With the holidays behind them, Catholic League athletes are gearing up for a hectic final 10 weeks of the winter sports schedule on both local and state levels. Here’s what’s on the agenda:
BOYS BASKETBALL – Detroit U-D Jesuit (6-2; 2-0 CHSL Central) has maintained its pre-season ranking at the top of Division 1 in the state and the favorite choice to win its seventh consecutive CHSL A-B title – despite the Cubs not having its starting five intact since the start of the season.
Coach Pat Donnelly lost his big man 6-foot-10 senior Jalen Thomas (committed to Massachusetts) who suffered a broken leg in the season opener in late November.
Four games later, in the Central Division opener against Novi Detroit Catholic Central, senior Daniel Friday (Brown) was too sick to suit up. Junior J. T. Morgan saved the Cubs with a basket at the buzzer to nip the Shamrocks 60-59.
By the end of the month, Thomas is expected back in the lineup, and Caleb Harris, an All State transfer from Southfield Christian, will be eligible.
The top teams in the rest of the CHSL: In AA Division, Detroit Loyola (6-3; 2-0) and Dearborn Divine Child (7-2; 0-1). Loyola beat the Falcons in overtime, 64-58, on Jan. 4. They will meet again Feb. 1.
In Inter-Section I, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (9-1; 4-0) and Royal Oak Shrine (7-2; 4-0) will decide the division leadership on Jan. 16 and Feb. 1.
In Inter-Section II, West Bloomfield Jewish Academy (6-4; 4-2) and Riverview Gabriel Richard (6-2; 4-1) play each other Jan. 24 when Richard will seek to avenge a 56-49 defeat to the Academy back on Dec. 18.
GIRLS BASKETBALL – Bloomfield Hills Marian – ranked No. 4 in Division 1 state – is the only undefeated team in the CHSL with a 5-0 record through Jan. 4.
The Mustangs and Farmington Hills Mercy (3-1) are the fiercest of rivals and will have a chance to settle the Central Division title on back-to-back Friday evenings: Jan. 16 at Marian, Jan. 25 at Mercy.
The top teams in the other divisions:
In A-South, Wixom St. Catherine (6-2; 0-1) and Royal Oak Shrine (5-2; 2-0) meet Jan. 29.
In A-North, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (5-1; 1-0) and Madison Heights Bishop Foley (3-1; 1-0) face each other Jan. 9 and Jan. 31.
In Intersectional, only Chesterfield Austin Catholic (3-2) is above .500.
Here’s the schedule of CHSL championships:
- Feb. 17, Pom-pon at Dearborn Divine Child
- Feb. 22, Cheerleading competition at Wixom St Catherine
- Feb. 1, Wrestling at Novi Detroit Catholic Central
- Feb. 4, Girls and boys ski at Mt. Brighton
- Feb. 9-13, Boys basketball playoffs
- Feb. 16, Boys and girls bowling at Oak Lanes, Westland ... Girls hockey at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s ... Boys Division 2 hockey at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s ... Boys basketball at Mercy Detroit Calihan Hall
- Feb. 16 -20, Girls basketball playoffs
- Feb. 23, Girls basketball final at Detroit Mercy Calihan Hall
- March 2, Boys swim and dive at Livonia Recreation Center