Tag Archives: Flint Beecher

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.”

Beecher Extends Winning Streak To Seven Following 60-43 Win Against River Rouge

14 Feb

photo-10Flint Beecher and River Rouge, two schools with celebrated basketball prestige and tradition.  The two programs have combined for 19 MHSAA state championships, River Rouge 14 and Beecher five.

Rouge and Beecher last met in the 2012 Class C quarterfinals, Beecher won 59-55 en route to a state championship.

The latest meeting was another Beecher victory, a 60-43 outcome in the Buccaneers favor.

“It’s great,” Beecher sophomore point guard Malik Ellison following the victory.  “It’s a good tune up game that’s going to lead us to the tourney in March.”

Ellison led Beecher in scoring with 18 points, ten in the first-half.

“I think I played well,” Malik added.  “I picked my spots on the court and made my teammates available to score.”

Beecher led 15-14 at the end of the first.  Rouge would lead 23-21 with 3:38 before half, the last Panther lead of the game.  The Bucs finished the half on a 11-4 spurt for a 32-27 half-time advantage.

Panther senior point guard LaMonta Stone entered the night having scored at least 30 points in the team’s previous two contests against Romulus and Consortium.  The 5’9″ floor general struggled to find any form of offensive rhythm.  After making his first two shots of the game, Stone would only shoot 3-14 from the field the remainder of the first.

The man primarily responsible for guarding Stone was the 5’8″ Ellison.

“We played our tempo,” Ellison said the key was to neutralizing Stone.  “And boxed out. These are things we focus on for every game.”

Stone continued to struggle in the second-half.  He shot only 2-11 from the field in the second-half.  Along with senior forwards Maurice Witherspoon and Jalin Gibson repeatedly in foul trouble, the Panthers could not find a reliable secondary scorer to compliment Stone.  Beecher took advantage of the situation and built a ten point lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Bucs would outscore the Panthers 12-5 to five in the fourth quarter.  Methodically running their offense, limiting turnovers, and receiving the coveted 50/50 balls, Beecher was able to secure a victory and end Rouge’s five game winning streak.

Stone led the Panthers in scoring, but on 7-27 from the floor, the only Panther in double figures.  Aside from Ellison, 6’2″ senior Cedric Moten added 17 points, and 13 rebounds for Beecher against a taller and athletic Panther front-court.

“Ced (Moten) plays hard every game,” Ellison would say about his teammate.  “He’s our scrapper and energy guy.  He plays a huge factor for us, and he is the reason we are where we are.”

The Bucs are currently 14-1, and had outscored the opposition on average 73-47 entering the game against River Rouge.  In a statement game against a Class B contender, Ellison wants Michigan to know Beecher might be Class C, but can compete with anyone in the state.

“We don’t want to just be number one in Class C,” Ellison stated.  “We want the whole state to know we can compete with any class in the state.”

Michigan Class of 2013 Receiving NBA Caliber Recognition

17 Oct

matthewsIn Michigan’s class of 2013, more than twenty players committed to division one schools.  With just one year of college on their resume, a few have appealed to become very promising NBA prospects in the future.

According to NBADraft.net, three members of the class of 2013 are ranked top 50 sophomores for the national class of 2017.  Rhode Island’s EC Matthews, Iowa State’s Monte Morris, and Michigan’s Derek Walton.

The highest was EC Matthews at number 7, a 6’5″ 190 pound combo guard.  In his freshman season, EC averaged 14 points, and four rebounds a game for the Rams while playing more than 30 minutes each contest.  Matthews guided Romulus High School to the 2013 Class A state as a senior.


Coming in at 30, was Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr.  Walton started 36 of the 37 games for the Wolverines his freshman campaign, averaging 7.9 points a game, and three rebounds and assists as well.  Walton attended Chandler Park Academy for high school and played under his 20131203_Derrick_Walton_shoots_against_Jabari_Parkerdad.  A four year varsity participant, Walton received the Michigan Gatorade National Player of the year award his senior season, where he averaged  26 points, seven points and steals a contest.

Number 45 on the list is Monte Morris.  Morris played in all 36 games for the Big 12 champions Iowa State, starting the last 17 contests.  Morris averaged seven points, three rebounds a game his freshman season, and broke the record with 4.79 assist to turnover ratio.  Morris came to Iowa State after a successful prep career at Flint Beecher, capturing two consecutive Class C titles his junior and senior campaigns, culminating with the state’s Mr. Basketball Award his senior season.





8030804For a complete list of the t0p 50 sophomores in NCAA division one basketball, please click here

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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