King Rises Again to Reach Class A Final

March 18, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor 

EAST LANSING – Micaela Kelly was a big fan of the Detroit Martin Luther King football team in November when it won its first MHSAA championship since 2007.

Now she and her teammates are receiving that support in return as they pursue a first Class A title since 2006.

The Crusaders earned the opportunity for the first time since that championship season with a 56-48 Semifinal win over St. Johns on Friday at the Breslin Center.

King will next face Warren Cousino in the noon Final on Saturday seeking a sixth MHSAA championship – but first in nine seasons. 

“It’s my last year of high school and I’ll never get this chance again. And I want to go to college with something,” said Kelly, who will continue her career next season at DePaul University. “(The football players) talk to me all day. They said, ‘We’ve got one. You should get one too.’ I look up to them; they worked hard.” 

King (24-1) entered this postseason ranked No. 4 and always is in the conversation of the state’s elite. The Crusaders have made Quarterfinals four of the past five seasons and advanced to the Semifinals a year ago before falling to eventual Class A champion Bloomfield Hills Marian.

But they looked tough to beat Friday.

Kelly said because she’d never played St. Johns, she hoped her team would get off to a quick start – and she played a big part, making two 3-pointers as junior Tia Tedford drilled a third to give the Crusaders a quick 9-6 lead after their first three shots from the floor.

King ended up making half of its 3-pointers – nine total, and kept a 7 to 10-point lead most of the third and fourth quarters until St. Johns made a last run late to get as close as six during the final minute.

The Redwings had defeated three other top-10 teams during the tournament run and another twice during the regular season. 

“We’ve played a lot of different styles, but King was a little different in the fact they shot really well from the perimeter consistently,” St. Johns coach Mark Lasceski said. “And shots that normally went in for us the past three weeks went off the front of the rim, rattling out, those types of things. In a game like this against a top-10 team like that, they have to go down for you to have a chance to win.”

Kelly led King with 18 points, hitting 5 of 7 shots from the floor including a pair of 3-pointers. Junior guard Alicia Norman made all three of her 3-point attempts and finished with 14 points, and sophomore guard Erica Whitley-Jackson also made three 3-pointers and finished with 10 points.

“If you’re a 3-point shooting team, you’re always going to have those highs and those lows. We always expect that, and hopefully our defense would hold up until we started hitting again,” 33-year King coach William Winfield said. “We wanted to make sure they were taking good shots, and that was the difference. They played with poise, very sure of themselves.”

St. Johns – playing in its first Semifinal since 1997 – got offensive contributions from a number of players. Sophomore guard Maddie Maloney led with 12 points and six assists, but five others scored at least five points.

Junior forward Jamie Carroll and junior guard Erika Ballinger each added eight. Senior Brooke Mazzolini had seven points, six rebounds and six assists, and with forward Jessica Hafner was one of only two seniors on the team. 

“I felt we had a chance to win all game long,” said Lasceski, who completed his 20th season leading the program. “They hit shots, and we struggled at times.

“These kids … made this an outstanding season, for the St. Johns community, for the basketball program and for them. … Through this run, they grew together, as I would say, family. They’ve been one of the closest group of kids that I’ve coached.”

Click for the full box score.

The Girls Basketball Finals are presented by Sparrow Health System. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Martin Luther King’s Alicia Norman drives past a St. Johns defender Friday. (Middle) St. Johns’ Jessica Hafner looks for an open teammate as Jasmine Flowers (55) and Micaela Kelly defend.

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Girls Report Week 10

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 6, 2023

Championship time is quickly approaching this girls basketball season.

MI Student Aid

We’re still three weeks out from the start of District play. But league contenders are clashing all over the state, with a handful of conferences finishing up their schedules this week and several favorites facing off soon with titles on the line. We make mention of a number of those below.

“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. West Bloomfield 59, Detroit Edison 49 Last season, West Bloomfield (15-2) became the first in-state team to defeat Edison (12-3) since 2018 – and the Lakers have become the only one to do so again this winter.

2. Maple City Glen Lake 51, Traverse City St. Francis 45 The Lakers (13-2) are up to No. 2 in Division 4 MPR, while St. Francis (12-2) sits No. 4 in Division 3.

3. Holt 55, DeWitt 53 The Rams (14-2) sit alone atop the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue after sending the Panthers (13-2) into second in a matchup of top Division 1 teams statewide.

4. Hancock 50, Calumet 47 The Bulldogs (13-1) maintained their one-game lead in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference West with their second win this season over third-place Calumet (11-3). Both are among the top seven statewide in Division 3 MPR.

5. Detroit Edison 44, Farmington Hills Mercy 42 The Pioneers bounced back from the West Bloomfield loss with a pair of close wins, this one over Mercy (14-2) followed by a one-pointer over Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Saturday.

Watch List

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


Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (11-5) After a 2-4 start with those losses to top Division 1 and 2 teams statewide, Reeths-Puffer is 9-3 and tied for first in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green with Muskegon after edging the Big Reds 56-52 on Friday. That avenged a 14-point loss to Muskegon on Jan. 6, and the Rockets have since gone on an eight-game winning streak. They also opened last week with a 42-39 victory over 11-win Ludington.

Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week.

Wayne Memorial (13-4) The Zebras further solidified their standing atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East standings with last week’s 75-57 win over second-place Belleville. That followed up a 44-41 win over the Tigers on Jan. 6, and total Wayne has won 12 straight since a 1-3 start that included two-point losses to Division 1 contenders Detroit Renaissance and Hudsonville and a third defeat to Illinois power Chicago Whitney Young.


Goodrich (14-1) The Martians are locked in another battle atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Lake Fenton and trail the Blue Devils by a game after a 50-44 loss Jan. 20. That’s Goodrich’s only defeat, and they’ll attempt to avenge it in the league finale Feb. 17. In the meantime, the Martians can continue their statewide push upward with 13-win Flushing coming up Wednesday and 15-win Ovid-Elsie next week as well.

Redford Westfield Prep (11-6) The Warriors take on many of the state’s best, evidenced by their No. 8 MPR despite six losses. Westfield has won seven of its last eight games, the lone defeat during that streak 55-53 to still-undefeated Flint Carman-Ainsworth on Jan. 16 – and with perhaps its most notable instate win of the season 46-45 in double overtime Jan. 12 over reigning Division 3 champion Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.


McBain (13-4) The Highland Conference race could go down to the finish, especially after McBain avenged its earlier 17-point loss to second-place Evart with a 51-35 win last week. McBain also has a six-point loss to league leader Lake City from Jan. 20, but can avenge that in the regular-season finale Feb. 23. The Ramblers additionally have a pair of victories over 12-win Beal City and a solid early loss to still-undefeated Division 2 Escanaba.

Ovid-Elsie (15-2) The Marauders haven’t slowed down a bit after last season’s 21-2 finish with league and District titles, the latter in Division 2. This season in Division 3, Ovid-Elsie is up to No. 6 in MPR with a 14-game winning streak since suffering its lone losses early to Pewamo-Westphalia (10-5) and Dansville (15-1). The Marauders handed Mackinaw City its first defeat Saturday, 59-55 on a neutral court, and also has a victory over 14-win Ithaca plus a two-game lead in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference.


Fowler (11-6) Coming off back-to-back Division 4 championships, Fowler put together a schedule featuring solid-to-strong teams from Divisions 1-4 and sit No. 3 in Division 4 MPR. The losses have come to Midland Dow, Haslett, Lansing Catholic, Kent City and league rivals Dansville and Portland St. Patrick, and the Eagles avenged the Shamrocks defeat 51-44 last week. Fowler will need help to catch Dansville in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, down two games from the league leader, but will try to get one back from the Aggies on Feb. 14.

Norway (16-1) The Knights are leading the large-school division of the Skyline Central Conference with the likely deciding matchup coming at Bark River-Harris next week. Norway has lost only to Niagara (Wis.), by five two weeks ago, and handed Carney-Nadeau (13-2) one of its losses among other strong work – and after ending last season’s 11-10 run with a 15-point District loss to the Wolves.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Coldwater (15-1) at Jackson Northwest (15-1) – The Mounties lead Coldwater by a win in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference thanks to a 50-46 win in their first meeting Jan. 10.

Tuesday – Utica Ford (14-1) at Grosse Pointe North (13-2) – North has clinched a share of the Macomb Area Conference Red title heading into tonight’s league finale, while Ford won by a large margin in the MAC White.

Thursday – Houghton (13-1) at Hancock (13-1) – As noted above, Hancock leads the West-PAC West by a game – but will face second-place Houghton twice over the next two weeks.

Friday – Standish-Sterling (15-1) at Hemlock (13-3) – Hemlock owns the lead in the Tri-Valley Conference West 10-1 thanks to a 62-31 doubling up in the first meeting Jan. 6. But that remains the Panthers’ lone loss, and they’ve since handed TVC 10-2 co-leader Saginaw Valley Lutheran one of its two defeats.

Friday – Saline (15-2) at Temperance Bedford (16-1) – Saline is first and Bedford second in the Southeastern Conference Red thanks to Saline’s 41-22 win in their first meeting Jan. 27.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning 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. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as 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) A trio of Fowler defenders surround a Bath player driving to the basket during a 49-27 win earlier this season; they meet again Thursday. (Middle) Maddie Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake contests a shot by Maggie Napont of Traverse City St. Francis during the Lakers' 51-45 win over the Gladiators last week. (Top photo by Click by Christine McCallister. Middle photo by Rick Sack/TC Rick Photo.)