Posted On: 01/25/18 6:00 AM
At this point in the season, most teams have played half of their regular season games or more. Those that are contenders for playoff competition have revealed themselves, and some have survived up to today unscathed by a single loss. Here we take a look at some of the most competitive of these teams, their recent wins, and upcoming matchups to study the circumstances surrounding their success.
Benton Harbor (11-0)
Benton Harbor boasts a roster featuring a diverse group of guards and arguably the best sophomore in the state, 6’6 SF Carlos Johnson. Though the Tigers have avoided losing, they have done so while not having the strongest schedule around. They have beaten most teams by thirty or more. They were tested by Chicago Bogan at the Floyd Mayweather Classic and pulled out a one-point win–definitely a strong showing! However, most of their other opponents offer them little competition. Do not get me wrong; Benton Harbor is VERY talented. However, the nature of their success does lead one to wonder how they will compete as March nears. Their next three matchups are not likely to be too testing. However, a game versus Hazel Park on February 3 allows them to prove themselves against perhaps the best Class A team in Michigan!
River Rouge (11-0)
River Rouge has a lot of guys who are able to score while contributing other stats! They are also considered a great defensive team. Similar to Benton Harbor, the Panthers have been absolutely dominant in some games and have shown themselves to be far superior to most of their schedule. However, they have also had some close calls, most notably in two-point, OT wins versus both West Bloomfield and Detroit Osborn. They have defeated the next two teams in their conference, Harper Woods and Ecorse, with scores of 77-45 and 47-34, respectively. In coming weeks, they will face each of these two again. Later in February, they will also test themselves versus Class D power Southfield Christian which will be their toughest opponent yet!
New Haven (11-0)
The reigning Class B champs are back and look strong as ever! New Haven is loaded with talent (including ESPN’s 2019 #31, Romeo Weems) and has been winning big all year long. Their closest games were a 17-point win over St. Clair Shores South Lake and a 20-point victory over a competitive De La Salle. In other games, the margins have ranged from twenty-three to forty-five. Like the other two teams, their dominance indicates the caliber of their talent. However, many teams just cannot compete with them, meaning they will have to be ready for harder games as they move forward. Of course, they have the talent to do it and have done it all before on the road to a championship! Upcoming contests against Saginaw Arthur Hill and in the Macomb Area Conference Blue-Gold Tournament could offer some competition before playoffs.