By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
There may be 25 undefeated boys basketball teams left in Michigan.
But this week will be telling for a quite a few – both those expected to shine this brightly and also for some surprising us along the way.
Each week during the regular season, we’ll glance at four teams from each class that have caught our attention. Results and records below are based on schedules posted at MHSAA.com.
Canton (12-0) – The reigning league champion Chiefs look like they’ll be tough to stop in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association South again after winning every game of the first run through the division schedule by an average of nearly 15 points per.
Detroit U-D Jesuit (11-0) – Most people’s preseason favorite in Class A hasn’t disappointed – or had an in-state opponent come closer than 10 points. Last week’s lone win, over Detroit Catholic Central, gave the Cubs first place solo in the Detroit Catholic League Central.
Holland West Ottawa (10-0) – The Panthers moved into first place alone in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red with a 58-53 win over former co-leader East Kentwood on Friday – and long ago bested last season’s 6-15 finish.
Macomb Dakota (9-0) – The Cougars showed they were up for stepping into the elite during the first week with wins over West Bloomfield and Clarkston, teams they lost to during the first week last season. In addition to leading the Macomb Area Conference Red, Dakota also has added another impressive win over Lansing Everett.
Big Rapids (9-1) – The Cardinals picked up a pair of 40-point league wins to hold on to a one-win lead in the Central State Activities Association Gold, but may need to finish a sweep against Grant next week to repeat as champion and this time win the title outright after sharing with Newaygo a year ago.
Leslie (10-1) – Although they’re from one of the smallest schools in Class B, the Blackhawks are riding high with nine straight wins and atop the Greater Lansing Activities Conference after beating reigning champion Lake Odessa Lakewood and former co-leader Stockbridge last week.
Onsted (10-0) – University of Michigan recruit Austin Davis is the player everyone knows, but he’s getting plenty of help as Onsted sits atop the Lenawee County Athletic Association with only second-place Hillsdale coming within striking distance so far.
Whitehall (9-1) – After tying for third in the West Michigan Conference last season, Whitehall leads the league with a 7-0 record through the first round of conference games and has lost only to nonleague Spring Lake.
Beaverton (8-0) – The Beavers have won 27 straight Jack Pine Conference games and lead the field by two wins in the league standings as they look to repeat; they’ve beaten the three teams tied for second by five, seven and 15 points, respectively.
Iron Mountain (10-0) – The Mountaineers surely have been looking forward to this week for a while after falling to Negaunee in the regular-season finale a year ago – and by doing so, giving up first in the Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference to the Miners. Both are undefeated as they prepare for this week's latest rematch.
Lutheran Westland (9-0) – The Warriors are another team that surely has prepped for this week; after sharing the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference Red title with Sterling Heights Parkway Christian last season, they’re tied for first again and play Friday for the first time this season.
McBain (9-0) – The reigning Highland Conference champion is tied for first with rival McBain Northern Michigan Christian, making this week’s matchup much more meaningful than two one-sided Ramblers wins a season ago.
Alanson (9-0) – A 58-57 win over Boyne Falls to start the new year has Alanson just ahead of the pack in the Northern Lakes Conference; the Vikings tied for second in the league last season.
Lake Linden-Hubbell (9-0) – The Lakes won the Copper County Conference championship last year and have the upper hand in the new Copper Mountain Conference’s Copper Country division with only nonleague Calumet coming within 12 points.
Powers North Central (9-0) – The winning streak is up to 36 straight for the reigning Class D champion, which continues to score like few teams in the state are capable; the Jets have hit 87 twice and scored at least 70 five more times.
Vestaburg (7-0) – This week will be the biggest so far for the Mid-State Activities Conference co-leader as it faces co-leader Carson City-Crystal on Friday after finishing a win ahead of the Eagles for the league title a year ago.
PHOTO: Vestaburg sits tied for first in the MSAC thanks in part to a win over Coleman this winter. (Click for more photos from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)