Already over: Magee Leads Flint NW to the City Series Title

Posted: January 20, 2010 by Marcellus Miller in High School

FLINT, Michigan — It’s hard to believe, but only 10 games into the season Flint Northwestern has clinched the City Series title.  With only three teams left in the city, winning their first three city games proved to be enough.  Tonight’s win showcased NW’s undersized players with their oversized hearts.  Their 78-68 victory shows that desire can trump many things and hide many flaws.

No star shone brighter tonight than Jaylen Magee.  Magee finished with a game-high 27 points, including 20 in the second half and three long bombs from the outside when he was needed most.  He also rebounded very well for his size, especially on the offensive end.  After Northern jumped out to a 19-9 lead after one and 33-32 at the half, Magee decided to strap the team to his back and get the win.

Joining him in the charge to beat the Vikings again was Deandre Parks, who scored 17 tough points of his own.  Parks was his normal steady self, showing a variety of jump shots in his arsenal.  Travon Mitchell added 10 despite being saddled with foul trouble in the first half, while surprising scorer Ahasuerus McDonald also chipped in a big 10.  All three scored in NW’s decisive 3rd quarter where they took the lead for good.

Back from a back injury versus Clarkston and leading the way for the Vikes was Shaquille Smith.  He finished with 21 points and four assists in his return, despite a pair of early fouls.  Cameron Lefear, a transfer from Southwestern, made his début off the bench and scored 13.  Lefear gives Northern a shooter that they desperately need.  The do-it-all Gerald Williams-Taylor added 11 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists, despite being hit with some mysterious foul calls (more on that later).  Freshman PG Richie Lewis dropped 10 of his own as well.

The final score of the game was not indicative of how the game was played.  It was a back-and-forth contest throughout and NW nailed clutch free throws at the end for the final margin.

Game Notes:

– I hate to say this, but this is the 3rd Northern game where one particular official was the lead man.  In each game, Williams-Taylor was in foul trouble early and often.  His last foul tonight was laughable at best as he stood guarding a man 90 feet from his basket with both arms raised as NW’s Charles Morgan looked for someone to pass it to.  Somehow that was a foul.  But more importantly, coach Tucker drew a technical foul immediately following the play for, get this, WALKING AWAY from the ref!  That’s right!  The official said, “He can’t do that to me!”  right after he blew the whistle for a tech.  WOW!  That essentially sealed the game for the Wildcats with the five points they got from the exchange.  Basketball games are not places for people to payback someone from a personal vendetta.  The kids deserve better.

– Northern was without big man Don Lewis again due to a foot injury.  Hopefully he can get healthy soon, but I know that Northern will rather have them for the playoffs than this 20-game practice season.

– McDonald’s surprising night was the key for NW.  With Mitchell only scoring 10, McDonald picked up the slack for him with his double-digit effort that likely made the difference in the outcome.

– Lefear shined in his first game after transferring knocking down a couple of NBA-range three-point shots.  If he can be consistent, he may help force teams ou of the zones that Northern has seen.  Richie Lewis also knocked down a couple in that same manner, which was a huge positive coming out of the game.

– Magee was the truth tonight.  He did it all.  Scoring, rebounding, running the floor, etc.  He beat the entire Viking team down the floor on two straight possessions in the 4th quarter after the Vikings had just hit a basket, essentially negating what momentum they may have had.

– Williams-Taylor had one of the best blocks of the season.  He sent an opposing lay-up attempt out-of-bounds and off of the wall.  Darrell Williams added a huge one as well.

– Parks may be NW’s steadiest player.  He seems to just do the same thing every game.  He scored eight of his 17 in the first half, and nine in the second.  He also hit some shots on the move, which was a question mark about his game.  I was impressed with what I saw from him tonight.

– How in the world is the City Series over already?  WOW!  The closing of Central really took the steam off of that title.

– At 5-5, Northern is at a crossroads, losing 4 straight.  Conversely, NW is at a serious high being 9-1 after nine consecutive victories.  They seem to be two teams headed in opposite directions.  The biggest difference?  NW is a true team, while Northern is at this point a group of more talented players top to bottom without a true team concept.

— Marcellus C. Miller

  1. bball watcher says:

    I see Jaylen Magee’s name in every article but never see his name in a “Top Flint Players” List. What gives?

    • Jaylen’s been the top player in the city this year. Shaquille Smith and Jojuan Graham have been good, Deandre Parks is probably the most consistent, but Magee’s just as smooth and explosive a scorer as there is right now.

      • Jared Field says:

        I don’t think there’s any question about it. He’s the best player in the city.

        I wish Rick Dent hadn’t transferred. He’d have been right there with him.

  2. bball watcher says:

    If Northwestern makes noise again in March does Magee get D-1 calls? Do you think he is too small to go D-1?

  3. JeFF says:

    Those 2 guys can play I also Like Jojuan from southwestern he’s smooth and can score reminds me of Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks….. Also Shaq Treyvon he can play but parks and jay get all of

  4. JeFF says:

    the credit

  5. Another note from the game…Saginaw coach Lou Dawkins was there with former SWA Knight Deparris Gordon and former Beecher Buc Taron Boose. Hmmm…almost seems like rubbing it in, doesn’t it?

  6. Coach says:

    The too best scorers ive seen Has been Magee and Graham without a question @ times Graham makes it look easy with his smooth demeanor…. Magee and Graham are also similar but the diff Magee on winnin

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