Catholic League, KLAA, And Charter School League Tournament Previews

20 Feb

The tournament before the tournament.  Each late February, conference tournaments serve to decide the champion of a league in a bracket play format before the real state tournament in March. Here are three interesting conference tournaments to end the regular season in Southeast Michigan.

Catholic League (A-B Division)

University of Detroit Jesuit has won the past two conference crowns, and will look for a third on the shoulders of junior floor general Cassius Winston.  The 6’0″ point guard has been the heart of the Cub attack all season, he has provided multiple 30 point plus performances against elite teams from Michigan and surrounding states.  U of D, ranked top ten in the state, only lost one league game on the season, an upset to rival Brother Rice.  The two teams sit on opposite sides of the bracket due to finishing first and second respectively, meaning a potential third meeting would occur at Calihan Hall for the league championship.

The Catholic League incorporates schools from the Double A Division along with the larger Central Division.  Loyola won the league outright with a 6-2 record.  However, the Bulldogs fell short to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, and were bested by last place Divine Child.  As one of the elite teams in Class C, it is very possible Loyola could make a run for Calihan and force a potential showdown against fellow Jesuit and City of Detroit school U of D.   Guards Demarco Dickerson, Dequan Powell, and Pierre Mitchell are all players to watch for Loyola.

Bishop Foley started the league portion of play 1-2.  However, the Ventures started to play at a high-level once senior guard Antonio Capaldi returned after suffering an injury early in the season.  Behind Capaldi and 6’8″ Gary Perry, Bishop Foley won four out of their last five division games, and could possibly give a Central Division school a quality game.

The same goes for Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, sophomore point guard Tariq Derrickson is an exceptional three-point shooter and creator.  Notre Dame Prep meets Brother Rice in an intriguing first round matchup.

Bracket Order:

U of D Jesuit vs. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard

Bishop Foley vs. De La Salle

Loyola vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep vs. Brother Rice

(C-D) Division

Simply put, this is Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes’ championship to lose.  The Lakers are undefeated, 17-0 overall, and 8-0 in league play.  The pure dominace by Our Lady has been noteworthy thus far, only two Laker wins were decided by single-digits, and the average margin of victory is 19 points.

Bracket Order:

Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes first round bye

Cardinal Mooney vs. Cabrini

Riverview Gabriel Richard vs. Everest Collegiate

Shrine vs. Cristo Rey


The KLAA is unique because the league is two separate conferences, with their own divisions and tournaments, culminating in one association title game.

Kensington Conference

Westland John Glenn won the Kensington last year, and the Rockets figure to be in the discussion again.  Despite a porous non-conference performance, Glenn won seven games in the league, eight entire wins overall.  The South Division had four teams within two games of first place.  Canton won the division with an 8-2 record, with Glenn and Churchill tied for second, 7-3, and Plymouth in fourth with a 6-4 league record.  All four have the rosters to win the Conference outright.

While in the Central Division of the conference, Salem won their second straight division title.  The Rocks raced to a 9-1 league play record, and 13-3 record overall.  Salem relies heavily on ball-movement, defense, and fundamental execution to win games against greater individually talented teams.

Bracket Order:

Salem vs. Plymouth

Northville vs. John Glenn

Novi vs. Livonia Churchill

Livonia Stevenson vs. Canton

Lakes Conference

The Lakes Conference North Division was shared by two Walled Lake schools, Central and Western, both winning on each others’ home court.  A third meeting between the two rivals is possible, unless the normally competitive Grand Blanc Bobcats have something to say.  Grand Blanc won the West Division handily, 8-2 overall.

Grand Blanc vs. Waterford Mott

Pinckney vs. Walled Lake Central

Brighton vs. Lakeland

Howell vs. Walled Lake Western

Charter School League

Talk about parody.  Despite an average 8-6 season record, Detroit Old Redford finished first in the league with a 7-1 record, including wins against Michigan Collegiate, and Chandler Park, both teams with better overall records.  Chandler Park has won the conference tournament the last three years, and the Eagles have the pieces to win it again, such as point guard Calvin Siebert, and football stud Jalen Martin.

Southfield Bradford will contend, the Bulldogs fell short last year in the championship game.  And despite a coaching change, anything but a championship will be a disappointment for Bradford.  Along with University Prep (10-4), and Michigan Collegiate (12-4), the Charter School League is a five team race between Old Redford, Chandler Park, Bradford, Michigan Collegiate, and University Prep.

Bracket Order:

Old Redford vs. Plymouth Education

Michigan Collegiate vs. University Prep

Southfield Bradford vs. Romulus Summit

Chandler Park vs. Dearborn Henry Ford



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