In Play with Tom Markowski


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Pairings for the boys Detroit PSL playoffs to be finalized on Tuesday

By: Tom Markowski, February 1, 2015, 2:28 pm


Detroit – Two Detroit Public School League games on Tuesday could determine which team plays Detroit Western for the league championship.

Even though the playoffs don’t begin until Friday Western, 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in the State Champs Super 10, is considered a strong favorite to reach the final and to win it all.

The question remains as to which team will advance from the other bracket. It could well be Detroit East English Village Prep, the top seed from the East Division, or it could be Detroit Henry Ford, Detroit Renaissance or even Detroit Communication and Media Arts.

If Henry Ford defeats East English at home on Tuesday Henry Ford would finish second in the West behind Western and be in the opposite bracket with East English. If Henry Ford loses and Renaissance defeats Detroit Pershing at home then Renaissance would finish second.

“On paper it is Western’s title to lose,” Henry Ford coach Ken Flowers said. “I don’t think it’s that important to be in the opposite bracket. At the end of the day you still have to beat them (to win the title).”

Flowers has been pleased lately with the play of his junior point guard James Towns. Flowers said Towns has become more vocal and thus a better leader.



No stars but plenty of defense


Unlike Flowers, Ann Arbor Huron girls coach Steve Vinson is looking for that one player to step up and be the team leader. Vinson said he’s used eight-to-nine different lineups and that a similar number of players have led the team in scoring this season.

That can be good and bad. It’s good because opposing team can’t key on one player but when Huron needs a basket down the stretch it’s difficult for Vinson to pick out one player who he can’t count on.

Nevertheless Huron is 11-1 and in a month will be the favorite to win the Class A district at Dexter.

“We have a lot of people who can be stars,” he said. “It would be nice to have somebody who you can go to. We need someone to take a leadership role.”

Huron has just two seniors making that directive come true more challenging.

Junior Cheah Rael-Whitsitt (5-11) leads the team in scoring at 10 per game. She also averages seven rebounds. In a 33-28 victory at Dexter on Friday Rael-Whitsitt had just three points and two rebounds. It is this type of inconsistency that could cost Huron in the state tournament.

Huron plays at Clarkston on Tuesday and later in the season has road games against Class B state-ranked teams Detroit Country Day and Haslett.


Mr. Basketball candidate named a McDonald’s All America


Deyonta Davis, Muskegon’s 6-9 center, was one of 24 players named to the McDonald’s All America team last Wednesday. Davis was a big part of Muskegon state championship season last season and he’s signed with Michigan State.

Davis is averaging 20 points, 16.8 rebounds and 7.5 blocks.

He’s the first player from the state’s west side to be so honored since Matt Steigenga (Grand Rapids South Christian) in 1988. Steigenga led South Christian to the Class B title that season and was named Mr. Basketball.


Freshmen watch

Brandon Johns, a 6-7 post player at East Lansing, has upped his level of play the last six games. Coach Steve Finamore said Johns is averaging a double-double during this time period and has recorded four-to-eight blocks.

“He’s been playing incredibly well,” Finemore said. “We’ve won three straight and he’s becoming more accustomed to the pace and the speed of the game. It’s tough for some to go from middle school play to varsity competition.”

East Lansing is 6-6, 4-4 in the Capital Area Conference.

Another freshman who has caught some attention is Zavon Godwin of Roseville. Godwin is 6-4 and plays center when Roseville is in a zone defense. Offensively, Godwin plays the wing and will go inside as well.

Last Friday Godwin did not play well in the first half against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse as he was held scoreless and had but two rebounds. He did play better in the second half as he had 10 points including two free throws with two seconds left that cinched Roseville’s 60-57 victory.

Godwin displays good form on his jump shot and free throw attempts. His skill level is good. Godwin needs to get better fundamentally. Time is on his side.