• Mike Costello

Regionals Winding Down

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now June. Break out the white pants, sunscreen, and the BBQ sauce. The college seasons are in the rear-view mirror, and we can turn our complete attention to the MHSAA tournament. For the girls, they are at the regional semi-final stage, with 16 teams left in the two divisions. On the boy’s side, the 16 teams left in each division will be playing regional final games tonight and tomorrow. Please contact the MHSAA to figure that one out.

Because the girl’s tournament is drawn out of a hat, several good teams have already been eliminated (Hartland, Muskegon Mona Shores, AA Pioneer, Marian, etc.), but there are quite a few solid teams that have advanced. And, once again, we’ll have two top teams playing each other in the Regional Semis – Rockford and Forest Hills Northern.

Girls Tournament

Division I

Lakeland (14-1) vs. Lake Orion (17-1)

Fenton (11-4) vs. Midland (18-0)

Portage Northern (19-3) vs. Hudsonville (8-5)

Forest Hills Northern (11-5) vs. Rockford (11-4)

Birmingham (7-6) vs. Bloomfield Hills (11-4)

West Bloomfield (5-10) vs. Utica Eisenhower (7-4-1)

Brighton (15-5-1) vs. Livonia (14-5)

Northville (15-3) vs. Novi (9-9)

We’ve got some great match-ups – the battle of the Lakes, “Lakeland” vs. Lake Orion should be close. FHN and Rockford, of course and the rivalry games: Birmingham vs. Bloomfield Hills and Northville vs. Novi.

Here’s my Final Four – Midland, Forest Hills Northern, Bloomfield Hills and Brighton.

Division II

Okemos (10-7) vs. Ovid-Elsie (2-8)

DeWitt (15-3) vs. East Lansing (5-5)

East Grand Rapids (19-2) vs. Forest Hills Central (9-7)

Spring Lake (12-2) vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-8)

Detroit Country Day (16-0) vs. Stoney Creek (8-3)

Notre Dame Prep (10-6) vs. Cranbrook (8-6)

Divine Child (15-2) vs. AA Skyline (10-5)

Farmington (9-6) vs. Mercy (4-6-1)

(Records from Lax Numbers)

I’m pretty fired up about the D II matchups. In fact, so fired up that I’m heading to DCD tonight to watch NDP vs. Cranbrook and Country Day vs. Stoney Creek. Most of these games look compelling. The Divine Child vs. Skyline game could be very close. Spring Lake and GRCC looks good as well. The EGR girls’ team is a more exciting watch than the boys. And there are a few teams that could surprise – DeWitt, Cranbrook and Skyline have been flying under the radar.

Here’s my D II Final Four: Okemos, East Grand Rapids, Detroit Country Day, and Mercy.

Boys Tournament

Chalk, chalk, and more chalk. All the #1 seeds advance in this year’s tournament and only three, #3 seeds made it to the regional finals (South Lyon East, Battle Creek Lakeview, and Grand Rapids Catholic Central). For 13 of the 16 games, we’ll see the #1’s battle the #2’s. So, hats off to the seeding committee for doing a great job. You got it right!

Division I

Brother Rice (14-2) vs. Birmingham (12-5)

Northville (9-4) vs. South Lyon East (12-4)

Rockford (12-4) vs. Grandville (11-3)

Lake Orion (12-4) vs. Rochester Adams (11-3)

Hartland (19-1) vs. Brighton (16-2)

Saline (12-3) vs. Plymouth (7-7)

Catholic Central (9-5) vs. Dakota (15-3)

Clarkston (14-4) vs. Midland (13-6)

Finally – we should see some intense games. Rivalry games across the board: Rice and Birmingham, Hartland and Brighton, Lake Orion and Rochester Adams, Rockford vs. Grandville.

Upset Specials – South Lyon East, Midland and Grandville.

Best Game – If, and I mean if, Brighton plays for 48 minutes, this could be a classic.

My Final Four – Brother Rice, Lake Orion, Hartland, Clarkston. (Yes, three public schools – who knew!)

Division II

Forest Hills Central (14-3) vs. East Lansing (9-5)

Traverse City St. Francis (11-4) vs. Forest Hills Northern (8-9)

Forest Hills Eastern (12-5) vs. Battle Creek Lakeview (12-5)

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (12-8) vs. Flint Powers (9-9)

East Grand Rapids (16-2) vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (15-3)

Cranbrook (5-10) vs. Shrine (12-0)

Detroit Country Day (11-3) vs. Warren De La Salle (11-7)

Okemos (10-4) vs. Tecumseh (15-1)

(Records from Lax Numbers)

The blue bloods vs. the upstarts. We have all seen the top eight seeds before, but their opponents are relative newcomers. Apart from De La Salle and Tecumseh, to some degree, there are a few pleasant surprises to these regional finals. Good to see East Lansing, Lakeview and GRCC playing in these games. And of course, Catholic league champ and undefeated Shrine is playing with house money now. Head Coach Ryan Jay should get some mention for Coach of the Year. And if his horses keep playing at the level that brought them here, who knows – Shrine could be moving on.

I like the East Lansing team – gutty, determined, but their time could be up against a very, very good Forest Hills Central squad. Can GRCC figure out the EGR zone? If they do, they could be moving on.

Upset Specials – GRCC, Shrine and Lakeview.

Best Game - I think that Shrine will play well and give Cranbrook a scare.

My Final Four – Forest Hills Central, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Detroit Country Day.

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