By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The storm that rolled through the state Saturday and Sunday seemed to say welcome to winter. But a snow day can’t get in the way of introducing our revamped “Breslin Bound” report, powered by MI Student Aid.
Over the last few seasons, we’ve weekly posted looks at teams to watch in each class with an eye on the end-of-season MHSAA Tournament. We’re changing things up and expanding a little too to make sure you know about all of the most significant scores from the week that was, plus what games coming up are most likely to have our attention.
Results and schedules are based on what’s published for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or missing scores, please contact me at Geoff@MHSAA.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Benton Harbor 57, Dowagiac 36 – Benton Harbor finished last season 15-6 but with three losses over its final four games; with this win, the Tigers avenged that final defeat, a 68-60 loss to Dowagiac.
2. Detroit East English 84, Flint Beecher 74 – Coming off a 17-5 record and league title last winter, East English picked right back up with a solid win over the reigning Class C champion.
3. Belleville 54, Canton 31 – The Tigers are off to a 2-0 start after winning 19 a year ago, and dropped Canton to 0-2 after the Chiefs were undefeated last regular season.
4. North Muskegon 44, Muskegon Oakridge 29 – The Norsemen finished fourth in the West Michigan Conference last season due in part to 14 and 16-point losses to Oakridge, which ended 16-6 overall.
5. Romulus 70, Chicago Bogan (Ill.) 67 – For a Romulus team coming off a 12-8 finish, beating a frequent Illinois contender was a great way to start climbing back to elite.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Ann Arbor Pioneer (2-0) – The Pioneers are looking to build on last season’s District title, and avenged one of their five losses from last winter by downing Southfield Christian 66-62 in their opener.
Coldwater (2-0) – Coming off 11-10 a year ago, the Cardinals might be in line for a jump after opening with two close wins, including 56-54 over reigning Interstate 8 Athletic Conference champion Marshall.
Coopersville (2-0) – Lost among some of the other Grand Rapids-area powers, Coopersville has won at least 15 games the last two seasons, and opened with another strong step downing Kent City 54-47 and East Grand Rapids 65-51; Kent City won its league last season.
River Rouge (2-0) – A Class B quarterfinalist last season, Rouge opened with a couple of nice wins over West Bloomfield (57-52) and Detroit Renaissance (45-36), which went a combined 30-14 last winter.
Manton (2-0) – The Rangers are coming off a 17-5 season that started with losses to Class A Traverse City West and Petoskey; Manton opened this season beating West 76-72 and Petoskey 52-48, so it should be lined up well to chase McBain (below) again in the Highland Conference.
McBain (2-0) – A Class C semifinalist last season that opened with 26 straight wins (including the only two losses Manton received in league play), the Ramblers surged out of the gate again beating Benzie Central 58-35 and Traverse City St. Francis – 16-8 last winter – 73-39.
Martin (2-0) – The reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference Central champion seems primed for a repeat run after opening with a 66-63 win over Saugatuck, last year’s SAC Lakeshore runner-up (and 16-5 overall).
Powers North Central (2-0) – Let’s get the start to “Jets Watch” out of the way, right away; North Central’s wins last week over Stephenson (87-19) and Rapid River (92-39) pushed their winning streak to 57 straight, going back to Dec. 8, 2014, and they sit eight short of tying Chassell’s record from 1956-58.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Thursday: Powers North Central (2-0) at Carney-Nadeau (2-0) – The Wolves get next shot at breaking North Central’s winning streak; they finished 14-8 last season with two defeats to the Jets.
Thursday: Frankenmuth (0-0) at Millington (1-0) – The football rivalry carries over to basketball, with the Cardinals (14-10 last season) looking to get an early edge on the reigning Tri-Valley Conference East co-champion.
Friday: Hudsonville Unity Christian (2-0) at Hudsonville (0-2) – Both made Quarterfinals last season, Unity in Class B and Hudsonville in Class A, with the Eagles claiming their early-season matchup by nine points.
Friday: East Lansing (2-0) at Lansing Everett (1-0) – East Lansing won the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue last season, but Everett reached the Class A Semifinals by handing the Trojans their first and only loss in a Regional Final.
Friday: Wyoming Godwin Heights (1-0) at Lowell (0-0) – These were two of the best from the Grand Rapids area last season as both won District titles, Lowell in Class A and Godwin Heights in Class B.
Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau 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, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
PHOTO: Flint Beecher (in red) downed Corunna 60-19 in posting a 2-1 record during the first week of this season. (Click for more from Varsity Monthly.)