LANSING, Michigan — Somewhere in the conversation of the match-up between Bay City Western and Detroit Southeastern I forgot about Percy Gibson. I was too focused on the match-up between future Spartans Brandan Kearney and Matt Costello. Too focused on Costello using this platform to all but seal next year’s Mr. Basketball. But the real story Friday afternoon was Southeastern’s Percy Gibson.
The 6’9ish center kept it simple all night long, Kevin Love-style. He took shots close to the rim, and actually took advantage of the “free” aspect of free throws. Not to mention the solid work on the glass and defense. Matched up against Western’s twin towers of Costello and 6’8″ senior Brandon Havercamp, Gibson should have struggled. Instead he emerged as the best player on the floor with a 22 point and 11 rebound performance, including an astonishing 10-11 from the line.
But Costello isn’t far off. The junior is the complete package. Unlike Gibson, he doesn’t keep things simple, but he makes it look that way, hitting threes, jumpers and handling the rock. An early scare when Costello pulled up lame in the second quarter minimized his stats, but he was still the most talented player on the court, and his performance may have been impressive enough to make him the front-runner for Mr. Basketball.
Now I have a rule. I usually devote a commensurate amount of writing space based upon contribution to a game, therefore I can write nothing about Brandan Kearney. I’ve never seen a Mr. Basketball candidate who I forgot was on the floor.
But with that rule in mind, I have to give a nod to Southeastern’s Darryl Flemister and Landon Gray. Both guys were killer on defense and taking care of the ball on offense. Without them, Southeastern does not win this game.
Ed Brown was 0-10 from the field. He’s got great defensive instincts and should probably stick to that aspect of his game.
As for Western, where did they get that height? And it’s good height too.
Aaron Tithof hit a ton of key shots, especially from deep, and Havercamp and Ryan Haag did what they could against Gibson.
But despite the blessing of size, Western’s biggest effort came from Tyler Ellis. The senior point guard did a great job of handling Southeastern’s pressure, a lot better than his 6 turnovers would indicate. He hit key shots and led the game with six assists. Good effort, needs to improve his left hand for the next level, but he’ll get there.
I’m not sure what the future holds for Western. With Costello they will have a shot to get back here, but it’s probably a long one with no real other threats from the 2012-13 class on the table. Hope you enjoyed it Bay City.