We’re in the home stretch of the MHSAA regular season with only two weeks left before the District tournaments begin. Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Zeeland East, and Forest Hills Northern have somewhat separated themselves as the best teams in the area, with a group of others jockeying for position below them. Here’s my latest rendition of the OK Conference Power Rankings. You can find the previous weeks here.
1. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (11-0), (↔ Previously 1st)
The Cougars stay unbeaten after picking up wins over Forest Hills Eastern (68-58) and Middleville Thornapple Kellogg (92-57) this past week. Its underclassmen guardsand are playing like established veterans, while , , and continue to add scoring pieces and depth. With three weeks left in the regular season, Grand Rapids Catholic Central is emerging as a favorite to win the MHSAA Division 2 State Championship.
This week: 3/9: @ Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills, 3/12: @ Cedar Springs.
2. Zeeland East (10-0), (↔ Previously 2nd)
Zeeland East remains unbeaten following a pair of double-digit wins during the first week of March (defeated Holland 50-36 and Reeths-Puffer 61-49). Simply put, the Chix defense is relentless. Led by Brandon and, and , Zeeland East hasn’t given up more than 52 points all season. Their grind-it-out style of play wares opponents down and forces ugly possessions and shots. With three weeks left in the season, Zeeland East appears to be on track for the OK Green title and possibly even more.
This week: 3/9 vs Grand Rapids Union, 3/11: vs Mona Shores, 3/13.
3. Forest Hills Northern (11-1), (↔ Previously 3rd)
Almost a month removed from their sole loss of the season (Williamston 46-44), the Huskies have been rolling and look like one of the best teams not only in the area but the entire state.and comprise, in my opinion, the area’s best backcourt and have been giving opponents fits all season. Their latest rendition was a 63-54 win over Grandville at the Cornerstone Showcase as Trinidad and Ethan combined to score 39 points. Fruitport transfer is coming into his own, proving to be a highly-valuable third scoring option. When all three pieces are collectively hitting their shots, the Huskies are one of the hardest teams to beat in the state.
This week: 3/9: vs Byron Center, 3/11: vs East Grand Rapids, 3/13: vs Northview.
4. Rockford (11-1), (↑ Previously 5th)
Rockford had arguably the best week of any team in the OK Conference, picking up wins over Grandville (55-52) and Reeths-Puffer (67-64, 3OT). The win over Grandville was without star guard, who missed the game due to COVID contact tracing procedures. picked up the slack for the Rams, putting up 17 points in the win over the Bulldogs. Schueller is emerging as a key scoring threat for a Rams team that continues to impress. A huge week lies ahead for Rockford in the OK Red title race.
This week: 3/9: @ East Kentwood, 3/11: @ Grand Haven, 3/13: vs West Ottawa.
5. South Christian (10-2), (↑ Previously 7th)
The Sailors continue to dominate every team they play not named Catholic Central. This past week, South Christian cruised to wins over Middleville Thornapple Kellogg (76-43), Forest Hills Eastern (73-43), and Byron Center (59-31). Led byand a handful of perimeter sharpshooters, South Christian has the horses to make a deep run come tournament time.
This week: 3/12: @ Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills
6. Grand Rapids Christian (8-2), (↔ Previously 6th)
Grand Rapids Christian has been without star guardsince he exited the Catholic Central game with a broken wrist on February 20th. In the following game, Christian lost by 21 points to Forest Hills Northern and appeared to have several question marks trying to cope without Bufkin. Since that February 23rd loss, Christian has won three games in a row by an average of 20 points. Point guard Sam Ver Steeg has stepped up into a larger role as has . There hasn’t been an update to if and win will return, however, the Eagles appear to have found its rhythm in his absence.
This week: 3/9: vs Forest Hills Central, 3/11: @ Northview, 3/13
7. Muskegon (9-3), (↑ Previously 8th)
Muskegon is one of the deepest teams in the state and is just starting to scratch the surface at its potential. The Big Reds had a massive 56-55 win over a solid Kalamazoo Central team on Saturday in what was possibly the biggest win of the week from any team in the OK Conference. Keep an eye on Sophomoreas he’s emerged as the Big Reds guard for the present and future.
This week: 3/9: vs Holland, 3/11: @ Wyoming, 3/13: @ Lansing Waverly.
8. Godwin Heights (10-0), (↑ Previously 9th)
Before last week, Godwin Heights was rolling through the OK Silver, winning every game by double digits. In the last seven days, the Wolverines were tested by Kelloggsville (64-60) and Covenant Christian (62-59), yet still prevailed, maintaining its perfect record.and are two talented sophomores whose differing skill sets complement each other perfectly and make playing against them a tough task. The Wolverines have the OK Silver crown within its sights.
This week: 3/12: vs Belding
9. Unity Christian (10-2), (↑ Previously 10th)
Unity Christian continues to be one of the hottest teams in the area. The Crusaders have won six games in a row and have a huge matchup with Coopersville coming up on Tuesday. If Unity can defend their home court against the visiting Broncos, Unity will have a stranglehold on the OK Blue title race.continues to dominate every matchup he’s faced this season, and should be looking forward to Tuesday’s game, seeing the last time he faced the Broncos, he scored a career-high 40 points.
This week: 3/9: vs Coopersville, 3/11: @ Holland Christian, 3/13: vs Spring Lake
10. West Ottawa (9-2), (↑ Previously Unranked)
West Ottawa had a solid week, picking up wins against Hudsonville (47-38), Grand Haven (57-46), and Zeeland West (37-34). Not only does their 3-0 week bring their record to 9-2, but it also keeps them within a game of Rockford in the OK Red standings.has played like one of the best point guards in the area, while Blake Bosma, Reid Reimink, and Colin Shriver have contributed effectively.
This week: 3/9: vs Caledonia, 3/11: @ East Kentwood