EAST LANSING, Michigan – it wasn’t a pretty four quarters for Denzel Valentine; in fact, it was down-right ugly as the sophomore star tried his best to steer his talented, but young Big Reds against Gull Lake. But when it counted in the waning minutes of Friday’s semi-final, Valentine went from ugly duckling to elegant swan.
In the final minute of play Valentine hit a critical jumper, pulled down a big offensive rebound and capped it off with a crucial steal and no look dime to a cutting Anthony Clemmons.
Luckily for Valentine and Sexton, Gull Lake played poorly by getting zero production out of its bench [a whopping one point] and its stars Trenton Messer and Taylor Schultz, and really all the starters, save for Jason Schau, shot way below 50% from the field.
A late surge by Gull Lake brought the game close, but Valentine’s heroics closed out the game to likely decide second place to an overwhelmingly talented Detroit Country Day.