HS Girls Basketball Districts Under Way with Updated Brackets
It became long overdue earlier this week with the return of the Girls Basketball playoffs in the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended the 2020 postseason, two area teams were getting ready for their Regional Final contests, but would wait for the chance to make it again. Marshall in Division 2 was making another impressive run under head coach Sal Konkle, who retired at the end of the season. Calhoun Christian was making a statement in Division 4 with their deepest run in school history.
This year's postseason has already taken some turns before play begins (more information below) as several teams completed their six-week sprint to finish the regular season.
To recap how the District brackets were formulated, it all depends on how the teams played this season. For the second year, the MHSAA has gone with the Michigan Power Rankings to determine the top two seeds in each district. The MPR is based on the winning percentage during the team's season (50 percent), the winning percentage of their opponents (25 percent) and the winning percentage of their opponent's opponents (25 percent). Depending on how many teams are in a district determines a bracket formula that places the top two seeds on opposite ends of the bracket. The remaining teams are placed alphabetically by their official listed name in the MHSAA school directory and different positions in the bracket, regardless of record.
The area district brackets are below with some details on the bracket. The brackets are updated once games are completed.
Division 1-Girls District 2021-Coldwater
The Coldwater district was originally a five-team district, but Battle Creek Central was forced to pull out of the tournament due to COVID contact tracing within the program. The Bearcats were coming off a Regional semifinal appearance last season. Central's exit allows Coldwater to advance to see Gull Lake in the Semifinal. Lakeview's lone loss this season came to Kalamazoo Central, who they may see in the Regionals if they win the District this season.
Division 2-Girls District 2021-Harper Creek
The Harper Creek Beavers have a tough road ahead if they were to match a Regional semifinal appearance. The Blue and White's home district has them welcoming rival Marshall, who has continued their stellar play under Konkle's long-time assistant Lance Hawblitz taking the lead. The top two seeds are conference champions in Interstate 8 title-winner Parma Western (who would have faced Marshall in last year's Regional Final) and Big 8 champion Jonesville.
Division 2-Girls District 2021-Hastings
The Pennfield Panthers were playing their best ball of the 2019-2020 season before a first-round exit from Marshall in Districts. This year, they will have a long road ahead but against a pair of squads out of the Capital Area Athletic Conference's White Division. If the Panthers can make it through the first two games, they could see Greater Lansing Area Conference runner-up Olivet, who topped Pennfield just over a week ago.
Division 3-Girls District 2021-Concord
This district is full of Big 8 squads vying for the District title. Homer, as the top seed, finished in fourth while the remaining teams fell in line behind. None of these teams reached the Regionals last season.
Division 3-Girls District 2021-White Pigeon
The long area and Big 8 team in this District, Bronson, looks for a repeat performance to advance to Regionals this season. The Vikings are the second seed and await a battle of Southwest 10 runner-up Centreville and SW10 fourth-place finisher Marcellus. Southwestern Athletic Conference-Valley Division runner-up Schoolcraft earned the top seed and could pose the biggest challenge.
Division 3-Girls District 2021-Galesburg-Augusta
The largest district in the area features two squads out of the SAC-Valley and the lone squad from the Greater Lansing Area Conference. Galesburg-Augusta and Delton square off in the opener with Kalamazoo Christian waiting in the wings. Maple Valley opens with Comstock out of the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference's Red Division (their last year before joining the SAC). With a win, the Lions get SAC-Valley champ Kalamazoo Hackett in the semifinal.
Division 4-Girls District 2021-Climax-Scotts
This was another area district that had a team fall out due to COVID issues. Calhoun Christian, who earned the second seed in the five-team district, was forced out of the tourney after their deepest run in school history last year. Bellevue advances to get St. Philip in the semifinal. Top-seeded Athens draws fellow South Central Athletic Association West foe Climax-Scotts to open. The Indians lone loss this year came to Hillsdale Academy, who they could see in the Regional Semifinal next week.
One other note - Tekonsha was expected to play in the Division 4 district at Jackson Christian, but COVID issues with both the Boys and Girls programs ended their seasons in the final week of the regular season.