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.