Everett upsets East Lansing, 54-48, in region final
Mason— East Lansing entered Wednesday’s night region final with an undefeated record and a familiar opponent, Lansing Everett, which lost twice earlier in the season to East Lansing.
Everett had its eyes on the program’s second consecutive regional title.
After trailing late by eight points, Everett, behind Jamyrin Jackson’s 21 points, ended the game on a 15-1 run and defeated East Lansing 54-48 in a Class A region final at Mason.
Everett will play Hudsonville in a quarterifnal on Tuesday at Lansing Eastern.
“We didn’t have a good streak against them in the regular season so beating them in the regional finals, that’s something big,” Jackson said. “Coming down and getting a big win like this just means everything.”
East Lansing guard BJ Powell led his team with 12 points. Powell’s teammates Deandre’ Robinson and Brandon Johns were the only other Trojans in double figures with 13 points and 10 points, respectively.
Everett (15-10) got off to a nice start and took a 14-10 lead into the second quarter. East Lansing chipped into the lead after the second quarter, going into halftime down 25-22.
Everett guard LeAndre Wright scored eight points in the second quarter and finished the game with 16 points.
“I mean it’s really exciting. I don’t know what it is about us but we’re a good fight back team,” Wright said. “We just came together as a team. We had a meeting before the tournament, talked over some stuff, found out what it was and just came together as a team and we all just play together now.”
As competitive as the first half was; the second half was the real story of this game.
With just under six minutes left in the third quarter, East Lansing guard Westin Myles had a nifty inbounds play, passing the ball off a defender’s back and back to himself underneath the basket for an easy layup.
Powell scored six points in the third quarter but it was on the defensive side of the ball that the Trojans dominated. Everett scored seven points in the third and trailed 36-32 entering the fourth.
Lansing got off to a quick start in the fourth, but with about five minutes left started to play very conservatively and keeping the ball in the hands of Powell and Malik Jones near the half court line.
East Lansing (23-1) led 47-41 with 2:47 remaining when an errant pass from Johns intended for Powell led to a turnover. Just 47 seconds later Jackson drained a 3-pointer for Everett that tied the game at 47-47 and forced an East Lansing timeout.
“Clutch, that’s my game. I feed off of that,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t hitting all of my shots, but that shot right there I just had a feeling that that was going in.”
Jackson finished the game with three 3-pointers and 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Immediately out of the timeout, Everett guard Victor Edwards received a technical foul. Myles went to the line for East Lansing and missed both of the ensuing free throws to keep the game at 47-47.
After receiving possession following the technical foul free throws, East Lansing held onto the ball for close to 45 seconds before turning it over. With just under a minute to play Everett made the proceeding free throws and never gave up the lead after that.
“It really feels great. You know we struggled with them in the regular season and we were looking forward to this matchup once we knew we would play them and you know they say it’s tough to beat a team three times in a row and these guys really fought,” Everett coach Desmond Ferguson said. “Coaching is overrated man, it’s about the players.”