Archive for the ‘High School’ Category

Chuck Krafft, a Lansing-area writer, covered Tuesday night’s Class C quarterfinal at Owosso on his blog, the Bleacher Denizen. I saw the carnage firsthand as well, but I think the game’s final minute deserves a full-fledged rehash.

First (for the ADHD crowd), here’s the short of it:

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.42.15 AM

Here’s how Krafft saw it (emphasis is added):

P-W misses a three point shot from the wing.  Kyle Nurenberg grabs the offensive rebound, but P-W misses another three point shot.  Adam Wesley races back on defense to stop Beecher from scoring an easy layup … Quay Burks inbounds the ball to Tommie Johnson for a layup that gives Beecher a 38-31 lead.
Adam Wesley hits a three point shot from the wing to cut the Beecher lead to 38-34 with 53.6 seconds left and stop a Beecher ten point late game run.  Beecher is fouled and misses the front end of a one and one opportunityP-W grabs the rebound, but throws a long pass out of bounds.  Quay Burks is fouled and hits both ends of his one and one opportunity to push the Beecher lead to 40-34 with 36.6 seconds left.
Beecher commits a foul, but it’s only the fifth Beecher foul this half.  P-W has the ball with 29.9 seconds left.  Nick Spitzley jumps forward and draws a foul as he shoots from behind the three point line…
… Spitzley swishes one, two and three free throws to cut the lead to 40-37 with 27.6 seconds left.  Quay Burks is fouled and sinks one of two free throws for Beecher with 25.3 seconds left to give Beecher a 41-37 lead.  Kyle Nurenberg turns, jumps and rattles in a three point shot for P-W to cut the lead to 41-40.  Before I can even finish my note, Nick Spitzley steals the ball and puts it in the hoop to give P-W a 42-41 lead with 4.1 seconds left in the game.

Beecher is only able to heave the ball from half court as the buzzer sounds.

Plenty of P-W fans actually missed what may have been the most improbable comeback they’ll ever see at any level.  If I hadn’t been interested in the game’s final stats, truth be told, I’d have been in the parking lot with them. I think it’s worth pointing out that when Spitzley was fouled on the 3-point attempt, Beecher actually had fouls to give. That’s just another one in a long line of variables that had to go right for P-W and wrong for Beecher to effect this outcome.

Beecher’s head coach, one of the state’s best, had this to say after the game (via @sloc12):

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.39.47 AMWilliams told Mlive’s Eric Woodyard that he shouldered the blame for the loss:

“I put it all back on me,” Williams said. “I could’ve called that timeout to get us settled down at the end (after Nurenberg’s shot). With the team that we have, where we came from last year and the way we started this year we have nothing to be ashamed of. These kids played their heart out all year long and gave me everything they had.”

On the bright side for Beecher, the Bucs are among the youngest teams I’ve seen playing in the quarterfinals at any level. Williams returns the vast majority of his roster including Quay Burks and Malik Ellison, two high-impact underclassmen. I’d bet the farm on the Bucs getting back to the Breslin where they belong.

Mott sophomore Malik Albert's 34 points were not enough against St. Clair Wednesday night.

Mott sophomore Malik Albert’s 34 points were not enough against St. Clair Wednesday night.

I missed out on Mott’s road game versus St. Clair on Wednesday night (I’m still in Florida). Suffice it to say, I didn’t miss much. The two most glaring deficiencies for the Bears this season, free throw shooting and defense, joined together to haunt them in Port Huron. The Bears surrendered 103 points and bricked 21 free throws, losing to the Skippers by three and frittering away any realistic chance of playing for a state title this season.

That’s not a misprint: 21 freebies missed and 103 points given up in a regulation college game.

It was the Bears first loss to the Skippers since I’ve been covering them. Port Huron is always a tough place to play, but Mott always managed to pull out a win (even with less talented teams than this one).

Mott’s leading scorer, sophomore Malik Albert, turned in a huge performance with 34 points, eight assists and five steals. Even so, it was not enough to overcome another ridiculous defensive performance by the Bears.

In Mott’s five losses this year, the Bears have given up 94 points per game. For followers of the program, one built on defensive intensity, that’s simply unthinkable. The team’s lack of care for defense, and its five losses, put the program in rarefied air. Only once in the last decade has a team coached by Steve Schmidt lost more than five games.

Oh, and the next game on the schedule is against Oakland Community College (currently in a tie for first place in the MCCAA Eastern Conferece). The last two games were must-win games for Mott. The Bears beat Wayne and lost to St. Clair. With a state title now out of the question, Saturday’s game versus Oakland is a must-win for an entirely different reason: Is Mott a contender or pretender in 2014?

We will find out on Saturday.

MCCAA Standings

Eastern Conference
School MCCAA Overall GB Home Away Neutral Streak
10 – Wayne County 12-1 .923 18-3 .857 9-1 6-2 3-0 Won 2
10 – Oakland 11-1 .917 21-2 .913 0.5 11-0 7-1 3-1 Won 4
10 – Mott 10-3 .769 19-5 .792 2.0 12-0 7-5 0-0 Lost 1
St. Clair County 7-6 .538 14-10 .583 5.0 7-3 5-7 2-0 Won 1
Schoolcraft 5-8 .385 12-11 .522 7.0 5-4 6-7 1-0 Won 1
Henry Ford 5-8 .385 10-13 .435 7.0 7-6 3-7 0-0 Lost 1
Delta 5-8 .385 10-14 .417 7.0 6-7 3-7 1-0 Lost 1
Macomb 4-9 .308 10-13 .435 8.0 6-6 3-7 1-0 Won 1
Alpena 3-10 .231 5-16 .238 9.0 3-7 2-7 0-2 Lost 1
Kirtland 2-10 .167 6-14 .300 9.5 5-5 1-7 0-2 Lost 3
Western Conference
School MCCAA Overall GB Home Away Neutral Streak
9 – Glen Oaks 11-1 .917 20-3 .870 13-1 7-2 0-0 Won 2
9 – Kalamazoo Valley 9-3 .750 19-6 .760 2.0 11-2 8-3 0-1 Lost 1
9 – Grand Rapids 7-4 .636 14-7 .667 3.5 5-3 9-4 0-0 Won 2
Ancilla 7-4 .636 10-12 .455 3.5 6-6 4-5 0-1 Won 1
Lansing 6-4 .600 16-7 .696 4.0 7-2 7-3 2-2 Won 3
Lake Michigan 7-5 .583 15-10 .600 4.0 6-6 9-4 0-0 Won 2
Jackson 2-9 .182 10-14 .417 8.5 6-9 4-5 0-0 Lost 4
Muskegon 2-10 .167 9-15 .375 9.0 4-7 4-7 1-1 Lost 3
Kellogg 0-11 .000 1-22 .043 10.5 1-4 0-13 0-5 Lost 15
9 – NJCAA District 9 Qualifer
10 – NJCAA District 10 Qualifier

Highlights of Mott’s win over Wayne County, 74-58

Posted: February 9, 2014 by Jared Field in High School

No. 8-ranked Mott pummels Henry Ford CC, 97-62

Posted: February 1, 2014 by Jared Field in High School
Mott's Malik Albert poured in 39 points in a win over Henry Ford on Saturday.

Mott’s Malik Albert poured in 39 points in a win over Henry Ford on Saturday.

FLINT, Michigan — Clearly Mott head coach Steve Schmidt has no interest in changing the way he runs his program. Despite not dressing two starters for violation of a team rule, Mott ran roughshod over Henry Ford on Saturday afternoon, 97-62.

“I subscribe to the theory that it’s easy to be average, but it takes hard work to be elite,” said Schmidt, whose team has an anything-but-average 17-4 record this season. “I tell that to my players all the time. For us to have a chance to defend any of our championships from last season, we’re going to have to all work harder. We’re not going to accept being average.”

Average at Mott, one of the nation’s most successful junior college programs, connotes something altogether different.

On Saturday, the Bears played 33 minutes of the best basketball they’ve played all season. The team had a lull in the first half when sophomore guard Malik Albert looked human. The rest of the game, Albert and company were unstoppable.

Mott had four players in double figures including a monster game from Albert, who scored 39 points with five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Sophomore Jamal Reynolds poured in 17 points with 14 rebounds. Ruston Hayward and Lorenzo Collier, both freshmen, added 13 points apiece.

Collier had the play of the game in the second half with a two-handed dunk in traffic (and the foul). He and sophomore Chester McFadden started in place of sophomore Myles Busby and freshman Marcus Johnson who, as mentioned above, did not dress. McFadden left the game early, however, with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

Had it not been for Collier’s dunk, the play of the game would have gone to freshman guard Chase Krager. The walk-on pinned a shot on the glass in the first half and put another against the wall in the second. It was the best all-around performance of the season for the 5-10 Krager (a baseball player by trade).

Marcus Williams led Henry Ford (8-11) with 25 points. The 6-6 sophomore played a hell of a game, but didn’t have much help.

Mott will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on the road against Macomb. Mott doubled up the Monarchs in their first meeting back on January 8.

 

ruston1

Mott freshman Ruston Hayward scored 11 points against Oakland Saturday in his first game back since suffering a knee injury.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — No. 9-ranked Mott had two chances to snap Oakland CC’s 10-game winning streak on Saturday. The Bears failed in both endeavors and finally succumbed to the Raiders in the second overtime, 111-105.

Trailing by three at the half, Mott took its first lead of the half at the 16-minute mark. Mott extended its lead to seven at the 11-minute mark, but frittered it away just two minutes later. All told, there were more than a dozen ties or lead changes in the second half alone.

With 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Mott had the ball with a chance to win the game. Chester McFadden, a sophomore guard, missed a contested 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. In the first overtime, Mott had another prime opportunity to win the game. With five seconds to go, Mott freshman Lorenzo Collier hit the first of two free throws to put the Bears up two. After missing the second, Travontis Richardson got the rebound and hit Richard Roberts on an unchecked outlet for an easy lay-up to send the game into double overtime. McFadden, at midcourt, looked like an outfielder watching a home run ball.

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No. 6-ranked Mott rolls over Macomb, 78-39

Posted: January 8, 2014 by Jared Field in High School

FLINT, Michigan — Mott will enter Saturday’s big game in Detroit versus Wayne on the heels of its best defensive performance of the season Wednesday night. The Bears held Macomb to 14 points in the first half en route to a 78-39 home victory.

The only thing colder than the temperature outside Ballenger Field House was the perimeter shooting of Macomb. The Bears held the Monarchs to an atrocious 5-for-24 from the field in the first half. The only factor that kept this game from getting way out of hand was Mott’s inability to convert around the basket in the first half.

Mott sophomore Chester McFadden led all scorers with 15 points. Freshman guard Marcus Johnson scored 14 points with five assists. Sophomore guard Malik Albert entered the game leading the nation in scoring, but finished with his lowest point total of the season: 10 points with seven assists.

Redshirt freshman William Abbott continued his strong play, scoring eight points with 12 rebounds in only 18 minutes.

Brandon Hicks led Macomb with 14 points. Hicks had two of the team’s three total assists.

Mott’s game on the road Saturday versus Wayne will tip at 3 p.m. This is a huge game for Mott, as Wayne is one of the top teams in the MCCAA this season.

No. 7-ranked Mott upset on the road against KVCC

Posted: December 19, 2013 by Jared Field in High School

No. 7-ranked Mott lost its second game of the season Wednesday night, on the road against Kalamazoo Valley (KVCC). The Bears’ struggles on the defensive end caught up to them once again, falling 87-82.

Mott led 33-31 at the half but surrendered 56 points in the second half.

Sophomore Malik Albert led all scorers with 28 points and freshman Marcus Johnson scored 15. Sophomores Myles Busby and Jamal Reynolds added 10 points and eight rebounds apiece.

KVCC had five players in double figures led by Tyler Oliver and Jaylen Larry with 14 points each. Larry is a Flint Carman-Ainsworth graduate. Point guard Davonte Harris scored nine points with five rebounds and played at a high level for almost the entire game.

KVCC will fight with Lansing also season for supremacy in the MCCAA’s Western Conference, so it’s a bit of a stretch to call this one an upset — Mott has split with both programs this season. That said, once Mott’s second-scorer and top forward, Ruston Hayward, returns to the lineup, Mott fans should see a much-improved group.

The Bears will return to action at 7:30 p.m. December 30 at home versus Owens, another one of the better teams in the Midwest.

Fourteen for 2014: Flint-area players to watch this season

Posted: December 16, 2013 by Jared Field in High School
Former Flint Northern standout Tez Thomas is one of our 14 players to watch in 2014. Thomas transferred to Flint Beecher after Northern earlier this year.

Former Flint Northern standout Tez Thomas is one of our 14 players to watch in 2014. Thomas transferred to Flint Beecher after Northern earlier this year.

With the graduation of the Flint area’s class of 2013, among the top classes for basketball talent in the area in the last decade, a market correction is certainly in order. Don’t get me wrong, what’s left after the departure of Mr. Basketball (Monte Morris), Denzel Watts, J.D. Tisdale, Bart Williams and company isn’t exactly chopped liver — there are some lesser-known kids out there this season who can really go.

Here are 14 players you should probably make a special trip to see this season. You should know most of these guys, but a few names might surprise you. One name that is missing is would-be senior Kaylin Johnson, a young man with high-level potential who sat out most of his junior year at Flint Northern last season. He is currently in a correctional facility after a run-in with the law over the summer. He’s the most physically gifted player in our area. Here’s hoping he can turn his life around before it’s too late.

Cam Morse, senior, Flint C-A (Player of the Year): Morse, a 6-3 combo guard, has evolved into a better all-around player than his D-1 counterpart from last seasons, Denzel Watts. Morse leans on skill more than brawn, and will put up numbers in the SVL South that will turn more than a few heads (he already has games of 29 and 30 points) this season.

Malik Young, senior, Flint Southwestern: Young certainly deserves consideration for the top senior in the Flint area this season, though his playing status is unclear after a preseason knee injury has kept him on the sideline. He’s small, maybe 5-10, but he has a quick burst and lives in the lane. He has been a difference maker at SWA for three years and, without him, the Knights have little chance of making a postseason run. Young will find out this week his playing status for the season.

Jake Daniels, Holly, junior: I saw Daniels for the first time when he was in the 8th grade. He was the smallest player on the floor, at the time, but he competed like he was 6-7. Daniels can play either guard spot and is under the radar after sitting out his sophomore season. Daniels started as a freshman at Grand Blanc before transferring to Holly to play for Lance Baylis and the fun-n-gun Bronchos.

Jaire Grayer, junior, Flint Southwestern: The son of former NBA player Jeff Grayer is probably the best college prospect on this list. At 6-4, he can take his defender inside and out. The Knights will lean on Grayer and fellow junior Neshua Wise (who really should also be on this list) for scoring in the absence of Young and, of course, nationally-recruited sophomore Miles Bridges, who is now playing at Huntington Prep in West Virginia. To be the best player in his family would be difficult, but he could certainly be as good or better than his similar-sized older brother Kevin, who was a stud at the JUCO level and all-conference at Midwestern State University.

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If this young man stays at it, he’s going to be a high-major. He just recently received his first D-1 offer from Oakland University after his performance at their team camp.

Swartz Creek's JD Tisdale will lead the Gold Team in the 21st Annual Bruin Club All-Star Game on June 20 at Mott Community College.

Swartz Creek’s JD Tisdale will lead the Gold Team in the 21st Annual Bruin Club All-Star Game on June 20 at Mott Community College.

Swartz Creek senior J.D. Tisdale was the first player off the board on Tuesday night, as coaches for the 21st annual Bruin Club All-Star Game drafted their rosters. The game will tip at 8 p.m. on June 20 at Mott Community College in Flint. The cost is $5 at the door.

The game will feature the best seniors in the Flint-area including NCAA division one, division two and lower-level college signees.

Rosters (selected by draft of the coaches)
Gold Team: Lance Baylis, coach

JD Tisdale, Swartz Creek
Cory Cox, Fenton
Erick Layton, Hamady
David Battle, Grand Blanc
Richie Lewis, Formerly of Flint Northern
Jomontae Wheeler, Hamady
Cullen Turczyn, Lapeer West
Quinton Cook, Brandon
Zeshawn Jones – Parker, Lapeer West
J.C. Carrizales, Davison
Mitch Rubio, Goodrich
Tyler Centilli, Clio

Black Team: Jeremy Trent, coach

Nick Sullivan, Powers Catholic
Markell Lucas, Beecher
Eric Readman, Fenton
Framar Harris, Southwestern Academy
Eric Thompson, Powers Catholic
Darian Welch, Lake Fenton
Andre Yancy, Northwestern
K.J. Miller, Grand Blanc
Jaylen Randle, Carman-Ainsworth
Matt Romano, Kearsley
Michael McFadden, Northern
Max Cummings, Swartz Creek
Marcus Watson, Northwestern