Storm Classic Potpourri

A senior playing this spring, GreenWood Elite guard Cameryn Carpenter from Flint Powers looked like a Horizon League level guard at the GR Storm Classic.

The Grand Rapids Storm Classic continues to be one of the top events in the Midwest. This year’s winners were The Family over the Playmakers in 17U, C2K Elite over The Family in 16U and The Family over Bates Fundamentals in 15U. Here are some interesting prospects from various ages for every level of college ball.

Tyan Barnes  5-9  Fr  UTS Elite (Grandville): There’s a precedent for big-time if not big statured guards at Grandville, where David Thompson starred a dozen years ago. Barnes is the engine that makes fastbreak happy UTS go, with some serious talent running with him on the wings GR Christian’s Kobe Bufkin and East Lansing’s Andrel Anthony. Nearly averaged a double-double for one of the state’s top 15U teams which lost by a bucket to eventual champion The Family in the platinum bracket. Aces on the 3-on-2 because he can bury the elbow shots. The kind of leader and defender you want running a team.

Caleb Bates  6-6  Jr  Mustangs (St. Clair Shores Lakeshore): Physical, steady, blue-collar forward who will find a way to produce. Can set up for the 3 and must be accounted for as a weakside rebounder. Deceptively quick jumper who has second and third effort on the glass. Bates can beat a zone because he can shoot and make plays from the elbows. Recovers well as a help-side defender. If he’s just as good against longer, athletic forwards on the Adidas circuit, mid-major offers should ensue.

Emoni Bates  6-8  8th  Bates Fundamentals 15U (Ann Arbor): Looks every bit the part of the top 2022 prospect in the country. Middle schoolers that height just aren’t supposed to move so easily and be so comfortable with the ball. Able to shoot the 3 off the catch or bounce. The main drawback right now is that lack of strength causes Emoni to settle for low percentage shots because he can’t get all the way to the rim, but that’s nothing growing up won’t cure.

Jadon Bettinger  6-7  Jr  Macomb Cougars (L’anse Creuse): Champ Sports’ Blake Charboneau is a strong, explosive finisher. So it was impressive to see Bettinger block his shot twice, on the same play, corralling the ball himself the second time. Charboneau was far from the only to see his shot returned by Bettinger’s defensive activity around the bucket. He aggressively pursued rebounds, two-handed them. Showed the hands and composure to catch and finish. If he can show some shooting range in July, becomes a real sleeper in the 2019 class.

Isaiah Bridges  6-5  Jr  HoopGrind (Midland): He’s HoopGrind’s best prospect since Jaleel Hogan. Combination of size, wingspan and hoops IQ let him play the 1-4 at this level. Much improved shooter, but doesn’t fall in love with it at the expense of paying the bills on the glass. Combine that game with grades and test score, and Bridge’s is one of the most recruit-able players in Michigan for 2019.

Cameryn Carpenter  6-1  Sr  GreenWood (Flint Powers): It’s a testament to the depth of the senior class that he’s not more highly regarded or have more offers. No way was anyone missing Carpenter in GR — he took off from the third hash for what was the dunk of the tournament. Competes with a toughness you expect from a Flint kid. Able to play the point because he can turn the corner without losing his vision. Shot release can be a bit slow, but strong form; doesn’t maximize his vertical on jumper because tends to get off balance. Able to push weaker guards off the ball and snatch it up with quick hands. Among the first acts on the job for the University of Detroit’s new coach, whomever that might be, should be to offer this Catholic schooler.

Blake Charboneau  6-4  Jr  Champ Sports (Gaylord): His athleticism and toughness inside separate him in stretches, but Charboneau also fits in well and blends on this top 10 17U team that’s played together seemingly forever. He’s unselfish and makes the extra pass. Field goal efficiency goes up because Blake uses the glass. Like his effort on D. GLIAC caliber athlete though tweener; star potential at the level he just received an offer, UW-Stout.

Caleb DeKryger  6-7  Jr  APT (Allegan): After his first year as Allegan’s coach Jeff Turner is stressing AAU reps to his players. This one is the best prospect. DeKryger is solid all-around off of two feet — rebounding, dunking, playing position defense — and stays in his lane, doesn’t over-extend himself beyond his talent. Very good grades and frame explain while he’s already getting strong small college interest.

Julian Gardner  5-6  Fr  BiggTen Hoopstars 15U (Beecher): Little guy who played with a big chip on his shoulder. Strong and explosive. Tough to handle one-on-one, because he has some ball skills in addition to his athleticism, and can hang in the air and create once he gets there. Lots of positive energy and toughness in this one.

Jovaughn Hannah  6-4  8th  Bates Fundamentals 15U (Mt. Clemens): Bates Fundamentals is far from a one-man team despite the namesake. Hannah is just a load, physically resembling an upperclassman. Nearly impossible for underclassmen to defend when he’s in attack mode and going downhill, so physical and aggressive, seeks out contact. Jovaughn maintained Friday night energy deep into Sunday’s tournament. Can finish above the rim. Shot selection is, well, like an eighth-grader’s. I also really liked 6-5 eighth-grader Genesis Kemp from Grand Rapids, who could block shots or hit 3s.

Isaiah Jackson  6-8  So  The Family (Old Redford): He played up for the 17U championship team. Refs don’t have a horse in the race, so when they go out of their way to tell you a kid’s good, it bodes well for said prospect. Jackson was that player in GR. Able to take a defensive rebound and with minimal strides finish himself on the other end with finesse or power. A likely NBA prospect because of his defensive potential — Jackson can play out on the floor and then recover to protect the rim with timing, instinct and wingspan. Now he needs to mirror that ability on the offensive end, with an improving post/finishing game and expanding perimeter. Expect him to have some serious flashes on the EYBL.

Marco Lucchesi  6-3  So  Ann Arbor Basketball Academy 16U (Dexter): AABA had a number of guys stepping up to make big plays taking The Family down to the wire in the 16U semifinals, like Saline’s Trevor Arico, Chelsea’s Adam Hauser and Pioneer’s Mac VanRenterghem as well as Lucchesi. The latter is very efficient because he moves smartly without the ball and cuts hard for quality shots. Smart enough that he can invert things and feed the cutters himself, hit shooters off his jumpstops or make quality decisions on the break. Left-handed shooter who can bury the open ones. Quick hands and knows how to pick his spots defensively, though plays a bit high and awkward which will give some college coaches pause.

Kaleb Mitchelson  5-11  Fr  GR Storm 15U (Reeths-Puffer): Alex Briggs has coached some terrific 15U Storm teams through the years and it looks like he may have another one. They lost a close semifinal contest to eventual champion Family. He likes a physical game and Mitchelson went right at the talented Family guards. Able to get into the lane to operate and set up teammates; will knock down shots. Really liked another Storm 15U point guard as well, Forest Hills Northern’s Ethan Erickson, and 6-3 Trip Riemersma from Zeeland East is a good athlete.

Jayshawn Moore  6-4  So  REACH 16U (East English Village): As an underclassman playing during David DeJulius’ senior season at EEV, clearly Moore wasn’t going to be a prime offensive option, but found his niche as a defender and energy role player. Now it’s his time to shine, and showed he has the offense coming along to solidify himself as the next D1 guard out of East English. Can handle it himself and cover a lot of ground in the open court. Can score one-on-one in the halfcourt with a big first step going right or left. Wingspan aids Moore in some tough finishes as well as rebounding. Lower mechanics on his three-point ball can be goofy, but up top it’s OK. Good but not elite athlete, so has to keep the motor revving.

Matt Nicholson  6-11  So  North Oakland Wolfpack 16U (Clarkston): Every time you turn around, he’s collecting hardware. Nicholson went from the bench of Clarkston’s state championship team to the guy all opponents had to account for as the Wolfpack won the 16U silver title. Not many young big men had the luxury Nicholson did this winter, playing against two Big Ten forwards, Taylor Currie and Thomas Kithier, every day in practice. Even in fast, up-and-down games, he was able to keep up and contribute. Smooth and natural catching and finishing. A defensive presence thanks to a 7-2 wingspan.

Vincent Overway  6-4  Jr  MBA (Holland Christian): A tweener, but strong and productive. Uses body well on both ends of the court. Does little things that keep him on the floor. Hits the glass, offensive and defensive. Not a smooth shot, but can knock down the open ones to 20.

Jeremiah Pittman  6-3  So  GR Storm 16U (Grand Rapids Union): Reminded me why I liked him so much in the winter — Pittman just plays damn hard. Throw in some athletic ability to that hustle, and he makes plays for you in the open court, on the glass, getting to 50/50 balls. Guard size, so needs to keep polishing the handles.

Julian Roper  6-3  Fr  The Family 15U (Detroit Country Day): Came up big in the 15U final to lead The Family past future EYBL cousin Bates Fundamentals. He created shots, hit from deep and cashed in at the stripe to close out the championship game. Just like the cut of the jib here. Level-headed, steady competitor. As talented as he is, will share the ball and plays with some investment on D. High school lifting has done him good, strong for a 15U guard now.

Earnest Sanders  6-3  So  The Family 16U (Beecher): May have the best standing vertical in the state, can go straight up from beneath the hoop and throw it down with ease. Saw Sanders hit a left-handed 3 which was exciting to see, but overall still an interior guy offensively, more of a forward than a guard a’la former Syracuse star Stevie Thompson.

Jimmy Scholler  6-3  So  GreenWood 16U (Forest Hills Central): Plays like a young Derek VanSolkema, who at the same age was leading the Mustangs to the 16U AAU state championship. Has a nice feel for the game and plays with a lot of confidence. Scholler’s able to work his way into the lane and maintain peripheral vision to tee up GreenWood’s shooters. Has really nice form on his own shot. Can get tougher, more explosive as a finisher.

Jake Zuiderveen  6-7  So  Camp Darryl 16U (Kalamazoo Christian): Increased strength from last spring has helped his game, and paid off as he was able to score against a high-major football recruit on the blocks for the Storm, 6-6 Muskegon sophomore Billie Roberts, and a 6-11 high-major recruit for the North Oakland Wolfpack, Clarkston sophomore Matt Nicholson. Contributed on both sides of the floor.

Bank Hoops Class D All-State

MVP Jake Witt  6-8  Sr  Ewen-Trout Creek: It was a dunk show in the UP during Witt’s tenure. As a senior he averaged 27 points, 17 rebounds and 5 blocked shots per game. His 1,310 career rebounds surpass Manton’s Matt Stuck for third most in state history. Witt signed with Michigan Tech.

Bryce Washington  6-4  Sr  Southfield Christian: His school’s all-time leading scorer, Washington led the state champions with 21.6 points and 8 rebounds a game while shooting 55 percent from the field. He has double-digit D1 offers.

Harlond Beverly  6-4  Jr  Southfield Christian: The star of the state final and holder of high-major offers, Beverly averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals per game.

Austin Harris  6-4  Sr  Buckley: He averaged 17 points, 4.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three-point range and 81 percent from the line for a team that made consecutive championship game appearances. Harris is committed to Alma.

Dylan Jergens  6-0  Jr  Howardsville Christian: He’s on pace to become one of the top scorers in state history after a junior season in which Jergens averaged 31.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 3.4 steals per game while shooting 57 percent from the field.

Daniel Everhart  6-0  Sr  Marine City Cardinal Mooney: He’s Cardinal Mooney’s all-time scoring leader after a senior season in which he averaged 22.4 points, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Everhart is committed to Saginaw Valley State.

Second team

  • Jaylon Rogers  6-1  Sr  Frankfort
  • Matt Malcolm  6-4  Sr  Plymouth Christian
  • Trey Helinski  5-10  Sr  Adrian Lenawee Christian
  • Mason Pline  6-8  Sr  Fowler
  • Blake Dockery  6-2  Sr  Baldwin

Third team

  • Denver Cade  6-4  Sr  Buckley
  • Peter Kalthoff  6-7  Sr  Hillsdale Academy
  • Caleb Hunter  5-11  Jr  Southfield Christian
  • Matt Loney  6-3  Sr  Frankfort
  • Thomas Hursey  6-1  Sr  Suttons Bay

Fourth team

  • Devin Schmitz  6-0  Sr  Dollar Bay
  • Britton Angell  6-2  Jr  Big Rapids Crossroads
  • Joey Weber  5-10  Sr  Buckley
  • Drew Hess  6-2  Fr  Mio
  • Colin Dolloff  6-2  Sr  Ashley

Fifth team

  • Wyatt Waterbury  5-7  Jr  Bellevue
  • Kyle Hensley  6-6  Sr  Sterling Hts. Parkway Christian
  • Jared Juergens  5-11  Sr  Hillman
  • Kaiden Hejl  6-0  Sr  Bear Lake
  • Kieshaun Watson  6-3  Sr  Muskegon Heights

Underclassman All-State

  • Ta’vas Lawler-Showers  5-11  So  Marshall Academy
  • Mackenzy Blackwell  6-4  So  Novi Franklin Road Christian
  • Da’jion Humphrey  6-3  So  Southfield Christian
  • Nicholas Edington  6-7  So  Pickford
  • Carson Betz  6-0  So  Bellevue

Underclassman Second team

  • Blake Cassidy  5-11  So  Pellston
  • Nathan Walker  5-11  So  Webberville
  • Lukas Tharp  6-1  So  Hillsdale Academy
  • Brady Hunter  5-9  So  Gaylord St. Mary
  • Nolan Julio  5-8  So  Marine City Cardinal Mooney

 

 

Bank Hoops Class C All-State

MVP CJ Haut  6-8  Sr  Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central: Evolved from defensive standout role player to D1 prospect who led the Falcons to the semifinals. Haut averaged 18.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks while shooting 65 percent from the floor and 77 percent at the line. He signed with Air Force.

Pierre Mitchell  5-11  Sr  Detroit Edison: His third trip to Breslin resulted in a state championship. Mitchell averaged 17.2 points, 5 assists and 3.5 steals per game. He signed with Central Michigan.

Caleb Hodgson  6-9  Jr  Dansville: D1 prospect dominated the state’s strongest small-school league the CMAC averaging 23 points, 14 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 3.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 59 percent from the field.

Carson Meulenberg  6-7  Sr  Grand Rapids Covenant Christian: He led Covenant to consecutive trips to the Breslin Center. Meulenberg averaged 15.4 points, 7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.2 blocks and 2.2 steals per game.

Xander Okerlund  6-4  Jr  Maple City Glen Lake: Leading scorer in the state final who for the year averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.7 steals and 1 blocked shot per game.

Gary Solomon  6-5  Sr  Detroit Edison: He averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting percent from the field for state champion DEPSA. Solomon signed with LIU-Brooklyn.

Second team

  • Myron Gardner  6-6  Jr  Detroit Loyola
  • Blake Verbeek  6-10  Sr  Grandville Calvin Christian
  • Isaiah Williamson  6-5  Sr  Unionville-Sebewaing
  • Deante Johnson  6-8  Sr  Detroit Edison
  • D’juan Seal  6-4  Sr  Detroit Pershing

Third team

  • Jalen Terry  5-11  So  Flint Beecher
  • William Dunn  6-8  So  Quincy
  • TJ McKenzie  6-2  Jr  North Muskegon
  • Cade Peterson  6-5  Sr  Maple City Glen Lake
  • Jayden Perry  5-7  Sr  Manton

Fourth team

  • Daniel Poole  6-1  Sr  East Jackson
  • Tyrese Hunt-Thompson  5-11  Jr  Cassopolis
  • Zac Clark  6-4  Jr  Britton Deerfield
  • Marcus Johnson  5-10  So  Iron Mountain
  • Hart Holmgren  6-5  Sr  Ishpeming

Fifth team

  • Tyreke Banach  6-7  Sr  Mt. Clemens
  • Jordan Katje  6-5  Sr  Kalamazoo Christian
  • Coleman Street  6-3  Jr  Ann Arbor Prep
  • Fraser Wilson  6-0  Sr  Kent City
  • Hunter Kegley  5-9  Jr  Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central

Underclassman All-State

  • Foster Wonders  6-4  Fr  Iron Mountain
  • Brock Stevens  6-0  So  Grandville Calvin Christian
  • Reece Hazelton  6-5  So  Maple City Glen Lake
  • Earnest Sanders  6-2  So  Flint Beecher
  • Luke Laketa  6-5  So  Hanover-Horton

Underclassman Second team

  • Nolan Finkbeiner  5-6  Fr  Hemlock
  • Bryce George  6-6  So  Marlette
  • Jeff Carrier  6-6  So  Mason County Central
  • Kobe Clark  6-0  So  Schoolcraft
  • Larson Kever  6-6  So  Union City

 

 

Bank Hoops Class B All-State

MVP  Romeo Weems  6-6  Jr  New Haven: After helping New Haven win the state title as a sophomore, Weems led the Rockets to the semifinals as a junior. He averaged 23.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 5.1 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Lamar Norman  6-3  Sr  Godwin Heights: The state’s top available senior, Norman averaged 26.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.1 steals per game.

Trevion Williams  6-9  Sr  Detroit Henry Ford Academy: He’ll be remembered as one of the state’s legendary rebounders. Williams averaged 19.8 points, 18.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots per game. He’s going to Purdue.

Quinn Blair  6-6  Sr  Dearborn Divine Child: He led Divine Child to a rare regional title. Blair averaged 20 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He signed with William & Mary.

Mark Watts  6-3  Jr  Detroit Old Redford: He led his team to a district title and averaged 27 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals per game.

Carlos Johnson  6-6  So  Benton Harbor: The hero of the state championship game, Johnson averaged 18.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 3.1 blocks and 2.9 steals per game.

Second team

  • Markeese Hastings  6-6  Sr  Godwin Heights
  • Zach Goodline  6-0  Jr  Coloma
  • Luke Toliver  6-3  Sr  Paw Paw
  • Mario Whitley  6-5  Sr  Frankenmuth
  • Anthony Roberts  6-3  Sr  Detroit Henry Ford

Third team

  • Ben Davidson  6-3  Sr  St. Clair
  • Bryce Drews  6-3  Sr  Hillsdale
  • Cole Kleiver  5-11  Sr  Williamston
  • Lemuel Holt  6-2  Sr  Detroit Voyageur
  • Cameryn Carpenter  5-11  Sr  Flint Powers

Fourth team

  • Shawn Hopkins  6-4  Sr  Benton Harbor
  • Wendell Green  5-10  So  Detroit Country Day
  • Charles Garrett 6-2  Sr  Bridgeport
  • Jayvien Torrance-Jackson 6-1  Sr  River Rouge
  • Jeremy Luciani  6-7  Jr  Marshall

Fifth team

  • Mason Gardner  6-4  Sr  Boyne City
  • Reece Castor  6-5  Jr  Gladstone
  • Jacob Polakovich  6-8  Sr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
  • Carson Vincent  6-4  Sr  Ovid-Elsie
  • Braeden Childress  6-4  Sr  Big Rapids

Underclassman All-State

  • Charles Woodhams  6-2  So  Otsego
  • Isaiah Jackson  6-8  So  Detroit Old Redford
  • Tyson Davis  5-9  Fr  Goodrich
  • Pierre Brooks II  6-4  Fr  Detroit Douglass
  • Julian Roper  6-3  Fr  Detroit Country Day

Sophomore All-State

  • DeAndre Terrell  6-6  So  Detroit Osborn
  • Devon Boyd  6-0  So  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • Max Vondra  6-1  So  Boyne City
  • Mykel Bingham  6-7  So  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • Avery Ismail  6-7  So  Dearborn Hts. Annapolis

Freshman All-State

  • Legend Geeter  6-6  Fr  River Rouge
  • Owen Lobsinger  6-5  Fr  Flint Powers
  • Colin Weber  6-3  Fr  Hopkins
  • Carter Hudson  6-7  Fr  Escanaba
  • Kenjuan Andrews  5-10  Fr  Detroit Old Redford

 

Bank Hoops Class A All-State

Bank Hoops Class A Player of the Year Brandon Wade, a senior point guard from Ann Arbor Skyline.

MVP Brandon Wade  6-2  Jr  Ann Arbor Skyline: He led Skyline to a 20-0 regular season averaging 23.2 points and 7.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. Wade signed with Duquesne.

Tyler Bosma  6-6  Sr  West Ottawa: While he’ll play baseball in college, at Miami (OH), Bosma left his mark on the court leading West Ottawa to the state final. He averaged 17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 56 percent from the field.

Gabe Brown  6-7  Sr  Belleville: The future MSU Spartan led Belleville to a regional title averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1 block per game while shooitng 53 percent from the field.

Taylor Currie  6-9  Sr  Clarkston: The starting center for state champion Clarkston, Currie averaged 13.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 54 percent from the field. He signed with Wisconsin.

Rashad Williams  6-2  Sr  Wayne Memorial: He led the Zebras to their first district title in over two decades averaging 23.7 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. Williams signed with Cleveland State.

Jacob Boonyasith  6-3  Sr  Jenison: The Wildcats’ career scoring leader, he concluded it by averaging 24 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game while shooting 54 percent from the floor, 40 percent from three-point range and 82 percent from the stripe.

Second team

  • CJ Robinson  5-11  Sr  Clarkston
  • Ja’kavien Lewis  5-11  Sr  Flint Carman-Ainsworth
  • Justin Fischer  6-3  Sr  Warren De La Salle
  • Traveon Maddox  6-4  Sr  Novi
  • Carl Bow  6-2  Sr  Hazel Park

Third team

  • Randy Gilbert  6-6  Sr  Detroit Cass Tech
  • Carrington McCaskill  6-7  Jr  Detroit Renaissance
  • Seth Milner  6-5  Sr  Grand Rapids Christian
  • B. Artis White  5-10  Jr  Canton
  • Xavier Wade  6-2  Sr  West Ottawa

Fourth team

  • Daniel Friday  6-3  Jr  Detroit U-D Jesuit
  • Nate Davis  6-2  Sr  Rochester Stoney Creek
  • Jack Ammerman  5-10  Sr  Ann Arbor Skyline
  • Davion Williams  6-2  Sr  Belleville
  • Drew Lowder  5-11  Jr  Ann Arbor Pioneer

Fifth team

  • Isaiah Lewis  5-11  Jr  Wayne Memorial
  • Tray Jackson  6-7  Sr  Detroit Western
  • Caleb Bates  6-6  Jr  St. Clair Shores Lake Shore
  • Jordan Henry  6-2  Sr  Okemos
  • Joshua Warren  5-10  Sr  Woodhaven

Underclassman All-State

  • Lorne Bowman  6-2  So  Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
  • Jonathan Brantley  6-2  So  Birmingham Brother Rice
  • Malik Carr  6-6  So  Oak Park
  • Max Perez  5-10  So  Hudsonville
  • Jarvis Walker  6-2  So  Muskegon Mona Shores

Sophomore All-State

  • Noah Baylis  5-11  So  Holly
  • Jayshawn Moore  6-4  So  Detroit East English Village
  • Noah Pruitt  5-10  So  Okemos
  • Ryan Rollins  6-1  So  Macomb Dakota
  • Sir’real Smith  6-0  So  Saginaw

Freshman All-State

  • Jaden Akins  6-1  Fr  Farmington
  • Kobe Bufkin  6-2  Fr  Grand Rapids Christian
  • Keon Henderson  5-7  Fr  Detroit Renaissance
  • Brody Parker  5-10  Fr  Troy
  • Marcus Wourman  5-8  Fr  East Lansing

Bank Hoops 2018 All-State

A second straight state title for Clarkston, and second straight Bank Hoops MVP accolades for Foster Loyer.

MVP Foster Loyer  5-10  Sr  Clarkston: A decade after Draymond Green led Saginaw to consecutive Class A state titles, a future Spartan did the same for Clarkston. Loyer averaged 26.8 points per game including 42 in the Class A seminfinals and 40 in the final, and did it as the picture of efficiency shooting 50 percent from the field, 47 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the foul line. He also chipped in 6 assists and 3 steals per game. Foster is a repeat winner as Bank Hoops’ state MVP and will be remembered as one of the most accomplished players in Michigan high school basketball history.

Marcus Bingham  6-11  Sr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: What a rise for Bingham, from being a second semester-eligible transfer last season to leading Catholic Central to the Class B state final as a senior. The future Spartan averaged 16.8 points, 10 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game while shooting 59 percent from the field.

David DeJulius  6-0  Sr  Detroit East English Village: This future Wolverine was largely responsible for state champion Clarkston’s lone loss, scoring 42 points in his showdown with Foster Loyer. DeJulius averaged 28 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals per game.

Brandon Johns  6-8  Sr  East Lansing: Another one headed to Michigan, somewhat ironically given Johns’ hometown. He averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2.4 assists per game.

Brandon Wade  6-2  Sr  Ann Arbor Skyline: He led Skyline to a 20-0 regular season averaging 23.2 points and 7.1 assists per game. Wade signed with Duquesne.

Romeo Weems  6-6  Jr  New Haven: He led the defending Class B state champion to a semifinal appearance this time around. The state’s top junior averaged 23.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 5.1 steals and 2.5 blocked shots per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field.

 

MHSAA Final Four All-Tournament Team

CJ Robinson and Foster Loyer started at guard for Clarkston’s back-to-back Class A state championship teams.

MVP  Foster Loyer  5-11  Sr  Clarkston: Well, that was something. Loyer carved his name onto the state’s basketball history tablets one jumpshot at a time. Whether from the plume of the Spartans helmet, fading out of bounds in the corner or going off-hand from the baseline. Loyer had 42 on 17 shots in the semifinals against Warren De La Salle then 40 on 19 shots when the Wolves put a running clock on West Ottawa in the Class A championship game. Loyer has now played in four Class A final four games. Clarkston has won all four, and he averaged 35.8 points per game. Which makes him one of the best to ever put ball through basket in the Mitten.

Harlond Beverly  6-4  Jr  Southfield Christian: He may have been an MSU ‘plan B’ recruit when he walked onto the Breslin floor Saturday, but Beverly left it an A lister. His 10 a.m. dunks set the energy level for Southfield Christian in the Class D final. Buckley’s zone wasn’t going to do much against a high-major recruit who could elevate over it for jumpers or backdoor it for dunks. Beverly had a two-way motor making defensive plays in the open court pressing or in the half-court defending the rim. He doesn’t have to dominate the ball to do his scoring damage, as he’s a true, rare combo guard. Beverly had 23 points, seven rebounds, eight steals, six blocked shots and four assists in the final after 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals in the semifinal blowout of Dollar Bay.

Marcus Bingham  6-11  Sr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: The state got to see the continued rise of one of the nation’s top prospects. It’s so outside the high school norm to see a 6-11 player shooting and making three-pointers with ease. While he struggled some offensively in the semifinals, Bingham still made his presence known on the other end with 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. He had 21 points and 13 rebounds in the final against Benton Harbor.

Shawn Hopkins  6-3  Sr  Benton Harbor: This spot could’ve gone to any number of Benton Harbor players, as the basis of its success didn’t change all year — a lot of drive-shoot weapons who share the ball. Hopkins gets the nod in part because of his right place, right time layup to send the state final with GR Catholic into overtime. Hopkins had nine points and 11 rebounds in the championship game and 18 and 13 in the semifinals against River Rouge.

Benton Harbor’s last state title came in 1965 when L.C. Bowen averaged 30 a game.

Carlos Johnson  6-5  So  Benton Harbor: Acquitted himself better against the frustrating size of GR Catholic Central in the final than New Haven’s Romeo Weems did when facing it in the semis. It helps that Johnson is a better perimeter shooter, now most famously the three-pointer from the top of the key that proved the championship game-winner with 15 seconds to play in OT. Adding to the historic nature of the shot is that it gave the Tigers their first state title since 1965. Lots of schools have gone that long without a championship. But few have had the kind of talent Benton Harbor has had in the interim. In the past 30 years there were three future NBA forwards — Pig Miller, Wilson Chandler and Robert Whaley — and a group with three future D1 players — Prentice McGruder, Corey Childs and Marcus Singer — that twice made the Class A state finals in the early 90s only to run into an even more legendary Pershing trio — Todd Burgan, Carlos Williams and Willie Mitchell. But it’s not just the talent, but the importance of the game in Benton Harbor, few love their hoops like the Tigers, who’d been to the Class B final as recently as 2014 losing to Milan. And who didn’t have long to savor their win over the state’s most historically successful program, River Rouge, before being in the shadow of Bingham’s $100-million wingspan. Johnson plays with a motor and toughness, particularly for a sophomore, that would have made him a match on the ’65 championship team. As a high school player, he can do it all in the frontcourt. He dominated the paint defensively against the Panthers then delivered 24 points and 11 rebounds in the final.

Pierre Mitchell  5-11  Sr  Detroit Edison: A state championship was a long time coming for Mitchell, who suffered a buzzer-beater from Malik Ellison and Flint Beecher when PJ was a sophomore at Detroit Loyola. It was Beecher again in the 2017 semis, with Mitchell now at DEPSA but struggling with his shot while Ellison went off. Mitchell will join Ellison next season in the MAC at CMU and EMU respectively, but for this March he had a respite from the diminutive Flintstone. And this time he made championship Saturday. In the second half of the final with Glen Lake he took over, creating quick offense via his aggressive defense then getting hot from behind the arc. Edison was actually trailing in the third quarter before Mitchell rolled off nine straight points. He was the confident, proactive veteran ball-handler and leader at the 1 that neither Edison opponent, Glen Lake nor Covenant Christian in the semifinals, possessed. He had 13 points, three assists and two rebounds against Covenant then a high school career-ending 17 points and three steals.

Maple City Glen Lake junior Xander Okerlund added to his four-digits as the leading scorer in the Class C state final.

Xander Okerlund  6-4  Jr  Maple City Glen Lake: He was playing in front of Big Ten coaches in AAU before he’d ever played a high school game, facing multiple D1 opponents in the Class C final didn’t faze Okerlund. He used his length to drop deep and mid-range jumpers over 6-5 senior Gary Solomon, 6-6 Brian Taylor and 6-8 Deante Johnson to score a game-high 19 points Saturday. X marked the spot for another game-high in the semifinals against Monroe St. Mary’s with 23 points. Smooth, confident and efficient, showing the state how he’s a 1,000-point scorer as just a junior.

CJ Robinson  5-11  Sr  Clarkston: We’ve long awaited the Clarkston boosters’ poster of Loyer and Robinson as Crockett and Tubbs. There were a few Tubbs-driven episodes of Miami Vice, but the real ones already knew Rico was the man without having to dominate the lights. So it is with CJ and the rock, he makes such strong decisions, is the ultimate relief valve for Loyer, saves wear and tear on Mr. Basketball by checking the opponent’s top guard and is an efficient shooter who spreads the floor. Robinson had five assists and three steals against De La Salle then 18 points and three assists in the championship game.

Gary Solomon  6-5  Sr  Detroit Edison: He’d struggled with his shot in semifinal games this season and last, but Solomon finally found the range in the Breslin Center against Glen Lake scoring 16 points. What makes Solomon a D1 player is that even if his shot isn’t dropping he still plays hard, defends, rebounds, and has the athleticism to still make game-changing plays because the motor keeps going.

Joey Weber  5-10  Sr  Buckley: For the second year in a row Buckley was blitzed in the first quarter of the Class D championship game before finding its sea legs and playing it even the rest of the way. It was Weber steadying the ship in a clutch performance surprising to no one who saw his play in goal during Buckley’s run to a soccer state final in the fall. When his jumper wasn’t falling he went to the dribble drive and carved up Southfield Christian’s defense for clever layups and a game-high 26 points. Weber also grabbed eight boards from his point guard position and made three steals. He had 15 points with nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in a semifinal win over Hillsdale Academy.

Honorable Mention

Class A

  • Tyler Bosma  6-6  Sr  West Ottawa
  • Taylor Currie  6-8  Sr  Clarkston
  • Luke Pfromm  6-5  Sr  Warren De La Salle
  • Chase Wasilk  6-5  Sr  Clarkston
  • Tariq Woody  6-8  Sr  Novi

Class B

  • Elijah Baxter  5-9  Sr  Benton Harbor
  • Darrell Belcher  6-3  Jr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • Austin Braun  5-9  Jr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • Nigel Colvin  5-11  Jr  River Rouge
  • Jacob Polakovich  6-8  Sr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class C

  • CJ Haut  6-8  Sr  Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central
  • Deante Johnson  6-8  Sr  Detroit Edison
  • Hunter Kegley  5-9  Sr  Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central
  • Carson Meulenberg  6-6  Sr  Grand Rapids Covenant Christian
  • Cade Peterson  6-5  Sr  Maple City Glen Lake

Class D

  • Austin Harris  6-4  Sr  Buckley
  • Da’jion Humphrey  6-3  So  Southfield Christian
  • Caleb Hunter  5-11  Jr  Southfield Christian
  • Peter Kalthoff  6-7  Sr  Hillsdale Academy
  • Bryce Washington  6-4  Sr  Southfield Christian

 

 

Class A Final

Clarkston 25-1 vs. West Ottawa 25-2

The Northern suburbs of Detroit meet the Northside of Holland. Clarkston is the perpetual athletic power and seeking to win its second straight state title in. West Ottawa is the late blooming child, one of the biggest schools in the state which just last year won its first district title and has reached unprecedented heights with alumnus Steve Windemuller on the bench.

They have one shared opponent. Clarkston beat Flint Carman-Ainsworth twice, 72-67 at home in the first week of the season and 52-31 earlier this week in the quarterfinals at Grand Blanc. The Panthers similarly dominated Carman on a neutral court, their zone defense smothering C-A 45-27 in Grand Rapids in February.

WO thrives with half-court defense and passing and execution on offense. It has good athletes and a lot of upperclassmen that embrace their roles. 6-6 senior Tyler Bosma is simply one of the best players in Michigan. His whose wingspan and bounce could cause problems for 6-8 Clarkston senior Taylor Currie if the Wisconsin signee is not more explosive finishing than he was in the semifinals. When the left-handed Bosma has the ball he’s versatile, unfurling for a layup, or pitching it out to Drew Pedersen the senior wing with a Class A build and deep shot pocket who made four three-pointers on Novi in the semifinals. WO’s shot discipline was one of the differences against Novi, making 6-of-13 three-pointers to the Wildcats’ 6-of-28.

Clarkston similarly has a senior class that has played a lot together. Also, something West Ottawa doesn’t. Mr. Basketball, Foster Loyer. He was even better than he was at last year’s state finals, scoring 42 in the win over De La Salle. Another win here and he’ll be included in any discussions of the best high school guards ever from Michigan, if he’s not already.

Class C Final

Detroit Edison 16-10 vs. Maple City Glen Lake 24-2

Glen Lake has a basketball history, but the most recent championships were 40 years ago. Edison has an abbreviated history, last year losing to Flint Beecher in the semifinals and taking it another step this week with a semifinal defeat of Grand Rapids Covenant Christian.

Glen Lake had only three players score in the semifinal win over Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central. For the season that trio of 6-5 senior Cade Peterson, 6-4 junior Xander Okerlund and 6-5 sophomore Reece Hazelton average 40.3 points per game. Okerlund and Hazelton have confidence and basketball IQ that belie their ages and aren’t afraid to miss some shots. Peterson is playing his last organized basketball game as he heads to Grand Valley State as a quarterback. In the semifinals he sometimes seemed to forget that SMCC had a 6-8 D1 shot-blocker, CJ Haut. Peterson can’t make the same error with DEPSA’s 6-8 Deante Johnson or it could be a dunk going the other way.

Okerlund, Hazelton and Peterson scored all 62 of the Lakers’ points against St. Mary’s. One would think they’ll need the rare open three-pointer, put-back or steal and layup somewhere along the way Saturday from someone else, to have a chance. Edison has a fourth outstanding player, 6-5 junior Brian Taylor, which Glen Lake can’t match.

6-5 senior Gary Solomon is shooting only 10-of-34 in two semifinals appearances for DEPSA. Even if he continues to struggle with the shooting background at MSU, he has the athleticism and motor to make game-changing plays. Edison point guard Pierre Mitchell is old hand at this making three trips to Breslin between Detroit Loyola and his former school. This is the first time he hasn’t run into Beecher in East Lansing. If Glen Lake can’t keep him out of the lane it may spell trouble for the Northerners. Mitchell needs to go get the ball in key moments as Edison made some bad score/clock decisions in the semis and if that happens against a Glen Lake team capable of keeping it close, the Lakers have the shooters to pull the upset.

Class D State Final

Buckley 21-5 vs. Southfield Christian 22-5

This was a long time in the making.

Both were sent home from Breslin last year by Powers North Central. The heavy lifting is done by three college-level upperclassmen from both sides. For Southfield Christian it’s all-time leading scorer 6-4 senior Bryce Washington, 2019 high-major recruit 6-4 Harlond Beverly and junior point guard Caleb Hunter. Together they score over 50 points per game. Buckley counters with three 1,000-point scorers who have led the Bears to consecutive championship game appearances. 6-4 senior Denver Cade is their all-time leading scorer, 6-4 senior Austin Harris loves shooting at Breslin in three games making 13-of-28 3s and Joey Weber a stout two-way point guard.

If the Big 3 are a push and the game is decided in the margins, off the ball and on second chances, the Eagles have more depth than Buckley. Junior guard Jon Sanders dscore 10 and make good decisions in the semifinals against Dollar Bay. As tempting as it is Sanders makes it hard to double off the all-staters because he’s the team’s top three-point shooter by percentage. Sophomore starter Da’jion Humphrey has the size and bounce to be a difficult matchup. Senior 6-5 senior Jacob Fergan comes off the bench to make defensive stops and blue-collar plays. For Buckley, brothers Brock and Ridge Beeman are guards capable of hitting shots who also started in the 2017 final. 6-6 senior Nick Kuhn gave the Bears crucial minutes against Hillsdale Academy in the semis, but the pace of this one doesn’t play to his strengths.

While Buckley is from Up North, its hoping for “downstate whistles” as these are AAU vets who prefer an aggressive game. Washington and Beverly are slashers who pile up points from the line so will be going at Cade and Harris trying to put them in foul trouble like happened in the semifinals.

This one will be worth checking out regardless the 10 a.m. start. These are veteran talented units that will put up and make entertaining and clutch shots. No nerves here but a lot of talent.