March’s Cinderella story, Lapeer West, knocks off unbeaten Grand Blanc

WestWest’s Cullen Turczyn scored a game-high 27 points against Grand Blanc.

DAVISON, Michigan — The only ‘L’ on the right side of the column for Grand Blanc (22-1) this season came courtesy of Lapeer.

The Lapeer West boys’ varsity basketball team will continue its improbable run in the MHSAA state playoffs after the Panthers blew out undefeated and third-ranked Grand Blanc on Monday, 65-43.

The Panthers started off a little slow, but it didn’t take long for senior guard Cullen Turczyn, the Flint Metro League’s all-time career scoring leader, to get heated up. Turcyzn scored 10 of the team’s first 12 points. West led by one after the first quarter before it was senior forward Zeshawn Jones-Parker’s turn to get involved in the scoring. Jones-Parker was a beast from that point on, scoring 19 points in three quarters despite foul trouble near the end of third quarter.

West (19-5) led by 13 after two quarters, by 21 after three and cruised to victory.

The Panthers await the winner of the Midland High and Saginaw game. Saginaw is currently ranked seventh in the state in class.

Turczyn finished with a game-high 27 point. Junior Mark Cox played great defense, as always, and chipped in nine points.

Grand Blanc, paced by senior KJ Miller, could not blame Monday’s loss to West on the absence of senior forward Bart Williams. Even the the loss of Williams in the team’s district-final win over Fenton on Friday night stung, they only have themselves to blame. The Bobcats were sloppy from start to finish, out sync offensively and almost completely aloof on the defensive end.

In reality, they were carved up by a 5-8 guard and a 6-3 big man; it was not what you would expect from one of the top-ranked teams in the state’s largest class. If the Bobcats had played so haphazardly against Fenton, they certainly would have been on the court this afternoon.

Grand Blanc will have to regroup for next season, as the Bobcats lose key players like Williams, Miller, TJ Nichols and 6-8 forward David Battle. The team also lost its star-in-the-making sophomore  guard Jake Daniels to Holly.