4 Important Conferences in the State

13 Jan

images-6It is January, which means conference play is just getting started or in its early beginnings.  The first month of the new year is where teams start to separate from one another for conference, district, regional, and eventually state titles.  Michigan is filled with many great conference that have teams capable of winning state championships this year, but here are four that you should keep an eye on for the remainder of the season.

Saginaw Valley League

One of Michigan’s most historic leagues for basketball, the Valley has a top 5 team in the state with Saginaw Arthur.  Led by junior Eric Davis and freshman Brian Bowen, the Lumberjacks are off to a 2-1 start in league play, the only loss coming to Mt. Pleasant.  The key for the Hill will be the supporting cast, players such as Martel Handley and Josh Jones will need to step up for Arthur Hill if they wish to end up at the Breslin.

Contenders:

Saginaw High

Mt. Pleasant

Sleepers:

Flushing

Midland Dow

Flint Southwestern Academy

Key upcoming games:

Mt. Pleasant @ Saginaw 1/14

Saginaw Arthur Hill @ Saginaw 1/28

Mt. Pleasant @ Saginaw Arthur Hill 1/31

Flushing @ Northwestern  1/21

Flint Southwestern @ Northwestern 2/4

Saginaw @ Saginaw Arthur Hill 2/14

Detroit Public Schools

One of the most competitive conferences in the state, the PSL has more than 5 teams at this point that can win the coveted city title in the new division one format.  But what is unique about the league is that these teams beat up on each other so much during the season, that it only improves the league when it comes to playoff time, such as Southeastern’s magical run to becoming the state-finalists last year.

Contenders:

Pershing

Cass Tech

East English Village

Sleepers:

King

Frederick Douglass

Henry Ford

Southeastern

Key upcoming games:

East English Village @ Pershing 1/14

Southeastern @ Ford 1/21

Pershing @ Cass Tech 1/24

King @ East English Village 1/28

Southeastern @ Douglass 2/8

Catholic League Central Division

University of Detroit Jesuit is the lead favorite to defend the Catholic League title the Cubs won a year ago.  U of D is leaving the conference behind with the work they have done in the non-league portion of their schedule, winning the L’Anse Cruse Crusader Christmas Classic, and beating a top 10 team from Ohio coming in St. Ignatius by 30 points on the road.  What team that will challenge U of D is still to be determined at this point.  The league is full of parody.  Brother Rice got absolutely destroyed in their first league game of the year at Warren De La Salle, but came back and beat a St. Mary’s team on the road that is a top 25 team in the state.

Contenders:

U of D Jesuit

Sleepers:

Warren De La Salle

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Key upcoming games:

Warren De La Salle @ St. Mary’s 1/17

St. Mary’s @ U of D Jesuit 1/21

Warren De La Salle @ U of D Jesuit 1/24

U of D Jesuit @ St. Mary’s 2/7

Kensington Lakes Athletic Association

A league with two separate conference in it, the Kensington and Lakes conferences, does not disappoint when it comes to pure rivalries.  In the Kensington South division, Canton and John Glenn have had a stronghold on the conference for years, and it looks to continue that way in 2014.

In the Lakes Conference, the West Division is home to Grand Blanc, a team that is 4-1 and currently a top 25 team in Michigan.  In the North division, the Walled Lake schools are off to a rough start, however, Walled Lake Central is an impressive 6-2 record on the season, with both losses coming in league play.  Waterford Kettering, the division leader, is 2-0 in the division with wins over Walled Lake Western and Central.

Kensington Conference Contenders:

John Glenn

Canton

Sleepers:

Salem

Plymouth

Key upcoming games:

Plymouth @ John Glenn 1/21

John Glenn @ Canton 1/24

Canton @ Plymouth 1/31

Lakes Conference Contenders:

Grand Blanc

Waterford Kettering

Sleepers:

Walled Lake Central

Walled Lake Western

Howell

Key upcoming games:

Grand Blanc @ Howell 1/21

Walled Lake Central @ Waterford Kettering 1/24

Waterford Kettering @ Walled Lake Western 1/28

Walled Lake Western @ Walled Lake Central 1/31

Howell @ Grand Blanc 2/7

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