By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
By the end of this week, we'll have reached the midpoint of this girls basketball regular season.
But plenty of teams are showing they might just be warming up for a much longer run this winter.
Below are 10 that impressed last week, including a handful which have made it through the season's first month and a half without a loss. (Records are based on results reported to the MHSAA Score Center.)
1. Hemlock (8-0, Class C) – After winning a respectable 12 games last season, Hemlock has dominated this winter and already beaten reigning Tri-Valley Conference Central champion Freeland.
2. Holt (8-0, Class A) – The Rams have consistently piled up wins for more than a decade, but often in the shadow of rival East Lansing; a 12-point win over the Trojans last week has helped Holt look like another Lansing-area contender.
3. Charlotte (6-0, Class B) – The Orioles, who finished a game over .500 in 2012-13, proved their perfect start is for real with a two-point win over rival and mid-Michigan power Eaton Rapids on Friday.
4. St. Louis (8-0, Class C) – Volleyball usually is the Sharks’ best game, but they finished tied for third in TVC West hoops last season and have a one-game lead this time thanks to an 18-point win over second-place Carrollton last month.
5. Haslett (6-1, Class A) – Quietly the Vikings also are looking like a team to watch in Class A, although an 11-point win over rival DeWitt on Friday rang loudly.
6. Cadillac (7-1, Class B) – Only a four-point loss to Manistee on the season’s second Friday has kept the Big North Conference-leading Vikings from a perfect start.
7. Midland Dow (8-1, Class A) – Since a four-point loss to Saginaw Heritage before holiday break, Dow has won five straight by an average of 17 points per.
8. Gaylord St. Mary (6-1, Class D) – The Snowbirds are returning to their former roost as a Class D power, with their lone flaw this winter a loss to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.
9. Negaunee (5-3, Class C) – After a 1-3 start, the Miners have won four straight to rise to the top of the Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference.
10. Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (7-2, Class C) – A 1-2 start is a distant memory thanks to six straight wins including handing the first defeat to league foe Kentwood Grand River Prep.
PHOTO: Hemlock defeated league foe Alma last week to improve to 8-0 overall this season. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)