Archive | March, 2015

All-State and Awards Teams Announced

30 Mar

Another year of Michigan High School basketball is in the books.  Reporter Jeff McKinney and I hand out individual awards to conclude the season.

Players of the Year

Senior: Trevor Manuel 6’10” center Lansing Everett

Junior: Cassius Winston 6’0″ guard University of Detroit Jesuit

Sophomore: Brian Bowen 6’7″ wing Saginaw Arthur Hill

Freshman: Foster Loyer 5’10” guard Clarkston

Overall Player of the Year

Trevor Manuel 6’10” senior center Lansing Everett

Defensive Player of the Year

Deyonta Davis 6’10” senior center Muskegon

Rookie of the Year

Foster Loyer 5’10” guard Clarkston

Coach of the Year

Derrick McDowell Detroit Western

Most Improved Player of the Year

Jason Williams 6’0″ junior guard Detroit Allen Academy

Sixth Man of the Year

Tabin Throgmorton 6’4″ junior guard Clarkston

Newcomer of the Year (First year on new team)

Dmonta Harris 6’4″ senior guard New Haven

Overall All-State First Team

Cassius Winston 6’0″ junior guard University of Detroit Jesuit

Eric Davis 6’3″ senior guard Saginaw Arthur Hill

Brian Bowen 6’7″ sophomore wing Saginaw Arthur Hill

Deyonta Davis 6’10” senior center Muskegon

Trevor Manuel 6’10” senior center Lansing Everett

Overall All-State Second Team

Latin Davis 5’10” senior guard Milan

Jaylin Walker 6’2″ senior guard Romulus

Josh Davis 6’4″ senior guard Detroit Henry Ford

Xavier Tillman 6’7″ sophomore forward Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central

Nick Perkins 6’7″ senior forward Milan

Senior All-State First Team

Eric Davis 6’3″ guard Saginaw Arthur Hill

Deyonta Davis 6’10” center Muskegon

Josh Davis 6’4″ guard Detroit Henry Ford

Nick Perkins 6’7″ forward Milan

Trevor Manuel 6’10″center Lansing Everett

Senior All-State Second Team

Latin Davis 5’10” guard Milan

Jaylin Walker 6’2″ guard Romulus

Seth Dugan 7’0″ center Otsego

Joeviair Kennedy 6’3″ guard Muskegon

L.J. James 6’7″ forward Wayland

Senior All-State Third Team

Jerald Booker 6’0″ guard Walled Lake Western

Josh McFolley 6’0″ guard Detroit Western

Jeron Rogers 6’7″ forward North Farmington

Xavier Cochran 6’5″ wing Ann Arbor Huron

Mike Edwards 6’9″ forward Westland John Glenn

Senior All-State Fourth Team

LaMonta Stone 5’10” guard River Rouge

Delaney Blaylock 6’3″ Wyoming Godwin Heights

Marquel Ingram 6’2″ guard Detroit Pershing

Marcus Bailey 6’4″ forward Walled Lake Western

Gerald Blackshear 6’8″ forward Detroit Western

All-State Senior Fifth Team

Andia Marsh 6’1″ guard Taylor Kennedy

Bryce Windham 6’0″ guard Monroe St. Mary

Dmonta Harris 6’4″ guard New Haven

Brent Hibbits 6’7″ forward Hudsonville

Brad Brechting 6’10” center Cedar Rapids

All-State Junior First Team

Cassius Winston 6’0″ guard University of Detroit Jesuit

Kamari Newman 6’3″ guard East English Village

Devon Daniels 6’4″ wing Kalamazoo Central

Brailen Neely 5’11” guard Detroit Western

Austin Davis 6’10” forward Onsted

All-State Junior Second Team

Justin Turner 6’3″ guard Detroit Renaissance

Trishton Jackson 6’3″ guard West Bloomfield

Jason Williams 6’0″ guard Detroit Allen Academy

James Towns 5’10” guard Detroit Henry Ford

Kevin McKay 6’4″ forward Warren De La Salle

All-State Junior Third Team

Corey Allen 6’2″ guard Ypsilanti Community

Spencer Littleson 6’3″ guard Rochester Adams

Dylan Carl 6’9″ forward Alma

Ty Groce 6’7″ forward Ypsilanti Lincoln

Innocent Nwoko 6’10” center New Haven

All-State Junior Third Team

Marlo Brown 6’3″ guard Southfield Christian

Chris Rollins 5’10” guard East English Village

Alaric Jackson 6’6″ forward Detroit Rennaisance

Tabin Throgmorton 6’4″ guard Clarkston

Braden Burke 6’10” center Stevensville-Lakeshore

Junior All-State Fifth Team

Jaton Gunn 6’2″ guard Benton Harbor

Curtis Dawson 6’0″ guard Benton Harbor

Stephan Umfress 6’4″ guard Monroe St. Mary

Maxwell 6’8″ forward Adrian Lenawee Christian

Andrew Madison 6’6″ forward East Kentwood

Sophomore All-State First Team

Jermaine Jackson Jr. 5’9″ guard Macomb Dakota

Matt Beachler 6’3″ guard Lowell

Brian Bowen 6’7″ wing Saginaw Arthur Hill

Xavier Tillman 6’7″ forward Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central

Jaron Faulds 6’10” center Holt

Sophomore All-State Second Team

Ronquavious Southward 6’0″ guard Saginaw

Malik Ellison 5’8″ guard Flint Beecher

Armonee Felder 5’10” guard Detroit Pershing

Jamal Cain 6’4″ wing Detroit Cornerstone

Dylan Alderson 6’4″ guard Davison

Sophomore All-State Third Team

Brock Washington 6’2″ guard Southfield Christian

Michael Flowers 6’0″ guard Southfield

Drequan Bell 6’2″ guard Detroit Allen Academy

Isaiah Livers 6’7″ forward Kalamazoo Central

Greg Eboigboden 6’9″ forward University of Detroit Jesuit

Sophomore All-State Fourth Team

C.J. Wilson 5’10” guard Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Tariq Derrickson 6’0″ guard Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

James Beck 6’7″ forward Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills

Donatus Eke 6’9″ forward University of Detroit Jesuit

Jack Ballantyne 6’7″ forward Warren De La Salle

Sophomore All-State Fifth Team

Christian Rodriguez 5’10” guard Wyoming Godwin Heights

Diego Robinson 6’4″ guard Lansing Everett

Patrick Hatcher 6’0″ guard Detroit Pershing

Ontario Burnett 6’4″ guard Kalamazoo Central

Will Weems 6’7″ forward Detroit Edison

Freshman All-State First Team

David Dejulius 5’10” guard Detroit Edison

Foster Loyer 5’10” guard Clarkston

Jalen Tobias 6’4″ forward Detriot Renaissance

Zavon Godwin 6’4″ guard Roseville

Brandon Johns 6’7″ forward East Lansing

Freshman All-State Second Team

Pierre Mitchell 5’10” guard Detroit Loyola

Elijah Collins 6’0″ guard University of Detroit Jesuit

Davion Williams 6’0″ guard Belleville

Quinn Blair 6’4″ guard Divine Child

Thomas Kithier 6’7″ forward Macomb Dakota

 

 

 

 

Three Out Of Four. Beecher On Top Again In Class C

29 Mar

IMG_0343Mission accomplished.  Beecher completed their journey of winning three of the last four Class C state titles.  The latest, a 78-52 onslaught of Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian.

The game was decided in the opening eight minutes.  The Bucs outscored the Mustangs 28-9 in the first quarter, and the lead would never shrink down below single digits.

Three state titles in four years.  What’s the key to Beecher’s success? Preparation.

“We don’t think about losing,” said Beecher head coach Mike Williams.  “We prepare to win, and we don’t prepare to lose.  We set a standard that we want to win championships.  It’s important that these kids know how to set goals.”

It has been a playoff run of pure dominance by Beecher.  The single closest game in the post-season was 18 points.  A key to the Bucs’ ability to obtain large leads is their half-court press, which was used again today.  Not only does the press effect teams in the back-court, but if opponents are fortunate to break the press, it stifles their game plan offensively.  NorthPointe shot just 26.7% in the first half, and 30.9 percent in the game, 17-55 overall.

“Pressuring the basketball and putting them (NPC) in situations they haven’t been in before,” Williams added.  “I didn’t see where they got pressured a whole lot, not for an entire game.  I felt comfortable us throwing to the first punch, getting in their face, and not allowing them to come down and do what they wanted to do.”

Williams held high praise for Mustang senior guard Preston Huckaby.  Huckaby serves as NPC’s primary ball handler and scorer.  Preston scored 26 points the game prior in the semi-finals.  Against Beecher, 3-8 for 10 total points.

“Other guys were going to have to make decisions that weren’t use to making decisions,” Williams said.  “So that’s what we wanted to do.”

The Bucs concluded with advantages in the paint, 44 points, off turnovers 18-6, second chance points 14-9, and fast break points 12-0.  Beecher received just six points from their bench, but who needs a bench when your starting five is as a cohesive starting five in the state regardless of class.

Cedric Moten led the way with 24 points, Samuel Toins was 5-10 from beyond the arch for 17 points, Aquavius Burks added 15 points and 11 rebounds, sophomore forward LeVane Blake and six points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore floor general Malik Ellison contributed 10 points and four assists.

Arguably the best player in Buc history was ’13 point guard Monte Morris, winner of two state titles, and currently a starter for Iowa State.  When Morris graduated, the question was, who will be starting at point guard?  The answer, a freshman, 5’7″ Malik Ellison.  With Monte in the stands for the final game and keeping tracks on the season, Malik delivered.

“I take my hat off to Malik,” Williams had of his point guard.  “To step in as a freshman, after Monte Morris.  And he struggled at times last year, in the quarterfinal game I sat him down.  But I never gave up on him and this year he improved so much, and the one things I challenged him to do was do something Monte didn’t do, win a state championship game as a sophomore, lead your team, set the table.  I’m so proud of him the way he has matured, and he’s just a joy to coach.”

Factually speaking Beecher is a community just north of Flint, with a separate school district of their own.  Although the community is not technically Flint, Beecher is often thrown under the same fire when discussing the issues that have plagued Flint for years and Michigan overall.  With the program’s sixth state title, Williams is optimistic about what the future holds for both the program and community, for example simple things like a track for the high school.

“It’s a big old family,” Williams said of the community.  “And it really trickles down to the team.”  “It (title) means everyone to the community.  We just built a track, Beecher hadn’t had a track in 40 years, and I like to think our success had a little bit to do with that.”

With three of five starters returning for next years, the Bucs will be the odds on favorite to repeat.  But Williams doesn’t look ahead nor does he want his kids to.  He tries to instill life-long messages of positivity into his players to prepare them not only on the court, but in life.

“The one thing they get from me, that end of discipline, that end of structure.  In life it’s going to be competition, you have to be ready to compete, you have to know how to prepare,” Williams said.  “You got to have to have an edge, you got to have a chip on your shoulder, that’s they way I prepared these guys.”

Western Crowned Champions in Class A

28 Mar

CBNBnMMUcAAmdA6.jpg-large“Cream always rises to the top, you can shake it up however you want, before the game is over,” said Detroit Western head coach Derrick McDowell, “ball players usually rise to the surface.”

McDowell’s Cowboys did the rise to the top in Class A, and have plenty of ball players.

Western, 26-0, withstood multiple Saginaw Arthur Hill spurts to capture the school’s first ever basketball state championship.

In the biggest game of his life, senior Josh McFolley felt some discomfort in his leg.  His Cowboys were in the midst of a back-and-forth dog fight with Arthur Hill in the third quarter.  Josh re-entered the game, and with his team up 33-32 with under three minutes before the fourth.  McFolley scored the team’s next eight points to conclude the period.  The energy the Cowboys would ride into the fourth.

“I wasn’t going to let any little soreness get me,” said McFolley.  “I knew my team needed me.”

Fellow senior Gerald Blackshear was the recipient of three McFolley assists in the early fourth, as the Cowboys built a commanding 13 point lead at one point.

Arthur Hill would not lie down lightly, but the Lumberjacks could not get the deficit below four.  Western had a response for every Arthur Hill charge  All-state senior guard Eric Davis fouled out of the game on an and-one with 1:34.  SAH did however cut the deficit to as low as four at one point, but junior guard Karim Murray connected on four free-throws in the final minutes to secure the Cowboy hardware.  Dequavion Johnson did hit a three with 12.1 left to place the Hill down four, but the Lumberjacks lost all their timeouts in the process before so.

McFolley paced Western with a team-high 19 points, to go along with six steals, Blackshear added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Murray contributed 15 points.

“We got production from a lot of people,” added McDowell.

Brian Bowen led the Hill with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Texas bound Eric Davis concluded his stellar high school career with 15 points and six rebounds.

The win for McDowell hands the veteran coach his first state championship.  Coach McDowell has always been respected in Detroit basketball.  Before his current position at Western, McDowell won multiple city titles as the head man for Detroit Redford.  McDowell noted he often use to share his glory day Redford stories with his team during the season, but not anymore.

“This is my fourth time here, and I finally got it,” he added.  “I’m done with the Redford stories, it’s on to the McFolley, Blackshear, and Neely stories.”

Lost in the press of the day was junior guard Brailen Neely.  He scored just eight points, but at times during the year served at the Cowboys leading scorer, and facilitator.  Neely has seen both the good and bad of Cowboy basketball.  A three-year varsity player, Neely is astonished with the growth of the program.

“It was a process,” said Neely of getting to where he’s at today.  “Freshman year, we we’re young, we had 1 senior, we had a lot of growing to do.  Next year, we thought we had it.  We wasn’t really listening and it showed in our game.  This year we were all on Coach McDowell page.”

The 2014-2015 season for Western can be divided into two ways, before January, and after January.  Before January, the aforementioned McFolley and Blackshear could not participate following transfers from Mt. Clemens.  Despite not having two division one recruits on the floor, Western stood strong, 9-0.  Contrary to popular belief, Coach McDowell was adamant about his belief Western was a state championship contender without Josh and Gerald.

“I had all the pieces anyway, those were just extra pieces,” McDowell said.  “We weren’t looking for them to come in and be Batman and Robin.  We had enough to win.”

Coach McDowell’s persona on the sideline is of a strict general, however, his players finally managed to force their coach show some emotion.  When it was for certain his team would receive the trophy, he displayed the often unknown lighter side of him.  To the joyous reception of his players.

 

Ford and Western Represent PSL In East Lansing

28 Mar

2d725adFor the first time in a league with as much decorated tradition as the Detroit Public School League holds, 2015 might be the most historic.  Two teams will represent the league in East Lansing for state championships, Western in Class A, and Henry Ford in Class B.

Western, the state’s number one ranked team, won the city championship this season, and have met few teams that can match the Cowboys’ combination of depth, height, and skill.

Ford on the other hand certainly has had to claw and fight their way to Michigan State’s campus.  The Trojans went just 5-4 in league, which included a 72-55 setback to Western January 27th.  In the playoffs, however, Ford has played with greater poise and confidence.  After narrow wins against both CMA and Community in the district tournament, Ford outlasted defending Class C champion Consortium, and Class B first ranked New Haven in consecutive games to secure a spot in East Lansing.

bildeThe opportunity present for the schools is also significant because of the coaches that roam the sidelines, Western’s Derrick McDowell, and Ford’s Ken Flowers.  Flowers, a ’96 graduate of Detroit Redford, was prepped by McDowell in a Husky uniform.  And when McDowell departed Redford following the 2005 campaign, Flowers assumed the role of head coach until 2007 when the school closed.  Both Flowers and McDowell guided the Huskies to two separate Class A final four appearances, ’04 and ’07.

Flowers admits the transition was difficult from Redford to Ford, considering the two were bitter west side rivals for years in the city.  Still Flowers has been able to break lines which use to divide both schools and communities, but believes basketball extends far beyond the lines.

“It’s a blessing,” said Flowers.  “It’s big for me coming from Redford to Henry Ford.  That community is huge over there.  I’ve been getting e-mails and calls the last two weeks from Henry Ford alumni all the way back to ’71.  It’s amazing how basketball can bring a community together like this.”

Ford plays Godwin Heights Saturday, and Western takes on Arthur Hill.

Godwin Heights Edges Out Milan 70-64 For Spot In Class B Final

27 Mar

IMG_0303Down goes number one.  There will be a new recipient for the Class B crown following Wyoming Godwin Heights’ 70-64 victory against defending class champion Milan.

It wasn’t pretty, but there are no style points this time of year.  The Wolverines shot a porous 32.9% field goal percentage the entire game, 6-23 from beyond the arch, and 23-70 overall.

Fortunately for Godwin Heights, shots fell in the most important time, the fourth quarter.  With the game tied at 57 and three minutes remaining, Godwin went on a 8-2 spurt to seize control from Milan.  Six of those eight points were junior guard Leon Redd’s.  An and-one three point play, and then a cold blooded trifecta to place Godwin up six with under a 1:30 to play.  Often the case in that situation, a player would be told not to take the shot, but to work the clock and draw a foul.  However, not under first year head coach Tyler Whittemore, his players always have the green light.

“Told him to shoot it,” said of Redd’s shot.  “He’s a tough kid, confident, he knew he as going to make that shot, I knew he was going to make that shot if he got the ball.”

Redd scored 12 of his 19 points in the final stanza of play.  The senior combination of Delaney Blaylock and Mike Williams also had crucial efforts on the night as well.  The 6’4″ Williams was matched-up against Buffalo bound 6’7″ Nick Perkins, Nick scored 21, but scored just six points in the fourth and was 8-19 from the floor.  Williams concluded the contest with double-double of 13 points and 13 boards, nine of which were offensive.

“He’s been guarding the other team’s biggest/best player and most physical players,” Whittermore said of Williams.  “Being only 6’4,” but with the biggest  hear that’s the biggest thing that he does.  Plays hard and moves his feet quite well, and he’s able to get above the rim.”

The Wolverines out-rebounded the Big Reds offensively 25-19.

“We work hard in practice on offensive rebounding,” said Blaylock.  “Rebounding is just what we do.”

For Blaylock, he was part of the Wolverine backcourt that limited future Youngstown State Penguin guard Latin Davis 17 total points on 8-19 shooting, and five in the fourth.  Davis holds state-records for three pointers made in the championship round of play, which he accomplished just last year.  Davis was a major assignment for the Wolverines coming into play.

“Just keeping turning them back and forth,” said Whittermore.  “Getting the ball in other guy’s hand, had them make plays, see what they could do with it.”

“We had five guys guard him, deny him when he doesn’t have it.  Help the helper.”

Both Williams and Blaylock were just sophomores the last time Godwin Heights made a Breslin Center appearance, 2013, a loss to Detroit Community in the semi-finals.  The Wolverines face Henry Ford representing the Detroit PSL for Class B supremacy Saturday night.

Balance Leads Arthur Hill Past Everett 73-61 In Semi-Final

27 Mar

IMG_0299Balance, balance, and more balance.  These were the words to describe the performance on display by the Saginaw Arthur Hill Lumberjacks in the Class A semi-final against Lansing Everett.

Four different Lumberjacks tallied double-digit points, Eric Davis with 20, junior guard Billy Burton 18 points on four three pointers, sophomore forward Brian Bowen 15 points, and Dequavion Johnson added 11 points.

“All of us are capable of scoring 20,” said Texas bound senior guard Eric Davis.  “Some nights it’s probably my night, Brian’s night, Billy’s night, so you never know game-by-game.”

After holding a slim three point half-time advantage, the third quarter was dominated by Arthur Hill.  The Lumberjacks outscored Everett 23-13 paced by Bowen with eight.

Head coach Greg McMath draws on experience to illustrate the importance of third quarter play.

“I felt the last two years when we got put out the tournament by Saginaw High they dominated the third quarter.  Every drill we had the second-half of practice was just go hard.”

Everett has their own high-major college talent in 6’10” Oregon commit Trevor Manuel.  However, Manuel found little success against the Lumberjack defense, a total of 13 points.  Manuel’s inability to find a consistent rhythm was in large part the work done by football prospect Willie Rodgers, a 6’4″ sophomore defensive end.  Further illustrating the depth of Arthur Hill.

“I had a meeting with just the other 10 guys on the team,” coach McMath said referring to Davis and Bowen.  “And I told them if we’re going to make a run, if we’re going to win a state championship, it’s going to be on you guys.”

“These two (Bowen and Davis) always get the press and they deserve it, but it’s a total team effort.”

McMath returns to his first state tile game since capturing the Class A crown in 2006.  The game is also special for Davis, who in his first three years of high school had not gone past the district round.

“I’m 32 minutes away from winning a state championship,” said Davis.  “And I want to go out a winner.  This is my first time being here, and I always say ‘better late than never.'”

Beecher Routs Horton 71-43. Advance to Class C Title

26 Mar

IMG_0286Sam said “I am,” and Horton heard his swish.

Flint Beecher’s Sam Toins has had the Breslin Center on his mind for well over a year.  Toins’ Bucs suffered a heart breaker a season ago in the quarterfinals.  The senior shooting guard swore to himself and team that would not be repeated in 2015.

In the team’s 71-43 dismantling of Hanover-Horton in the Class C semifinal, Toins led the Bucs with a game-high 20 points, including five threes, four of which occurred in the first-half.

Not too often is the case a game of this magnitude is decided in the opening eight minutes.  However, the Bucs are no ordinary team.  Beecher outscored the Comets 23-3 in the opening period of action.  Horton found difficulty managing the Buccaneer half-court trap.  Beecher forced nine Hanover turnover in the first quarter, and 21 overall.

Coach Mike Williams’ team relies heavily on pressure to gain an advantage in games.

“We want to establish a tempo,” Williams said.  “And by coming out and some  these kids have never been in these situations before.”

Williams compares his team’s game-plan similar to a fight.

“You get into a fight, you want to throw the first punch, and throw the last punch,” Williams stated.  “So it doesn’t matter you win or lose you want to gain the respect of your opponent.”

If the Comets were fortunate to break the Beecher trap, Horton found little success in the half-court.  With a 36% field goal percentage compared to Beecher’s 51% field goal percentage, Horton had little to no room for error on the offensive end of the floor.

In addition to Toins’ performance, the Bucs had a well-rounded performance throughout the roster.  Senior forward Cedric Moten added 18 points, sophomore forward LeVane Blake added nine points and eight rebounds, while sophomore point guard Malik Ellison found success facilitating the Beecher attack, limiting turnovers, and applying on-ball pressure.

The win places Beecher into the Class C state championship game for the third time in the past four years, Beecher won state titles in ’12 and ’13.  Coach Williams also emphasized following the game he has lost as many state championships the same amount he has won.  Drawing on the invaluable amount of experience had led Williams to master the art of preparation.  Beecher’s special “championship practices,” involve grueling hours of sprints and scrimmages.  According to Coach Williams, it’s moments like this that have helped Beecher gain a state-wide reputation of excellence, and foster a sense of connection between the coaching staff and players in pursuit of a common goal.

“If you can’t handle me (Williams) in practice, when the pressure is on in the real game, they you won’t be able to handle it,” Williams said.  “But if you can handle me in practice, and you can get through.”

Williams’ goal for Saturday is to leave with “tears of joy.”

Cass Tech ’13 Graduate DeAngelo Stewart Commits to IPFW

26 Mar

GUswCuNQCollege tends to change people, whether personally or athletically.  For DeAngelo Stewart, it was both.

The 6’5″ ’13 graduate of Detroit Cass Tech’s road to college is not the typical route of a college athlete.  Stewart was originally committed to SIU-Edwardsville following his high school senior season.  Just before the start of his freshman year, DeAngelo de-committed, and chose to attend Alabama State University.

Alabama State was not the right fit either for Stewart.  In his one year at ASU, DeAngelo had difficulty in receiving consistent playing time and an overall feel of comfort with the program.

DeAngelo’s third college was Northwest Tech Community College in Goodland, Kansas.  In his one year at Northwest Tech, Stewart was a vital component of a Maverick team that won 20 games.  On an individual standpoint, Stewart averaged 16 points, and seven rebounds per-game.  Northwest Tech was the right culture for Stewart to change not only as a basketball player, but as a person.

“I changed my attitude on and off the court,” Stewart said.  “I became more mature also on and off the court.  I also changed my motor and body language.”

Focusing on those aspects brought greater interest and opportunities to play on the next level.  His stellar play landed DeAngelo interest from various mid-major institutions across the Midwest.  However, Stewart decided the final destination in his collegiate career will be at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“It feels good,” Stewart had to say about his commitment.  “I’m back in the Midwest where I belong.  I have been waiting on this moment ever since I arrived on campus for my JUCO season.”

“It’s a blessing to get another chance at the D1 level.”

Stewart said he chose IPFW because his relationship with the program was “different.”  DeAngelo admires the up-and-down tempo the Mastadons deploy. He also has a special relationship with one current Mastadon, sophomore guard Mo Evans, the Summit League sixth man of the year.  Stewart plans on bringing a sense of versatility next season to IPFW.

“They (IPFW) plan to use me on the perimeter,” Stewart added.  “And in the post to post up smaller guards.”

DeAngelo’s journey to division one college basketball has left a profound impact on him he will carry whenever his playing days are done.  Three schools in three years is not something Stewart would recommend.  However, it’s what was learned that has helped Stewart change the outlook on his career.  From playing “in the middle of no where in Kansas,” to division one college basketball, Stewart is thankful for the changes he has endured the past two years.

And so fittingly, Stewart strives on receiving the Summit League’s “Newcomer of the Year Award.”

State Semi-Final Podcast Preview

25 Mar

Interviews with Adam Troia and Milan’s Nick Perkins, in addition to predictions on championship weekend for all four classes.

Western and U of D Advance Following Quarterfinals

25 Mar

IMG_0270Western Rolls Past Ypsilanti

Detroit Western International continues to create history after each win in the playoffs.  From the first city title since 1922, and district and regional crowns, the undefeated Cowboys are heading to East Lansing.

Western outmuscled Ypsilanti 58-37.  Facing a diminutive Community frontline in which the tallest player was listed at 6’3,” 6’8″ senior forward Gerald Blackshear scored 16 points, and dominated the paint with 16 rebounds and three blocks.

For as much as Western’s defense stifled Ypsilanti, the Cowboy offense didn’t come as quickly.  The Cowboys shot less than 30 percent in the first quarter, and seemed one-dimensional with a reliance on Blackshear’s offensive putbacks for points.

Western, however, did begin to gain separation from Ypsilanti in the third quarter.  Senior guard Josh McFolley scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the third quarter, and the Cowboys would lead comfortably the remainder of the contest.

Winston’s Heroics

U of D Jesuit’s Cassius Winston continues to awe and amaze.  This time in front of 6,500 attendees, Winston poured in 34 total points to lead his Cubs to the Breslin Center for the second time in consecutive years.

Winston’s last two points were the most important.  After Clarkston had just tied the game with 12 seconds left at 54, Winston completed a successful give-and-go from classmate Obi Duru to streak in for a lay-up at the buzzer for the Cub victory.  Winston was met with a stampeding student section for his performance on the night.

Video of Cassius Winston’s Game Winner

The Rematch

With their respective wins, U of D Jesuit and Detroit Western will meet this Friday at the Breslin Student Event Center in East Lansing for a spot in the Class A state championship game.

The two teams have met before.  In Operation Friendship to conclude the year, Western defeated U of D 58-49.  However, the contest can be taken with a grain of salt.  The playoffs started for both teams less than four days following the game, and each squad either held back or sat key pieces to their teams.

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