Countdown to Calvin: Girls Report Week 6

January 14, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

As the midpoint of this Michigan high school girls basketball season approaches, most teams are focusing on league competition – and there are plenty of stories to tell.

Start with the top game in our “Week in Review” below – which saw the end of an 82-game conference winning streak. Three of our five games to watch over the coming week also have league title significance. 

Of course, there are some epic nonconference matchups still on the way – and we highlight a few of those as well.

Expect to see District brackets added to the MHSAA Website this week and first-round games added to team schedules. Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at To offer corrections or fill in scores we’re missing, email me at

Week in Review

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

1. Whitehall 67, Muskegon Oakridge 56 (3 OT) – Whitehall handed Oakridge its first West Michigan Conference loss since 2013, a stretch of 82 league games, to move into a first-place tie with the Eagles.

2. Saginaw Heritage 48, Flint Carman-Ainsworth 41 – Saginaw Valley League Red leader Heritage remained undefeated by downing Blue leader Carman-Ainsworth in the former’s second-closest game this winter.

3. Detroit Martin Luther King 56, Detroit Cass Tech 53 – The Crusaders held on to the top spot alone in the Detroit Public School League Midtown division by handing the Technicians their first league loss.

4. Detroit Edison 64, Muskegon 42 – The Pioneers won a star-studded matchup that featured multiple Miss Basketball Award hopefuls.

5. Kalamazoo Christian 48, Comstock 38 – The Comets bounced back from two straight losses to hand Comstock the only defeat of an impressive winter so far.

Watch List

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


• Saline (7-0) – The Hornets appear on their way to soon surpassing last season’s 11-11 finish. Their first game closer than 19 points came Friday in the Southeastern Conference Red opener, when Saline won a battle of unbeaten edging Temperance Bedford 57-56.

• Southfield Arts & Technology (8-1) – The Warriors are playing for a third straight Oakland Activities Association Red title, but that could be just the start. A&T beat reigning Class B champion Detroit Country Day 65-54 last week and owns a 13-point win over Flint Carman-Ainsworth, noted above. The defeat was by two points to reigning Class A champion Saginaw Heritage in the season’s second game.


• Armada (6-1) – Reigning champion Armada has won 19 straight Blue Water Area Conference games and is tied for first heading into Tuesday’s matchup with co-leader Croswell-Lexington (see below). The loss came to Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in mid-December, but the Tigers haven’t had another game closer than 22 points since their season opener.

• Croswell-Lexington (6-1) – Croswell-Lexington tied for second in the BWAC a year ago and has five wins by double digits this winter including a 19-pointer over third-place Imlay City on Friday. The only defeat came by nine to Port Huron Northern, an annual power from one of the state’s best leagues.  


• Gobles (7-0) – Two straight first-game MHSAA Tournament exits has taken Gobles out of the state spotlight some, but the Tigers are roaring back. They avenged last season’s District loss to Kalamazoo Hackett last week, and could earn another boost against also-unbeaten Martin on Friday in a matchup for first place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Lakeshore.

• Iron River West Iron County (6-2) – The Wykons may have started slowly, relatively speaking, at 1-2 this winter including a loss to still-undefeated Ishpeming Westwood. But they handed Negaunee its first defeat last week and followed that with a one-point win over Menominee. Both were nonleague victories, but West Iron sits first in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Copper as well.


• Adrian Lenawee Christian (9-1) – The Cougars began their reign as last season’s Class D champion with an opening-night 59-54 defeat to Michigan Center, a strong Division 3 contender this winter. But that competition no doubt prepared Lenawee Christian as it has since beaten Country Day by five, one-loss Carleton Airport by six and one-loss Bay City John Glenn by 15 – and last week avenged last season’s only defeat by beating Monroe by 13.

• Mackinaw City (6-1) – The Comets are looking to build on last season’s 15 wins, a six-win improvement from 2016-17, and appear on the way with all double-digit victories this winter to go with a lone loss to Brimley. Mackinaw City is tied for first in the Northern Lakes Conference with undefeated Wolverine – Friday’s opponent – and last week doubled up reigning league champion Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian 66-32. The Comets lost three times last season to the Swordsmen, including in a Regional Semifinal.  

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Rockford (8-2) at Grand Haven (8-0) – These are two of three teams unbeaten early in Ottawa-Kent Conference Red play, and Rockford plays the third, East Kentwood, on Friday.  

Tuesday – Grosse Pointe North (7-1) at Port Huron Northern (8-2) – Both are unbeaten in the Macomb Area Conference Red and carry statewide intrigue as well.

Friday – Schoolcraft (8-0) at Centreville (7-0) – These two Division 3 powers both have won all of their games by double digits this winter.

Friday – Farmington Hills Mercy (6-1) at Bloomfield Hills Marian (7-0) – This continues to be one of the best hoops rivalries in the state, and they’re tied early atop the Detroit Catholic League Central standings after sharing the title last season.

Saturday – Detroit Edison (9-1) vs. Detroit Mumford (9-1) at Warren Fitzgerald – The PSL West-Town leading Mustangs are a two-point loss to St. Ignace from unbeaten, and Edison hasn’t lost to an in-state opponent in a calendar year.

Second Half’s weekly “Countdown to Calvin” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTO: Sandusky held on to its share of the lead in the Greater Thumb Conference East on Thursday with a 36-29 win over Harbor Beach. (Click to see more from Varsity Monthly.)

Teams of the Month: Hart Girls & Boys Basketball

By Geoff Kimmerly 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
Byron Center hockey - Report
Martin football - Report
Gladwin volleyball - Report
Negaunee girls tennis - Report

(PHOTOS by Kara Raeth/CatchMark SportsNet.)