— Brett A. Sommers (@BAsportswriter) March 24, 2017
Class B Player of the Year
Darian Owens-White 6-1 Sr River Rouge: We’ve been watching Owens-White since he was an incoming freshman at the Bank Hoops Underclassman All-State Camp. Even then, while he didn’t have the physique, his court sense and basketball IQ were well beyond his years. Now as a senior, and playing for his dad Mark White at River Rouge, it’s all come together. He’s led the Panthers to the state semifinals, including the game-winning three-pointer against Williamston in the quarterfinals. Owens-White averages 23.5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals per game.
Class B All-State
Avery Hudson 5-9 Sr Wayland: Averaged 24.5 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals per game. He’s Wayland’s all-time leading scorer and set the school’s single-game record with 53 points. Signed with Davenport.
Lamar Norman 6-2 Jr Wyoming Godwin Heights: He became a statewide name as a freshman in the 2015 state final and hasn’t looked back. Norman, who has a number of mid-major offers, averaged 21.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game.
Romeo Weems 6-6 So New Haven: Already with MSU and Ohio State offers as a freshman, he led New Haven with one loss into the state semifinals. Weems averages 18.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 4.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Mario Whitley 6-4 Jr Frankenmuth: He has mid-major offers and the game to back it up. Whitley averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.
Trevion Williams 6-8 Jr Detroit Henry Ford Academy: One of the state’s unique players with his passing ability at 6-8, 250. He averaged 22 points and 25 rebounds a game, the latter leading the state. Williams has offers from Michigan State and Xavier.
Class B Coach of the Year
Tom Lewis, Williamston: He’s still Williamston’s interim coach, while Jason Bauer contends with a brain tumor. Last season Lewis filled in and the Hornets reached the state final. This year they revamped after Lewis’ son, Riley, Williamston’s leading scorer, graduated, and went 21-5 including a regional title.
Class B Defensive MVP
Troy Summers 6-8 Sr Grayling: While not the stereotypical long, lithe shot-blocker on the back row, Summers was the definition of “one shot and out” for Grayling’s defense, consuming 16.2 rebounds per game and becoming the school’s career leader in that category. He also averaged 2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. He signed with Northern Michigan.
Class B Comeback Player of the Year
Calvin Hackert 6-1 Sr Ludington: In this case, he literally came back. Hackert grew up in Ludington, until his family moved to Kentucky when he was beginning high school. He played his junior season for Meade County, KY after an aborted transfer attempt back to Ludington. But once 18, he was able to come back on his own and be eligible as a senior and has helped the Orioles reach the state semifinals.
Class B Second team
- Sy Barnett 6-3 Sr Williamston
- Drequan Bell 6-3 Sr River Rouge
- Zack Nieuwkoop 6-8 Sr Wayland
- Mark Watts 6-2 So Detroit Old Redford Academy
- Eric Williams 6-5 Sr New Haven
- Reece Castor 6-4 So Gladstone
- Zach Goodline 5-11 So Coloma
- Carlos Johnson 6-6 Fr Benton Harbor
- Jalen Miller 6-3 Sr Lake Fenton
- Christian Rodriguez 5-10 Sr Wyoming Godwin Heights
- Quinn Blair 6-6 Jr Dearborn Divine Child
- Carl Bow 6-2 Jr Hazel Park
- Bryce Drews 6-3 Jr Hillsdale
- Charles Garrett 6-3 Jr Bridgeport
- Demetri Martin 6-4 Sr Big Rapids
- Markese Hastings 6-6 Jr Wyoming Godwin Heights
- Kenneth Holloway 6-4 Sr Detroit Osborn
- Jacob Polakovich 6-8 Jr Grand Rapids Catholic Central
- Tae Smith 5-9 Sr Lansing Sexton
- Troy Summers 6-8 Sr Grayling
- Cameryn Carpenter 5-10 Jr Flint Powers
- Nick Dekkenga 5-10 Sr Coopersville
- Thomas Griggs 5-10 Jr Wyoming Kelloggsville
- Cole Kleiver 5-11 Jr Williamston
- Darious Young 6-4 Sr Flint Northwestern
- Tariq Derrickson 6-1 Sr Pontiac Notre Dame
- Armonee Felder 5-10 Sr Detroit Osborn
- Tyrese Gardner 6-4 Sr Comstock
- Wendell Green 5-10 Fr Detroit Country Day
- Calvin Hackert 6-1 Sr Ludington
- Kylan Shipp 5-9 Sr Detroit Northwestern
- Deondre Lovell 6-4 Sr Vicksburg
- Jorden Peterson 6-2 Sr Detroit CMA
- Chuck Plaehn 6-3 Sr Lansing Catholic Central
- Nate Umlor 6-5 Sr Allendale
- Luke Toliver 6-1 Jr Paw Paw
- Luke Morrell 6-2 Jr Plainwell
- Kelly Broadus 5-7 Sr Detroit Douglass
- Roy Anderson 6-0 Sr Benton Harbor
- Marcus Bingham 6-8 Jr Grand Rapids Catholic Central
- Tim Hauxwell 6-7 Jr Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook
- Logan Guenther 6-3 Sr Cheboygan
- Hunter Greer 6-0 Sr Allendale
- Carson Vincent 6-4 Jr Ovid-Elsie
- Kyle Peterson 6-3 Sr Charlotte
- Deonte Ulmer 6-2 Jr Detroit Henry Ford
- Alex Ismail 6-10 Sr Dearborn Heights Annapolis
- Sam Johnson 6-8 Jr Spring Lake
- Skyler Lipinski 6-6 Sr Onsted
- Sam Laduke 6-3 Sr Ludington
- Davontaye Webb 6-2 Sr Detroit Henry Ford
- Brandon Paul 6-8 Jr Sault Ste. Marie
- David Hearns 6-1 Jr Hazel Park
- Austin Steenwyk 6-1 Sr Hudsonville Unity Christian
- Tirrell Hausmanis 6-3 Jr Three Rivers
- Goliath Mitchell 6-1 Jr Goodrich
- Sam DeMey 6-5 Sr Hudsonville Unity Christian
- Drew Bakos 6-4 Sr Freeland
- Lucas Schumm 5-10 Sr Whitehall
- Ethan Bernard 6-4 Sr Hillsdale
- Delbert Redfield 5-11 Sr Olivet
- Travis Smith 6-3 Jr Clare
- Trevor Ballard 6-1 Jr Milan
- Levi Lehman 6-7 Sr Ithaca
- Grant Bonner 6-4 Sr Frankenmuth
- Delonte Peterson 6-5 Sr River Rouge
- Merritt Hamann 6-7 Sr Montague
- Dan Judd 6-5 Sr Fowlerville
- Nathan Schaar 6-3 Sr Kingsley
- Austin Proctor 6-1 Sr Central Montcalm
Class B Underclassman All-State
- Derrick Bryant 5-7 So Detroit University Prep
Sean Cobb 6-6 So Williamston
Kevin David-Rice 6-3 Fr Goodrich
Dayton Keller 6-4 So Jackson Lumen Christi
Steve Pearson 6-2 Fr Detroit Northwestern
- Mason Bakker 6-5 So Zeeland West
- Lantz Barton 6-1 So Center Line
- Bobby Brandsen 6-2 So Portland
- Elijah Bell 5-9 So Detroit Voyageur
- Latrell Fordham 6-3 Fr Goodrich
Class A Player of the Year
Xavier Tillman 6-8 Sr Grand Rapids Christian: While Tillman’s stats — 13 points and 10.4 rebounds per game — may seem somewhat pedestrian at first glance, his real value is found in other numbers. Like Grand Rapids Christian’s record, undefeated going into the state semifinals. The hub of everything the Eagles do and nearly immovable at the high school level as a rebounder and post defender. Has great hands and a generous passing nature. Tillman, who signed with Michigan State, finished second in Mr. Basketball — despite receiving the most first-place votes. No democracy here. By dictate, Xavier Tillman is Bank Hoops 2017 Class A Player of the Year.
Class A All-State
Dylan Alderson 6-5 Sr Clarkston: Wisconsin-Milwaukee signee has helped Clarkston to the state semifinals averaging 21.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Amauri Hardy 6-2 Sr North Farmington: Finished third in the Mr. Basketball voting. Oklahoma State signee and 2016 state finalist averaged 29 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals per game.
Jermaine Jackson 5-10 Sr Macomb Dakota: Averaged 26 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals per game. Pondering multiple Division I offers.
Demetrius Lake 5-10 Sr Holland: 2,000-point career scorer averaged 35.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Jake VanTubbergen 6-6 Sr West Ottawa: Led Panthers to the school’s first district title averaging 18.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Signed with Grand Valley State.
Class A Coach of the Year
Steve Hall, Detroit Cass Tech: A state championship coach at Detroit Rogers, Hall is back from a stint in the college ranks and in his second year at his alma mater has Cass Tech collecting hardware as well. The Technicians won their first Detroit PSL tournament title since 1998, then won a district championship as well. Hall masterfully melded second semester-eligible transfers with the original unit, and won in one of the state’s most talented leagues despite having no sure-fire D1 prospects among Cass Tech’s upperclassmen.
Class A Defensive MVP
Elijah Collins 6-2 Jr Detroit U-D Jesuit: While his college future now looks more likely on the gridiron, where he has Big Ten offers, don’t forget Collins can still hoop now. When he keys those same explosive running back attributes onto the defensive end, he can make life miserable for any guard. He helped the Cubs to Catholic League and regional titles.
Class A Comeback Player of the Year
Danny Kolp 6-9 Jr Petoskey: This D1 prospect tore his ACL in the spring, but was back in Petoskey’s lineup in January and played 14 games. He averaged 14 points and 5 rebounds per game while shooting 66 percent from the field.
Class A Second team
- Matt Beachler 6-4 Sr Lowell
- James Beck 6-7 Sr Grand Rapids Christian
- Michael Flowers 6-0 Sr Southfield A&T
- Kevin McAdoo 6-2 Sr West Bloomfield
- Rashad Williams 6-2 Jr Wayne Memorial
- Tyler Bosma 6-5 Jr West Ottawa
- Gabe Brown 6-7 Jr Belleville
- David DeJulius 6-1 Jr Detroit East English Village
- Jaron Faulds 6-10 Sr Holt
- Duane Washington 6-3 Jr Grand Rapids Christian
- Keion Epps 6-5 Sr Wayne Memorial
- Thomas Kithier 6-8 Jr Macomb Dakota
- Austin McCullough 6-5 Sr Portage Central
- Jesse Scarber 5-8 Sr Detroit King
- Brandon Wade 6-2 Jr Ann Arbor Skyline
- Jacob Boonyasith 6-3 Jr Jenison
- Elijah Collins 6-2 Jr Detroit U-D Jesuit
- Greg Eboigbodin 6-9 Sr Detroit U-D Jesuit
- Kaevon Merriweather 6-1 Jr Romulus
- Leonard Silas 5-10 Sr Detroit Cass Tech
- Christian Agnew 6-2 Sr Westland John Glenn
- Joe Kujat 6-6 Sr Flushing
- Jordan Graham 6-5 Sr Farmington
- Deric Murray 6-4 Sr Ann Arbor Pioneer
- CJ Williams 5-9 Sr Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
- Tre Harvey 6-2 Jr West Bloomfield
- Ja’kavien Lewis 5-10 Jr Flint Carman-Ainsworth
- Traveon Maddox 6-4 Jr Novi
- Henry Speight 6-4 Sr Saginaw
- Roger Stein 6-5 Sr Kalamazoo Central
- Nate Davis 6-3 Jr Rochester Stoney Creek
- Jaden Sutton 5-10 Sr Lansing Waverly
- Runako Ziegler 6-1 Sr Walled Lake Central
- Delano Smith 6-2 Sr Walled Lake Western
- Davion Williams 6-2 Jr Belleville
- Jack Ammerman 5-10 Jr Ann Arbor Skyline
- Brayden Smith 6-5 Sr Byron Center
- Dylan Price 6-3 Sr Romulus
- Quantes Jackson 6-2 Sr Grand Rapids Union
- Jack Ballantyne 6-9 Sr Macomb Dakota
- Juan Warren 6-4 Sr Battle Creek Central
- Malik Rogers 6-6 Sr Dearborn Heights Crestwood
- Jermayne Golidy 6-4 Sr Muskegon
- Jameszell Davis 5-11 Sr Ypsilanti
- Westin Myles 6-4 Sr East Lansing
- Justin Fischer 6-3 Jr Warren De La Salle
- Sam Cornett 6-5 Sr Muskegon
- CJ Robinson 5-10 Jr Clarkston
- Zac Holman 6-4 Sr Grand Haven
- Chase Vanderklay 6-3 Sr Wyoming
- Danny Kolp 6-9 Jr Petoskey
- Ike Eke 6-10 Sr Detroit U-D Jesuit
- Jason Dietz 6-4 Jr Troy
- Diego Robinson 6-6 Sr Lansing Everett
- Mike Green 6-5 Sr Detroit Cass Tech
- Brennen Buszka 6-4 Sr Grosse Pointe South
- Xavier Wade 6-2 Jr West Ottawa
- Austin Roland 6-0 Jr Davison
- Tray Jackson 6-7 Jr Detroit Western
- Lawrence Rowley 6-3 Sr Ann Arbor Huron
- Jesse Hillis 6-1 Sr Caledonia
- Reme Tolbert 6-1 Sr Southfield A&T
- Charles Jones 6-5 Sr Birmingham Groves
- Cortez Jackson 6-0 Sr St. Clair Shores Lakeshore
- Ross Koella 6-7 Sr Grand Haven
- Tanner Reha 6-5 Jr DeWitt
- DJ Swift 5-11 Sr Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix
- Ethan Ancick 6-7 Jr Walled Lake Northern
- Ben German 6-6 Sr Temperance Bedford
- Zach Winston 6-2 Jr Detroit U-D Jesuit
Class A Underclassman All-State
- Julian Dozier 5-8 So Detroit U-D Jesuit
- Drew Lowder 5-10 So Ann Arbor Pioneer
- Jio Miles 6-2 So Novi
- Joseph Moon 6-0 So Westland John Glenn
- Chandler Turner 6-4 So Detroit Renaissance
Class A Sophomore All-State
- Taylor Currie 6-9 So Clarkston
- Chris DeRocher 6-4 So Alpena
- Nolan Foster 6-10 So Mattawan
- Jaivian Fowler 6-6 So Grand Rapids Union
- Ryan Wade 6-2 So Ann Arbor Skyline
- Charles Anderson-Louie 6-3 Warren Woods Tower
- Mike Fletcher 6-6 So Flint Carman-Ainsworth
- Josh Warren 5-9 So Woodhaven
- Gunnar Gustafson 6-6 So Milford
- Davis Lukomski 6-6 So Novi Catholic Central
Class A Freshman All-State
- Tyson Acuff 6-2 Fr Detroit Cass Tech
- Lorne Bowman 6-2 Fr Detroit Western
- Maliq Carr 6-6 Fr Oak Park
- Jamoni Jones 5-11 Fr East Kentwood
- Max Perez 5-9 Fr Hudsonville
- Noah Baylis 5-11 Fr Holly
- Freddie McIntosh 5-9 Fr Saginaw
- Noah Pruitt 5-8 Fr Okemos
- Jay Walker 6-0 Fr Muskegon Mona Shores
- Emcee Williams 6-0 Fr Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
co-MVP Monte Morris 6-2 Sr Iowa State (Flint Beecher): He had a legendary career in Ames, which as a senior included Big 12 tournament MVP honors. “Man Man” picked up his scoring this year averaging 16.4 points per game on .465 percent from the floor, including .378 percent from three-point range, and .802 at the stripe. Michigan’s 2013 Mr. Basketball yet again led the nation in assist to turnover ratio, with averages of 6.2 and 1.2 per game. He’s third all-time in assists in Big 12 history, sixth in steals and no one played more career minutes. This season in Big 12 play Morris was second in assists and fourth in scoring. His PER was 24.7.
co-MVP Derrick Walton 6-1 Sr Michigan (Chandler Park Academy): While he didn’t have the overall college career of his former Mustangs AAU teammate Morris, Walton is concluding a dream senior season. He was the MVP of the Big Ten tournament, and has led U-M to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. He’s averaging 15.4 points, 4.9 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game while shooting .432 from the floor, including .419 from distance, and .873 from the foul line. In the Big Ten, Walton was third in scoring, third in assists, second in steals and second in free throw percentage. His PER of 24.0 was the best of any guard in the league.
Yante Maten 6-8 Jr Georgia (Bloomfield Hills): He injured his knee late in the regular season, then played a pair of games in the SEC tournament though not at 100 percent. To that point, Maten had been a revelation, his year highlighted by a 30-point, 13-rebound performance against Kansas. His junior season saw him average 18.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He shot .519 from the field, second in the SEC, and .783 from the stripe, 10th in the SEC. Where Maten really improved was as a shooter and ball-handler. He nearly tripled his three-point attempts while shooting .488 percent from long range. That put his effective field goal percentage at .549. Maten went from 27 assists as a sophomore to 43 as a senior, despite playing significantly fewer total minutes because of his injury. His PER was 27.6.
EC Matthews 6-4 Jr Rhode Island (Romulus): He tore his ACL in the very first game of Rhode Island’s 2015-16 season, then came back to lead the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since Lamar Odum’s tenure. Matthews was named MVP of the A-10 tournament, scoring 19 points in the final agaisnt VCU. The former Romulus state champion averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting .427 from the floor and .337 from three-point range. He had a PER of 18.1.
Justin Tillman 6-7 Jr VCU (Detroit Pershing): Full-time glasseater for VCU’s NCAA Tournament team who was second in the A-10 in caroms and first on the offensive boards. Tillman averaged 8.6 rebounds overall and upped it to 9.6 a game in league play. The former Doughboy and 2014 Mr. Basketball runner-up averaged 12.2 points per game on .592 field goal shooting. His PER was 24.3.
Jaylin Walker 6-2 So Kent State (Romulus): He more than doubled his scoring average from his freshman season finishing at 15.8 points per game and finished eighth in the MAC in scoring. Walker was MAC tournament MVP after hitting the game-winner in the semifinals then turning in a career-high 30 points in the league final against Akron as Kent State claimed its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2008. For the season he also averaged 4.4 rebounds while shooting .396 from the field. His PER was 16.0.
Jonathan Williams 6-3 Sr Toledo (Southfield-Lathrup): An AAU teammate of Bank Hoops college MVPs Monte Morris and Derrick Walston, Williams was the MAC’s fourth-leading scorer the past two seasons, averaging 19.6 points per game. He shot .443 from the field and .817 percent from the free throw stripe, good for fourth in the league. His PER was 19.5.
- Rob Edwards 6-3 So Cleveland State (Detroit Cass Tech)
- Zach Hankins 6-10 So Ferris State (Charlevoix)
- Jalen Hayes 6-7 Sr Oakland (Lansing Sexton)
- Cameron Morse 6-2 Jr Youngstown State (Flint Carman-Ainsworth)
- Edmond Sumner 6-4 Jr Xavier (Detroit Country Day)
- Lorenzo Bonam 6-4 Sr Utah (Dearborn Heights Robichaud)
- Jaylen Johnson 6-8 Jr Louisville (Ypsilanti)
- Ray Lee 6-3 Sr Eastern Michigan (Romulus)
- Kyle Steigenga 6-5 Jr Cornerstone (Holland Christian)
- Martez Walker 6-5 Jr Oakland (Detroit Pershing)
- Corey Allen 6-3 Fr Detroit (Ypsilanti)
- Kris Clyburn 6-6 Jr UNLV (Romulus)
- Jaleel Hogan 6-6 So Detroit (Mt. Pleasant)
- Nick Perkins 6-8 So Buffalo (Milan)
- Cassius Winston 6-1 Fr Michigan State (Detroit U-D Jesuit)
Early exit (prep schoolers)
- Miles Bridges 6-6 Fr Michigan State (Flint Southwestern)
- Jaire Grayer 6-4 So George Mason (Flint Southwestern)
- Josh Jackson 6-7 Fr Kansas (Detroit Consortium)
- Kyle Kuzma 6-9 Jr Utah (Burton Bentley)
- AJ Turner 6-7 So Boston College (Warren De La Salle)
20-4 Troy vs. 14-9 Warren De La Salle @ Troy Athens: At the beginning of the season we picked De La Salle to make the state semis. That prediction looked dim in the regular season but the Pilots are playing their best ball at the right time. Troy won’t be going anywhere as their top players are all juniors, guard Leon Ayers, wing Jason Dietz and forward Danny Sully.
20-3 Kalamazoo Central vs. 23-0 East Lansing 6 pm @ Gull Lake: Kalamazoo Central’s Mr. Basketball finalist Isaiah Livers and East Lansing’s future finalist Brandon Johns are both high-major forwards who will likely neutralize each other. So will it be K-Central’s athleticism and physicality, or East Lansing’s shooting and unselfishness? X factors may be a pair of 6-4 seniors who couldn’t play more differently, the Maroon Giants’ Roger Stein and Trojans’ Westin Myles.
24-0 Grand Rapids Christian vs. 23-1 West Ottawa @ Grand Haven: These teams won their regional semifinals by nearly identical and shocking scores, as GR Christian embarrassed previously undefeated Muskegon 64-26 and West Ottawa toyed with Forest Hills Northern 60-25. There will be over 3,000 fans expecting more this time around. They should get it. West Ottawa’s only loss came to these same Eagles, 57-49 on a neutral court in December. That came with WO junior point guard Xavier Wade out with an injury. He’ll be the best athlete on the court this time and could prove a crucial matchup especially if GRC junior point guard Duane Washington isn’t fully recovered from an illness; he struggled with his shot Monday. Christian’s size won’t bother the Panthers like it did Muskegon, as they’re long in their own right, but nothing like the muscle of the Eagles’ Xavier Tillman and James Beck.
19-4 Romulus vs. 16-7 Ann Arbor Pioneer @ Wayne: Romulus is proving they don’t need sexy D1 recruits to win big. They’re solid and deep with mid-sized athletes. Pioneer was the third-best team in Ann Arbor in the regular season but has turned it on when it matters most. Sophomore point guard Drew Lowder scored 18 in the semis against Woodhaven and Pi High will need him to again perform with upperclassman poise.
19-4 Detroit Cass Tech vs. 19-3 Detroit U-D Jesuit @ Dearborn Fordson: Speaking of sophomore point guards, U-D’s Julian Dozier has had some big sneakers to fill, as their last one, Cassius Winston, was only Mr. Basketball and the alpha of the school’s basketball history. Dozier and the Cubs are looking for another win over Cass Tech, following a 65-53 Operation Friendship victory. That’s the Technicians’ only loss since gaining their full complement of players for the second semester, a group which has come together seamlessly.
19-3 Detroit Northwestern vs. 15-9 Detroit Osborn, 6 pm @ Livonia Clarenceville: Osborn knocked off defending state champion Henry Ford in the regional semis. They have a really tough matchup for Northwestern er Collegiate Prep with senior Kenneth Holloway, a great high school forward.
20-3 Benton Harbor vs. 21-3 Wayland @ Allegan: Wayland will be the best team the Tigers have seen this year, as two of their three losses are to Grand Rapids Christian, they’ve crushed opponents in the tournament by an average of 37.5 points and senior guard Avery Hudson is the school’s all-time leading scorer.
22-1 River Rouge vs. 16-7 Dearborn Divine Child @ Milan: Divine Child will have to control the glass and tempo to keep it close. How good a guard is Rouge senior Darian Owens-White? He doesn’t have to score 25 to control the game and put his team in position to win.
21-2 Frankenmuth vs. 18-6 Lake Fenton @ Corunna: College coaches will want to see this matchup of physical wings, Frankenmuth junior Mario Whitley and Lake Fenton senior Jalen Miller.
18-5 Gladstone vs. 22-2 Ludington @ Grayling: Thad Shank is one of the state’s most underrated coaches, doing it off the beaten path in Ludington. The Orioles will find 6-4 Gladstone soph Reece Castor a tough physical matchup.
15-4 Detroit Cornerstone vs. 10-11 Detroit Edison @ Madison Heights Bishop Foley: Like we said going into Monday’s games, Edison is much better than their record. They went out and beat 19-win Michigan Collegiate by 30. Junior point guard PJ Mitchell and junior forward Spider Johnson are Edison’s household name, and while junior wing Gary Solomon was MIA when we saw him in Grand Rapids he’s been producing down the stretch. And if you want to see the player in the state with the most NBA potential, don’t miss Cornerstone senior Jamal Cain.
18-5 Grand Rapids Covenant Christian vs. 18-5 Muskegon Heights @ Belding: Covenant has been one of the surprises of March, and little has come easy. They beat Pewamo-Westphalia, which we’d originally tabbed as a final four team, in double OT in the regional semifinals. In their district final Covenant beat last year’s class C runner-up, Calvin Christian. It was Calvin that knocked out the Heights in last year’s regional final. Led by the Jones Bros., Anthony and Antoine, the Tigers blew out Galesburg-Augusta on Monday.
19-4 Manton vs. 17-7 Boyne City @ Houghton Lake: Manton got the McBain gorilla off its back in the district final and carried the momentum to get past a good Glen Lake team in the semis. But Boyne has more experience at this depth of the tournament. Senior guard Kane McPherson is an interesting story for the Ramblers, going from a bench player last year to averaging 15 points per game.
20-3 Iron Mountain vs. 19-4 Negaunee @ Escanaba: These two split during the regular season and feature two of the UP’s, and Class C’s, best in Iron Mountain’s 6-4 Carson Wonders, an NMU signee, and Negaunee’s 6-7 Trent Bell, a Michigan Tech signee. Wonders became Iron Mountain’s career scoring leader in Monday’s win over Newberry.
23-1 Hillman vs. 17-6 Pellston @ St. Ignace: Hillman senior Gunnar Libby is the school’s all-time leading scorer and one of the top guards in the division. Pellston’s 6-7 senior Trent Bell could be a matchup dilemma on the glass.
15-8 Tri-Unity Christian vs. 21-1 Baldwin @ Big Rapids Crossroads: Tri-Unity’s hall of fame coach is about the last guy you want to tangle with in March, but Baldwin has the two most talented players here in junior guard Blake Dockery and senior forward Dre McDonald.
20-3 Macomb Dakota vs. 22-1 Clarkston, 5 pm @ Grand Blanc: Dakota has had unprecedented postseason success with senior Jermaine Jackson at point guard, while Clarkston is in search of that elusive first state championship. Dakota has a triumvirate of D1 recruits, and Clarkston likely does too, but Dakota’s are all upperclassmen with Jackson, 6-9 senior Jack Ballantyne and 6-8 junior MSU commitment Thomas Kithier.
21-2 Flushing vs. 19-4 Saginaw, 7 pm @ Mt. Pleasant: How deep is Saginaw? It had talented senior guard Qua Southward come off the bench in the Trojans’ district title win over Arthur Hill. Saginaw will have to deal with Flushing’s 6-6 senior Joe Kujat on the blocks. Saginaw was annihilated by Carman-Ainsworth in the Saginaw Valley final, while Flushing squeaked past Carman in their district.
19-3 Kalamazoo Central vs. 19-4 Holt, 5:30 pm @ Gull Lake: It will be an AAU reunion on the paint. Kalamazoo Central’s Michigan signee Isaiah Livers played with Holt center Jaron Faulds, who is headed to Columba, last summer with Chicago Mean Streets.
23-0 East Lansing vs. 19-3 Battle Creek Central, 7 pm @ Gull Lake: Same as it has been for decades, or at least since we were watching Marc White, Kenyon Murray and company on the Channel 41 Game of the Week, the Bearcats are athletic and will pressure you. East Lansing lives by the 3 and … they’ve living well. The Trojans are undefeated. And when junior forward Brandon Johns turns it on, no one in Michigan can hang with him.
23-0 Grand Rapids Christian vs. 23-0 Muskegon, 7:30 pm @ Grand Haven: This is a rematch of last year’s regional semi, when Muskegon’s blue-collar toughness wore down GRC. The Eagles have the advantage in talent and height. The Big Reds’ advantage is on the bench, in coaching and depth. Muskegon has three of the state’s top available seniors, 6-5 Sam Cornett, 6-4 Jermayne Golidy and 6-5 Markell Jackson. It doesn’t get any easier in the regional final, where one-loss West Ottawa likely awaits.
20-2 Belleville vs. 18-4 Romulus, 6 pm @ Wayne: They knocked each other out of districts recently, but will do it at the regional level this time. Romulus has been quietly doing their thing then really turned heads late in the regular season with a win over Kalamazoo Central. Romulus junior Kaevon Merriwether is a power point guard, but Belleville has the rare player to match up physically in its own junior guard Davion Williams. It may come down to if Belleville’s talented 6-7 junior Gabe Brown plays smart, and is Romulus’ sweet shooting senior Dylan Price is knocking down jumpers.
18-3 Detroit Northwestern vs. 15-7 Hazel Park, 7:30 pm @ Livonia Clarenceville: Northwestern was a semifinalist in the Detroit PSL. Senior guard Kylan Shipp is capable of going off and 6-2 Steve Pearson is an athletic powerhouse for a freshman. There’s a ton of experience on the bench, with assistants like BCAM hall of famer Glen Donahue and former U-D star Tony Tolbert. Hazel Park junior Carl Bow is coming off a 40-point game in their district final and backcourt mate David Hearns, also a junior, is a tough penetrating point guard. Over just the last three months HP’s 6-10 senior Kristian Lafayette has really improved, a slender defensive presence who can run the floor.
13-10 Detroit Henry Ford vs. 14-9 Detroit Osborn, 7:30 pm @ Livonia Clarenceville: Henry Ford still reigns as the state champion until they’re knocked out. Hopefully not literally, given how Osborn’s regular season ended.
22-1 Wyoming Godwin Heights vs. 19-4 Williamston, 6 pm @ Ionia: 2015 state champion is looking to avenge last year’s regional loss to Williamston, who parlayed that win into a trip to the state final. Godwin couldn’t cool off Riley Lewis is that one. He moved on to Hope College but Williamston is a more balanced team this season. They’ll have to get back on D and establish tempo to have a chance, easier said than done against Godwin’s stable of athletes and jockey Christian Rodriguez. This is the kind of game where a scholarship offer could be earned in the paint. Will it be the Wolverines’ 6-6 junior Markese Hastings or Willie’s 6-6 soph Sean Cobb?
23-0 Michigan Center vs. 22-0 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, 6 pm @ Hudson: Did the ink-stained wretches of the AP finally get around to ranking Michigan Center? And you wonder why no one trusts the MSM! MC is just a great team. They defend, share the ball and have multiple shooting threats. SMCC just keeps rolling under Randy Windham. They’ll have the advantage in the paint with 6-7 senior Nick Welch and 6-8 junior CJ Haut.
19-3 Warren Michigan Collegiate vs. 11-10 Detroit Edison, 7:30 pm @ Madison Hts. Bishop Foley: One has to look beyond the records here. Michigan Collegiate’s is more impressive upon first glance, but that’s done in the Betsy DeVos league, aka against charter schools. Against the big boys, like River Rouge and New Haven, they haven’t fared so well. Edison, meanwhile, was taking its lumps in the PSL and didn’t have standout junior point guard PJ Mitchell for the entire season. He’s back and looking to do what he did last year at Detroit Loyola — get to East Lansing.
18-4 Manton vs. 18-4 Maple City Glen Lake, 6 pm @ Houghton Lake: No one expected Manton to get past unbeaten McBain in the district final. Except the Rangers themselves and, well, Bank Hoops, which tabbed Manton as a Class F final four team two months ago. While it revolves around junior point guard Jayden Perry, Manton has different guys who will be the main scorers on any given night. Glen Lake, meanwhile, has to have its Big 2 of 6-3 sophomore Xander Okerlund, a MAC basketball prospect, and 6-5 junior Cade Peterson, a MAC QB prospect, may have to approach 50 points to win.
17-6 Hillsdale Academy vs. 15-7 Plymouth Christian, 5 pm @ Lansing Christian: Hillsdale Academy could win this one … if 6-7 senior Peter Kalthoff scored 50 against like he did in the district final. If not, Plymouth Christian likely has too much depth with 6-4 junior Matt Malcom averaging 17 ponits, 6-5 junior Max Okolo 13 points and 10 rebounds and junior guard Levi Yakuber 10.5 points and 7 assists per game.
18-4 Bay City All-Saint vs. 15-7 Fowler, 7:30 pm @ Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary: Fowler’s record is somewhat deceptive as they play in a rugged, Class C-dominant league. Their bookend 6-7 fowards, 1,000-point senior Jeremy Pung and junior Mason Pline, who could be a small school Charles Barkley if dialed in and not floating, are rare for the Class D level.
Class A Player of the Week
Christian Agnew 6-2 Sr Westland John Glenn: He scored 25 in the first round, 34 in the semifinals, then 25 again in the district final against Livonia Franklin, which the Rockets won handily.
Class A Underclassman of the Week
Tyson Acuff 6-2 Fr Detroit Cass Tech: The class of 2020 has been the year of the guard this season with so many ninth-graders contributing on varsity across the state. While Acuff doesn’t put up the numbers of some of his peers, he’s been invaluable as the starting point guard all year on a team that’s won the PSL and now a district crowns.
Class B Player of the Week
Carl Bow 6-2 Jr Hazel Park: In Hazel Park’s district final win over Detroit Mumford, Bow had 40 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Class B Underclassman of the Week
Sean Cobb 6-6 So Williamston: He led the Hornets with 22 points in the district semifinal with Lansing Sexton, then added 12 in Williamston’s championship game win against Haslett.
Class C Player of the Week
Jayden Perry 5-8 Jr Manton: He scored the go-ahead hoop and finished with 16 points as Manton ended a 28-game losing streak to McBain, winning a district title in the process. It was the third year in a row the teams had played in the district final. Perry scored 17 in their semifinal win over Houghton lake.
Class C Underclassman of the Week
Xander Okerlund 6-3 So Maple City Glen Lake: The O is for Operator, who claimed his second underclassman honor of the season thanks to his 32 points in Glen Lake’s district championship victory over Traverse City St. Francis, on St. Francis’ home floor.
Class D Player of the Week
Gabe Meriwether 6-3 Sr Bellaire: District titles are the expectation at Bellaire, and the Eagles delivered again. Meriwether, who is headed to Cornerstone, scored 33 in the final, 17 in the semis, and 38 in the opening round.
Class D Underclassman of the Week
Brady Hunter 5-5 Fr Gaylord St. Mary: He finished his first varsity season averaging 12.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A day into the state tournament, two 2016 state finalists, two 2016 semifinalists and a 20-0 contender have all been eliminated.
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:
- Jermaine Jackson 5-10 Macomb Dakota
- Darian Owens-White 6-1 River Rouge
- Malik Ellison 5-8 Flint Beecher
- CJ Wilson 5-10 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
- Qua Southward 6-0 Saginaw
- Jesse Scarber 5-8 Detroit King
- Armonee Felder 5-10 Detroit Osborn
- Davion Bradford 6-1 Detroit Cornerstone
- Tariq Derrickson 6-1 Pontiac Notre Dame
- 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:
- Nate Brooks 6-7 North Farmington
- Diego Robinson 6-6 Lansing Everett
- Joe Kujat 6-6 Flushing
- Craig Sterk 6-7 McBain
- Kenneth Holloway 6-4 Detroit Osborn
- Roger Stein 6-4 Kalamazoo Central
- Eddie Thigpen 6-6 Saginaw
- Malik Rogers 6-6 Dearborn Heights Crestwood
- Ross Koella 6-7 Grand Haven
- Derek Eddington 6-7 Pickford
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:
- Greg Elliott 6-4 Detroit East English Village
- Demetrius Lake 5-10 Holland
- Kevin McAdoo 6-1 West Bloomfield
- Christian Agnew 6-2 Westland John Glenn
- Sam Cornett 6-5 Muskegon
- Runako Ziegler 6-1 Walled Lake Central
- Delano Smith 6-3 Walled Lake Western
- Jorden Peterson 6-2 Detroit CMA
- Nick Dekkenga 5-10 Coopersville
- 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.
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.
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:
- Markell Jackson 6-5 Muskegon
- Keion Epps 6-5 Wayne
- Jason Whitens 6-4 Powers North Central
- Austin McCullough 6-5 Portage Central
- Jordan Grahan 6-5 Farmington
- Brock Washington 6-4 Southfield Christian
- Drequan Bell 6-3 River Rouge
- Jermayne Golidy 6-4 Muskegon
- Jalen Miller 6-3 Lake Fenton
- Brennen Buszka 6-4 Grosse Pointe South