Archive | March, 2013

2012-2013 MHSAA Basketball Season Recap

31 Mar

It is sad to say that the 2012-2013 MHSAA basketball season has come to a close. What seems to be a long four month journey through the winter ended last weekend at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The finals brought us two back-to-back champions in Flint Beecher and the young and talented Southfield Christian Eagles. A long and deserved title came to head coach Nate Oats of the Romulus Eagles. And finally Kurt Keener and Country Day won another championship what seems to be the longest trophy case in the State of Michigan for high school basketball titles.

Michigan is hands down one of the most talented states in the country when it comes down to basketball talent. All across the great state there are great players. From Detroit, to the Mid-Michigan area to all the away across the state to Grand Rapids, no talent is lost at all. Winning the Mr. Basketball title this year and becoming the first Genesee County player to bring home the award since Kelvin Tolbert of Flint Northwestern won the award in 2001 was Flint Beecher guard Monte Morris. Morris an Iowa State signee, broke the Michigan State Spartan streak of signing the past four Michigan Mr. Basketball winners.

With the departures of talented seniors of Morris to go along with fellow Mr. Basketball candidates, Michigan commit Derrick Walton, Kentucky bound James Young, Oakland bound Kahlil Felder and Northern Illinois recruit Dontel Highsmith, Michigan high school fans have nothing to fear for next year in regards to talented players. The likes of Pershing’s Justin Tillman, Country Day’s Edmond Sumner, De La Salle’s A.J. Turner will continue to improve and get better over their respective AAU seasons and come back next year eager to lead their teams to the Breslin Center.

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Interview with Sam McClendon

26 Mar


Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How do you think your season went this year?

Sam McClendon: I thought I had a solid senior season.  I averaged about 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and four assists.  I believed that we had what it took to  make a deep run in the State Playoffs, but we got beat in the district championship by a miracle shots.  All in all, my teammates and I came a long way from December-March.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What is your favorite memory throughout your high school career?

Sam McClendon: I have many great memories, but my favorite this season had to be upsetting U of D in OT while they were a top five team in the state.  Easily one of my most memorable wins throughout my careers.  We ended up being the only Catholic League team to beat them.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some players you try to model you game after?

Sam McClendon: I think I have the leadership of Chris Paul and the athleticism of Russell Westbrook.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What skills do you have as a basketball player and what are some areas of your game that are up and coming?

Sam McClendon: I’m more of a bigger guard, which allows me to be a great rebounder.  I have great court vision, I’m a great teammate/leader and can score.  I plan to polish every aspect of my game during the off-season and get stronger.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics; What are some schools that have offered you or have showed hard interest in you?

Sam McClendon: Central (Michigan), Cleveland State, Grand Valley (State), Lake Superior State, Wayne State, Southeast Missouri State are the standouts with various prep schools and smaller junior colleges.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What do you look for in a school as far as academics and a potential major?

Sam McClendon: Academics always come first to me.  I’ve always took pride in my education.  I plan to major in computer engineering.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What would a college be getting in a player like you?

Sam McClendon: They would get a hard worker, and one that could lead the team by example.  They will also get a player who is always striving to be the best I can be and make my teammates around me better.  They will lastly get an unselfish point guard who does what it will take to win.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics:  What role would you like to take on of a team?

Sam McClendon: I’m willing to take on anything the coach thinks the team lacks.  If he needs me to rebound, I’ll do that.  If he needs me to score/distribute, then I’ll do that.  I’m very coachable.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What legacy or standard do you think you set at OLSM?

Sam McClendon: I think I had a great legacy that’ll live on.  I’ll never forget after our district championship loss my coach said to me, “You’ll go down as one of the best I’ve ever coached.”  It means a lot to me because of the reputation of OLSM hoops around that state and how long my coach has been coaching. (Coached Kalin Lucas)

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Any shoutouts you would like to give?

Sam McClendon: I would just like to shoutout and thank everyone who has supported me throughout these four years.  It’s truly been a blessing to have the opportunity to be apart of such a prestigious basketball program.  I’ll never forget the memories.  More importantly, my mom.  She’s been there for me since I was a little freshman on varsity.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What is a fun/interesting face about you?

Sam McClendon: I can secretly sing but no one will ever get a chance to hear me.

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Follow Sam on Twitter: @Just_Doubt_Me_1

Romulus Captures First Class A Crown Since 1986

24 Mar

Not since the time of the great Terry Mills has Romulus won a state championship, but it is safe to say that the time has come for Romulus head coach Nate Oats and the Romulus Eagles.  Oats has led the Eagles to the Breslin Center multiple times during his tenure at Romulus, but never capturing a state title.  But not winning is a hard thing to do when you have three players that a more than deserving to have been on the Mr. Basketball consideration list with E.C. Matthews, Wes Clark and Leo Edwards.  Romulus got things going right away, attacking the Southeastern defense with a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of the game, and eventually leading 19-10 after the first.  E.C. Matthews fresh off a 37 point performance in the semi-final tallied nine points in the opening quarter.  But the Jungaleers had a run of their own in the second.  Trailing by 10 with 6:57 until half, Southeastern would go on 8-2 run over the next 5:58 to only be down 24-20.  Now in the third quarter already leading by 42-27 with 2:13 to go in the quarter, things were almost about to get out of hand for Southeastern, but when E.C. Matthews took a pass from Leo Edwards and went up for one of his signature tomahawk dunks, it signaled the end for Southeastern.  Romulus eventually got the lead up to 19 at the end of the quarter at 51-32 and that was all she wrote for the Class A state title game.  Cruising to a decisive 61-49 victory.

E.C. Matthews lead Romulus in scoring with 20, and also lead the team in rebounds with ten.  Louisiana Tech commit Leo Edwards tallied 13 points and three blocks in the winning effort.  And rounding out the big three for the Eagles is Missouri signee Wes Clark, finishing up with 12 points and five assists.

Romulus lost last year to Rockford in the semifinal and trust me, these guys have used that defeat as motivation to get to where they are at right now.  Wes Clark, one of the most competitive guys in the State of Michigan, was not even a guarantee to play in their quarterfinal victory against Pershing.  The senior had to receive a shot in his knee just to be able to play.  “Last year, knowing how far we got with E.C. and Leo we could do it,” said Wes on when he knew when the team was capable of winning a state title.  “Knowing how far we got and how much work we put in.  So we took that as a motivator to use in the offseason and play off that.”  Clark will bring this winning mentality to Frank Haith and the Missouri Tigers next year.

Update on Jalon Plummer

24 Mar


It seemed as if the farther the Romulus Eagles went in the playoffs, the more exposure senior wing Jalon Plummer receives from colleges.  The forward mentioned offers from now Youngstown State and Northern Illinois University.  To go with his Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State offers.  Plummer told me that Toledo will offer up a scholarship to him if one becomes available.  Ferris is another GLIAC school interested in his talents as well.  Jalon is a streaky three point shooter, but when he is on, he can take over a game from the perimeter.  What is also a good quality of Jalon is that he is a underrated rebounding wing.  Whether it be offense or defense, Plummer always seems to be in the middle of the scrum for the ball.  Jalon is working on his ability to create for himself.  Plummer said that he is interested in pursuing a buisness major.

Breslin Center Set

20 Mar


This it it.  16 teams remain in the State of Michigan separated by two wins from a championship.  Some teams have had to win 5 games to get here, and it is to far to go back now.  Semi-finals begin on Thursday with Class’ C and D playing.  Class A and Class B compete in semi-finals on Friday culminating in four championship games on Saturday.  Three Class’ have teams from the Detroit area.  Class A features Romulus and Detroit Southeastern.  The Jungaleers will be taking on the Saginaw Trojans, a rematch of a earlier game this season where Saginaw came out with a 57-56 victory.  Class B also features two teams from Metro Detroit with Country Day and Detroit Community.  Rounding out local teams is Class D’s defending champion Southfield Christian.  For the complete brackets please visit the following links: Class AClass BClass CClass D.

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Romulus vs. Pershing Round Two

20 Mar

Romulus 93 Pershing 91: The number one and number two teams in the state collided in what could be a game that produces the Class A state champion. The Doughboys beat Romulus the second game of the season 83-76, but this is a different Romulus team from then. It was evident that the game was going to be a track meet with 11 points scored in the first 1:30 of the contest and 44 just in that quarter. The fourth quarter in this game is where the fun was. Leading by eight with 4:10 left in the contest, Romulus thought as if they were going to cruse to the finish line. But this is Pershing we are talking about. Coach Wydell’s boys don’t quit, the Doughboys responded with a 12-5 run of themselves to cut the deficit to one with 2:40 left in the contest. Pershing held a one point lead with 1:10 left to go in the contest after a basketball by Justin Tillman. But the dreams of a state championship took a tremendous hit when senior wing Jalon Plummer hit probably one of the biggest shots of his life on the next trip down for Romulus. That gave Pershing a 90-88 lead forcing a time-out to be called. However, the game was not over. Pershing junior guard Darsean Woodson picked up the ball of a Romulus turnover with seven seconds left and was fouled with a chance to tie the game. Woodson rolled in the first one, but was unable to connect on the second one. Rhode Island commit E.C. Matthews was fouled after the miss and hit one of two free-throws to extend the lead to two. Mr. Basketball candidate Kahlil Felder was unable to get off the game winning three with 2.3 to go in the contest giving Romulus the return trip to the Breslin Center.

E.C. Matthews lead Romulus with 29 points including 11 of them in the first quarter. “I was just feeding in what was giving to me. I was just wanted to be aggressive and just attack and create for others,” said Matthews after his monster game. This is no uncharted territory for the Eagles. Last year, Romulus beat the Doughboys at this very arena only to fall to Rockford in the next game. Coach Oats knew that this was a big one. But it is not one to celebrate for. The real celebration for Romulus will begin if they win they next two games. When asked what the team will do to prepare for a return trip to the Breslin Center, Matthews added “We are seniors now, we have been here before, so we know what it is like we are not going to make the mistakes we did last year.”

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Interview with Markell Bradshaw

18 Mar

IMG_1001Markell is a 6’1″ 160 pound senior point guard for the Saginaw Trojans.  Markell is an experienced, smart, tough point guard who does not receive the credit he deserves.  People know about Jerry Smith and Algevon Eichelberger, but tend to forget about Bradshaw.  Markell would be a star at any other school because of the talent that Saginaw has.  Markell is also a very smart student, carrying a 3.88 GPA and a 21 on the ACT.  Markell right now has visited Eastern Michigan and has been getting heavy interest from Coppin State.  Markell would be a solid low major D1 prospect.  Strengths include quickness, range on jump shot, overall passing ability, and penetrating ability.

Here is a link to Markell’s highlights so far this year.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are your strengths as a basketball player?

Markell Bradshaw: I believe my strengths are my playmaking ability, court vision, penetration ability, range on jump shot, and running a team.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How do you think the season has been going so far considering the fact you are three wins away from back to back Class A titles?

Markell Bradshaw: I believe it’s going great being able to have a chance to get another championship back to back.  This is a great accomplishment to have made it to the last eight standing.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What does it mean to be a Saginaw Trojan with all the tradition the basketball team has and playing in the historic Saginaw Valley League?

Markell Bradshaw: It is an honor to be a Trojan, just to wear the black and gold.  It is also a big challenge because it is so much pressure being a Trojan.  Expected to have a great season every year.  Playing in the league we play in is another big challenge.  It is difficult to beat everyone on their home floor with such good fans behind them.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How fun is it playing on a team who might be the deepest talent wise in the State?

Markell Bradshaw: It is a lot of fun, especially playing the point guard sport.  I have so many options I can go to at any given time.  It also makes it easier for me to score or penetrate knowing that a team can’t just key in on mer or anybody else.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: You and your fellow backcourt mate Keyon Addison might be the quickest guard duo in the state, what is you guy’s relationship?

Markell Bradshaw: We have a great relationship.  We feed off each other very easily.  We get pumped up if I score or if he scores.  He helps me score, I help him score.  We also know each other’s strengths.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Now for you, what schools have shown interest in you and which ones are going at you the hardest?

Markell Bradshaw: Right now, I’m only receiving interest from Coppin State, but I plan to pick up some last-minute recruiting after the playoffs are over.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What would a school be getting from a player like you and what role would you prefer to take on for a team?

Markell Bradshaw: A school would get a hardworking player and a great academic student.  They also would get great leadership.  The role I would want to take on at a school would be a player just helping them reach the NCAA Tournament and win as many games as possible.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Do you think the fact that you are a Saginaw Trojan, schools will start to show interest in you?

Markell Bradshaw: I believe just playing on a dominant high school program like this may help me pick up more schools.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Any  shoutouts you would like to give?

Markell Bradshaw: I would like to shoutout my family, my basketball team, my coaching staff, and my lifelong basketball coach Alton Sanders.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What is a fun/interesting fact about you?

Markell Bradshaw: An interesting fact about me is that I was named Salutatorian (#2) 0f my graduating class about a month ago.

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Follow Markell on Twitter: @Kell_Brad

Quarterfinals Now Set.

17 Mar

Teams are now just one win away from reaching the Breslin Center in East Lansing Michigan, and there are plenty of Detroit area teams still out there competing for their respective titles.  Tuesday will bring many schools cheers and joys of playing in the same arena where NCAA title banners hang.  In Class A, Detroit Pershing takes on Romulus at five at UDM’s Calihan hall, while after that game, Detroit Southeastern takes on James Young and Rochester.  Class B features two local teams as well with Detroit Community taking on Jackson Lumen Christi at 7:30 at Chelsea.  Detroit Country Day will travel up to Imlay City to take on Flint Powers Catholic at 7:00.  The only Detroit area team remaining in Class C will be Consortium taking on Mr. Basketball candidate Monte Morris and defending champions Flint Beecher, tip time is 7 at West Bloomfield High School.  While Southfield Christian, takes on Climax-Scotts at 7 inside Battle Creek Central High School.

For the complete list of games and times, please visit the MHSAA boys basketball page with this link.

Kahlil Felder’s Game Winner

14 Mar

Once again, Pershing survives a upset in the playoffs.  This time being senior Oakland commit Kahlil Felder Jr. saving the day against U of D Jesuit in the regional finals.

Pershing’s Lefty Wing On The Rise

12 Mar


Martez Walker might be one of the best shooters in the State of Michigan.  The lefty has the potential to go for twenty points on about any night.  Just about a near make whenever Walker gets his feet set.  Contains somewhat of a unorthodox release but the shots still seem to fall.  Martez is a big time player who plays with emotion and feeds off the crowds energy.  Evident by the game winning shot against Cass Tech.  With that being said, it has resulted in him getting some major recognition at the next level.  Martez is said to have offers from Temple, Providence, Xaver, Nebraska, Iowa State and Iowa.  Walker has also said that some schools that are still going after him are Baylor, Michigan State, Michigan, and Oakland.  Bound to make his decision a couple days after the season, Martez says that he is open to any school right now, no matter who the coaches are, as long as Martez gets quality playing time, he will consider any school right now.

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