Tag Archives: East English Village

East English’s Chris Rollins Commits To IPFW

29 Jun

DSC_00171Like coaches, point guards will be critiqued by wins and losses.  East English Village senior Chris Rollins is a winner.

Whether it be as a sophomore starter for Warren De La Salle, a junior transfer at EEVP, or through a successful travel ball career, Rollins will come out on top more times than not.

Now Rollins envisions winning games on the collegiate level, which will be as a Mastadon for Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), despite not knowing the clear origin of the school’s mascot.

“I think it’s an extinct form of an elephant, and I know it’s symbolic of the State of Michigan.”

IPFW was the first school to extend interest towards Rollins during his recruiting process.  Chris displayed great loyalty to the Mastadon program committing before the July live evaluation period, with the possibility of receiving additional collegiate scholarships from other institutions.

“The school, and players, and coaches are really showing a lot of love (towards me),” Rollins said of his recruitment.  “Which is a major reason why I chose IPFW.”

Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Northern Illinois were other suitors for Rollins’ services.  Chris is a mere 5’11,” not an ideal size for a division I caliber point guard.  However, Rollins compensates size for IQ, agility, speed, and instincts all lead guards must have.

“I feel as if I’m the most complete guard in the (Michigan’s 2016) class,” said Rollins.  “I think my game will translate well due to my quickness, and ability to score and make my teammates better.”

Before he can reach Fort Wayne, Rollins has unfinished business to settle in Michigan.  East English Village will be in their fourth year of existence his senior season, and the trophy cases are awfully empty.  Chris and four out of five returning starters plan on resolving that issue as the Bulldogs enter the 2015-2016 campaign a pre-season top ranked team.

“To be honest the goal for this season is to be a great team and ultimately win both city and states, and punish every team in our way.”




Western Advances To Regional Semi-Final 65-55 Over East English Village

17 Mar

IMG_0246This is what Josh McFolley came to Western for.  To win and lead.

Last season, McFolley was a key component on a Mt. Clemens team that reached the Class C quarterfinals.  Now as a senior, Josh is the primary leader of a Western team that was once a dormant program of the PSL.

“I’ve been in this position before,” McFolley said of his team’s position in the state tournament.  “I know how to control the team, calm things down a little bit, and the coaches keep us calm too.”

In the team’s 65-55 defeat of East English Village at the Sterling Heights regional semi-final, Josh scored 19 points, hauled in seven rebounds, and assisted on four Cowboy baskets.  For as good as he was, Josh surprisingly didn’t lead the team scoring-wise.  That was held by junior guard Brailen Neely, with a game-high 22 points.

In their short time together, Neely and McFolley have built a strong relationship among one another now reaping rewards on the court.

“We talk about this before every game,” McFolley said of him and Neely.  “Talk about it during practice, what we got to do, ever since day one we’ve been together.  We know we have to work together.”

McFolley struggled in the first-half, connecting on just one of his first five shot attempts.  However, Neely was there to pace Western with 11 points in the opening 16 minutes.

Western held a slim one point advantage at intermission.  Then, it was McFolley’s turn.  Josh scored 11 of the Cowboys’ 21 third quarter points, including six straight at one point.

“I rushed a little bit in the first-half,” McFolley said, “kind of slowed me up a bit.”  “Then the coaches told me just to stay composed and I was expecting it in the second-half too, so I managed to play through it.”

Western knew the game would be an up-and-down affair.  In the first meeting of the year, the two squads combined for 149 points.  Just as it was in January, this game would be dictated by guards.  Three Western Cowboys standing 6’8″ scored just 10 points, and EEVP’s two primary forwards scored combined for 15 points.

The one Bulldog that found any form of success against Western was 6’3″ junior guard Kamari Newman.  Newman scored 22 points, and seven off free-throws.  Yet no other Bulldog scored more than 12 points.

“That was the key,” McDowell added about the team’s defensive strategies.  “Hold the rest down, we knew Kamari (Newman) would get his, but basically hold the rest down.”

A three-ball by Neely gave Western their largest lead of the fourth quarter, 59-48 exactly half-way through the period.  However, a desperation surge by East English placed the Bulldogs down just five with 1:50 in regulation following a Newman three pointer, his only basket of the final stanza.  Despite inconsistent free-throw shooting in the final minutes for Western, EEVP’s could not connect on challenged perimeter jump-shots, the Bulldogs went scoreless on the team’s final five possessions.

East English concludes the year with 16-5 overall record.  The Bulldogs have reason to be optimistic for next season, as just one player graduates from the team’s nine-man rotation.

Western improves their record to 22-0, and have a date with Warren De La Salle Wednesday night in the regional semi-final.  Josh is familiar with De La Salle’s style of play, but remains confident in his Cowboys.

“I know they’re a pretty good team,” he said.  “Pretty scrappy team.  So we just got to play our normal game and continue to play hard and we’ll get the win.”


East English Village Routes Taylor Kennedy 85-63

27 Feb

IMG_0166Detroit East English Prep junior Kamari Newman did not appear in the starting lineup against Taylor Kennedy.  Quite the oddity for a Detroit Public School League All-City first team member.

“I didn’t practice yesterday because my ankles,” Newman said following the game.  “So I had to come off the bench, so that was nothing.”

And nothing it was.

Newman poured in a team-high 23 points off the bench as the number 20 ranked Bulldogs routed twenty-fifth ranked Taylor Kennedy 85-63.

“Everybody contributed to offense, everyone played solid defense, it was a good solid overall win for our team,” said Newman.

Aside from Kamari, three other Bulldogs contributed double-figures scoring wise.  6’4″ forward Cedric Lattimore tallied 19, front court mate Jaylin McFadden added 14 points to go along with seven rebounds, and senior point guard Fred Jones contributed 11 points.  Compared to Kennedy with just two players with more than nine points.

“It doesn’t matter whose scoring,” Newman added. “Me, Chris (Rollins), Ced (Lattimore), Nate (Bowlware).  It doesn’t matter everybody can pretty much go-off.”

As much as the Bulldogs are talented offensively, The Village’s defense also impacted the game.  EEVP’s full-court pressing defense caused 22 Kennedy turnovers.  10 of those occurred in the third quarter, where East English outscored the Eagles 25-10 after a narrow lead of six at intermission.  Other than senior guard Andia Marsh, only one additional Eagle scored more than five points in the second half.  Marsh finished with 21 points to lead Kennedy.

“Our defense, that’s one of the biggest things about our team,” Newman mentioned.  “We lock-up, we play defense at practice just like we play in a game.”

East English Village decided to take 13 days off since their last game, a narrow four point loss to Renaissance in the city semi-final.  Much has been expected of this Bulldog squad since the pre-season. East English won 10-12 contests against league competition, the other loss was against Detroit Western, the state’s number one ranked team.  In March, however, the Bulldogs could possibly only face one PSL team en route to the Breslin Center, a rematch with Detroit Western in the regionals.  The Village isn’t short on talent to have reservations for East Lansing in late March.

“The city championship loss, that just made us hungry,” Newman said.  “So we can get ready for this state playoff run.”

“Defense and rebounding, that’s going to be our main goals.”

Junior Class Leads East English Village Past Ford 72-65 In City Quarterfinals

12 Feb

photo-6Detroit East English Village is chartering into unknown territory. The school was formed as a merger of Finney and Crockett High Schools in the Fall of 2012. With East English’s victory over Detroit Henry Ford, the Bulldogs will play in the first PSL city semi-final in school history.

EEVP trailed 28-25 at halftime in an evenly matched contest. However, the Bulldog game plan would have to change. 6’3″ junior standout guard Kamari Newman took an awkward fall attempting to secure a rebound. Newman would be forced to leave the game with 7:38 seconds left in the third with his team trailing 30-25. Ford would make their move. Led by division one point guard James Towns, the Trojans would go on a 14-0 run over the next 2:23 and lead as large as 19 points at one point, Towns scored six in the third.

The Bulldogs needed to counter and quickly, and received it from the unlikeliest of sources. Junior guard Lamar Neely does not play the most minutes on a particularly deep Bulldog squad, but with the injury to Newman, Neely needed to make his presence felt.

“On the bench I was kind of nervous,” Neely said after the game. “But once I got in there the jitters went away.”

Neely and fellow junior guard Chris Rollins orchestrated the Bulldog comeback. Rollins connected on a three pointer to trim the Trojan lead to nine to ending the third. Rollins would continue his onslaught in the fourth, he scored seven points in the final stanza, and Neely launched a three pointer with 3:40 left to give the Bulldogs a 59-57 lead, capping off a 16-5 spurt in the fourth.

“I was real confident,” Neely said regarding the three pointer. “I’m not going to say I knew it was going in, but I was real confident.”

Neely scored all ten of his points in the second half. Ford knotted the score 61-61 after junior Jeremy Crawley sinked one of two free throws with under a minute to play. Bulldog junior Jaylin McFadden had a chance to win the game, but his contested five footer was off the mark. Overtime.

Overtime was all EEVP. The Bulldogs forced six Trojan turnovers, outscored Ford 11-4, and four different Bulldogs scored in the final four minutes of play, finishing the largest comeback in school history.

“Any team down by 19 most of the time they’re going to give up, think it’s over.” junior forward Jaylin McFadden commented after the game. “But the way our coaching staff is, we’re not allowed.”

McFadden did not start, he came off the bench and provided starters worthy minutes with 17 points and 10 rebounds, the fourth Bulldog in double figures for scoring, joining Chris Rollins (21 pts), the aforementioned Neely, and 6’5″ forward Cedric Lattimore (12 pts).

Newman did not play the majority of the third, entire fourth, and overtime session. McFadden alluded to Newman’s presence on the bench, even with his injury, as motivating to the team in moments of adversity. McFadden said he kept on pushing them, and were eventually able to get over the hump. But on a team as talented EEVP, it’s pick your poison according to Jaylin.

“It’s kind of hard,” McFadden said to key in on one player. “We all know our role, we are all trying to get it done for the same goal.”

The Village moves onto face Renaissance this Friday in the city semi-final. East English defeated Renaissance by two points on a last second shot January 20th. With a trip to Calihan on the line, the Bulldogs will not expect the Phoenix to lay down easily.

“They’re a hard team,” McFadden added. “Beat them by a buzzer last time, we know they’re trying to get back at us, we’re just going to play our game.”

Five Key Transfers Across Metro Detroit

19 Jan

The day after Martin Luther King Junior Day, all transfer students who sat out the first semester are eligible for competition.  For some teams, the added personnel can mean the difference between a district playoff loss and a Breslin Center appearance.  Here are five teams who will change for the better this second half of the season.

Detroit Western– The Cowboys sit undefeated at 8-0 overall, with statement wins against Romulus and Saginaw Arthur Hill.  Junior point guard Brailen Neely has blossomed into one of the premier guards not just in the city, but state as well.  Neely is complimented by classmates in guards Armani Tinsley, Karim Murray, Efrain Hodby, and Kyree Boyton.  The newcomers are U of D Mercy commits guard Josh McFolley, and forward Gerald Blackshear.  Both transferred from Mt. Clemens over the Summer, and have played AAU together throughout high school.  The 6’8″ Blackshear will be the fourth Cowboy over 6’7,” joining seniors Julius Palmer, Kheir Maxwell, and Antwan Smith.

Oak Park– Oak Park will see a rapid change in their roster and lineup possibilities, as six new transfers will become eligible for the Knights.  After playing games this season with only eight eligible players, Oak Park is primed for a deep run in March.  Junior point guard Trevon Gardner is currently ecstatic with the new options at his disposal.  6’8″ senior forward Rodney Scales was on Oak Park last season, but went to Wisconsin to play football this past fall, and returned prior to the basketball season.  Scales will pair with 6’8″ junior Kelvon Fuller, already on the radar of division one colleges, and form a dynamic Knight front court.  Devin Mills, a transfer from Ferndale, is a high-scoring two guard in the backcourt that should provide plenty of offense, and is a carbon copy of senior guard Howard McInnis, instant offense.  River Rouge transfer Jonathan Raines, is only a sophomore, but adds even more size for the Knights at 6’7.”

Macomb Dakota- Not just a football power anymore, Paul Tocco’s Cougars won 19 games a year ago, and enter the second half of the season with a 5-2 record.  Dakota will add Mt. Clemens transfers Jermaine Jackson Junior and Charles Penn.  Jackson, son of former Detroit Piston Jermaine Jackson, is listed at 5’6″, but is as skilled as point guards at 6’6.”  He’s crafty, a great three point shooter, and exceptional creator/passer.  While Penn is 6’6,” and will give the Cougars a go-to scorer, rebounder, and versatile defender.

North Farmington– North Farmington is currently 9-0, and are led by seniors Jeron Rogers and Anthony Qasawa.  The Raiders are a talented team alone, now add Billy Thomas into the equation.  Thomas, transferred home from Genesis Academy after five months of competition and receiving division one offers.  The junior was on U of D Jesuit’s semi-final team a season ago, and will contribute as a reliable perimeter scorer and ball handler.

East English Village– The Bulldogs are undefeated in Detroit Public School League play.  East English Village is a primarily guard oriented team, juniors Kamari Newman, Chris Rollins, and Nate Bowlware have all had their respective moments thus far.  Yet their lone big man, 6’5″ Cedric Lattimore, has proven capable of a workhorse power forward.  Lattimore now receives aid in the front court, 6’5″ Jaylin McFadden, a transfer from Southfield Bradford.  McFadden is a skilled athlete and leaper, he will add an offensive and defensive rebounding presence EEVP will use to challenge not only for a city title, but state championship as well.


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