Mt. Clemens’ Martin Luther King Jr. Recap

20 Jan

MtCMt. Clemens was the sight of the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic, a two day event that had games on Saturday as well as Sunday.  Games on Sunday are rare in Michigan, regardless, it was a pleasant way to celebrate the upcoming birthday of such an iconic figure in American History Dr. King himself.

Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 47 Detroit Allen Academy 37

The Eagles of Chandler Park pulled the upset over the top ten in Class C Allen Academy Wildcats, giving Allen their first loss of the season (9-1).  Allen Academy has a pair of guards that can score at least twenty on any given night in senior Pakiya Ellis and sophomore Jason Williams, but what Chandler Park did to win this game was use their longer and athletic front court players to dominate the paint all game long, controlling the glass, making it hard for Allen Academy to drive to the rim with their length, and getting easy layups at the rim.  CPA has a solid front court duo in sophomore football star Jalen Martin 6’3″, and senior Damon Muex 6’5″.  Martin led the Eagles with 12 points and a 14 rebounds, and Meux contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.  The two in the third quarter turned the game into an air show with a couple of high-flying alley-oops on the break.  At the guard position, Joe Thomas had 8 points and 6 assists for CPA.  He’s no Derrick Walton, but he’s a solid floor general that gets the ball where it needs to be and lets others get involved offensively.  Ellis finished with a game high 17 points to lead Allen Academy.

Farmington 54 Ecorse 52

Farmington is now a surprising 8-1 halfway through the season after edging out a scrappy Ecorse squad.  The Hawks were led all game long by senior combo guard Avon White, who finished with a game high 15 and dealt 8 assists on the night, even though he sat out more than a quarter due to foul trouble.  White, a transfer from Massachusetts via New York, is an aggressive scoring guard that did most of his damage attacking on the break and finishing at the rim through contact with a couple of fancy and-one finishes.  Last year at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, White led his squad all the way to the division two state final before moving to Michigan in the Summer.  It was not only White getting buckets for Farmington, but senior sniper Chris Seaborn is another reason why Farmington is off to a hot start this season.  Seaborn contributed 14 points in the win, including two crucial three pointers in the fourth quarter that helped the Hawks put the game away.  Freshman Marlin Talley had eight points and 4 assists for Ecorse.

Mt. Clemens 72 Detroit Community 53

In the marquee game of the night, defending Class B runner-ups from a year ago Detroit Community gave it all they could attempting to pull off the upset over host Mt. Clemens, trailing only 21-17 after the first quarter.  However, in the second quarter, the depth of Mt. Clemens started to show, the Bathers raced out to a 15 point halftime advantage that would not change until 5:07 in the fourth quarter when Community cut the lead down to 9 after a three pointer by sophomore Jemerio Jackson.  But Mt. Clemens would close the game on a 15-5 to keep their undefeated season hopes alive.  It is starting to become pick you poison for the Bathers this year in the front-court.  With starting junior Charles Penn in foul trouble throughout most of the game, coach Jermaine Jackson brought in junior Tariq Jones off the bench, and Jones did not disappoint.  Tariq (6’6″ 200 lbs) brought energy and a tough defensive presence to the game all night long, and contributed 14 points (10 free-throws), and 6 rebounds.  Senior front-court mate Dorian Armstrong asserted himself early in the first quarter, giving Mt. Clemens a monster 8 rebounds both offensive and defensive in the first.  He’s a high-motor kid that challenges just about every shot in his direction and is a very good athlete for his size.

Now its time to take a look at the Bathers guards.  For Mt. Clemens, Jermaine Jackson Jr. had a game high 21 points, including four three-pointers, all in the first half.  Jackson was in the zone early on, hitting threes off the catch on one that was a step back in the corner.  Junior Josh McFolley had a quiet 13 points, due to foul trouble early on.  Fellow junior Davonta Bandoo had 9 points off the bench.  What a luxury it is for Mt. Clemens to have a guard like Bandoo off the bench. He would most likely be a star on any other team in Michigan.  Bandoo possesses undeniable high-major athleticism when attacking the basket with the ability to finish over the rim.  He likes to get to the foul-line, and can from the mid-range as well.  Look for Bandoo to be a key factor in Mt. Clemens’ run for a Class C state title.

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