High 5s - 2/14/12

February 13, 2012

Every Tuesday, Second Half honors 2-4 athletes and a team for its accomplishments during the current season.

Have a suggestion for a future High 5? Please offer your suggestions by e-mail to Geoff@mhsaa.com. Candidates often will have accomplished great things on the field of play -- but also will be recognized for other less obvious contributions to their teams, schools or the mission of high school athletics as a whole.

Daisy Ference

Northville freshman

Gymnastics

Ference, only a 14-year-old freshman, came into the Feb. 4 Canton Invitational at least somewhat under the radar – and left as a favorite to win the MHSAA Division 1 individual championship next month. Ference won the Division 1 competition at Canton with an all-around score for 37.925. Earlier this season, according to a Birmingham Observer & Eccentric report, Ference set Northville’s school bars record with a 9.8.

The Mustangs finish the regular season with a meet tonight at Livonia Churchill and their league championship meet Saturday.

“I love my team, and I want to do well for them. I am motivated by positive encouragement and winning.”

Up next: Ference obviously has a few years to decide what she’ll pursue after high school. But she does hope to continue competing. “I am very determined and ambitious, but my final destination has yet to be determined,” she said. “Gymnastics will always be a part of my life, and hopefully a part of my career.”

I learned the most about gymnastics from: “My high school coach is Erin McWatt, and my main club coach, from Michigan Elite Gymnastics Academy, is Kim Tanskanen. I have been taught by the most talented and dedicated coaches, and I appreciate their love and dedication. They taught me to work hard, and success will follow. They taught me dedication and hard work pays off.”

Chris Hass

Pellston senior

Basketball

Hass, a 6-foot-5 point guard, is averaging 30.9 points per game this season and has scored 2,241 total during his four-year high school varsity career. His points total is 10th-best in MHSAA history and just 600 shy of the record set by Mio's Jay Smith from 1976-79. He's also averaging 8.5 rebounds and six assists per game. Pellston is 14-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class D, with a chance to avenge its only loss Wednesday in a rematch with No. 1 Bellaire. Hass has signed with Bucknell.

"I try to get as many assists as I can now. But for my team to be successful, I need to score. We have very talented ball players on this team. But that's one of my roles."

Up next: "One thing I was looking at college for wasn't just the next four years of life, but the rest of my life. If I don't go to the next (basketball) level after college, I'll have an education that will allow me to get an outstanding job anywhere. I'm going into either mechanical engineering or business management."

I learned the most about basketball from: "Definitely my father (Cliff, also his high school coach). He's always pushing me to be better than who I am. I think a lot of kids who are good when they're young, they're just told how good they are. My dad always kept pushing me to work on this, work on other things. ... He always keeps pushing me to be better than I am right now."

I look up to: "I've always wanted to be like Jesus Christ. He'd be my main one, then my dad and my sister (Stephanie, who formerly held the MHSAA girls basketball record for career points). 

Shelby wrestling

Just because Shelby moved down into Division 4 for wrestling this season doesn’t meant its road to the MHSAA Finals got easier. Case in point: last week’s District matchup against Hesperia, which had reached the Quarterfinals 11 straight seasons.

But thanks to the Tigers 36-26 win, it won’t be 12. Shelby, ranked No. 4 entering the postseason, got past a major obstacle in downing the No. 3 Panthers, who also had reached the Division 4 championship match three of the last five seasons.

Shelby is seeking its first MHSAA team championship since 1972, but long has been considered a power in the southwestern corner of the state. The Tigers advanced to the Division 3 Quarterfinals in 2009 and lost in Regional Finals the last two seasons and in 2007 – twice by just two points during that time.

Shelby is the only ranked team at its Regional on Wednesday at Blanchard Montabella. The Tigers will face Traverse City St. Francis, and with a win either Sanford-Meridian or Leroy Pine River in the Regional Final.

The Tigers also advanced nine wrestlers from Saturday’ individual District at Hesperia: Junior Nick Bantien (119, fourth place), sophomore David Guerra (125, third), senior Jordan White (135, second), senior Trevor Dezwaan (140, second), senior Houston Jones (145, fourth), senior Dillon Sibley (152, fourth), senior Mason Courtright (171, first), junior Dillion Ankney (215, first) and junior Austin Felt (103, first).

Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Boys Report Week 9

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 6, 2023

We are down to the final four weeks of this MHSAA boys basketball season – and while the entertaining part is detailed below in our regular Monday report, there’s some major data crunching underway behind the scenes as well.

MI Student Aid

Seeding the top two teams in every District requires thousands of data points – and a season-long process of collecting them all. More than 720 varsity teams are playing this winter, and we’re in the midst of a process of checking their schedules one by one – about a 24-hour task by itself to make sure all scheduled games are showing, league standings are set up correctly, etc.

Additionally, daily we’re sorting through disputed scores, changes to schedules because of weather or teams that have discontinued their seasons, and other adjustments. But we’re always striving for perfection – and when Districts are drawn and those top teams seeded Feb. 26, we hope to have every schedule up to date and every score filled in.

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

Week in Review

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

1. North Farmington 68, Muskegon 55 These two have lived at or near the top of Division 1 MPR all season, making this win by the Raiders (12-1) at the 2K23 Showcase at Aquinas College arguably their best, especially considering it also was the first loss for the Big Reds (13-1). 

2. Saline 57, Ann Arbor Huron 47 The Hornets (11-4) saw an eight-game winning streak end three days later, but in this one handed Huron (13-1) its lone defeat of the season. 

3. Ann Arbor Huron 67, Benton Harbor 55 The River Rats, meanwhile, rebounded immediately with a 13-point win over Dexter and then a 67-55 victory over Benton Harbor (13-3) at Aquinas. 

4. Warren Lincoln 52, Grand Rapids Northview 37 The Abes (12-3) just keep impressing, this time with a big win over a Northview team matching their 12-3 record, also during the 2K23 Showcase. 

5. Iron Mountain 64, Powers North Central 58 This matched arguably the best in the Upper Peninsula in Divisions 3 and 4, respectively, with the Mountaineers moving to 13-1 and the Jets to 11-2.

A Montabella player gets to the basket during his team's 43-28 win last week over Carson City-Crystal.

Watch List

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

DIVISION 1

Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-2) The Cubs have won outright or shared the last two Detroit Catholic League Central championships, and they’re hoping to run that streak to three by winning Friday’s rematch with first-place Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-1). A 68-53 defeat to the Warriors on Jan. 24 and a 67-64 loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on Jan. 6 have left Jesuit a game back, but the Cubs do have a sweep of reigning Division 1 champion Warren De La Salle Collegiate plus early impressive nonleague wins over Clarkston and Ferndale.

Kalamazoo Central (13-2) After just missing the Division 1 Semifinals a year ago – losing to Northview by two in a Quarterfinal – the Maroon Giants are ahead of their 16-win pace from that finish with their only losses to Brother Rice and Battle Creek Lakeview (11-3), the latter by a point. They also defeated Lakeview in the teams’ first meeting, handed Mattawan its only loss and most recently defeated Detroit Renaissance at the 2K23 event. 

DIVISION 2

Ferndale (7-6) Few if any have played a tougher schedule, especially considering Ferndale is Division 2 playing most of the Division 1 powers. The Eagles are No. 5 in Division 2 MPR despite a 1-5 start including losses to Brother Rice, Jesuit, St. Mary’s and Muskegon, and then a two-point loss to North Farmington last week. Meanwhile, Ferndale has defeated Grosse Pointe South (13-3), Flint Beecher (12-3), Clarkston (11-5) and River Rouge (10-5). The North Farmington rematch is Feb. 24, and a Feb. 11 matchup with Port Huron Northern should also boost MPR.

Grand Rapids Christian (10-4) The Eagles may be in fourth in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White, but they are No. 6 in Division 2 MPR. Three of the four losses were to league opponents, but Christian is coming off a 55-53 double-overtime win over Warren Michigan Collegiate (13-2) on Saturday at Aquinas. An early win over Grand Rapids Catholic Central and a Jan. 21 victory over De La Salle also stand out.

DIVISION 3

Flint Beecher (12-3) The Bucs are off to another big start after last season’s finish at the Division 3 Semifinals, losing only to Detroit Cass Tech (17-0), Benton Harbor and Ferndale as Beecher also has loaded up its nonleague schedule. Beecher also has four wins over teams with double-digit victories, with an 80-71 defeat of Flint Hamady (14-2) on Jan. 10 putting the Bucs in first in the Genesee Area Conference Red. The Hamady rematch is Feb. 18, before a major regular-season finish against Goodrich (13-1) and Grand Blanc (14-2).

Napoleon (14-0) The Pirates aren’t sneaking up on anyone after going 19-3 last season, but they are dominating nonetheless. All but one win have been by eight points or more, and Napoleon leads the Cascades Conference after finishing second last year with a pair of losses to Vandercook Lake. The Pirates not only defeated Vandercook in their first meeting, by 40, but next defeated Michigan Center by 17 after the Cardinals ended their season last winter. Napoleon also has a 63-45 win over Big 8 Conference co-leader Concord.

DIVISION 4

Baldwin (13-1) The Panthers are coming off an 18-5 finish and second place in the West Michigan D League, and they lead it this time by two games and with a win over Mesick after losing both meetings to the eventual league champ a year ago. Baldwin also has avenged a 2021-22 loss to Mason County Eastern and could avenge another hosting Traverse City Christian on Tuesday. The Panthers also have given Marion (11-4) half its losses.

Powers North Central (11-2) As noted above, the Jets are at least among the handful of elite small-school Upper Peninsula teams, No. 4 in statewide Division 4 MPR although second in D4 in the U.P. with Painesdale Jeffers in the top spot. Those two wouldn’t see each other until a Regional Final, where North Central’s 19-5 run ended last season. The Jets only defeats this time are to Division 2 Kingsford and Division 3 Iron Mountain, which stand a combined 25-3.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Goodrich (13-1) at Corunna (12-2) – They’re tied atop the Flint Metro League Stars with Goodrich winning the first meeting 69-54 on Jan. 10.

Friday – Detroit U-D Jesuit (14-2) at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (14-1) – As noted above, the Detroit Catholic League Central title will be on the line, as Jesuit can force a shared championship.

Saturday – Hamtramck (10-5) vs. Kalamazoo Central (13-2) at Benton Harbor – The Cosmos have faced their share of statewide elite as well, and will be seeking what would be one of their most notable wins in this Wilson Chandler Shootout matchup.

Saturday – Flint Hamady (14-2) at Davison (10-5) – Old rivals meet again as Davison is coached by longtime Beecher leader Mike Williams.

Saturday – Saginaw Arthur Hill (7-9) at Saginaw (14-4) – They’ll still have 2023-24 left before one the best rivalries in state history ends with a school merger, but this year’s rematch comes after Saginaw won 57-55 on Jan. 14.

MHSAA.com'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 www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) A Saginaw player gets to the rim during Friday's 59-54 loss to Mount Pleasant. (Middle) A Montabella player goes to the basket during his team's 43-28 win last week over Carson City-Crystal.(Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)