CITYBEAT: At least there’s still second place

Posted: January 25, 2010 by Marcellus Miller in Citybeat, High School

As we sit on January 25, 2010, the Flint City Series race order of finish has all but been determined.  Due to their three wins in their first three city games, Northwestern has sealed the deal as the champion.  Further, as a result of last Friday night’s Northern victory over Southwestern, they can finish no worse than tied for second place and Southwestern can finish no better than that. 

Sadly, halfway through the regular season, the first team goal for each is either accomplished or dead in the water.  I guess there is still the chase for second place, but that’s just the first loser in my mind.

Here at the midway point is the time I will take a look at what the awards would be if handed out right now in the city.  Although the final story has not been written, 10-11 games is a good sample size to gauge how the year is going.  The biggest surprise for me may be the city MVP race.  Before the season I thought it would one of two guys: Shaquille Smith (Northern) or Travon Mitchell (NW).  While both of them are having good years, the clear midway-MVP is Mitchell’s teammate Jaylen Magee.  Magee has burst onto the scene and is putting up numbers in bunches while leading the team to an improbable 10-1 record.  He combines sneaky good athleticism with a nice stroke from the outside.  Not only that, but he is also getting to the free throw line seemingly at will (and converting there too).  He runs the floor as well or better than anyone I have seen in a while in Flint.  Quite simply, the word that describes him best right now is “explosive”.

As for the rest of my Citybeat midway awards, I will list them below:

Midway Citybeat first team (by position): Shaquille Smith- Northern (PG), Jojuan Graham- SWA (SG), Jaylen Magee-NW (G), Gerald Williams-Taylor- Northern (F), Travon Mitchell- NW (F)

Second Team: Josh Young- SWA (G), Deandre Parks- NW (G), Chuck McLauren- SWA (G), Dalvin David- Northern (F), Darrell Williams- Northern (F)

Midway Most Improved – G. Williams-Taylor

Midway Best Defender – D. Williams

Anyone that knows me knows that these awards are VERY fluid and will likely change before the year is up.  Moving right along, here are more thoughts on the city:

– I don’t know how much you heard about the near riots at Northern a few weeks back, but it was ridiculous.  The story has it that there were numerous fights pretty much all day culminating in a huge brawl just after the final lunch period when administrators couldn’t get kids to go back to class.  A teacher and at least one student were injured and taken to the hospital, the state police were called in, school was immediately closed for the rest of the day, and anyone caught hanging around the school was to be arrested on the spot.  Surprisingly, the story continues that there were a few suspensions, but not much more.  What?  Look, obviously I don’t know all of the punishment dished out, but someone or a number of kids likely should have been expelled.  This is one of the unseen problems with closing a school — overcrowding… and that  is the type of thing that can happen. 

– Speaking of Northern, they had an interesting problem in scheduling this year.  Before the biggest week of the year for them at that point, they had a whopping 12 days off from competition.  Then they had to play Saginaw Arthur Hill (#3) and Clarkston (#7) on back-to-back nights.  Not a good scenario for them, especially with no practice time between them.  Not surprisingly, they were their worst two games of the season.  All the practice time in the world would have a hard time matching the intensity of those two contests.

– SWA is as weak on the inside as I have ever seen a city team.  They gave up 60 points in the paint in their last game!  How does that happen?  Clearly the loss of Deparris Gordon and Rick Dent are killing that team, but there has to be some more heart than that than to give up that many points in the paint to a team without a dominant center.  If that doesn’t change, they could be looking square in the face of one-and-done in the districts.

– Northwestern is getting it done seemingly with smoke and mirrors.  They are proof positive that having three potentially dominant players can win (heck, the Bulls won several championships with a trio).  However, there lack of physical size may catch up to them at some point if the outside shots stop falling from Parks, Magee, and Mitchell.  Then it will be interesting…

– Here’s one for the “stuff you never thought would happen but did” file.  Northern’s practice was interrupted by a broken backboard.  Especially because it wasn’t their backboard.  I know you have all probably seen and read the story of Mott’s Doug Anderson breaking the glass and the game being moved to Northern.  The problem for the Vikings was their practice didn’t even begin until 6:30 that evening so they were barely into it before the interruption.  But the good part is they got to stay and watch a very good and exciting game for free!

  1. scott baryo says:

    Yes SWA has no inside game at all, maybe if the guards were not jacking up a shot every time they touched the ball. Even when the run the high pick and roll. never a pass to the guy who set the pick. Come on Mr. Perry this is a team game except on 12th street. even with that tell them to put a body on somebody. The other simple thing to winning is free throw shooting. Three little thing that will at least make the games close. Going to look bad going one and done to a school from the GAC not named Goodrich.

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