though.

Before the injury, Jayden led the Cards to their third volleyball conference championship over the last four years. After becoming JoBurg's all-time kills leader during her junior season, and with many of her teammates from her first three seasons graduating, Jayden had to fill a variety of roles while anchoring the offense from her outside hitter spot.

She ended up leading the team in both kills with 421 and digs, with 431, in her final season on the volleyball court. And she is listed among MHSAA’s all-time leaders in kills for a single match and career.

It’s more than Marlatt’s stats that stand out for Kristine Peppin, the school’s volleyball coach the past 15 years.

“It is not about the size of the school or the size of the player, it’s the heart that they have inside,” she proclaimed. “This girl would be a successful player on whatever team she was on. 

“Yes we’re a small school, small town,” she continued. “That kind of leadership and heart and drive to be the best is what’s given her that success.”

Marlatt’s work ethic is second to none, Peppin noted. She never saw Jayden give less than a “1,000” percent in practice or games in her career. 

Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt.“She’s a super hard worker and extremely modest for the kind of skill she possesses and the success she’s had,” Peppin said. “Her teammates think it’s amazing to be on her team.”

Marlatt’s volleyball skills caught the eye of at least one of her conference opponents’ coaches back in junior high. Ron Stremlow was performing one of his many coaching duties for Fife Lake Forest Area when he first saw Jayden on the volleyball court.

“I could tell then this girl was somebody special,” said Stremlow, who became one of the winningest coaches in state volleyball history with the Warriors. “When she got in high school, it just took off.

“She puts the time into it, and she works hard,” Stremlow continued. “Kids like that get what they deserve – they work for it.”

Stremlow, now retired, also acknowledged he’s enjoyed being able to watch the hard-throwing Marlatt on the softball field the last couple of seasons as Forest Area hosted the Cardinals consecutively due to JoBurg’s lack of a home field.

It’s something he’ll have to travel to do this year though, as JoBurg is scheduled to host the Warriors on April 15.

The Cardinals also will host a Regional on their new field June 8. The winners of District play at Rogers City, Harbor Springs, St. Ignace and Gaylord St. Mary will participate.

To play in the Regional, the Cards will have to emerge from the Rogers City District featuring the host Hurons, Atlanta, Hillman, Onaway, and Posen.

Tom SpencerTom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Jayden Marlatt drives a pitch during softball season. (2) Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. (3) Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season. (4) Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt. (Action shots by Dylan Jespersen/Petoskey News-Review; family photo by Breya Domke.)