Bank Hoops Honor Roll: Week 11

One of the top available seniors in West Michigan, Coopersville combo gaurd Nick Dekkenga, aka Inspectah Deck, broke the seal with the first of three 50-point games across Michigan last week.

Class A Player of the Week

Michael Flowers  6-0  Sr  Southfield A&T: Many had Clarkston pegged for an undefeated regular season. But Southfield had other plans. Flowers, who signed with WMU, scored 30 points with 5 assists as they upended the Wolves 59-50.

Class A Underclassman of the Week

Isaiah Lewis  5-11  So  Wayne Memorial: His performance at last summer’s Bank Hoops Underclassman Camp was no fluke, as he’s been strong all season for one of the top teams in the state. Lewis scored 21 in Wayne’s win over Salem.

Class B Players of the Week

Nick Dekkenga  5-11  Sr  Coopersville, Demetri Martin  6-4  Sr  Big Rapids, Eric Williams  6-4  Sr  New Haven: No King Solomon here, couldn’t decide between these three and their monster games. Dekkenga scored 51 against Mona Shores — playing just three quarters. Martin scored 50 against Central Montcalm — and added 15 rebounds. Williams scored 50 against Fraser — on 20-of-26 field goals.

Class B Underclassman of the Week

Mark Watts  6-2  So  Detroit Old Redford Academy: He scored 28 in a one-point win over Michigan Collegiate and 31 in a loss to University Prep in the final of the Charter School league.

Class C Player of the Week

Malik Ellison  5-8  Sr  Flint Beecher: Always good, he’s taken his game to the next level with a barrage of 30-points games, including 31 in the defending state champion’s win over Goodrich.

Class C Underclassman of the Week

Garrett VerBerkmoes  6-5  So  McBain: The heir apparent to McBain’s all-state center Craig Sterk, he scored a career-high 14 points against Evart as the Ramblers stayed undefeated.

Class D Player of the Week

Brett Dyer  5-8  Jr  Northport: He hit the game-winning layup with less than a second to play to give Northport a win over Traverse City Christian and the Cherryland Conference title.

Class D Underclassman of the Week

Ridge Beeman  6-0  So  Buckley: Buckley remained undefeated beating the two other top contenders in the Northwest Conference, Glen Lake and Frankfort. Beeman scored 11 against Glen Lake then was the primary defender on Frankfort’s all-state candidate point guard Jaylon Rogers as he was held to single digits.

Mr. Basketball Finalists

BCAM has announced the six finalists for the 2017 Mr. Basketball, the most prestigious high school sports award in Michigan. Voting, among BCAM members, will run March 8-13.

  • Jamal Cain  6-7  Sr  Detroit Cornerstone  Marquette
  • Greg Elliott  6-4  Sr  Detroit East English Village  undecided
  • Amauri Hardy  6-3  Sr  North Farmington  Oklahoma State
  • Isaiah Livers  6-8  Sr  Kalamazoo Central  Michigan
  • Xavier Tillman  6-9  Sr  Grand Rapids Christian  Michigan State
  • Jason Whitens  6-4  Sr  Powers North Central  undecided

Bank Hoops Honor Roll: Week 10

Gladstone’s Reece Castor is one of the best sophomores in all of Michigan, not just the Upper Peninsula.

Class A Player of the Week

Rashad Williams  6-2  Jr  Wayne: He connected on 5-of-7 three-pointers en route to 20 points as Wayne beat intra-district rival Westland John Glenn.

Class A Underclassman of the Week

Jay Walker  6-0  Fr  Muskegon Mona Shores: He’s been very consistent for a freshman, hitting double figures every game including 24 last week against Jenison, and 18 against undefeated Muskeogn.

Class B Player of the Week

Bryce Drews  6-3  Jr  Hillsdale: Undefeated Hillsdale beat to win the LCAA title with Drews’ 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Yet another college prospect in Michigan’s loaded 2018 class, he’s averaging 23 points and 9 rebounds a game.

Class B Underclassman of the Week

Reece Castor 6-4  So  Gladstone: He had 31 points and 9 rebounds as Gladstone gave Sault Ste. Marie just its second loss of the season.

Class C Player of the Week

Jordan Davis  6-3  Sr  Warren Michigan Collegiate: He had 28 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists in a win against Macomb Lutheran North, then 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a defeat of Star Academy.

Class D Player of the Week

Brock Washington  6-4  Sr  Southfield Christian: Doing nothing to dissuade those who feel he’s one of the best available senior wings in Michigan, Washington poured in 40 points against Plymouth Christian. That’s a school single-game record.

Bank Hoops Honor Roll: Week 9

North Farmington senior Amauri Hardy is one of the most dangerous scoring guards in the Midwest.

Class A Player of the Week

Amauri Hardy  6-3  Sr  North Farmington: For the second time in as many weeks, Hardy, who signed with Oklahoma State, scored 35 pointss, this time in a win over Bloomfield Hills.

Class A Underclassman of the Week

Maliq Carr  6-6  Fr  Oak Park: He went for 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Oak Park needed them all against Avodale in a 68-66 victory. That came after another double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds, earlier in the week in a loss to Hazel Park.

Class B Player of the Week

Avery Hudson  5-10  Sr  Wayland: Hudson, who signed early with Davenport, scored 36 points in a double overtime win against Grand Rapids South Christian, then less then 24 hours later scored 25 in an OT defeat of Detroit Cornerstone.

Class B Underclassman of the Week

Romeo Weems  6-5  So  New Haven: With Ohio State coach Thad Matta in the house Friday, Weems scored 25 with 12 rebounds and 7 steals and earned a Buckeyes, less than a week after being offered by MSU. Not too bad, an more than enough for Weems to win this honor for the fourth time in a season-and-a-half.

Class C Player of the Week

Parker Randall  6-0  Sr  Sand Creek: The Aggies beat Britton Deerfield to improved to 13-0 behind 29 points from Randall. That unbeaten mark was threatened last Tuesday but Sand Creek prevailed at Petersburg Summerfield as Randall finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 7 rebounds and 9 steals.

Class C Underclassman of the Week

Zach Trent  6-2  So  Burton Bentley: Against one of the top teams on Bentley’s schedule, Class B Lake Fenton, Trent had his second-straight 22-point game.

Class D Player of the Week

Jaden Wood  Sr  Jeffers: He scored 23 points in a defeat of Ewen-Trout Creek, after netting 24 in a win over Republic-Michigamme.

Class D Underclassman of the Week

Kory Henigan  6-3  So  Hillman: He had the best game of his young career to help keep Hillman undefeated, with 13 points and 12 rebounds in a win against Whittemore-Prescott.

GR Union Red Hawks Showcase Standouts

Though his Detroit Cornerstone team lost in overtime to Wayland, Jamal Cain was the most impressive performer from all 10 teams at Grand Rapids Union’s Red Hawks Showcase.

The third-annual Red Hawks Showcase at Grand Rapids Union didn’t disappoint a sold out crowd, with a pair of overtime games, and some big-time individual performances. Over the course of the Saturday affair, one-loss West Ottawa beat Detroit Old Redford Academy; Grand Rapids Union beat Hazel Park; Wayland Union beat Detroit Cornerstone; undefeated Wyoming Godwin Heights beat Detroit Edison; and undefeated Grand Rapids Christian beat Indianapolis Lawrence North. Here are some of the top performers.

James Beck  6-7  Sr  Grand Rapids Christian: Sometimes overlooked as the third wheel with GR Christian’s pair of high-major recruits, as he does the dirty work on the boards and defensively, and none of them, Beck, Xavier Tillman or Duane Washington, really put up gaudy scoring numbers. But the Oakland signee couldn’t be overlooked in the Showcase finale against Indianapolis Lawrence North, keeping the Eagles in it early with his scoring, and playing tough D on the Wildcats’ Kevin Easley, a 6-7 junior committed to VCU. Scored from the block, facing up and driving, and on the break.

Jamal Cain  6-7  Sr  Detroit Cornerstone: A tour de force, as even in a losing effort Cain did nothing but impress curious West Michigan fans. The numbers themselves are impressive, 34 points and 14 rebounds. But it was the manner in which he did it — streaking transition dunks, one-man tip drills on the glass, reverse dunk alley-oops, 4-of-6 three-pointers — that left no doubt that Cain is a top 50 national recruit, and one that in the future will having fans of U-M and MSU wondering how the heck did this kid end up at Marquette? Cain is more than a scorer, as there was his effort on the glass, but also how he passed it. A lot of high school stars will just half-heartedly toss the ball to a teammate if they’re not open, but he consistently hit his guys hard and on the numbers. Likely earned some Mr. Basketball votes with this performance.

Jaivian Fowler   6-6  So  Grand Rapids Union: Coming off an ankle injury but moved easily once the blood was flowing. Mature build and body control for a sophomore, a true varsity contributor not just a young buck with potential. Played up to his size on the glass and hit double-digit boards. While Fowler’s shot wasn’t dropping consistently he did make a huge one, burying one from the elbow when Hazel Park went zone in overtime; also, a jump hook going body-to-body with 6-10 Hazel Park senior Kristian Lafayette.

Markeese Hastings  6-6  Jr  Wyoming Godwin Heights: True winner who’ll get you a double-double without having to run plays for him. Great to see both Hastings and Detroit Edison junior forward Deante Johnson on the same court, as while both are athletic and with physical advantages, don’t get by on those and really hustle. Keese had 15 points and 12 rebounds with two blocked shots, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor. Nitpicking from a recruiting standpoint you wish Hastings were a couple inches taller, but motor and production should ultimately win over some mid-major coaches.

David Hearns  6-1  Jr  Hazel Park: A strong, attacking drive-pass point guard, he found some offense of his own in overtime with Grand Rapids Union with a three-pointer and another bucket. Tough lefty who competed on both ends. He has a good role model on the bench in Hazel Park assistant coach Jimmy Twyman, who we loved covering as the point guard on Detroit Central’s 1998 state championship team who went on to play at U-of-D.

Avery Hudson  5-10  Sr  Wayland: Detroit Cornerstone sent tough, athletic guards at Hudson in waves, but he kept coming at them, taking no quarter. If anything, he relished the contact and physical play, despite his size. The Davenport signee made his first six shots en route to a 25-point performance. Hudson plays on the razor’s edge and sometimes can try to take on too much, but when he was on the bench in the first half with three fouls Wayland quickly looked like an average team.

Quantes Jackson  6-2  Sr  Grand Rapids Union: He’s come out of seemingly nowhere to have a big senior season, as exemplified by Jackson’s 28 points against Hazel Park, the same total he reached the night before against Kenowa Hills. Jackson lives off his explosive first step going right, and it’s not just for show, like some guards, as he separates and repeatedly gets to the rim.  He made 10-of-16 field goals and 5-of-6 foul shots.

Deante Johnson  6-8  Jr  Detroit Edison: Wingspan and motor equaled big results for “Spider”, with 19 points, 11 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Shot chart is largely around the rim, and a three-point attempt didn’t have ideal results. Lots of defensive versatility,  so could excel at the mid-major level with the right system.

Lamar Norman  6-2  Jr  Wyoming Godwin Heights: No one in the state is faster in the open court, and if anyone is close they certainly don’t have the body control that Norman does to finish at full speed. He scored 27 against DEPSA on 12-of-17 shots. To take the jump from mid-major offers to high-major recruit will have to continue developing on the defensive end and become more consistent from range (he was 0-for-3 from behind the arc).

Carter Nyp  6-8  Jr  Wayland: The most memorable three-pointer in Wayland’s OT win game from sophomore Jack Donewald (grandson of former WMU coach Bob Donewald), who hit the game-tying rainbow from the corner to force the extra period. But don’t overlook the importance of the shot from Nyp at the end of the first half that sent Wayland to the locker room up 31-30. It was a much-needed momentum swing after they’d lost their lead when senior point guard Avery Hudson’s third foul sent him to the bench midway through the fourth quarter, causing the Wildcats’ halfcourt offense to stagnate. Nyp is an intriguing prospect, as a 6-8 lefty who can shoot. It will be interesting to see if he can keep improving at his current rate (he now starts, which he didn’t when we saw Wayland earlier in the season against Godwin Heights) and what he can get going inside next year when the post is vacated by Zack Nieuwkoop.

Christian Rodriguez  5-10  Sr  Wyoming Godwin Heights: He committed to Cornerstone earlier in the week. Quarterbacking this high flying Godwin team is certainly good practice for one season of throwing oops to Kyle Steigenga.

Jake VanTubbergen  6-6  Sr  West Ottawa: He has an offensive game unique in Michigan, a creative, unorthodox finisher with the most finger rolls since Ice Man was at Detroit King. JVT flourished on the offensive end with WO’s “one more” passing game, and on defense shut down a lot of area with his wingspan. In three quarters against Old Redford Academy he scored 25 points (10-of-13 field goals, 4-of-4 free throws) with six rebounds, a pair of assists and no turnovers. Top 20 recruit for Grand Valley State.

Xavier Wade  6-2  Jr  West Ottawa: The Panthers’ only loss came after Christmas to Grand Rapids Christian, when Wade was out with a broken wrist. Now that he’s back, nice to have an athlete who this fall looked like he’ll be future D1 receiver. On a team with a number of unselfish passers, he’s the best at it with pushing the ball and allows WO to be dangerous in transition as well as half-court offense.

Mark Watts  6-2  So  Detroit Old Redford: If you just saw in the newspaper the next day that Watts had scored 26, that might seem respectable enough. But they all came in the second half, after the game had already been decided, with six of his seven three-pointers coming in the fourth quarter against West Ottawa’s reserves (one of whom, senior guard Anthony Charameda, memorably put down a dunk). Watts stayed out there until the very end, shamelessly hunting stats but that’s more on his coaches than the kid. The final count had him making 8-of-24 field goals and 3-of-5 free throws. His best play came when he penetrated WO’s zone and kicked out to senior guard Jawan Snoddy for a three-pointer. But besides that, he was stymied, and ORA befuddled, when the Panthers extended their defense with all that length.

The Grudge Report: League Rivals Clash Throughout State

One of the state’s iconic venues, Holland’s Dutch Dome, will play host to an intra-city rivalry game between the Dutch and Holland Christian.

Friday, Feb. 3 has a full plate of games featuring games with conference consequences and local bragging rights.

Ann Arbor Huron 11-2 @ Ann Arbor Skyline 9-4: The home team is a game behind Huron and Saline for the lead of the SEC. It will be hard to top the first game between these two, which Skyline won 95-92 … in triple overtime. Future college guards galore here, then there’s a much improved forward 6-6 Huron junior Avery Lewis.

Detroit East English Village 11-2 @ Detroit King 10-2: East English represents MLK’s only PSL loss. Two different approaches, King with blue-collar seniors playing for offers like point guard Jesse Scarber, wing Kemon Bassett and Treveon Orr, while EEV has the flash and big-time reps with Mr. Basketball favorite Greg Elliott and U-M commit David DeJulius in the backcourt.

Flint Hamady 7-4 @ Flint Beecher 9-3: Buctown is again the class of the GAC Red, 7-0 in the league including a 63-54 defeat of Hamady the first time around. Beecher has another star rising, 6-2 freshman Jalen Terry who had 13 points, 10 assists last week against Lake Fenton.

Holland Christian 2-9 @ Holland 8-6: This rivalry was better when Holland Christian was an independent, so they’d only play once a year, instead of as members of the O-K Green; and when, well, at least one of the teams was actually good. But any time Demetrius Lake plays, there’s a chance to see history.

Milan 6-5 @ Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 11-0: This will go a long way towards determining the Huron League title, as SMCC is 7-0, Milan 6-1. SMCC got ’em good the first time around, at Milan, which doesn’t have an answer for 6-7 senior Nick Welch.

Detroit U-D Jesuit 9-3 @ Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 9-3: The Cubs handled OLSM easily the first time around, but the Eaglets’ 6-6 junior Caden Prieskorn keeps getting better.

Saginaw Arthur Hill 6-5 @ Saginaw 9-3: Arthur Hill is 5-2 in the Saginaw Valley (North), while The High is in first place at 7-0. Arthur Hill has one of the state’s top big men, 6-10 junior Jimmy Bell, but high school ball is a guard’s game as evidenced by Saginaw’s earlier 62-49 win.

Taylor Truman 5-6 @ Taylor Kennedy 4-6: Truman won the first round of this Democratic presidential primary, the very first game of the season, 57-54.

Saturday

Walled Lake Western 10-2 @ Walled Lake Central 8-5: Straight from Spinal Column country, prime scouting for juco coaches with WLW guard Delano Smith and WLC guard Runako Ziegler.