FLINT, Michigan — What happened Friday evening in Flint should not surprise anyone who has watched two of Flint’s best coaches over the last several years. Beecher’s Mike Williams and Powers’ Jeremy Trent are among the best defensive coaches in the state at the high school level. The combination made for one ugly game marked by a combined 45 turnovers.
After a brutal first half (the two teams combined for 12 points in the second quarter), Beecher extended its nine-point advantage with six straight points at the start of the second half. Beecher, the top-ranked team in class C, led by as many as 29 before emptying the bench with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. That said, this game tape is one Williams might accidentally erase. His team did force 28 turnovers in the game, but they also gave up 18 and missed more free throws than I could track.
Beecher, shockingly, could not do anything against the Chargers’ zone, which held the Bucs to only 18 points in the halfcourt game. That left 40 points to be scored in transition off the Chargers’ numerous turnovers.
Defensively, Powers can play with anyone; offensively, they are a hot mess outside of Nick Sullivan. This may be the best defensive team Trent has coached; it’s also among the worst offensive teams I’ve seen at the high school level. Powers has one player who can put the ball on the floor and finish.
As is typical, the Bucs were led by senior point guard Monte Morris who scored 31 points. He does it all with a smoothness that you just don’t see too often at this level. He knows all the angles and plays the game with the basketball IQ of an old man.
The second-best player on the floor on this night was Sullivan. The bruising senior guard had 18 points and didn’t appear to be intimidated by the difficult matchup. If this kid wants to play college basketball, he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a roster spot at a D-III or NAIA school. He’s tough.
For Beecher, this is a game the Bucs should be able to learn from. This was the worst I’ve seen them perform (Morris obviously is the exception) as a team, and they still managed to win by 21 points. On talent alone, Beecher probably should have won this game by 30 points or more.
The play of the game was made early in the third quarter when junior guard Emanuel Phifer threw down a nasty dunk in transition. He missed another later in the quarter off a feed from Morris that would have been even better.
As crazy as it sounds, this may be the most competitive game Beecher will play until the playoffs begin. That’s a credit to the Chargers. I thought this one would be over by halftime. Beecher’s next opponent, LakeVille, is probably going to get its head kicked in.