Tag Archives: Macomb Dakota

Freshman Foster Loyer’s Career High 35 lead Clarkston Past Dakota 63-58

19 Mar

IMG_0257And a freshman will lead them.

It seems a script made for a Hollywood production.  A freshman, leading an undefeated team with championship aspirations, in a highly anticipated meeting between two state top ten teams.

Clarkston freshman floor general Foster Loyer scored more than half his team’s 63 points, 35, in the Wolves’ regional final victory against MAC Red Division champions Macomb Dakota (21-3).

Foster scored 13 of his total points in the final period of play, and the Wolves needed every last one of them.  In a game of two evenly matched teams, there was little separation.  Until the fourth quarter, the largest advantage any team held was five points.

The Wolves built an eight point advantage twice in the middle of the fourth quarter.  However, uncharacteristic Clarkston turnovers and mishaps propelled a Dakota charge.  Junior point guard C.J. Marshall scored scored six points in an 8-0 run to put the Cougars down one exactly half-way through the fourth.

“They changed up their defense,” Loyer said of the Dakota spurt.  “Put the trap on us and worked pretty well against us.  Had some careless turnovers but we finished through.  That’s all that matters.”

Dakota even held a one point advantage at one point with under three to play.  Clarkston (24-0) needed to make a stand, this time it wasn’t Loyer, however, senior Andrew Myers scored five straight for the Wolves and gave the team the lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the contest, up two with 2:12 to play.

Now Clarkston needed to connect on free-throws.  Loyer shot 10 free-throws in the final eight minutes, and made eight of them, four of which in the final minute.

Loyer, son of former Piston interim coach John Loyer, said free-throws are an aspect of a game he takes great pride in, and he practices them every day.

“(I) try to make 50 free-throws at least every day,” Loyer said.  “Free-throw line wins basketball games.”

Head coach Dan Fife had high praise for his freshman point guard’s performance in a filled to capacity crowd.

“It’s hard to imagine he’s a freshman,” said Fife.  “It’s incredible to think a kid that poised can play that composure in this kind of environment, cause I don’t think he’s played in anything like this.

On the roster sheet, Dakota clearly held an advantage athletically.  A 6’4″ guard, and four 6’6” plus forwards the Cougars rotated through during the game.  On top of the Cougars athleticism, Dakota also has one  the premier sophomore guards, Jermaine Jackson Jr.

Jackson scored 14 points, but took well over 20 shots to reach that plateua.  In a match-up of two promising underclassman point guards, it was Loyer’s night.  On a key rebound in the final minutes, Jackson attempted to get an easy layup, however, Foster was there to thwart a would-be Jackson two pointer, only a microcosm of Loyer’s dominant night.

“Really wasn’t ready to block it,” Loyer said with a smile.  “Ball came my way so I did what I could.”

Following a rugged regional championship, Clarkston has six days to prepare for Catholic League Champion U of D Jesuit (21-3).  The Cubs have their own stud point guard in junior Cassius Winston, whose scored at least 20 point in each playoff game for U of D.  Clarkston last appeared in the Class A state quarterfinals in 2011.

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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