By John Raffel
Cedarville's boys basketball team is at it again. Cedarville won the Class D state championship last season and the eastern Upper Peninsula school is off to a 14-0 start.
"We have three of our top six players back from last year," Cedarville head coach David Duncan said. "We've had to take other kids on the team to take up new roles.
“I knew we'd have a pretty competitive season. Our kids worked hard over the summer. These kids really share the ball on the court. We've had good balanced scoring."
The team's top scorer is C.J. Paquin, who is averaging 16 points a game. Kevin Thompson and Sheldon Tossier are averaging 12 and 11 points a game, respectively.
Duncan has twin sons, Jordan and Jason, who are combining for 21 points a game. Both are seniors.
Cedarville is averaging 81 points per game while allowing just 43 through its first 14 contests.
Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart has been ranked on top of the polls in Class D all season and it appears that Mark DeNoyelles has a state championship contender on his hands.
Last season, the Fighting Irish had a 17-4 record.
"But in four of the last five years, we've had 20-win seasons," DeNoyelles said. "We were thinking we'd probably be pretty good again."
DeNoyelles' daughter, Kelsey, is a four-year senior starter and averages 17 points a game to lead the team. The leading rebounder is 6-foot junior Elizabeth Ebright. Maureen Riley is averaging 10 points a game.
The schedule has been very competitive for Sacred Heart.
"We beat Clare a couple of weeks ago and we're both undefeated," DeNoyelles said. "We beat them by four points."
More Girls Basketball
Saginaw Nouvel has been a power in boys basketball and football over the years. But Nouvel last season emerged as a state champion in girls basketball in Class C.
It appears that Coach Kris Hengesbach has another potential state power going with a 13-1 record in her seventh season.
"I've got some very good players," she said.
Senior guard Jenny Ryan is leading the team from the guard spot. Kelly Krepz, a senior, is also having a strong season, along with 5-1l senior Kate McDonald, a power forward.
"Kate is a very strong power forward," Hengesbach said. "She does so many things for us very well."
Junior Ashley Albito is back from last season and is having a strong season at point guard. But Nouvel's best player might be 5-11 freshman Jessie Fronz.
Nouvel's only loss came at the hands of Lansing Waverley early in the season, 52-42.
"It was basically a two-point game," Hengesbach said. "We had to foul a lot down the stretch."
Hengesbach is confident her team can contend for another state title.
"We just have to stay healthy," she said.
Saginaw Swan Valley continued its excellent wrestling season this week with a 5-0 record and first-place honors at the Montabella Mustang duals.
That accomplishment improved Swan Valley's record to 27-1 and made the squad a clear favorite for championship contention in Division 3.
"We've got a good young team," said Swan Valley coach Darrell Burchfield. "We have a good work ethic. Overall, I was pleased with how we did at Montabella. But we still have a lot of work to do."
Standout wrestlers include B.J. Suitor, a returning state champion at 103 pounds, Darius Weiss at 112, Jared Gemaine at 119, Jerry Flores at 130 and Matt Beebe at 135.