BOYS BASKETBALL: Great Lakes Classic Day-one Wrap-up
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – The Great Lakes Classic, hosted by Inside Preps Sports, got off to a great start Friday afternoon, which should mean for a great weekend ahead of us. Day one showed us that the Under-16 title isn’t going to be an easy one to win, and that our neighbors to the north can play some basketball.
Sweet-Sixteen: The class of 2016 in Michigan is loaded, that has been drilled into basketball junkies all across the state, heads by now. And for good reason. Class headliners, Josh Jackson, and Cassius Winston weren’t in attendance, but the talent was still plentiful, with the likes of Ty Groce, Karmari Newman, Terrance Sewell, and Chris Rollins all playing.
Newman and Rollins, play for the same AAU team, Showtime Select, who were dominant in a, 76-43, win over the Foster Stars. Newman has the potential to be big-time with the way he shoots the ball. The 6-foot-3, lefty, played scarce minutes, but the made the best of them. He went 3-3 from beyond the arch, finishing with 13 points.
Rollins only had eight points, but was more effective doing other things. For a 5-foot-9 guy, Rollins is a good on-the-ball defender. He used his quickness to stay in ball-handlers pockets, taking the ball three times. Pound for pound, he’s the toughest point guard in the class.
Showtime Select also got good up-front play from sophomore forwards Kevin McKay (17 points, and Cedrick Lattimore (9 points, 7 rebounds).
Terrance Sewell and his R.E.A.C.H. 16-Under team did y fare well in their first game, but his performance was solid. Attacking the basket is his go-to move, so naturally, Sewell collected a lot of his points at the free-throw line.
R.E.A.C.H. dropped its first game of the weekend, and struggled with guard play, but its big men continued to play hard. Alaric Jackson, who’s 6-foot-6, a good 260-pounds or more, reminds you of a Dejaun Blair. Their body types make them look out of place, but they will rebound for you, play defense, and do what the other players won’t do.
Northern Uprising: The Northern Kings, from Toronto, started their weekend off on a good note. Both of their Under-17 and Under-16 teams collected big wins on Friday night. First their Under-16 team pulled away from R.E.A.C.H., 68-56. They were too tall, long, and athletic for their opponents. R.E.A.C.H. had a hard time getting anything at the basket, as the Northern Kings blocked everything they saw.
The Under-17 team was down to the Grand Rapids Storm most of the game, but somehow managed to comeback and pull off the 58-45 win. The Storm are a big team, with one 7-footer, and a couple of 6-foot-8 guys. That effected the Northern Kings early on, but they eventually learned how to use their athleticism, and scrappiness to negate that.
The Best of the Rest: Detroit Consortium won the Class C state title in part because they have the best player in the state, in sophomore Josh Jackson. But if you ask him, he couldn’t have did it alone. Junior Mykel Tyson was a major contributor, and played well for his Detroit Spartans Under-17 team on Friday. They lost, 67-51, to R.E.A.C.H., but Tyson did what he does best. He’s only about 6-foot-3, but Tyson hit the glass hard, and had a knack for being around the ball for easy put-backs.
In a strange move, Romulus senior Tyron Hamby was playing Under-16 ball on Friday. The Barton Community College (Kan.) signee tallied a good 23 points, although it was against high school sophomores. Still Barton is getting an elite attacker, who can flat out score.