By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
It's difficult to draw much from the first two weeks of a four-month basketball season.
But it doesn't take long to sense a turnaround coming (see Detroit Mumford below) or a new championship contender on the rise (hello Grand Rapids Catholic Central?). This week's installment includes a few more teams that quickly have made an impression, to carry us through the end of 2017.
Breslin Bound is powered by MI Student Aid, and will return during the first week of January. These reports are based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com – to offer corrections, email me at Geoff@mhsaa.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 73, Grand Rapids Christian 49 – The Cougars reversed a 39-point loss suffered last season to the eventual Class A runner-up.
2. Hazel Park 74, Detroit U-D Jesuit 63 – Last week a win over Detroit East English got Hazel Park on this list, and this time it’s a double-digit victory over the Cubs (20-4 last season).
3. Dansville 42, Pewamo-Westphalia 34 – The Aggies followed a win over Class B Detroit Osborn with this one over reigning Central Michigan Athletic Conference champion P-W, which beat Dansville by 18 and two points in their meetings last season.
4. Saginaw 69, Saginaw Arthur Hill 61 – The Trojans bounced back from an early-week loss to Detroit Renaissance to beat the rival Lumberjacks for the seventh straight time since falling to them during the 2014-15 postseason.
5. Warren DeLaSalle 77, West Bloomfield 67 – The Pilots have played two of their first three games against teams that made at least the MHSAA Semifinals last season, winning this one over the Class A Lakers.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Mount Pleasant (3-0) – The Oilers improved to post upper-division finishes in the formerly two-division Saginaw Valley League the last two seasons, going 15-9 overall last winter. All of the SVL will play in one division this winter, and Mount Pleasant is off to a nice start with three double-digit wins including a 22-pointer over a Midland Dow team it split with last season.
Troy (3-0) – The Colts play in a tough Oakland Activities Association Red that includes Clarkston, West Bloomfield and Hazel Park among others, but they could be in the mix after reaching the Quarterfinals (and falling there to West Bloomfield) last winter. Troy finished last week by handing rival Athens its first loss, 66-58.
Detroit Mumford (4-0) – With one more win, Mumford will be halfway to bettering last season’s 9-12 finish. The Mustangs have three straight double-digit wins after beating St. Clair Shores South Lake, Oak Park and Warren Michigan Collegiate on successive days over the weekend.
Spring Lake (3-0) – Back-to-back overtime wins over Class A teams has Spring Lake riding high. The Lakers got past Rockford 48-46 and Grand Haven 69-66 last week as they prepped for the Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue season and powerhouse Grand Rapids Catholic Central – which Spring Lake eliminated in last year’s Regional Final after finishing third to the Cougars in league play.
Houghton Lake (2-0) – They are only two games win, but a 35-28 overtime win over Beaverton on Thursday should have the Bobcats’ spirits high. The Beavers were runners-up in the Jack Pine Conference last season and Houghton Lake came in fifth after losing to Beaverton by 29 and 23.
Iron Mountain (4-0) – The Mountaineers might be the favorites in the Mid-Peninsula Conference after finishing third last winter despite going 2-1 (including a District win) over co-champion Norway. The Knights left the league this year, but Iron Mountain surely still enjoyed taking a 48-40 win from them Friday.
Bear Lake (3-0) – Only two weeks into the season, the Lakers are making some noise in the West Michigan D. They sit atop the conference after opening with a 12-point win over reigning champion Baldwin, and that’s been by far Bear Lake’s closest game. The Lakers finished 15-7 overall and tied for third in the league last season.
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (4-0) – As usual, Tri-unity will play a wide variety of opponents including many larger to prepare for the postseason, a strategy that frequently pays off. One of the losses it took last year on the way to the Quarterfinals was against Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, and Tri-unity avenged with a 49-41 win Friday.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Flint Hamady (3-0) at Flint Beecher (3-1) – The reigning Class C champion Buccaneers took three from their rivals last season, but one meeting by only four points.
Tuesday – McBain (2-0) at Buckley (1-1) – Although the Bears took a four-point loss on opening night two weeks ago, both of these teams were perfect for the regular season last winter and Buckley is the reigning Class D runner-up.
Wednesday – Grand Rapids Catholic Central (3-0) at Wyoming Godwin Heights (2-0) – By early returns, these are looking like two of the best teams from Grand Rapids and two of the state’s best in Class B as well.
Dec. 26 – Detroit Martin Luther King (2-0) vs. Southfield Christian (2-1) at Cass Tech – Southfield Christian was a last-second basket from playing for the Class D title last season and can see how it stacks up against the Class A Crusaders.
Dec. 29 – Saginaw (1-1) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (2-0) at Detroit Renaissance – There are high expectations for the Technicians, making this matchup with an annual power arguably the most intriguing at the Motor City Roundball Classic.
PHOTO: Spring Lake got past Grand Haven in overtime last week to stay undefeated. (Photo by Tim Reilly)