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BOYS BASKETBALL: Top performers from the Horatio Williams Foundation Freedom Classic games

By: Branden Hunter, January 20, 2014, 2:39 pm

Warren, MICH – The Horatio Williams Foundation Freedom Classic games featured two buzzer-beaters, a blowout and a few nail biters. Sophomores dominated the event with their performances and one senior might have sealed the Mr.Basketball award with his performance. The Detroit PSL went 5-1 on the day, showing off deep the league really is.

1.Detroit Pershing 2014 power forward Justin Tillman: It was a no brainer who should be at the top of this list. Tillman rarely has a bad game and besides Josh Jackson, is the best player in the state. He scored 40 points, mainly off alley-hoops and  offensive put backs, while pulling down 24 rebounds and blocking seven shots. Tillman plays at a high level on both ends of the floor and uses his height and length very well. His power might be in his signature Afro.

2.Detroit Western 2016 point guard Brailen Neely: The sophomore is class in Michigan is of no shortage in talent and Neely ranks high on the list. The leader of his young, yet talented Western team, Neely scored a game-high 27 points against Detroit Country Day. Neely is crafty with the ball, gets in the lane with ease and can shoot it from deep. With the game tied at 62-62, Neely took matters into his own hands and hit an 18-foot jumper to win the game for Western.

3.Ann Arbor Huron 2014 guard Jalen Thompson: All eyes were on River Rats guard Xavier Cochran, but Thomson stole the show. In a lost to Detroit Pershing, he finished with 27 points, on a good shooting night. Thompson did a lot of his damage in the first half, getting easy lay-ups and shooting it from everywhere. He also added four rebounds and a few assists to complete his night. He and Cochran are a lethal combination on the floor at the same time.

4.Southfield 2015 guard Howard McInnis: Scoring is a gift and McInnis does that really well. The 6-footer scored 26 in a lost to Southeastern off the bench and is lethal behind the arc when left open. McInnis hit six 3-pointers and did all that he could to try and pull the win out. The Bluejays have a pair of solid point guards in freshmen Michael Flowers and Amauri Hardy and McInnis compliments them well with his scoring ability.

5.Warren De La Salle 2016 point guard Chris Rollins: The Catholic League has plenty of basketball talent. Rollins is apart of a young and talented Pilots team and led them to a win over Detroit Frederick Douglass. He scored 18 points, 11 of those coming in the fourth and grabbed seven boards. Rollins isn’t the biggest at 5-foot-10, but he played tough and made plays for his team.

6.Detroit Pershing 2014 guard Mory Diane: One of the best shooters and overall players in the state, Diane quietly dropped 22 points for the Doughboys. Teammate Justin Tillman stole the show, but Diane’s four three-pointers and defense only added to what was an exciting and intense game against Ann Arbor Huron. He’s committed to Buffalo.

7.Detroit Cass Tech 2015 guard Rob Edwards: I always say that Edwards could start for just about any other team in the state. Instant offense off the bench, he led the Technicians in scoring with 14 points, in a blowout with against Flint Beecher. Edwards can shoot if from three and is tough as they come attacking the basket. Imagine what he could do with more time.

8.Detroit Southeastern 2016 point guard Ean Blackwell: Probably the lesser known player on the list, Blackwell has become a great addition to the Jungaleers team. Senior forwards Leonard Harper-Baker and Darryl Bingham are the team’a best players, but Blackwell was on Saturday. He score a team-high 14 points and hit the game winning 3-pointer against Southfield.

9.Detroit Renaissance 2016 point guard Justin Turner: Sophomore point guards played well on Saturday, including Turner. He scored 14 points and handed out three assists in a win over Warren Fitzgerald. Turner has good size at 6-foot-2 and has a mature game. Against the 2-3 zone, Turner made smart decisions, and looks to have a high ceiling.

Other top performers:  Corey Wheeler,Jeremiah Becker,Leonard Harper-Baker,Isaiah Green,Aaron Austin, Edmond Sumner,Amariontez Ivory,Mike Laster,Darrell Davis,Chris McKay,Marquel Ingram,Xavier Cochran,Brian Walker.