By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Michigan’s high school girls basketball teams wasted no time firing up highlights as their season tipped off last week.
Without giving the rest of this first “Countdown to Calvin” report away, we saw one reigning MHSAA champion fall and another just barely remain unbeaten – while an incredible winning streak ended and a few much shorter but perhaps someday notable ones got started.
Countdown to Calvin 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. (And remember, new this season: The tournament is now organized by Divisions, 1-4, instead of the traditional Class A-B-C-D.)
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Adrian Lenawee Christian 57, Detroit Country Day 52 – The reigning Class D champion Cougars bounced back off an opening-night loss with a statement downing reigning Class B champ Country Day.
2. Hudson 38, Pittsford 30 – The Tigers put an end to Pittsford’s 106-game regular-season winning streak that stretched back to Jan. 28, 2013.
3. Saginaw Heritage 45, Southfield Arts & Technology 43 – The reigning Class A champion Hawks are favorites for the Division 1 title, but the Warriors look like contenders now as well.
4. Michigan Center 59, Adrian Lenawee Christian 54 – That last season’s Class B semifinalist Cardinals won this opener wasn’t stunning, but it looks even better considering Lenawee Christian’s work later in the week noted above.
5. East Kentwood 52, Muskegon 51 – The Falcons earned a slight upper hand in a matchup of what should be a pair of Division 1 contenders this winter.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• East Lansing (3-0) – The Trojans graduated the Miss Basketball Award winner off last season’s Class A runner-up team and immediately bounced back to open with a 59-55 win over Division 2 contender Williamston, followed by a big victory over Lansing Waverly and a 66-63 win over last season’s Quarterfinal opponent, Muskegon.
• South Lyon East (2-0) – The Cougars nearly doubled their 2016-17 win total last season in finishing 13-8, and victories last week over Livonia Churchill (47-42) and Canton (50-41) set them up nicely for this week’s test against Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.
• Chelsea (2-0) – The Bulldogs began building on last season’s 17-5 finish with wins over Marshall (40-38) and Dearborn Divine Child (54-46), the Marshall win avenging one of last winter’s defeats.
• Hamilton (2-0) – Two straight 20-win seasons and a trip to last winter’s Class B Quarterfinals have the Hawkeyes established among teams to watch. They opened with a 62-42 win over Grand Rapids South Christian, coming off a 19-win season, and then edged Grand Rapids Catholic Central 42-40.
• Whittemore-Prescott (2-0) – The Cardinals won four games all of last season but are halfway to matching that total after opening victories over Posen (50-45) and Fairview (36-35).
• Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (2-0) – Last season’s Class C runner-up opened with a 60-52 win over Division 1 power Clarkston (a Class A quarterfinalist last winter) and 59-55 victory over another impressive Division 3 team, Maple City Glen Lake.
• Ewen-Trout Creek (2-0) – The Panthers opened the season with a 49-45 win over Chassell, one of the only teams to beat them during last winter’s 16-5 run. Ewen-Trout Creek nearly doubled up Lake Linden-Hubbell to close the first week.
• Rudyard (3-0) – The Bulldogs’ fast start last week included double-digit wins over Manistique and Frankfort and a three-pointer, 54-51, over Newberry. Rudyard lost twice last season to Newberry in finishing 9-14, but showed signs of what may be to come by winning a District title.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Waterford Kettering (1-1) at Bloomfield Hills Marian (2-0) – Combined these two went 35-12 last season, and Kettering’s loss last week was by two to reigning Class C champion Detroit Edison.
Tuesday – Negaunee (2-0) at Marquette (2-1) – These likely are two of the best in the Upper Peninsula, with the Redettes’ loss last week by just two to Brighton.
Tuesday – Williamston (1-1) at Wayne Memorial (0-0) – After making the Class A Semifinals a year ago, Wayne’s new lineup gets an early test.
Friday – DeWitt (1-0) at East Lansing (3-0) – This is one of those matchups to always circle; eventually they also meet in the postseason, and often that victor makes a run at the title.
Saturday – Detroit Renaissance (0-1) vs. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (2-0) at Detroit Edison – This might be the most intriguing in-state matchup of the DEPSA Holiday Classic as Renaissance also won its District last year.
Second Half’s weekly “Countdown to Calvin” 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: Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart's Scout Nelson makes a move toward the basket against Morley Stanwood in a season-opening win. She went over 1,000 career points last week. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)