By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The following boys basketball high achievers include a few that made history in clinching championships last week.
Some of the other teams that stuck out most fell short of league titles this winter – but could become champions once the postseason begins.
Detroit Western International (17-0) – The Cowboys needed every last point to secure their first Detroit Public School League championship since 1922, beating Detroit Renaissance 46-45 on Friday after dispatching Detroit Pershing and Detroit Cass Tech in earlier rounds. The Final was only the second time Western didn’t win by double figures this season.
Holly (15-2) – The Bronchos locked up a second straight Flint Metro League title against Clio on Friday and are undefeated in league play including 6-0 against teams with at least 10 wins overall. Holly’s lone losses were both by five points and both in December – to Detroit Country Day and Flint Southwestern.
Lansing Everett (15-2) – The Vikings pulled into a tie for first place in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue and handed Grand Ledge its first loss of the season Friday, 82-78 in overtime. Top player Trevor Manuel fouled out with a minute left in regulation, but his supporting cast filled in nicely in claiming the biggest win in the Lansing area this winter.
Muskegon (16-1) – The reigning Class A champion is a mere basket from perfection this winter, its only loss 58-57 to East Kentwood on Dec. 30. The Big Reds have rocked since, clinching the Ottawa-Kent Conference Black title Friday against Muskegon Reeths-Puffer; a 69-59 win over Romulus last month has been among other highlights.
Goodrich (16-2) – Only a pair of losses to Genesee Area Conference Red leader Flint Beecher have stood between the Martians and perfection. Last week’s overtime win over Fenton went with impressive December victories from December over Class A Troy Athens, White Lake Lakeland and Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills; Athens and Ottawa Hills lead their leagues.
New Haven (17-0) – The Rockets have soared from fifth in the Macomb Area Conference Gold last season to first with a chance to clinch the title today at Warren Lincoln. New Haven had impressive wins early including a 40-pointer over Richmond, the top team in the Blue Water Area Conference. But Mount Clemens on Friday should be the biggest threat to the winning streak.
Onsted (13-3) – The Wildcats have improved substantially from last season’s 11-9 finish and are tied for second in the Lenawee County Athletic Association behind already-clinched champion Hillsdale. Onsted is a combined 13 points from 16-0, but does see co-second place Dundee again March 6 after losing to Dundee 45-43 on Jan. 6.
Wyoming Godwin Heights (16-1) – The Wolverines have avenged that lone loss, by three to Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian on Jan. 24, to move into a first-place tie in the O-K Silver. Godwin Heights should close out its fifth straight league title before a nice test against Class A Grand Rapids Christian to end the regular season.
Constantine (14-2) – The Falcons moved to the top of the Kalamazoo Valley Association standings Friday with a 59-51 win over previous leader Kalamazoo Christian, one of two teams that has beaten Constantine this season (third-place Kalamazoo Hackett is the other).
Flint Beecher (15-1) – In addition to beating a strong Goodrich team twice in the GAC Red (see above), Beecher has built an impressive slate with victories as well over River Rouge (11-4), Flint Northwestern (13-2), Flint Southwestern (11-4) and Saginaw (12-6).
McBain (14-2) – The Ramblers still may have to win two of their last three league games to clinch the Highland Conference championship. But McBain beat second-place Manton 61-33 on Friday to move into first place after entering that game tied with the Rangers atop the standings.
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (13-2) – The Falcons are going to have a tough time coming back to win the Huron League; they trail Milan by two wins with two league games remaining. But St. Mary should be tough to deal with in Class C this postseason after playing in Class B last winter, when it also fell to eventual B champion Milan in the first game of Districts.
Mio (14-2) – The Thunderbolts can’t catch Hillman in the North Star League’s Big Dipper division, but they’re firmly in second place with their only losses this season to the first-place Tigers. Mio should get one more regular-season test before the playoffs, in Class C Johannesburg-Lewiston on March 3.
Morenci (14-2) – The Bulldogs claimed a share of the Tri-County Conference championship Saturday night with a 58-52 victory over Clinton, which entered tied for first in the league. Those two were fourth and fifth, respectively, only a season ago.
Peck (15-3) – The Pirates have won seven straight, in the process taking back a share of first place in the North Central Thumb League by winning their rematch with co-leader Kingston on Feb. 17. The other two losses this fall were to Class B Richmond by only four and Class C Marlette.
Republic-Michigamme (15-2) – The Hawks won’t catch Lake Linden-Hubbell in the Copper Country Conference, but can finish an outstanding turnaround after going 7-14 a year ago. The final three opponents have a combined 12 wins this winter. Both of Republic-Michigamme’s losses were to Lake Linden-Hubbell.
PHOTO: Detroit Western International got stops when they counted in defeating Detroit Renaissance in the Detroit Public School League championship game. (Photo courtesy of Detroit Public School League).