By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Let the second half of Michigan high school girls basketball season begin. We have plenty to watch for right away.
Pewamo-Westphalia and Detroit Edison kick things off immediately with a huge matchup, and many more are on the way this week – we’ve listed a few of them below. Teams also are reaching the midpoints of their league schedules – with at least a few championships possibly being decided this week.
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.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Flint Carman-Ainsworth 65, Detroit Country Day 60 – The Cavaliers bounced back in part from the previous week’s loss to reigning Class A champ Saginaw Heritage with this win over the 2018 Class B title winner.
2. Detroit Cass Tech 55, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 44 – Downing Division 3 contender Arbor Prep on the Gators’ court Saturday should boost Cass Tech as it rolls into this week’s rematch with rival Detroit Martin Luther King.
3. Negaunee 46, Ishpeming Westwood 36 – The one-loss Miners handed Westwood its first defeat of the winter, lining up their second meeting Feb. 15 as the likely decider in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Iron.
4. Centreville 44, Schoolcraft 42 – Centreville won this highly-anticipated nonleague matchup of undefeated teams both highly-regarded in Division 3.
5. Charlotte 51, Portland 33 – The Orioles handed the Raiders their first defeat this winter to move into first place alone in the Capital Area Activities Conference White.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Ann Arbor Pioneer (8-1) – The Pioneers won nine games total last season and tied for fifth in the Southeastern Conference Red. Last week Pioneer handed Saline its first loss of the season, holding onto a first-place tie in the league with Monroe. Pioneer’s only loss was to one-loss DeWitt.
• West Bloomfield (8-1) – The Lakers are unbeaten aside from a loss to still-undefeated Walled Lake Western on Dec. 11, a vast improvement from last year’s 7-14 finish. West Bloomfield in turn handed Avondale its only loss of this season and is closing in on guaranteeing its first winning record since 2010-11.
• Carleton Airport (8-1) – The Jets have won 17 games in back-to-back seasons and could be making another jump; their only defeat this winter was to reigning Class D champion Adrian Lenawee Christian by six Dec. 13. A major matchup is set for Thursday: Airport faces one-loss Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central for first in the Huron League.
• Kingsley (9-1) – The Stags are coming off arguably the best week of any team in the state. The opened with a 42-point win over Highland Conference leader Manton and finished by taking over first place alone in the Northwest Conference with a 47-39 victory versus Maple City Glen Lake. An early loss to always-solid Goodrich aside, Kingsley hasn’t slowed down after making last year’s Class B Semifinals.
• Michigan Center (10-0) – The Cardinals, also Class B semifinalists last season, have had one of the most memorable first halves of this winter. They sit atop the competitive Cascades Conference and have nonleague wins over Adrian Lenawee Christian and Flint Carman-Ainsworth. They also beat Williamston 95-90 in five overtimes, tying the longest game and ranking second for highest-scoring in MHSAA history.
• New Haven (8-1) – The Rockets just missed reaching .500 last season, but did win reportedly their first District title. And the momentum has continued to build; New Haven lost early to St. Clair Shores South Lake, but is undefeated and atop the standings after the first run through the Macomb Area Conference Bronze schedule. The Rockets also have a chance to avenge that South Lake loss in a Feb. 8 rematch.
• Athens (8-1) – The Indians finished 21-5 overall and second a year ago in their first season in the Southern Central Athletic Association West. They’re lining up for a possibly similar run – they’ve won eight straight since falling to one-loss Battle Creek Calhoun Christian in the season opener, and they are tied for first in the SCAA West with one-loss Climax-Scotts coming up this week and undefeated Bellevue on the last day of the month.
• Bear Lake (6-0) – With one more league game played (and won), Bear Lake has a slim lead atop the West Michigan D League over Pentwater after those two shared last season’s title. They meet for the first time next week; no team has come closer than 17 points to catching the Lakers so far this winter.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Monday – Detroit Edison (10-1) at Pewamo-Westphalia (8-0) – This sets up as one of the best matchups statewide of the regular season after these two met in the 2017 Class C Final and 2018 Semifinals, both Edison wins.
Tuesday – Sandusky (9-1) at Brown City (9-1) – The matchup for first place in the Greater Thumb Conference East features two teams that also have statewide Division 3 aspirations.
Wednesday – Detroit Cass Tech (9-2) at Detroit Martin Luther King (10-0) – King won the first meeting by three two weeks ago and can clinch a share of the Detroit Public School League Midtown title with another victory in the rematch.
Thursday – Detroit Mumford (10-2) at Detroit Renaissance (8-4) – Mumford faces Cody first Wednesday, but with a win that night could head into this one able to clinch the PSL West-Town championship outright after winning the first meeting with Renaissance by two.
Friday – East Kentwood (8-2) at Grand Haven (9-0) – Two teams with Division 1 statewide possibilities will be playing this one for first in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red. Both are undefeated in league play.
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: Ithaca, here against Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, is hoping to surge in the Tri-Valley Conference West during the season’s second half. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)