State Tournament: Top District Semifinals

Senior point guard Leonard Silas and Cass Tech have a rematch with East English Village, this time in a Class A district semifinal instead of the Detroit PSL semifinal, which Cass won before defeating Detroit King for the league title.

Class A

12-8 West Bloomfield @ 16-4 Farmington, 5 pm: WB is dangerous if the backcourt of senior Kevin McAdoo and junior Tre Harvey are hitting, and the Lakers have played a much tougher schedule. 6-5 Farmington junior Jordan Graham is a problematic matchup.

12-7 Petoskey @ 12-9 Traverse City West, 7 pm: They split in the regular season, with Petoskey winning at West and vice-versa. Both teams have D1 big men in Petoskey’s Danny Kolp and West’s Ryan Hayes, though for the latter it’s on the football field as a Power 5 lineman recruit.

21-0 East Lansing vs. 13-7 Lansing Waverly, 7:30 pm @ Lansing Eastern: These two played just last week, with the undefeated Trojans leading by one at the half and two after three quarters before pulling away in the fourth. East Lansing will have the top player on the court here and in most any contest, 6-8 senior Brandon Johns, while Waverly senior guard Jaden Sutton is always a threat to go off.

14-7 Forest Hills Central vs. 14-6 Forest Hills Northern, 7:15 pm @ Rockford: If AAU coaches are so bad, why did we see FHC’s Ken George and FHN’s Joe Soules on the bench last spring?

13-8 Hudsonville @ 20-1 West Ottawa, 7:45 pm: The home team beat Hudsonville twice en route to an undefeated O-K Red slate. Senior Jake VanTubbergen and junior Tyler Bosma are as tough a frontcourt duo as you’ll find — GR Christian included, as JVT scored 31 when they played in the regular season. On Hudsonville’s side is Eric Elliott, as good an x-and-o coach as there is in Michigan.

15-5 Ann Arbor Skyline @ 15-5 Ann Arbor Huron, 5:30 pm: Skyline will try to get past Huron for the third time this year, no easy task as these teams are evenly matched (one of those wins remains a ‘game of the year’ candidate, 95-93 in 3 OT). If Huron eeks it out this time, 6-6 junior Avery Lewis could be the difference.

16-4 Detroit Cass Tech @ 14-5 Detroit East English Village, 5:30 @ Grosse Pointe South: This is a rematch from the PSL semifinals, which Cass won en route to the league title. In that one it was the Technicians’ Marcus Gibbs making three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner, while EEV’s junior backcourt star David DeJulius made 1 of his last 6 field goal attempts.

16-3 Detroit U-D Jesuit vs. 11-9 Southfield A&T, 5 pm @ Detroit Renaissance: With a healthy Mike Flowers, a guard headed to WMU, Southfield A&T is much better than its record, and gave Clarkston its only loss of the season. U-D is the defending Class A champion and has one of the few guards, junior Elijah Collins, who can slow down a talent like Flowers.

Class B

13-8 Coloma @ 17-3 Benton Harbor, 7:30 pm: Expect some college coaches in the stands to check out Coloma sophomore guard Zach Goodline, who averages 27 points per game, and the state’s No. 1 2020 prospect Benton Harbor’s 6-6 freshman Carlos Johnson.

21-0 Hillsdale @ 15-5 Onsted, 7 pm: Undefeated Hillsdale twice sneaked by Onsted in the regular season, in double OT and 64-62. They’re powered by a pair of 6-4 vets. Senior Ethan Bernard averages 20 points and 6 rebounds per game, junior Bryce Drews averages 23 points and 9 rebounds per game. Onsted has found there’s life after Austin Davis. 6-6 senior Skyler Lipinski averages 20.5 points and 10 rebounds per game.

16-5 Grayling @ 17-3 Sault Ste. Marie, 6 PM  THURSDAY (Mackinac Bridge closed Wednesday due to high winds): This could be a GLIAC big man preview between 6-8 Troy Summers, Grayling’s career rebounding leader headed to NMU, and the Sault’s 6-8 junior Brandon Paul, the more athletic of the two.

Class C

21-0 Michigan Center @ 16-5 Napoleon, 6 pm: We’ve been championing Michigan Center since seeing them handily beat Class A DeWitt at a Christmas tournament. They’re very balanced, revolving around 6-3 senior Connor Pelham and senior guards Austin McKenzie, Kylen Brown and Brett Haynes.

17-4 Ottawa Lake Whiteford @ 20-0 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, 7:30 pm: SMCC is hoping not to go the way of Sand Creek, another undefeated Class C team from the Ohio borderlands, which was upset in their first district game. The Falcons may have the top post duo in the entire division in 6-7 senior Nick Welch and 6-8 junior CJ Haut. Whiteford beat Blissfield in their district opener 80-60.

15-6 Reese @ 20-1 Marlette, 6 pm: 6-5 senior Isaac Dale is a load for host Marlette and they’ll be looking to avenge their only loss of the season against Reese and their tough tweener junior Kyle Stockmeyer.

13-7 Saugatuck vs. 15-5 Grand Rapids Covenant Christian, 5:30 pm @ Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian: The state’s best all-around, four-sport athlete, Blake Dunn, is averaging 24 points per game. But Saugatuck hasn’t been a one-man show since 6-6 junior transfer Teague Tiemeyer became eligible, as he’s scoring 17 a game. Covenant Christian has an underrated 6-6 junior in Carson Meulenberg, who is averaging 13.5 points and 7 rebounds per game including 29 points against Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s imposing frontcourt.

17-3 Iron Mountain vs. 18-2 Norway 6 pm @ West Iron County: These teams split in the regular season. If you don’t think there’s talent in the UP, then you haven’t seen Iron Mountain’s 6-4 senior Carson wonders, headed for NMU, or their freshman guard, Marcus Johnson. And from Norway, 6-4 junior Connor Ortman.

Class D

18-2 Owendale-Gagetown vs. 16-4 Bay City All Saints, 6 pm @ Caseville: Owen-Gage hasn’t lost since before Christmas and features a 1,000-point career scorer in senior guard David Binder.

 

State Tournament: Top District Openers

Mr. Basketball finalist Jason Whitens and Powers North Central start defense of their Class D state title on Monday.

Class A

11-8 North Farmington vs. 14-6 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 7 pm @ Farmington: After a brutal start, the Raiders have won 8 of their last 9, with the only loss in that stretch coming to Clarkston. 6-7 senior forward Nate Brooks becoming eligible has given them an inside complement to open things up for Mr. Basketball finalist Amauri Hardy, a guard headed to Oklahoma State. St. Mary’s was the third place team in the Catholic League Central Division. And while Maurice Searight isn’t coming through that door, the Eaglets’ 5-10 senior CJ Wilson is one of the state’s top 10 unsigned senior point guards:

  1. Jermaine Jackson  5-10  Macomb Dakota
  2. Darian Owens-White  6-1  River Rouge
  3. Malik Ellison  5-8  Flint Beecher
  4. CJ Wilson  5-10  Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
  5. Qua Southward  6-0  Saginaw
  6. Jesse Scarber  5-8  Detroit King
  7. Armonee Felder  5-10  Detroit Osborn
  8. Davion Bradford  6-1  Detroit Cornerstone
  9. Tariq Derrickson  6-1  Pontiac Notre Dame
  10. Leonard Silas  5-11  Detroit Cass Tech

19-1 Flint Carman-Ainsworth vs. 18-2 Flushing, 6 pm @ Owosso: Deja vu! These teams met less than a week ago, with Carman coming back late to prevail 53-50. The Cavs are probably a year away from state contention, as top players junior point guard Ja’kavien Lewis, junior forward Omari Duncan and sophomore center Mike Fletcher will all be back. Or is the future now? Their only loss was to Clarkston and they flat out annihilated Saginaw in the Saginaw Valley championship game. Lewis is a leader at the point and while not a good shooter has terrific feel for the glass and English when he’s finishing. At 6-4 Ducan is a tweener for the next level but productive as a prep. Fletcher isn’t built like a sophomore, is 6-6 but with the wingspan of a 6-9 player. He’ll match up with Flusing’s 6-6 senior Joe Kujat. He averages 18 points and 13 rebounds per game and is one of the state’s top 10 unsigned senior forwards:

  1. Nate Brooks  6-7  North Farmington
  2. Diego Robinson  6-6  Lansing Everett
  3. Joe Kujat  6-6  Flushing
  4. Craig Sterk  6-7  McBain
  5. Kenneth Holloway  6-4  Detroit Osborn
  6. Roger Stein  6-4  Kalamazoo Central
  7. Eddie Thigpen  6-6  Saginaw
  8. Malik Rogers  6-6  Dearborn Heights Crestwood
  9. Ross Koella  6-7  Grand Haven
  10. Derek Eddington  6-7  Pickford

Class B

10-10 Allendale @ 15-5 Coopersville, 7 pm: These two split in the regular season, as Coopersville went on to finish second in the O-K Blue. Allendale has a dangerous big man-guard combo in seniors Nate Umlor and Hunter Greer, though they have nothing on their coaches back in their day, Joe Modderman and Tim Kisner. Coopersville features Nick Dekkenga. He’s averaging 26 points and 3.5 assists per game and is one of the state’s top 10 unsigned combo guards:

  1. Greg Elliott  6-4  Detroit East English Village
  2. Demetrius Lake  5-10  Holland
  3. Kevin McAdoo  6-1  West Bloomfield
  4. Christian Agnew  6-2  Westland John Glenn
  5. Sam Cornett  6-5  Muskegon
  6. Runako Ziegler  6-1  Walled Lake Central
  7. Delano Smith  6-3  Walled Lake Western
  8. Jorden Peterson  6-2  Detroit CMA
  9. Nick Dekkenga  5-10  Coopersville
  10. Reme Tolbert  6-1  Southfield A&T

18-2 Ludington vs. 17-3 Big Rapids, 7 pm @ Benzie Central: Big Rapids wants to get back to Breslin, but staggers into March on a two-game losing streak. They were undefeated up until February 7, when this very same Ludington team nearly doubled-up a depleted Cardinals roster 70-38. BR doesn’t lack talent, as 6-4 senior Demetri Martin recently scored a school-record 51 points and is headed to Northville, while Braeden Childress, a 6-4 D1 football recruit, isn’t fazed by the big moment. Ludington tied Muskegon Heights for the Lakes 8 title but their two losses were to Class C schools — Heights and North Muskegon.

Class C

15-5 Flint Beecher @ 14-6 Flint Hamady, 6 pm: Beecher begins its quest for a third-straight state title. Senior guard Malik Ellison is as hot as any player in the state, including a 61-point effort against New Haven. All of their losses are to Class A and B schools. It’s the same old story for Hamady, which can play with most anyone in Class C and have a terrific senior guard in Dewayn Allen, but runs into Beecher straight off. They’ve twice lost to Beecher by single digits, with their other losses to Class A and B schools.

15-5 Carson City-Crystal vs. 18-2 Pewamo-Westphalia, 5:30 pm @ Bath: When these two met in the regular season, C3 emerged with an OT win 42-37. That’s one of three times P-W was held under 40 points during the regular season. While they’re well-coached, play team ball and 6-3 junior Jimmy Lehman is a horse anyone would want on their team, there’s not a go-to scorer who can go and get his when things get hecitc. The Eagles do have that kind of scorer in senior Kaleb Barrett, who averages 18.5 points per game, as well as a major three-points threat in senior guard Garrett Gage.

Class D

15-5 Carney-Nadeau vs. 19-0 Powers North Central, 7 pm @ Stephenson: A Carney-Nadeau win would be a serious upset, as North Central is in the midst of a state-record winning streak and commencing a quest for a third consecutive state title. While 6-4 senior Jason Whitens is a Mr. Basketball finalist, he doesn’t do it alone. 6-3 senior Dawson Bilski is a terrific shooter who has evolved into an all-around guard threat and is headed to Michigan Tech.Carney-Nadeau has a terrific guard of its own in senior Hunter Eichorn, averaging over 24 points per game in his final basketball season before going to Marquette on a golf scholarship. Whitens is one of the state’s top 10 unsigned senior wings:

  1. Markell Jackson  6-5  Muskegon
  2. Keion Epps  6-5  Wayne
  3. Jason Whitens  6-4  Powers North Central
  4. Austin McCullough  6-5  Portage Central
  5. Jordan Grahan  6-5  Farmington
  6. Brock Washington  6-4  Southfield Christian
  7. Drequan Bell  6-3  River Rouge
  8. Jermayne Golidy  6-4  Muskegon
  9. Jalen Miller  6-3  Lake Fenton
  10. Brennen Buszka  6-4  Grosse Pointe South

Bank Hoops Honor Roll: Week 13

James Beck is the do-it-all JYD for undefeated Grand Rapids Christian.

Class A Player of the Week

James Beck  6-7  Sr  Grand Rapids Christian: The Eagles finished a perfect regular season with wins over Kalamazoo Central, with Oakland signee Beck scoring 14, and Wyoming Godwin Heights, with Beck scoring 18.

Class A Underclassman of the Week

Josh Warren  5-9  So  Woodhaven: He had 31 points in a loss to Dearborn Heights Crestwood. On the season Warren is averaging 16 points and 6 assists.

Class B Player of the Week

Luke Toliver  6-1  Jr  Paw Paw: He led Paw Paw to a 16-4 regular season averaging 20.2 points and 8 rebounds per game.

 

Class C Player of the Week

Keith Johnson  6-2  Jr  Detroit Loyola: He looks like a football player but don’t be fooled he can hoop. Johnson had 29 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists in a win against Detroit CMA.

Class C Underclassman of the Week

Hunter Adams  6-4  Fr  Bridgman: He’s Bridgman’s leading scorer and rebounder as just a ninth-grader, finishing the regular season averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds per game.

Class D Player of the Week

Devin Schmitz  5-9  Jr  Dollar Bay: His 20 points led Dollar Bay past Jeffers, giving the school its first Copper Mountain title in over 20 years.

Class D Underclassman of the Week

Jake Burger  6-2  So  Pittsford: He helped Pittsford to a 17-3 regular season averaging 16.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

All-State Nominations

Coaches: Please send regular season stats, grade, height, and any other pertinent information for the Bank Hoops All-State team to sbell@bankhoops.com. There are various tiers for the Class A, B, C and D teams, as well as the overall All-State team and Underclassman All-State teams for all four classes.

Bank Hoops Honor Roll: Week 12

Just a sophomore, Big Rapids Crossroads’ Britton Angell already has a 30-point game on his resume.

Class A Player of the Week

Runako Ziegler  6-1  Sr  Walled Lake Central: His 30 points led the Vikings past Walled Lake Western in the KLAA title game. Earlier in the week he scored 32 in a win against Howell.

Class A Underclassman of the Week

Mike Fletcher  6-6  So  Flint Carman-Ainsworth: He scored 15 points as Carman ran Saginaw off the floor for the Saginaw Valley championship. Fletcher had 12 points and 6 rebounds in a defeat of Flint Southwestern.

Class B Player of the Week

Mario Whitley  6-4  Jr  Frankenmuth: With his 42 points against Essexville Garber, Whitley, one of the state’s top 20 2018 prospects, surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He added 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Earlier he scored 22 in a loss to Flint Hamady.

Class B Underclassman of the Week

Kevin-David Rice  6-3  Fr  Goodrich: He scored 17 points against Burton Bendle and 15 against Fenton, both wins for the Martians.

Class C Player of the Week

Elijah Smith  6-5  Sr  Melvindale ABT: A long-time double-double machine, Smith shot par in a win over Detroit University Prep with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Class C Underclassman of the Week

Caleb Hodgson  6-9  So  Dansville: Dansville has won 12 of their past 13 games, including most recently against Fulton as Hodgson had 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Class D Player of the Week

Gunnar Libby  5-9  Sr  Hillman: He had 40 points against Oscoda, a career high, the second-most for a single game in school history, which moved Libby into second-place on Hillman’s all-time scoring list.

Class D Underclassman of the Week:

Britton Angell  6-2  So  Big Rapids Crossroads: He scored 30 including a crucial game-tying 3 in the second OT in Crossroads’ 82-80 win over Vestaburg, after making the two game-tying free throws in the first extra period.