By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
We’re filled with anticipation as we begin the final week of this girls basketball regular season.
Most league titles have been determined – although some excellent deciding matchups do still remain. What’s more, every team has had three months to figure out what it does best – and we’re on the eve of seeing them make a final dash with everything on the line.
Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school on our site. To offer corrections or help us fill in missing scores, email me at Geoff@mhsaa.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Saginaw Heritage 59, Detroit Country Day 49 – Heritage is one of three undefeated teams left in Class A and reinforced it’s a serious contender by downing the reigning champ in Class B.
2. Marysville 53, St. Clair Shores Lakeview 44 – Although Lakeview lost its leading scorer to an injury two minutes in, Marysville handing the Huskies their first loss in this Macomb Area Conference Blue/Gold championship game remains significant.
3. Detroit Mumford 60, Detroit Renaissance 58 – Mumford downed Renaissance earlier this season to clinch first in their division of the Detroit Public School League, and this classic rematch gave the Mustangs the overall league tournament title.
4. Jackson Northwest 47, Coldwater 37 (OT) – The Interstate 8 Athletic Conference title very well may have been decided during overtime between these teams that are a combined 33-3 overall this winter.
5. Detroit Edison 88, St. Ignace 56 – In what looked like a possible matchup of the best in Class C, reigning champion Edison showed it’s still the team to beat (and with only a loss to Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, which beat Country Day this week).
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Bloomfield Hills Marian (14-3) – Despite being swept by Dearborn Divine Child during the league season, Marian shared the Detroit Catholic League Central championship with Farmington Hills Mercy – and then finished off a run to the A-B tournament title with a 49-30 win over the Falcons on Sunday. The only other loss this season was by a point to Royal Oak (15-2).
DeWitt (17-1) – After falling to still-undefeated rival East Lansing by a point Dec. 5, the Panthers have quietly run off 15 straight wins and claimed the Capital Area Activities Conference Red championship. DeWitt and East Lansing could see each other again in a District Final at Owosso. Both games last season, including the Trojans’ District Final win, were decided by a point as well.
Freeland (16-2) – The Falcons have clinched another Tri-Valley Conference Central title, running their league winning streak to 40 straight games with Friday’s victory over Shepherd. Freeland also posted double-digit crossover wins against Birch Run and Hemlock teams that are a combined 29-5, with the only defeats to Class A powers Saginaw Heritage (17-0) and Bay City Western (14-3).
Hamilton (17-1) – The Hawkeyes followed up last year’s run to the Regional Finals by opening this winter with a four-point loss to Class A Jenison (14-4). Hamilton hasn’t lost again, claiming a share of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green title with its 40-27 win over now-third place Zeeland East on Friday. The Hawkeyes also own a win against Comstock Park, the leader in the O-K Blue.
Centreville (18-1) – The Bulldogs have won 26 straight league games including their first 16 in the first year of the Southwest 10 Conference. The defeat came in overtime Dec. 1 against former league rival Bronson. The Bulldogs will be tested immediately in the District though, with Homer (16-2) first up next week.
New Lothrop (16-1) – Since falling to reigning Class C runner-up Pewamo-Westphalia in its opener, New Lothrop is undefeated and finished 10-0 in the Genesee Area Conference White. The Hornets also have a nice win over Birch Run and beat GAC Blue co-leader Byron by nine last week. The league title was the second straight after New Lothrop shared with Burton Bendle last season.
Fruitport Calvary Christian (16-3) – The Eagles got off to a middling start at 0-2 and then 4-3, but have won 12 straight and finished a perfect run through the Alliance League. Next they’ll go for a fifth straight District title and hope for more; two of the three losses came to Class C teams, and Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (16-2) also went on to win a league title.
Hillman (18-1) – The Tigers ran their North Star League winning streak to 46 straight in claiming the Big Dipper championship outright with a 51-38 victory over second-place Rogers City on Thursday. The lone defeat came against another small school power in Cedarville (13-3), by three on opening night – but Hillman does need to be cautious facing Rogers City (13-4) again in its first District game Feb. 28.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Detroit Edison (15-1) at Saginaw Heritage (17-0) – Fresh off a win over the reigning Class B champion, Heritage will try to add another against last season’s Class C title winner.
Tuesday – Kingsley (19-0) at Maple City Glen Lake (17-1) – Glen Lake will try to avenge an earlier 16-point loss and share the Northwest Conference title.
Wednesday – St. Clair Shores Lakeview (18-1) at Utica Eisenhower (17-2) – A pair of MAC divisional champs get one last tune-up before the start of Districts.
Thursday – Sandusky (16-3) at Marlette (14-4) – The Greater Thumb Conference East title comes down to this meeting between co-leaders, and Marlette won the first by 17.
Thursday – Charlevoix (14-3) at Traverse City St. Francis (14-3) – These two are tied for first in the Lake Michigan Conference, and Charlevoix won their first meeting by two.
PHOTO: Saginaw Heritage held on to its perfect record with a big win last week over Bay City Western. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)