Basketball

High school hoops lookahead: Big week in store for St. Johns

CMAC girls showdown between P-W and Bath also among key games

Caleb Paksi, right, and St. Johns have big tests this week against East Lansing and Waverly.

Caleb Paksi, right, and St. Johns have big tests this week against East Lansing and Waverly.

The St. Johns boys basketball team has raced out to the top of the CAAC Red standings with a strong showing in the season’s first half.

The Redwings will have a chance to add to that success and move closer toward its first winning season since 2011-12 when it plays in a pair of big games this week.

St. Johns will appear in two of the area’s top upcoming basketball matchups when it travels to face Class A No. 3-ranked and CAAC Blue-leading East Lansing on Tuesday before concluding the week Friday with a key league contest against Waverly.

The lone losses for the Redwings (8-2, 5-0 CAAC Red) have been to CAAC Blue teams Holt and Grand Ledge this winter. St. Johns has won four straight since the loss Grand Ledge and could make a statement with a win over unbeaten East Lansing, which has won 29 consecutive regular season games and 33 of its last 34 overall. East Lansing coach Steve Finamore could pick up his 100th career victory with the Trojans in this contest.

St. Johns’ home contest against Friday kicks off the second half of the CAAC Red schedule and matches up the top two teams in the league. Waverly is a loss behind the Redwings in the Red standings.

Same faces, new St. Johns boys basketball team

Here’s a look at a few of the other key games this week.

GIRLS – PEWAMO-WESTPHALIA AT BATH (7 p.m, Thursday): P-W and Bath were part of a three-way tie for the CMAC title last season with Laingsburg and another tight race is unfolding in the league this winter. P-W and Bath are tied atop the league standings with 6-1 marks with Laingsburg entering the week. The Class C No. 4-ranked Pirates (9-1) have won seven straight since a loss to Bath last month. Bath (7-2) has won two straight since a loss to Laingsburg.

BOYS – LANSING CATHOLIC AT WILLIAMSTON (6 p.m. Friday): The Hornets and Cougars have annually been atop the CAAC White standings and have shared the title in recent seasons. Williamston (10-1) has won five straight and is in the driver’s seat in the White with a two-game lead over Lansing Catholic, Fowlerville and Portland entering the second round of league play. Lansing Catholic (5-3) has won five of six since opening the season with losses to Okemos and Williamston and would need a win Friday and help down the road if its hopes to win the league again.

Lansing area high school basketball standings: Jan. 21

GIRLS – LAKEWOOD AT OLIVET (6 p.m. Friday): The GLAC title was shared by Lakewood and Olivet last season and both are contending again for the crown. The Vikings and Eagles each have one league loss this season and are joined by Stockbridge at the top of the GLAC standings. Olivet won by 24 in the earlier meeting between these teams and has won four straight since a one-point loss to Stockbridge.

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway