Girls Basketball

Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 1

December 7, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Girls basketball season tipped off last week, providing new beginnings for 721 teams all over our state.

And at least a few have to be excited about early – and perhaps unexpected – returns.

Each week during the regular season, we’ll glance at four teams from each class that have caught our attention. This week’s list includes a few already on the way to improving on their finishes from a year ago. (Results and records below are based on schedules posted at MHSAA.com.)

Class A

Grand Haven (2-0) – The Buccaneers’ comeback from 7-15 a year ago is underway. They started 1-5 last winter, but started erasing that memory with a 46-32 win over Traverse City West followed by a 61-44 win over Traverse City Central.

Haslett (2-0) – The Vikings graduated three four-year varsity players from last season’s Class B runner-up, which combined with the move into Class A might have made for lower expectations this winter. But wins over Eaton Rapids (54-40) and Okemos (64-27) were an impressive way to restart.

Macomb Dakota (1-0) – If the season opener is an indication, the Cougars could be lined up for a nice rebound from 5-16. They played only once last week, but earned a 54-45 win over Rochester Adams, which finished 15-7 a year ago.

Waterford Kettering (1-0) – Kettering’s 23-2 run last season came to an end with a 51-42 loss to Bloomfield Hills Marian, which went on to win the Class A title. The Captains should expect more good things this winter after beating Marian 36-34 in the opener.

Class B

Jonesville (2-0) – The Comets won the Michigan Center Furman Classic by sweeping the same opponents it split with at last year’s opening event. Jonesville, coming off a 12-10 finish, beat Detroit Allen 65-24 and then Michigan Center 54-45 after losing to the host a year ago.

Manistee (2-0) – Coach Todd Erickson retired after leading the team to a 23-2 finish in 2014-15, but Kenn Kott's second tenure with the program opened with a 63-34 win over Scottville Mason County Central and then a 51-43 victory over Traverse City St. Francis, which finished 22-3 last season.

Portland (2-0) – The Raiders’ finish of 13-10 a year ago was solid but down a few wins from Portland’s norm. There’s plenty of reason for optimism again after the Raiders opened by downing Grand Ledge 54-45 and Laingsburg 41-38 in overtime; the Comets were Class A semifinalists two seasons ago, and Laingsburg made the Semifinals in Class C last winter.

Reed City (1-1) – The Coyotes are the only team on this list that lost a game last week, but the opening night win was that important. Reed City’s 48-44 victory over Leroy Pine River was its first win since the 2013-14 season.

Class C

Hanover-Horton (2-0) – These Comets beat Concord 61-49 and Homer 47-34; those teams won 18 and 21 games last season, respectively, while Hanover-Horton was 5-15 and lost last season’s opener to Concord by 16.

Hart (1-0) – It’s early, of course, but one win might say a lot for the Pirates. They started 0-3 a year ago with a two-point loss to North Muskegon on the way to 9-12 overall, but beat North Muskegon 55-45 to open last week.  

Napoleon (2-0) – The Pirates are building on a 16-7 finish and District title from a year ago, and a 31-29 win over Pewamo-Westphalia (17-4 last season) in the opener was a solid way to start. Napoleon followed that with a 52-37 victory over Battle Creek Pennfield.

St. Ignace (2-0) – The Saints are back in Class C after winning Class D last season, and returned with a pair of wins over Class A teams. St. Ignace opened the Petoskey Invitational with a 51-49 victory over Brighton and followed with a 49-46 overtime win over Marquette.

Class D

Bark River-Harris (1-0) – The Broncos’ 21-3 run last season included two two-point wins over annual Class D power Crystal Falls Forest Park, and they opened this season with a 51-25 win over the Trojans thanks in part to 17 steals. Bark River-Harris outscored Forest Park 19-3 during the second quarter.

Colon (2-0) – The Magi had plenty to celebrate last week. They won close – 37-34 over Union City and then 58-55 in overtime over Jackson Christian – and in doing so equaled their victory total from last season.

Fowler (2-0) – The Eagles were on the verge of a nice run last season, finishing 10-12 with seven losses by six points or fewer. Last week was a good start on taking the next step, as Fowler downed Beal City 58-40 and Ovid-Elsie 52-46.

Manistee Catholic Central (2-0) – The Sabers rebounded from a slow start last season to win 10 of their final 12 games and finish 13-9, and that momentum may have rolled into this winter. MCC opened with a 48-32 win over Walkerville and another, 47-33, over Custer Mason County Eastern.

PHOTO: An Alma player drives to the basket while Ionia defends last week during the season opener for both teams. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)