Tag Archives: Playoffs

Prep Ball Review Podcast Quarterfinal Preview

23 Mar

Recap of last week’s regional championships, discussion on Deyonta Davis’ Mr. Basketball award, and Class A and B quarterfinal previews.

Ypsilanti Outlasts Rival Lincoln 60-48

14 Mar

IMG_0239Free-throws count for just one point, but separate the contenders from pretenders in a tournament setting.

Ypsilanti Community shot 22 free-throws in the Grizzlies’ district-final contest against rival Ypsilanti Lincoln, and made 18.  Senior point guard Avery Williams connected on all 11 he took.  So does Williams take pride in his free-throw ability?

“Every day,” said the senior with a smile.

Williams not only scored 11 points from the free-throw line, he also made four three pointers on the night, and led Ypsilanti with a game-high 25 points.  The performance his head coach has been waiting for.

“I’m going to be honest,” Ypsilanti head coach Steve Brooks said, “Avery Williams goes like that we may be undefeated.”  “He’s the guy we’ve really been waiting on to have that kind of game, he’s one of our captains.  I’m glad he chose tonight.”

Lincoln had already lost to SEC White Conference foe Community twice during the regular season, both double-overtime affairs.  The game was close well into the fourth quarter, the largest lead by any team was seven points.  With 2:04 remaining in the contest down four and the Rail Splitters holding the ball, sophomore guard Marlin Talley swiped a Lincoln pass and finished a high-difficulty lay-up.  Then less than five seconds later, Williams stole a Lincoln pass and found Talley for another lay-up, four points in less than 15 seconds.  This key series of events handed Ypsilanti momentum and control of the game.

The fourth quarter steals were a part of Community’s game plan.  Ypsilanti’s tallest player is listed at 6’3″, compared to Lincoln’s starting front-line of 6’5,” 6’6,” and 6’7.”  Ypsilanti’s guards needed to use their speed and quickness to combat a more vertically gifted team, in particularly on the defensive end.  Lincoln committed 18 total turnovers.

“We always understood that we’re a lot quicker than them,” Avery Williams said.  “Even though they always have the size over us, we always have the quickness, we also had the toughness as well.”

Again, free-throws win championships.  When Lincoln decided to foul from 1:17 on down, Ypsilanti went 8-10 from the charity stripe.  Junior guard Corey Allen with four, Williams two, and Talley two.  Lincoln scored just one time on their final five possessions.

Allen contributed 12 points, while Talley added 10 points, two steal, rebounds, and assists respectively.  Lincoln was led by senior forward Devin Haygood with a team-high 16 points and nine rebounds.

Ypsilanti (17-4), wasn’t expected to capture the school’s third straight district championship.  Community lost All-State 6’10” forward Jaylen Johnson to Louisville, as well as three starters from a 21 win team one season ago.

“It’s a down year maybe talent wise, but it’s never a down year character wise,” added Brooks.  “They’re very coachable kids.”

Williams is just one of three seniors on the 15 man roster.  Brooks says he has gained greater confidence in the roles of his underclassman as a result of added playing time.

“You basically got sophomores that’ve played 20 games, so what it does is officially make them juniors, and the juniors seniors,” said Brooks.  “And when they’re a close-knit group, they’re going to grow anyway, because everyone is going to encourage one another.

Ypsilanti’s next opponent is Southgate Anderson (11-12), Monday night in the Gibraltar regional.  Along with Anderson, Romulus and Dearborn Fordson will join Ypsilanti.  Romulus ended the Grizzlies’ season a year ago in the regional final by seven.

Six Great Games for District-Final Friday

13 Mar

Hardware will be passed out.  See what the best district-finals of the night are across the state.

Class A

Lansing Everett (20-2) vs. Grand Ledge (20-2) @ Okemos

Outlook: The third edition for these two CAAC Blue Division rivals, both winning on each other’s home court.  This one, however, is on a neutral site, and could serve as the best game of the night in Michigan.

Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (19-3) vs. East Kentwood (21-0) @ Byron Center

Outlook: Did anyone think these two teams would have their respective records at the beginning season?  If so please raise your hand.  Unfortunately, one of these team’s season must come to conclusion.  This one will not disappoint.

Walled Lake Western (22-0) vs. Walled Lake Central (17-5) @ Walled Lake Central

Outlook: A fourth meeting  between the Warriors and Vikings.  Western won twice, once at Central, and the other for the KLAA Lakes Conference Championship.  Refs, we did not come to see you.  Please let the players decide this one unlike the previous meeting.  Nice point guard match-up here between Central’s Walter Kelser and Western’s Jerald Booker.

Clarkston (21-0) vs. Rochester Adams (15-7) @ Clarkston

Outlook: Continuing on the theme of conference foes reuniting, Adams and Clarkston play for the third time on the year.  Clarkston won the two prior meetings both by nine points.  However, as evident during the regular-season, the odds of defeating a team twice are extremely low, let alone three times.

Class B

Wayland Union (19-3) vs. Wyoming Godwin Heights (20-1) @ Wyoming Godwin Heights

Outlook: The best Class B district-final of the night.  Wayland lost their three games by a combined seven points.  The Wolverines are in the midst of another stellar season as one of Class B’s elite.

Detroit Henry Ford (15-5) vs. Detroit Community (16-5) @ Livonia Clarenceville

Outlook: The best east side district final of the night is at Clarenceville.  Community pummeled Bradford by 20 points, while the Trojans had to claw their way to a victory against CMA.  Will Community’s length and athleticism be enough to neutralize the speed and perimeter shooting of Henry Ford?

Five Great District Opening Round Games

7 Mar

Post-season basketball is here.  First up is district action, or team’s closest to one another.  Some districts will see lopsided affairs on opening night, but here are five quality games to start the playoffs.

Stevensville-Lakeshore (18-2) @ Kalamazoo Central (19-1) Portage Northern

Outlook: A district championship worthy contest on the opening night of the playoffs, as the winner of this one will most like have reservations in regionals.  Central has met little to no competition in Michigan, their lone loss came to Ohio’s ranked Lima Catholic Central.  While Lakeshore’s two losses have come to Class B elites Otsego and Benton Harbor.

Belleville (12-8) vs. Romulus (14-5) @ Westland John Glenn

Outlook: Similar to Lakeshore and Central, the Glenn district could be decided on Monday.  These two bitter rivals split meetings earlier in the year, both winning on home-courts.  Romulus will be eager to make a return trip to the Class A quarterfinals after a disappointing performance at Calihan Hall a year ago, while the young Tigers could easily gain momentum if they win the overall season Battle for Hannan Road.

Flint Southwestern (13-7) @ Goodrich (18-2) Lake Fenton

Outlook: Aside from two losses at the hands of Class C top-ranked Flint Beecher, Goodrich has cruised through the regular-season.  The Martians are motivated by coming just one game short of a trip to the Breslin Center last season.  Their opponent, Southwestern, has been quite unpredictable.  In spurts, Southwestern has looked like a Class B contender.  Early in the season, the Knights won nine of ten games, to enter the playoffs, Southwestern lost three of their past five games.

Detroit Loyola (15-5) @ Detroit Edison (13-4) Detroit Edison

Outlook: Experience against youth.  Loyola loses games the Bulldogs are heavily favored in, such as St. Mary’s and Divine Child.  Perhaps playing a road-opener in the playoffs will bring an added sense of urgency for Loyola.  Their opponent, Edison, relies heavily on freshman and sophomores both in the front and backcourt.  The winner faces Allen Academy in the semi-final for all intensive purposes a district championship, and will be rewarded with a clear path to at least a regional final.

Fernale University (13-4) @ Madison Heights Madison (15-5) Madison

Outlook:  This district is wide-open, as five of the six teams won double-digit games during the regular-season.  As for this individual matchup, it isn’t the most talked about or hyped, but a very intriguing affair.  Two of Madison’s five losses were at the hand’s of Class B number one New Haven.  University plays seven seniors with hopes of advancing to the second week, for the past three years, the Eagles have lost in the district championship game.



2013-2014 Playoff Preview

3 Mar


It’s March!  Which means Spring is near, and playoff basketball is upon us.  Districts are the first round of the playoffs, and there are plenty of intriguing matchups on deck for the upcoming week.  District playoffs usually compose of teams within the same league or conference, which brings about great atmospheres and rivalries for games.

All four classes in Michigan this year are relatively competitive, and are open for multiple teams to win.

Class A

Best District: Belleville

Taylor-John F Kennedy
Wayne Memorial
Westland-John Glenn

Contenders: Pershing, Muskegon, University of Detroit Jesuit, Saginaw Arthur Hill, Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Battle Creek Central, Ypsilanti

Sleepers: Romulus, Cass Tech, Oak Park, Jenison, Holt, Mt. Pleasant, Detroit Southeastern, Taylor Truman, Saginaw, East English Village

Class B

Best District: Central Collegiate Academy

Detroit-Central Collegiate
Detroit-Frederick Douglass
Detroit-Old Redford Preparatory
Hazel Park

Contenders: Wyoming Godwin Heights, Grand Rapids South Christian, Jackson Lumen Christi, Milan, Detroit Country Day, Otsego

Sleepers: Millington, Detroit Community, Wayland, Comstock Park, Ferndale University, Goodrich, Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy, Detroit Douglass, Detroit Henry Ford

Class C

Best District: Auburn Hills-Oakland Christian
Auburn Hills-Oakland Christian
Mt Clemens
New Haven
Pontiac Academy for Excellence
Rochester Hills-Lutheran Northwest
Warren-Michigan Collegiate

Contenders: Detroit Consortium, Mt. Clemens, Negaunee, Shelby, Boyne City, Detroit Allen Academy, Muskegon Heights

Sleepers: Southfield Bradford, Marlette, Detroit Loyola, Flint Beecher, Pewamo-Westphalia

Class D

Best District: Bark River-Harris
Bark River-Harris
Felch-North Dickinson
Powers-North Central
Rock-Mid Peninsula
Wilson-Nah Tah Wahsh PSA

Contenders: Southfield Christian, Powers North Central, Bellaire, Hillman, Cedarville

Sleepers: Munising, Crystal Falls Forest Park, Battle Creek St. Phillip

Changes to Football Playoff Format?

7 Mar

What I like about the current playoff format, is that it allows every team to make the playoffs. Regardless of how bad or weak your conference is in terms of strength of schedule, all that matters at the end of the year is that you have no more than three losses. This current offseason, the MHSAA has come up with a new proposed format regarding the playoffs.

Instead of the current 6 wins and in procedure. Teams will be assigned into 8 divisions similar to that of what we have now, but at the beginning of the season. From then on, say for example a division three team, Orchard Lake St. Marys, defeats a division one team, Cass Tech. OLSM will receive 88 playoff points. And say if Cass Tech goes on to beat another division one team, such as Catholic Central, the Eaglets would continue to get 8 playoff points for every Cass Tech win.

The format is good for those in tough conferences. Such as the CHSL Central Division, where one year the league had three teams competing at Ford Field for state titles. In that league, the one team that always struggles is U of D Jesuit. U of D will now be thankful they are that league because of the amount of strong teams they play every year. On the flip side of the format, it does have some holes. The system has potentially to destruct weaker conference, the Detroit Public School League, where there are really only 4 teams a year that are competitive. They system also has the potentially to make scheduling for non-conference games more difficult, which is a well known commodity for the State of Michigan.

In the end, all that fans, players and coaches want in the playoffs is for the teams that deserve to be in get in. Why do you think you see so many early district playoff end up in blowouts? It is because of the strength of schedule. Think of how Cass Tech in 2011 the first year of their state championship. If they would have gotten one more loss, they would not have qualified for the playoffs. We would not have been able to see a defense hold four different teams in the playoffs to under 10 points. If a 4-5 team gets in over a 7-2, 6-3 teams who cares? All that matters in the end is that the deserving teams qualify.

Additional Info.

Teams also receive one point when a team it losses to wins a game.

Points one gets according to who they beat, Div.1 : 88 points; Div. 2: 80; Div. 3: 72; Div. 4: 64; Div. 5: 56; Div. 6: 48; Div. 7: 40; Div. 8: 32.


Game of the Week 10/26/12

26 Oct

My game of the week selection usually takes place on Thursday, but for this week it will happen on a Friday.  The game of the week for the first round of the MHSAA State Playoffs will feature a rematch of the Prep Kickoff Classic, with Martin Luther King leaving the City of Detroit to battle the Blue Jays of Southfield High School.  If you remember the game back in August, the Crusaders had control for most of the game, but stalled in the fourth quarter due to their seven turnovers.  The defense looked very good for MLK, only allowing a total of 21 points to a team that ended up beating perennial power Farmington Hill Harrison.  Southfield’s offense is quite interesting from what we have seen from them in the years past.  Their quarterback Tre Walton, a converted wide-receiver, lines up in the pistol with a running back in a three-point stance directly behind him.  They will send a receiver in motion trying to create a triple option and try to take advantage of Walton’s running ability.  If the Crusaders find a way to figure the offense out, they will most likely have no problems winning the game.  But I am not convinced that after last weeks city championship performance, where they gave up 48 points to East English, they will be able to contain this potent Blue Jays Offense.  Who needs to stop the ball when you score 51 points?  That is what the Crusaders did last week.  Devaun Williams was flawless connecting with Mycial Allen for two touchdowns.  King also got production on special teams with Avonte returning a kickoff for 81 yards.  This game will be a shootout.  The Blue Jays will give the Crusaders a battle, but King will march on to the district final.

Southfield: 35 King: 42

Enjoy the first round everyone!

East English 37 Cody 32

15 Oct

The Bulldogs took care of business on Friday with a 37-32 victory over the Cody Comets.  I have to say, I was very impressed with Desmond King of East English.  This was the first time I saw him play this year and I would go as far to say that he is probably the best two-way player in the city.  He came up and supported the run from his safety position and electrified the crowd from his running back position.  With the effort put forth from the Bulldogs, they answered my question of how many weapons on the offensive side of the ball.  We know about Khalid Hill at TE and Desmond King at RB but what about a receiver or a quarterback.  The combination of Rico Lewis and quarterback Anton Curtis certainly answered this question.  Curtis was flawless passing the ball, he had three touchdown passes to King, Hill and Rico Lewis.  As for Lewis, he made big plays at the wide receiver position, which opened up holes for King and the running game.  What also impressed me was Bulldog running back Nathaniel Bowlware.  Although he is short in stature, this freshman can absolutely fly.  The speed his processes has D-1 written all over it.

Detroit City Playoff Preview

11 Oct

Sorry for the delay, but today I will be giving you my 2012 Detroit Public School League City Playoff Semi-Final Preview. Unlike in years past, any team in this years playoff bracket can win the city championship. Two great games will be played at Northwestern High School with East English taking on Cody @ 5:00 and than the Crusaders of MLK will meet their bitter rivals, the Technicians of Cass Tech about half an hour after the conclusion of the first game. The preview for both games will follow:

East English Village vs. Cody

East English Village won the inaugural PSL East Division this year with a perfect record against the East. Cody was 2nd this year in the PSL West Regular Season Standings. These two are quite similar in many ways. Both teams play tough hard-nosed defense against their opponents. In fact, Cody last week shutout University Prep 55-0. The Bulldogs won last years’ city championship game when most of the players put on the Crockett uniform and bring a 6-1 record into this game, while the Comets carry a 5-2 record. Both teams love to run the ball. The Ville’ have running back Desmond King ,who is already a Ball State Commitment, pounding the ball. Cody’s offense is quite different from what I have seen in years past. They go with a spread look but rarely throw the ball. Even though it is predictable what they want to do, the opposition normally cannot stop them. Quarterback DeMarco Gulley is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the city and excels in open space. However, when they do decide to throw the ball, the pass usually goes in the direction of speedster Eddie Fluker. Cody has a ton offense on the field who can put up points with the best of them, but I am not convinced that they can score against a top-tier defense. Against Cass Tech, they scored 20, but seven of those came on a Eddie Fluker kick-off return. I do expect Cody’s defense to be tough but I have go with the Bulldogs in this game who will look to repeat as city champs.

Cody: 21 East English: 24

Martin Luther Kings vs. Cass Tech

Probably the best rivalry for football in the City of the Detroit adds a new chapter to its storied history as Cass will battle King for the right to play for the city crown. These two teams did not meet each other in the regular season, so the rivalry was in trouble of not being played this season. Lucky for us, King beat Denby last week securing a spot in the PSL Playoffs. The Crusaders will bring with them to Northwestern High School one of the most explosive offenses in the PSL. Senior quarterback DeVaun Williams will have multiple playmakers to get the ball to into this game. Wide-receiver Mycial Allen and Athlete Avonte Maddox are both being recruited by Big-Ten schools as we speak. Cass has looked mighty impressive this season with the exception of the loss to Orchard Lake St. Marys. Like King, Cass has playmakers on the offense as well. Jayru Campnell will be looking to win his first city championship to add to his State Championship he won last season. In my opinion, this game will come down who can control the line of scrimmage. Which ever team can control the line of scrimmage, get first-downs, and be in control of the game clock, will win this game. Cass has too much depth at the Offensive and Defensive lines for King. Which is why I pick Cass to win this game.

Cass Tech: 27 King: 18

Enjoy the playoffs everyone.

%d bloggers like this: