By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
High school basketball season in Michigan lasts roughly four months, making it risky to write off a talented team because of a slow start.
As we draw toward the close of the regular season, we’re seeing some of those teams we thought might be around at the end making their way back – and just in time.
Breslin Bound is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or fill in scores we’re missing, email me at Geoff@mhsaa.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Detroit Edison 82, Detroit Pershing 45 – The Pioneers’ surprise run to the Detroit Public School League tournament title included closer wins over Cass Tech and Renaissance before this impressive finale.
2. Belleville 70, Romulus 65 – The Tigers almost were forgotten after a 1-3 start, but with this win clinched the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Blue title.
3. Bridgeport 60, Frankenmuth 53 – The Bearcats finished a sweep of the rival Eagles to take a commanding lead in the Tri-Valley Conference East after the teams split the title last season.
4. Kent City 48, Morley Stanwood 45 (OT) – Kent City kept its perfect record intact and clinched the Central State Activities Association Silver title by outlasting the second-place Mohawks.
5. Southfield Christian 68, River Rouge 45 – The Eagles are the likely Class D favorites, even more so after handing Class B contender River Rouge its first defeat.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
Clarkston (14-1) – The reigning Class A champion Wolves have dominated since falling by nine to Detroit East English on Dec. 28. Clarkston has downed Hazel Park (15-1) and Troy (12-4) over the last three weeks to take control in the Oakland Activities Association Red.
East Lansing (14-2) – The Trojans retained their share of first place in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue with a 74-67 overtime win over Grand Ledge last week, avenging the first of their two losses this season. East Lansing is looking to finish the comeback by locking up a third straight league title.
Benton Harbor (17-1) – The Tigers have bounced back from their lone loss to Class A Hazel Park on Feb. 3 with three more victories, handing Coloma (16-1) its lone defeat last week. Dowagiac (12-4) and Mattawan (13-3) are among others Benton Harbor has beaten impressively.
Olivet (16-0) – The Eagles have clinched the Greater Lansing Activities Conference championship, with only two of 11 league games so far decided by fewer than 10 points. In fact, 13 wins overall have come by double digits.
McBain (15-1) – A five-point loss to Frankfort (15-1) two weeks ago looks more and more impressive, and McBain will look to clinch the Highland Conference title by finishing a sweep of Manton (13-3) on Wednesday. The Ramblers also have an early win over reigning Class D runner-up Buckley.
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (16-0) – The Falcons have clinched the Huron League title outright with two league games to play, with only one single-digit conference win and just two victories overall of fewer than 10 points. St. Mary has won 40 straight league games over the last three seasons.
Peck (14-3) – The Pirates have rattled off five straight wins after a brief midseason stumble and have earned a share of the title in the North Central Thumb League Stripes division. Peck has won all of its league games by at least 15 points.
Wolverine (15-1) – The Wildcats have clinched a share of the Northern Lakes Conference and won 15 straight since falling to second-place Ellsworth in the season opener. Wolverine has improved from seven to nine to 13 to 15 wins and counting over the last three seasons.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Bridgeport (14-1) at Flint Hamady (13-3) – Both are working to finish off league titles and give the I-75 corridor more interesting postseason possibilities.
Wednesday – Frankfort (15-1) at Maple City Glen Lake (14-2) – A Glen Lake win could create a three-way tie atop the Northwest Conference, and the Lakers won the first meeting by nine.
Friday – East Lansing (14-2) at Okemos (13-4) – They are tied for first in the CAAC Blue, and the Chiefs won the first meeting while Trojans star Brandon Johns missed with an injury.
Saturday – Belleville (12-4) at Muskegon (13-3) – Both of these annual Class A contenders have caught stride during the season’s second half to push aspirations high again.
Sunday – Detroit Catholic League A-B Final at Detroit Mercy – U-D Jesuit (14-3), Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (11-6), Warren DeLaSalle (12-5) and Detroit Catholic Central (11-5) play Tuesday semifinals to determine the championship game pairing.
PHOTO: Flint Carman-Ainsworth and Davison squared off in Saginaw Valley League play Thursday, with the first-place Cavaliers coming out on top 59-55. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)