By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Just more than a month remains in the MHSAA girls basketball regular season.
After a brief midseason break, Breslin Bound is back with a look at four teams in each class to pay attention to after they served notice again over the last week.
Allen Park (9-2) – The Jaguars have raced to the top of the Downriver League at 6-0 in-conference heading into tonight’s matchup with second-place Brownstown Woodhaven to finish the first half of the league season. Allen Park finished third in the league in 2013-14.
Grand Ledge (9-2) – The Capital Area Activities Conference Blue leader graduated its two top scorers after making last season’s Class A Semifinals and took a bad loss to DeWitt during this season’s first week. But the Comets have won five straight and are 7-0 in league play after the first run through the schedule.
Kalamazoo Central (10-1) – The Maroon Giants took their first loss Saturday, 71-57 to Chicago Simeon, but remain undefeated in Michigan and atop the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East standings. Central opened last week by handing Class C Niles Brandywine its first loss, 68-65 in overtime.
Traverse City West (9-2) – The Titans' only losses came to Marquette and Midland Dow in their hometown over holiday break. They’ve won six straight to start 2015, handing Manistee its lone loss and Gaylord its only loss in league play to move to the top of the Big North Conference after finishing third a year ago.
Clare (9-3) – The Pioneers are playing from a slight deficit over the second half of the Jack Pine Conference season after losing to first and second-place Beaverton and Gladwin, respectively, by a combined three points. But they beat Central State Activities Association Gold leader Big Rapids 40-36 on Monday.
Marshall (10-1) – The Redhawks own a half-win lead on Jackson Northwest in the first-year Interstate 8 Athletic Conference, having beaten the Mounties by 11 on Jan. 16. Marshall’s only loss came to Williamston during the first week.
Perry (9-2) – The Ramblers also are surging in a first-year league, the Greater Lansing Activities Conference, going 7-0 in league play so far to move a win ahead of Olivet. Perry finished runner-up to powerhouse Goodrich last season in the Genesee Area Conference Red.
Plainwell (12-0) – The Trojans have won 18 games each of the last two seasons, but appear poised for more with a one-win lead on Otsego in the Wolverine Conference East and a defensive effort that hasn’t given up more than 35 points since Jan. 6.
Flint Hamady (9-0) – The Hawks haven’t lost a GAC Blue game in nearly two calendar years and show no sign of breaking that streak, although second-place Morrice hosts Hamady tonight. The Hawks have won all of their games by double digits, including against nonleague local rivals Flint Southwestern and Flint Northwestern.
Gobles (10-0) – Last season’s Class C semifinalist hasn’t lost a step as it has cruised back to the top of the Southwestern Athletic Conference North. The Tigers have scored more than 60 points eight times and hit 70 once; they’ve held all but one opponent to 24 or fewer points.
Kent City (11-2) – The Eagles took over first place alone in the CSAA Silver with a 58-46 win over second-place Morley Stanwood on Friday and are 7-0 in 2015. The lone losses came to Class A DeWitt during holiday break and Class B Coopersville in early December.
Saginaw Nouvel (8-3) – The Panthers’ schedule is packed with much larger opponents, with Mid-State Activities Conference leader Carson City-Crystal last week one of the few also from Class C. Nouvel beat the Eagles 48-41 and travel to reigning Class D champion Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart tonight.
Bay City All Saints (8-3) – The Michigan Summit League leader has rebounded from a 1-3 start and hasn’t lost since Dec. 11. The Cougars held on to the top spot with a 34-23 win over second-place Saginaw Arts & Sciences two weeks ago and have doubled last season’s win total of four.
Kingston (11-2) – The Cardinals sitting atop league standings is nothing new, and they’re leading the North Central Thumb League by two wins over Deckerville after beating the Eagles 44-30 on Friday. Among conference opponents, only Deckerville, in their first meeting on Dec. 9, has come within single digits of knocking Kingston from its perch.
Morrice (11-1) – Regardless of what happens against Hamady tonight, Morrice can continue to boast as a strong Class D team in a league filled mostly with Class C. The Orioles did lose to co-second-place New Lothrop by three points two weeks ago, but also beat New Lothrop by a bucket in overtime on Dec. 9.
Pittsford (12-0) – The Wildcats are the last in Class D without a loss and handed the second this season to Cascade Conference co-leader and Class C Manchester, 47-39, on Monday. That was only the second game Pittsford has won by fewer than 26 points – the other close win came against Pioneer North Central of Ohio.
PHOTO: Saginaw Nouvel earned a key win against another Class C team, Carson City-Crystal, and sits 8-3 with five weeks until the start of the MHSAA tournament. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).