By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
One week remains in the girls basketball regular season, and contenders are gearing up for District tournaments that begin a week from today.
Most weeks during the season, we check in with four teams from each class that have been especially impressive. After a bit of a hiatus, here’s a look at 16 more to remember when the tournament begins.
Allen Park (16-2) – After finishing second to Brownstown Woodhaven a season ago, Allen Park clinched the Downriver League championship Friday with a 56-20 win over Taylor Truman. The Jaguars’ only losses were to Woodhaven in their second meeting and Plymouth in the season opener.
Bloomfield Hills Marian (13-6) – The Mustangs have rebuilt quite a bit after winning last season’s Class A title, and finished only third in the Detroit Catholic League Central. But they beat second-place Warren Regina in the semifinal and then rival and league champion Farmington Hills Mercy 48-29 in Sunday’s A-B league tournament final.
Detroit Martin Luther King (16-1) – The Crusaders came back from their only loss this season – 68-65 to Renaissance on Dec. 17 – to beat Renaissance 68-66 and win their fifth straight Detroit Public School League Tournament title. King previously won the PSL East Division 1 title this winter.
Dexter (17-1) – The Dreadnaughts finished a perfect run in the Southeastern Conference White last week, defeating Ypsilanti Community 37-28, to win the league title outright after sharing the championship with Chelsea last season.
Bay City John Glenn (17-1) – The Bobcats bounced back from their lone loss this season, 50-47 two weeks ago to Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, to put 40-point wins on Tawas and Pinconning over the last two weeks and finish a dominating run through the North East Michigan Conference.
Detroit Country Day (18-1) – Since falling to Saginaw Heritage on Dec. 29, Country Day has won 14 straight. The slate has an argument for the state’s most impressive – wins over Detroit Renaissance, Haslett, Southfield-Lathrup and Ypsilanti Arbor Prep are among the brightest highlights.
Fruitport (17-1) – The Trojans haven’t fallen since Dec. 11 to Spring Lake and secured a share of the Lakes 8 Conference championship with a 46-19 win over Muskegon Catholic Central on Friday. Fruitport finished only fourth in the league a year ago.
Marysville (15-2) – The Vikings have won 13 straight since falling to Country Day on Dec. 17 and 12 straight league games to again claim the Macomb Area Conference Gold title outright after sharing the championship with Center Line last season.
Johannesburg-Lewiston (17-1) – The Cardinals wrapped up a share of the Ski Valley Conference title with a 60-57 win over Onaway on Thursday and can claim it outright by beating Pellston on Tuesday. They finished second to Bellaire last season, but split with Bellaire this winter.
Morley Stanwood (17-2) – The Mohawks claimed a share of the Central State Activities Association Silver title Friday with a 60-34 win over Holton, but they’ll need to beat reigning champion Kent City this week to win the title outright. Morley Stanwood was second last season but beat Kent City 55-41 in their first meeting, Jan. 22.
Negaunee (14-4) – The Miners can finish a perfect run through the Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference with a win over Ishpeming this week, and also avenge one of their losses, to Marquette on Dec. 15. Negaunee tied for fourth in the league and finished only 9-13 a year ago.
Sandusky (16-2) – The second-place Redskins will need help in the Greater Thumb Conference East title race from third-place Brown City – which plays league leader Marlette this week in the final GTC game for those teams. But Sandusky’s only losses this season were to Marlette, by 12 and seven points.
Climax-Scotts (17-2) – The league-leading Panthers finished a season sweep last week of rival Battle Creek St. Philip, beating the Tigers 42-39 after finishing second to St. Philip in the Southern Central Athletic Association West a year ago.
Crystal Falls Forest Park (16-3) – The Trojans hold a half-win lead on Bark River-Harris in the Skyline Central Conference West standings thanks to Munising’s recent upset of the former league leader; Forest Park must beat Bark River-Harris this week to clinch the title after losing 51-25 in their first meeting Dec. 4.
Gaylord St. Mary (16-3) – Despite finishing second to Johannesburg-Lewiston in the Ski Valley Conference, the Snowbirds should be optimistic heading into the tournament riding five straight wins and with their only losses by a combined four points to the Cardinals.
Mendon (15-3) – The Hornets clinched the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference Blue title outright with a 46-27 win over Cassopolis on Friday and are already two wins better than last year’s team, which finished third in the old BCS East.
PHOTO: Ypsilanti Arbor Prep and Saginaw Nouvel are two teams expected to contend when the MHSAA Tournament begins next week. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)