Midseason report cards for city boys hoops are in. Did your school make the grade?

Lakeview sophomore LeBron Campbell dribbles during a game against Loy Norrix at Lakeview High School on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.
Lakeview sophomore LeBron Campbell dribbles during a game against Loy Norrix at Lakeview High School on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

Basketball is more of a pass-or-fail kind of thing. You win or you lose.

But how teams win or lose can show if a team is making progress or not.

Every season, the Enquirer gives a progress report in the form of a midseason report card for each of the boys basketball teams in the city, wondering if they are where they want to be with half of the season remaining.

This time around there are some good grades and some grades that a few teams wish could be better. But, remember, the final grade won't be decided until the end of the season, so there is still time put the work in and improve.

(Records are entering Thursday night's games)

MORE: Midseason report cards for city girls hoops


Record: 8-3

Expectations: Lakeview came into the season with an experienced roster with eight seniors, including two All-City selections in Jashaun Boggerty and Walter Brown. With a four-year point guard in Boggerty running the show and a dependable post presence in the big-bodied Brown in the paint, the Spartans were all set up to mix in some seniors who would be seeing their first real playing time, with expectations for a good season.

Coach Steve Wichmann spoke to that in the season preview: "The Spartans are an experienced team this year. We are looking to use that experience to develop great team chemistry and attitude, relying on the urgency that comes with being a senior to catapult us to a successful season."

Midseason Grade - A: Lakeview has made a big jump from last year, when it finished under .500 at 8-14. An early-season, buzzer-beater victory over city rival Battle Creek Central gave the Spartans momentum as they ended the holidays at 4-1, with the lone loss coming to state-ranked Kalamazoo Central. Now, at 8-3, Lakeview has already matched last year's win total and finds itself as a contender in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division. Upcoming games, including rematches with BCC, Kalamazoo Central and with 10-1 Mattawan means a challenging second half for the Spartans.

Battle Creek Central senior Karlito Campbell and Harper Creek senior Cooper Fry struggle over the ball during a game at Harper Creek High School on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.
Battle Creek Central senior Karlito Campbell and Harper Creek senior Cooper Fry struggle over the ball during a game at Harper Creek High School on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

Battle Creek Central

Record: 10-4

Expectations: Battle Creek Central looked poised to have a standout season as it looked at a starting lineup of all seniors who have all seen heavy minutes in the past two years. Highlighting that group is one of the top players in the conference in Ke'Marion Tucker, who was an All-City selection a year ago at 18.5 points per game and 8.1 rebounds. Third-year varsity players Kierre Young, Karlito Campbell and Mark Lane all had BCC with high expectations for the 2022-23 season.

Coach Durant Crum spoke to that in the season preview: "With the varsity experience that is returning ... this team should be able to hit the floor running as far as knowing exactly what it takes to be successful at this level. The expectation is for marked improvement over last year's campaign."

Midseason Grade - A: BCC is reaching its preseason expectations and has gone beyond them. Just a 9-11 team a year ago, the Bearcats have already surpassed last year's win total and are in double digits in victories for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign. Winning both of their holiday tourney games was a big boost of confidence. The only losses since the start of January were to two teams that were undefeated at the time in league contenders Kalamazoo Central and Mattawan. BCC looks to be a factor in the SMAC East Division race the rest of the way with key rivalry games remaining, including rematches with Kalamazoo Central, Lakeview and Benton Harbor.

Harper Creek

Record: 3-8

Expectations: Harper Creek knew this could be a rebuilding season after having seven seniors in the rotation a year ago for a 16-7 squad. New faces were going to pepper the starting lineup, with seniors, who have waited their turn, being asked to step into new roles. How seniors Keyshaun Matthews and Marcus Ransom, as well as Cooper Fry, adapted to being go-to players was expected to be the key to any success the Beavers might see.

Coach Matt Bowling saw some challenging times ahead and spoke to that in the season preview, "Our successes will rest on our ability to handle adversity and program expectations. Will the character of this team see adversity and expectations as positives or pressure? Hopefully our character will embrace it and we will continue to improve steadily and slowly as the season progresses."

Midseason Grade - C: Harper Creek had a bright spot early in the season, with a win over league contender Marshall, which gave the Beavers hope that their rebuilding would be ramped up. However, the Beavers have only won twice since then. Close games against winning teams such as Lakeview and Olivet show their potential. With younger players now getting minutes, there should be growth in the second half. The Beavers may not get back to .500 overall, but in a balanced Interstate 8 Conference, Harper Creek could fight for a top-half division finish as it sits at 3-4 at the halfway point of league play.

Pennfield senior Brenden Duncan takes a shot during a game against Plainwell at Pennfield High School on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.
Pennfield senior Brenden Duncan takes a shot during a game against Plainwell at Pennfield High School on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.


Record: 4-7

Expectations: Graduation losses have hit hard in recent years as Pennfield features only two seniors who were in the playing rotation a year ago. Senior guard Graham Boyd earned All-City honors at 12 points per game as a junior and was expected to become the team's go-to scorer. The Panthers also knew it had some size inside with senior 6-foot-5 center Brendan Duncan. Beyond that, Pennfield was looking for some new faces to step into bigger roles.

Pennfield coach Nate Burns spoke to that in the preseason: "We have a group of guys who have been waiting for their opportunity to get on the floor for extended minutes.  It will look a little different than the last few seasons, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this team shapes its identity."

Midseason Grade - C: Pennfield ran out to an impressive 4-4 start, including a win over league contender Marshall and city rival Harper Creek. A .500 season seemed very possible, which would seemingly put the Panthers ahead of schedule with their rebuilding project. However, Pennfield has lost four of its last five games to slip to 4-7. And, a bit more discouraging, five of those losses have come in the Interstate 8 Conference as the Panthers sit at 2-5 at the halfway point. Finding more offensive options, beyond Boyd and Duncan, is an ongoing puzzle as Pennfield hopes for more success in the second half.

St. Philip

Record: 5-7

Expectations: St. Philip came into the season a very young team without a single senior on the roster. That youth was going to be challenged even more as the Tigers had expectations that three freshmen and a handful of sophomores were going to get the bulk of the playing time. A key to the progress would be the play of junior Ben Crocker and sophomore Colt Myers, the two leading scorers from last year's squad.

Expectations were spoke about by Coach Mike Kimber in the season preview: "This is the deepest team we've had in years having 10-11 guys in the rotation each night. We had a great summer of development and a lot of guys coming up from the JV took big jumps. We are expecting a competitive season."

Midseason Grade - B: With a similar record to other teams on this list, St. Philip gets a bit higher grade due to what the Tigers are doing with what they have to work with. St. Philip's most experienced player in Crocker, has missed the bulk of the season due to injury. Freshmen triplets Carter Dzwik, Lincoln Dzwik and Jackson Dzwik have been asked to take a bigger scoring load. With all of that on their plate, the Tigers opened the season at 1-5. Since that start, the Tigers are 4-2 as the young players have proven they are ready to speed up their learning curve.

Calhoun Christian

Record: 5-5

Expectations: With five returning starters from a 13-8 squad a year ago, Calhoun Christian had high expectations coming into the season. That group is led by seniors Josh Andren and Nico Gummer as well as junior Micah Reed, who were all double-digit scorers a year ago.

Third-year coach Ken Gummer was excited about he season: "I am extremely excited about this year. It is the year that I have looked forward to since I started coaching. I have seen a team that is hungry and striving toward being one of the best teams ever at Calhoun Christian"

Midseason Grade - B-minus: Those preseason expectations seemed to be on track early as Calhoun Christian jumped out to a 4-2 record to start the year. Some injuries slowed things down a bit. And a loss to rival St. Philip, which is a measuring stick game for Calhoun Christian every year, had things going in the wrong direction. Four losses in the last six outings has the Cougars looking for answers. With the returning group, matching last year's win total of 13 would seem to be the goal.

Battle Creek Academy

Record: 4-8

Expectations: Battle Creek Academy, a charter school, is eligible to compete in the Michigan High School Athletic Association postseason for the first time this season. Due to that, BCA set out to play a more challenging schedule. BCA brought back some experience from a 5-15 team a year ago, but is small with no player on the roster over 5-foot-9.

Coach Mike Howard spoke of the challenges for his team in the season preview: "We are a very small team and will have basically five guards on the floor, which means we will have to handle the ball well with efficiency."

Midseason Grade - C: Battle Creek Academy is on schedule to improve on last year's five-win season. With three returning starters, that growth was expected. In a new league this year, BCA is 4-3 in the Crossroads Athletic Conference and could contend for a top half finish in the six-team league. Games against city teams St. Philip and Calhoun Christian in the second half will go a long way towards seeing if the program is heading in the right direction.

Bill Broderick can be reached at bbroderi@battlecreekenquirer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @billbroderick.

This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: City boys hoops midseason report card - did your team make the grade?