Things may be winding down on the girls basketball regular season – but only in the fact that there are three weeks remaining until the playoffs begin.
Parma Western earned one of the most eye-popping wins of the winter last week, and this week may well feature two of the top matchups of this entire regular season.
Week in Review
1. Parma Western 56, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 55 The Panthers (14-1) handed Division 3 powerhouse Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (12-1) its lone defeat and just second game decided by single digits.
2. Portland St. Patrick 58, Fowler 51 (OT) The Shamrocks (14-0) strengthened their status as Division 4 contenders by completing a regular-season sweep of league rival and reigning Division 4 champ Fowler (11-2).
3. Harbor Springs 57, Traverse City St. Francis 47 The Lake Michigan Conference has four teams within two wins of each other at the top of the standings, and Harbor Springs (14-1) has a slim lead on the field after this win over the Gladiators (10-4).
4. Grass Lake 61, Detroit Renaissance 57 The reigning Division 3 champ Warriors (9-4) would have been excused for falling back after losing their top player to a season-ending injury in December, but this win over the 2021 Division 1 runner-up Phoenix (10-4) reaffirmed Grass Lake as a challenger.
5. St. Ignace 47, Sault Ste. Marie 36 The Saints (13-2) avenged a 51-29 loss to the Blue Devils (11-4) from Dec. 16 to move into first alone in the Straits Area Conference.
Farmington Hills Mercy (12-2) The Marlins enter the final week of Detroit Catholic League Central play tied for first after avenging their lone league loss, to co-leader Dearborn Divine Child (14-1), on Jan. 28. Mercy’s only other defeat came in December to Brighton (9-5), and the Marlins sit second in Division 1 MPR behind only reigning champion Hudsonville.
Rockford (13-1) The Rams are No. 3 in Division 1 MPR, helping to make Friday’s rematch at top-ranked Hudsonville one of the state’s biggest games of the entire season. The Eagles won the first meeting 62-48 on Jan. 14, but the Rams otherwise have piled up impressive victories over Byron Center (11-2), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (11-3), Grand Rapids West Catholic (13-1) and Holland West Ottawa (10-4) among others.
Chelsea (11-2) The Bulldogs have a 1½-game lead in the Southeastern Conference White after handing second-place Tecumseh its only loss and with that rematch coming up Feb. 22. Chelsea’s only defeats were to reigning Division 2 champ Portland (13-1) and Marshall (10-5), and it has wins over Freeland (11-4), Riverview (11-4), Stockbridge (10-4) and Grass Lake (9-4) among others.
Redford Westfield Prep (15-1) In its third year as a program, Westfield is a contender with an impressive set of wins and its only loss 54-51 to Arbor Prep (see above). The Warriors defeated Detroit Cass Tech and Kalamazoo Central by double digits most recently, with wins as well over Dexter (12-2), Riverview (11-4), Grand Blanc (10-4), Hart (12-2) and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (11-4).
Kent City (15-0) The Eagles’ only loss last season was by two to Grass Lake in the Division 3 Final, and they haven’t slowed a bit under first-year coach Aleah Holcomb despite also graduating two of the state’s most prolific 3-point shooters of the last few seasons. Friday’s 50-38 win over second-place Morley Stanwood (11-3) put Kent City a win from clinching a share of the Central State Activities Association Silver title. The Eagles also have wins over Grand Rapids Christian (10-4) and Sparta (11-2).
McBain (14-2) The Ramblers are a combined 28-3 over the last two seasons and looking to finish a Highland Conference championship run after sharing last season’s title with Lake City. McBain lost to Lake City 44-42 on Jan. 18 but have a half-game lead in the standings with the rematch with the Trojans (13-1) set for Feb. 17. McBain’s only other defeat was in the season opener to Big Rapids (9-5), and last week the Ramblers finished a regular-season sweep of Northern Michigan Christian (10-3).
Bellaire (9-4) Last season’s Division 4 runner-up navigated a rough stretch early, finishing December with three straight losses. But over the last two weeks the Eagles have avenged all three including handing Gaylord St. Mary (13-2) its lone league defeat, 36-25 on Feb. 2. Lake City (13-1) and Mackinaw City (14-1) will present challenges over the next two weeks, and Bellaire also will get a chance to avenge its fourth defeat with a rematch against Johannesburg-Lewiston (9-3) on Feb. 15.
Colon (11-2) The Magi are riding a two-season District title run and have a chance to affect the Southern Central Athletic Association West race this week with a rematch Thursday against Athens – which defeated Colon on Jan. 14. The Magi’s only other loss was two weeks ago to Pittsford (8-3), and they have a slim lead after Athens for the second seed in their District – with an important opportunity to up their MPR at Schoolcraft (12-1) on Feb. 16.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Howell (11-3) at Hartland (13-1) – Howell won the first meeting 37-31 on Jan. 11 to take its current one-game lead in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West.
Tuesday – Sparta (11-2) at Belding (12-1) – Both are undefeated in Ottawa-Kent Conference Silver play and will see each other again less than a week later, Feb. 14.
Friday – Rockford (13-1) at Hudsonville (12-2) – As noted above, the Eagles lead the O-K Red and handed second-place Rockford its only defeat.
Friday – Detroit Edison (6-2) at Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (12-1) – These two could make strong arguments to be the favorites in Divisions 2 and 3, respectively, as the postseason approaches.
Friday – Saginaw Swan Valley (13-2) at Frankenmuth (12-1) – The Eagles’ 42-30 win over the Vikings on Jan. 7 remains the difference at the top of the Tri-Valley Conference 8 race.
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PHOTO Flint Carman-Ainsworth defenders create a wall near the basket during last week’s 56-40 win over Davison. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)