By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Girls basketball teams across Michigan made it especially difficult last week to pull out only the brightest highlights for today's Breslin Bound report – powered by MI Student Aid.
With the start of Districts now just a month away, the shuffling has begun in full force with a number of teams making moves up their respective league standings and into view as possible MHSAA championship contenders.
Below you'll find notes on a number of teams on the move, with plenty more to come as the tournament draws near.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 42, Marshall 34 – GRCC improved to 12-1 by avenging last season’s Quarterfinal loss to the eventual Class B champion Redhawks, who have lost only twice this season.
2. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 53, Ann Arbor Huron 33 – The Gators ran their winning streak to 23 going back to last season’s Class C title run, and also beat Huron for the first time in three years as they pursue the top spot in Class B this winter.
3. Freeland 58, Ithaca 35 – The Falcons' undefeated run enjoyed its most impressive week with a pair of Tri-Valley Conference crossover wins; in this one the Central leaders gave West first-place Ithaca its first defeat since opening night.
4. Rockford 69, East Kentwood 66 – The Rams improved to only .500 with this win, but showed the strength of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red by edging the league-leading Falcons.
5. Sault Ste. Marie 49, St. Ignace 44 – The Blue Devils finished a sweep of their Straits Area Conference rival for the first time in more than a decade to take a comfortable lead in the league standings.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Hartland (11-1) – The Eagles’ 15-5 finish last season included four losses to Howell, including in their lone District game. But Hartland’s only loss this season was to reigning Class A champion Detroit Martin Luther King. The Eagles also beat Howell by 20 two weeks ago to take a one-win lead in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West standings.
East Lansing (12-1) – After a one-point lost to DeWitt at the start of December, East Lansing has won 11 straight and 10 of those by double digits. The Trojans ended Muskegon’s five-game winning streak Saturday with a 52-34 win at the East Grand Rapids Showcase.
Marysville (10-4) – The Vikings have won seven of their last eight and handed Marine City its first loss of the season, 40-30 on Tuesday. Both now have only one loss in the Macomb Area Conference Gold, which Marysville won in going 21-3 overall last season.
Goodrich (9-4) – After falling back just a bit, relatively speaking, to 18-4 last winter, the Martians picked up four defeats in five games over the new year. But they haven’t lost in their last five and moved into first place alone in the Genesee Area Conference Red with a 54-36 win over Flint Hamady on Friday. A five-point loss to Hamady on Dec. 16 had started that brief slide.
Detroit Edison PSA (10-1) – The Pioneers have taken a giant step after a series of solid finishes. Wins over Chicago Whitney Young and Canton were among the most impressive early, but last week alone included victories over Detroit East English (64-44) and Dearborn Heights Robichaud (71-64) – bigger schools with a combined 17-7 record. The loss came over the weekend to Class A power King.
Watervliet (11-2) – The Panthers opened this season with two losses but haven’t looked back, and with a pair of wins last week surpassed their 10 victories of last winter. They lead reigning champion Gobles in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Lakeshore thanks to a three-point win over the Tigers on Jan. 6.
Ewen-Trout Creek (8-2) – The Panthers finished 5-18 last season but showed a spark at the end by reaching the District Final. That momentum has carried over to an 8-2 start as they've pushed into first place in the Porcupine Mountain division of the Copper Mountain Conference.
Fruitport Calvary Christian (12-1) – The high-scoring Eagles are at it again with at least 70 points in five games this season including three of their last four. Calvary Christian also has avenged two of last season’s four losses with a 45-point win over Hart and five-pointer over fellow Alliance League contender Wyoming Tri-unity Christian.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Monday – Detroit East English (10-3) at Detroit Martin Luther King (12-1) – This is the last game before the start of the Detroit Public School League tournament, and East English can show how far it’s come since falling to the Crusaders by 21 on Jan. 12.
Tuesday – Williamston (12-1) at East Lansing (12-1) – Both of these Lansing-area teams have high postseason aspirations, and this one could indicate which might have the best shot in March.
Thursday – Detroit Edison PSA (10-1) at Detroit Country Day (11-0) – Edison, discussed above, is emerging as a Class C contender and can show how significantly against another of Class B's elite.
Friday – Canton (9-3) at Wayne Memorial (9-2) – Wayne holds a one-win lead in the KLAA South standings thanks to a three-point win in these teams’ first meeting three weeks ago; Canton won the league after the teams split last season.
Saturday – Kalkaska (9-0) at St. Ignace (10-2) – Two of the best from northern Michigan face off in an afternoon matchup; the Saints' only losses are those mentioned above to Sault Ste. Marie.
PHOTO: Freeland continued its undefeated run this season with a win over Ithaca in a Tri-Valley Conference crossover of league leaders. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)