By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Girls Basketball Districts begin in three weeks, and contenders are making a few final statements as they finish up league play, compete for league tournament titles and tune up with a little more high-caliber prep before the most urgent time of the season begins.
We take a glance again this week at a number of top matchups from the last few days and preview the next few on the way– but also offer a look at some great stories from programs that might not be in the statewide spotlight.
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. Southfield Arts & Technology 60, Royal Oak 47 – Both teams are now 14-1, and Southfield Arts & Technology will carry the Oakland Activities Association Red lead into the Feb. 28 rematch.
2. Detroit Edison 41, Saginaw Heritage 37 – With both teams missing injured standouts, this one lost a little of its luster but still matched up last season’s Class C and A champions, respectively.
3. Hartland 46, Brighton 35 – The Eagles avenged their seven-point Jan. 15 loss, handed Brighton its first defeat of the season and moved into a tie for first with the Bulldogs in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West.
4. Harper Woods Chandler Park 66, Grosse Pointe North 55 – Chandler Park could be one of few that can challenge Edison in Division 2, and this win over a Division 1 contender proves it.
5. St. Ignace 68, Kingsley 37 – The Saints are one of a few obvious teams to beat in Division 4, with this win over two-loss Division 2 Kingsley more evidence.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Detroit Mumford (13-3) – The Mustangs shared the Detroit Public School League West-Town title with Renaissance, and then defeated Renaissance 55-38 on Monday in a PSL Tournament semifinal to advance to Friday’s championship game against Martin Luther King. Mumford is plenty tested with losses to Renaissance, Edison and St. Ignace coming off last season’s Regional Final appearance.
• Midland Dow (13-1) – The Chargers have won 12 straight since falling to Division 3 contender Pewamo-Westphalia on Dec. 8, and a victory Thursday against Bay City Western would clinch Dow’s third league title in four seasons. The big win of course came against rival Saginaw Heritage on Feb. 1, and with a pair of future college guards leading the Chargers could be just getting started.
• Charlotte (12-3) – A win Friday at winless Lansing Sexton would pull the Orioles a step closer to possibly earning at least a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference White title, quite a jump after four straight sub-.500 seasons. Charlotte’s best win was the only loss this winter for league foe Portland, and those two will meet again Feb. 22 potentially tied for first. Both have a loss in league play.
• Muskegon Oakridge (13-2) – Rival Whitehall deservedly earned big headlines by ending Oakridge’s West Michigan Conference 82-game winning streak in triple overtime Jan. 8. But Oakridge took the rematch 42-29 on Friday to take over a slim lead in the league race. The Eagles will meet Whitehall again in their District opener March 4.
• Centreville (13-0) – The Bulldogs improved to 14-0 on Monday and extended their lead atop the Southwest 10 Conference that was earned in part by handing Mendon a 37-33 defeat Friday. Centreville is 30-0 in league play since the SW10 was formed two years ago and has had only one other game in single digits this season – in handing Schoolcraft its only loss, 44-42 on Jan. 18.
• Maple City Glen Lake (13-2) – The Lakers quietly have been building on last season’s second straight march to the Class C Semifinals, falling only in a close game early to Ypsilanti Arbor Prep and then in their first meeting this season with Northwest Conference rival Kingsley. Glen Lake won two games by three points apiece last week over Manton and Benzie Central – which are a combined 20-7 – and have to be eying that Kingsley rematch Feb. 22.
• Bellevue (12-0) – With Monday’s 37-36 double-overtime win over rival Athens, Bellevue is 49-8 over the last three seasons and closing in on a third straight league championship. Monday’s win, which put the Broncos at 13-0, was the only game not decided by double digits so far this winter.
• Gaylord St. Mary (11-1) – A loss to Division 3 Traverse City St. Francis on Monday actually sent St. Mary to 11-2. However, the Snowbirds remain atop the Ski Valley Conference by a comfortable margin and hadn’t lost since a season-opening defeat against Division 2 Escanaba.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Thursday – Detroit Edison (13-1) at Bloomfield Hills Marian (15-0) – The Mustangs will get some final prep for the Detroit Catholic League and Division 1 tournaments against the Division 2 favorite.
Friday – Detroit Mumford (14-3) vs. Detroit Martin Luther King (14-1) at Cass Tech – Mumford’s success is discussed above, and King can add a PSL Tournament title to a successful run that has seen only a two-point loss keep it from perfection.
Friday – East Kentwood (11-3) at Rockford (11-3) – The Rams also have to get past Grand Haven on Tuesday, but by the end of this week the top of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red should be clearer.
Friday – Negaunee (12-2) at Ishpeming Westwood (15-1) – The Miners are the only team to defeat Westwood this winter, and the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Iron title will be on the line in the rematch.
Saturday – Detroit Edison (13-1) at Wayne Memorial (14-1) – The Zebras have locked up the KLAA East title and will get a tournament-caliber test as they start looking toward the postseason.
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: Bloomfield Hills Marian is one of 15 undefeated Michigan high school girls basketball teams left with three weeks to play in the regular season. (Photo courtesy of C&G Newspapers.)