By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Everyone loves snow days. But here’s hoping the frigid weather warms up quickly enough to make way for the start of the final month of girls basketball season.
This week is filled with titanic matchups that will end up helping to decide league championships – and likely foreshadow a number of key postseason duels as well.
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. Detroit Edison 53, Pewamo-Westphalia 39 – This was the third straight season these powers had met, with Edison adding to its wins in the 2016 Class C Final and 2017 Semifinals.
2. Detroit Cass Tech 61, Detroit Martin Luther King 59 – Cass Tech avenged a three-point loss to King on Jan. 9 to join the Crusaders in a first-place tie in the Detroit Public School League Midtown with one league game left for both.
3. Grand Haven 78, East Kentwood 55 – After falling twice to East Kentwood last season, Grand Haven took over first alone in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red with this big win.
4. Flint Kearsley 55, Flushing 50 – This close win pulled Kearsley into a first-place tie in the Flint Metro League with Fenton just ahead of Flushing, which beat Fenton two weeks ago.
5. New Lothrop 47, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 41 – After a rough start, the Hornets finished the first half of the regular season with four straight wins, this one over an annual championship contender the most encouraging.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Bloomfield Hills Marian (11-0) – Two wins in two weeks over rival Farmington Hills Mercy has Marian comfortably atop the Detroit Catholic League Central after Marian and Mercy shared the title a year ago. Marian added a District title last season and could be line for more – the Mustangs remain the only team to defeat 2018 Class A semifinalist Grosse Pointe North this winter.
• Walled Lake Western (12-0) – We featured Western on Second Half two weeks ago, and the Warriors have added two more wins since to remain the only team unbeaten in Lakes Valley Conference play. A league title would be the program’s third straight, and Western has won 21 straight LVC games since falling in the season opener last winter.
• Corunna (12-0) – The Cavaliers have won nine straight by double digits and can all but lock up the Genesee Area Conference Red title with another victory Friday over second-place Flint Hamady, which Corunna beat in overtime on Dec. 14. Corunna had finished third in the league the last two seasons but did earn a District title to close last winter.
• Stanton Central Montcalm (11-0) – The Hornets have run their regular-season winning streak to 31 and hold a slim lead over Fremont in the Central State Activities Association Gold after a 30-point win in their first meeting Jan. 4. Central Montcalm has won all six of its 2019 games by at least 30 points, showing plenty of bounce-back after last season’s run was stopped abruptly by a first-round District loss.
• Brown City (11-1) – The Green Devils have climbed to the top of the Greater Thumb Conference East thanks in part to last week’s overtime win over second-place Sandusky. They then matched last season’s win total with another victory Friday over Capac (after going 11-10 in 2017-18), and the lone defeat this winter came over holiday break to one-loss Kingston.
• Carson City-Crystal (8-3) – The Eagles have three defeats, but to teams that are a combed 29-5 including Central Montcalm (mentioned above). Carson City-Crystal sits atop the Mid-State Activities Conference after ending Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart’s 24-game league winning streak last week, 31-27. They meet again in the regular-season finale, Feb. 28.
• Camden-Frontier (9-4) – The Redskins are tied for first in the Southern Central Athletic Association East with annual power Pittsford and already have avenged two early losses with rematch wins over Reading and Waldron. Camden-Frontier improved to finish 14-9 a year ago and closed with a District title, and could be on the verge of another step up.
• Kingston (11-1) – The Cardinals are eyeing a seventh-straight league title, with a slight lead on Deckerville in the North Central Thumb League Stars. They’ve won 53 straight league games going back to 2012-13 and are trying to build on last season’s Quarterfinal run. The only defeat this winter was by four to Division 1 Utica Eisenhower, and Kingston beat Deckerville by 29 in their first meeting.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – East Lansing (12-0) at DeWitt (11-1) – The Trojans hold a slim lead on the Panthers in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue thanks to a 45-41 win in their first meeting Dec. 14.
Tuesday – Southfield Arts & Technology (12-1) at Royal Oak (12-0) – The winner will finish the first run through Oakland Activities Association Red play alone in first; the rematch is Feb. 28.
Friday – Midland Dow (10-1) at Saginaw Heritage (10-0) – This will be a full house for much more than the MHSAA’s Battle of the Fans visit; these two are tied for first in the Saginaw Valley League Red, and Heritage also beat Dow in a District Final last year on the way to winning the Class A title.
Friday – Flint Hamady (10-1) at Corunna (12-0) – Some of the details are noted above; Hamady also will be coming off a Tuesday matchup with Detroit Country Day.
Saturday – Stanton Central Montcalm (11-0) vs. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (9-4) at Northwood University – This stacks up as Central Montcalm’s toughest test as it looks to finish a second straight regular season unbeaten.
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: Negaunee's Abigail Nelson (42) tries to grab the ball away from Ishpeming's Jocelynn Nyman (10) as teammates MacKenzie Karki (3) and Chloe Norman (22) provide support. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)