Class C Breakdown

Coach Mike Williams' Flint Beecher team is favored to win its fifth state title in six seasons.
Coach Mike Williams’ Flint Beecher team is favored to win its fifth state title in six seasons.

Class B Final Four
Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
No. 11 NorthPointe Christian loses a lot from the 2015 state runner-up. The lone starter back is 6-6 senior Tyler Baker, who can really shoot it and has an offer from Cornerstone. 6-5 Spencer Peterson is a senior newcomer and if his hardwood success is anywhere near as successful as his quarterbacking this fall, NPC has bookend forwards who can match up with any in the division. The backcourt is unproven and will certainly miss the leadership of Preston Huckaby. No. 16 Calvin Christian could be a sleeper in the same district. They return their starting backcourt, and 6-9 sophomore Blake Verbeek is a D1 prospect.

McBain
This is the kind of group that has done well for coach Bruce Koopman in the past: strong, athletic and tough. The No. 2 Ramblers return their top three scorers from a 22-3 team led by 6-7 inside-outside threat Craig Sterk. He’s one of the best junior forwards in the state regardless of school size. Senior Cole Powell is athletic around the basket and junior Logan Eling is a terrific shooter. No. 15 Manton could have its best team this century but has the bad luck of being in the same district as McBain. The Ramblers’ quarterfinal opponent from the UP should be No. 12 Iron Mountain, which lost by three to eventual semifinalist Boyne City in the 2015 regional final.

Flint Beecher
This is seemingly easy pick, as Beecher is the dominant program in Class C claiming four of the last five state titles. They return three starters from that team, including all-state picks 6-3 senior Aquavius Burks and junior guard Malik Ellison, but the third, 6-7 junior Levane Blake, is injured. Junior guard Jordan Roland could be the Bucs’ breakout performer. Beecher’s likely regional opponent No. 6 Detroit Cornerstone has nothing like the Flint school’s history — this will be its first ever MHSAA tournament appearance. But what they lack in the record books Cornerstone counters with the most talented player in Class C, 6-6 junior Jamal Cain. The regional final is no joke either if No. 5 Southfield Christian makes it. The one-time Class D behemoth has 6-4 college prospects for days in senior Marlo Brown, junior Brock Washington and soph Bryce Washington, and here comes another Hunter at guard, freshman Caleb. Expect the regional semifinals and final here to be tougher than the quarterfinal.

Detroit Cornerstone's Jamal Cain is the top college prospect in Class C.
Detroit Cornerstone junior Jamal Cain is the top college prospect in Class C.

Detroit Allen
This is a dangerous pick. And not just because Allen was somehow .500 last year. It’s that it will be a task just to get out of the first week of March. The district at Detroit Loyola features No. 3 Allen, No. 4 Detroit Edison, No. 8 Detroit Pershing and No. 9 Detroit Loyola. Allen has two D1 seniors, with guard Jason Williams headed to East Tennessee State and 6-8 Danny Pippen to Kent State. Junior wing Drequan Bell could be the next to make that claim and the emergence of freshman point guard Mark Watts will allow Williams to do what he does best, score it. Edison is talented, young and probably a year away … unless David Dejulius is as good as some think. In that case, there’s certainly a precedent for sophomore guards leading Class C teams to Breslin such as Monte Morris, Tory Jackson and Brandon Cotton. Legendary program Pershing has shrunk to Class C. Ralph Simpson, Steve Smith and Spencer Hayward aren’t coming through that door. But 6-6 senior David Syfax, 6-6 senior Charles “Thanks Mom & Dad” Manson and promising soph guard Ronald Hill are. Loyola doesn’t have much size, but have a D1 guard of their own, in sophomore CMU pledge Pierre Mitchell, and master of the mid-range jumper senior guard Dequan Powell. The district winner will probably get No. 7 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central to open regional play. They have one of the most exciting players in the division, 6-3 senior Stephan Umfress, and a major addition in 6-6 junior Nick Welch, but will have to replace the leadership of 2015 Class C Player of the Year Bryce Windham. He’ll be replaced by Bradley Shinevarre at the point. Look for No. 10 Hanover-Horton, a 2015 semifinalist, to be awaiting on the other side of the quarterfinal. They return their top player, 6-5 senior Preston Laketa, and add a talented 6-4 senior guard in Jay McMillar.

Marlo Brown will try to lead Southfield Christian to the Breslin, Class C style
Marlo Brown will try to lead Southfield Christian to the Breslin, Class C style.

Class C Top 25
1. Flint Beecher
2. McBain
3. Detroit Allen
4. Detroit Edison
5. Southfield Christian
6. Detroit Cornerstone
7. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central
8. Detroit Pershing
9. Detroit Loyola
10. Hanover-Horton
11. Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
12. Iron Mountain
13. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep
14. East Jordan
15. Manton
16. Grandville Calvin Christian
17. Riverview Gabriel Richard
18. Laingsburg
19. Muskegon Heights
20. North Muskegon
21. Millington
22. Ithaca
23. Vassar
24. Addison
25. Dansville

Class C All-State
Marlo Brown 6-4 Sr Southfield Christian
Aquavius Burks 6-3 Sr Flint Beecher
Jamal Cain 6-6 Jr Detroit Cornerstone
Craig Sterk  6-7  Jr  McBain
Jason Williams 5-10 Sr Detroit Allen

Second Team
Malik Ellison 5-8 Jr Flint Beecher
Gage Kreski 6-2 Sr St. Ignace
Danny Pippen 6-8 Sr Detroit Allen
David DeJulius  5-11  So  Detroit Edison
Shae Somers 6-0 Sr Elk Rapids

Third Team
Pierre Mitchell  5-10  So  Detroit Loyola
Tyler Baker 6-6 Sr Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
Kyle Hayes 6-8 Sr Ypsilanti Arbor Prep
Shawn Pardee 6-0 Sr Millington
Stephan Umfress 6-2 Sr Monroe St. Mary Catholic

Fourth team
Jordan Weber 6-0 Sr East Jordan
Preston Laketa 6-5 Sr Hanover-Horton
Jay McMillar 6-3 Sr Hanover-Horton
David Syfax 6-6 Sr Detroit Pershing
Paul Zysk 6-8 Sr Addison

Fifth team
Drequan Bell 6-3 Jr Detroit Allen
Riley Fairfield 6-4 Jr North Muskegon
Tony DeWitte  5-11  Sr  Grandville Calvin Christian
Bryce Washington 6-4 So Southfield Christian
Nick Welch 6-6 Jr Monroe St. Mary Catholic

Class B Underclassman All-State
Caleb Hodgson 6-8 Fr Dansville
Deante Johnson 6-7 So Detroit Edison
Hayden Stauffer 6-5 So Centreville
Blake Verbeek 6-9 So Grandville Calvin Chsirtian
Mark Watts 5-10 Fr Detroit Allen

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