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Posted on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

'Beat Pete' contest returns for boys and girls basketball season

By Pete Cunningham

Did you miss me?

More importantly, did you miss beating me?

Worry not. Those insufferable weeks between football and basketball seasons, when I was forced to eat properly, exercise and catch up on chores around the house, are finally over -- note, I did none of those things -- and it’s time for another “Beat Pete” pick ‘em contest!

Just like during football season, every week during the girls and boys basketball season I will preview several games happening in the area and predict the outcome. By filling out the “Beat Pete” interactive form below, readers can try to beat my picks.

Anybody who participates will automatically be entered into a weekly drawing for a chance to win $20 Domino’s Pizza gift card. In addition to the weekly drawing, we will pick a random contest participant once each month and will donate $150 to the high school booster club of the their choice.

Remember, the more people that participate in support of your local booster club, the better the chances of your favorite booster club winning some cold hard cash. So spread the word.

Anybody who participates is eligible for the drawings, no purchase (or skill) necessary. (Click here to read official rules.) Those of you beat me will have the honor and prestige of having their names listed in the following week's article.

So without further ado, let’s get into this week’s slate of games:

Pete’s Picks

In the world of college football, the Southeastern Conference has a reputation for producing teams that win national championships and develop future pros.

In the world of Michigan high school sports, the SEC is best known for having confusing conference championship rules. Every year there seems to be a change in how the scheduling works and champions are determined.

This year is no different.

In basketball, teams are now required to play every team in their own division (Red or White) twice, but only have to play two of the six cross-divisional opponents one time.

This affords teams four more opportunities to schedule non-conference games. In a down year, a team might try to find more comparable opponents. In a good year, a team might try to test itself against a more elite non-conference foe.

An unfortunate casualty of the new format is the Ypsilanti versus Pioneer boys basketball game. The two do not face each other in conference play.


Pioneer coach Rex Stanczak (above) said he felt obligated to schedule Ypsilanti in non-conference play.

Jeff Sainlar |

There’s nothing in the new rule that says the conference rivals can’t schedule non-conference games against each other, though, and that’s exactly what Pioneer and Ypsilanti did.

The two will play at Ypsilanti High School Friday night in a non-conference game Pioneer coach Rex Stanczak said he felt obligated to his team to schedule.

“There was no way we were not going to play them this year,” Stanczak said. “They’re probably the best team in our league, and they’re right down the street.”

Stanczak and Ypsilanti coach Steve Brooks ensured the teams would still play as soon as the schedules were announced.

“I called Steve and we got that going right away,” Stanczak said.

Now that it scheduled, the game is easily the most intriguing local matchup of the young season. For that reason, we’ll tipoff this week’s picks with that game:

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.