This Saturday at Grand Rapids City Middle School (1720 Plainfield Ave NE), twelve teams will descend upon the gym for the best collection of basketball anywhere in the state this weekend, and perhaps all season. All six games of the Red Hawk Showcase will be broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio, with the action starting at Noon, so if you can’t get a seat in the gym, tune in for some phenomenal basketball. A quick look at the twelve teams and six matchups that you will see:
12:00 Grand Rapids Union (9-1) vs Flint Carman Ainsworth (7-3)
The host Red Hawks are off to a fantastic start this season, winning nine of their first ten games. This is the best start through ten games for Union since 2009-10. They enter this weekend winners of their last four games, dominating OK Black foes. Union is averaging 65.2 points per game on the year, including a season high 78 against Madison Heights Madison. The Red Hawks are led by Ray’Vaughn Anderson and Jeremiah Pittman.
They will take on Flint Carman Ainsworth, who are coming in off of an overtime victory over Goodrich. It has been a difficult schedule for the Cavaliers, as their three losses have a combined record of 29-2. FCA can also put the ball in the basket, as they average 63.3 points per game. Their season high of 81 points came against Davison in their season opener.
1:45 Grand Rapids Christian (10-0) vs Farmington (5-5)
The Grand Rapids Christian Eagles enter this game with a perfect 10-0 record on the season. The number one ranked team in Division 2 is led by Kobe Bufkin, who has yielded multiple Division 1 offers. Offensively, this bunch can score, tallying up an average of 61.4 points per game, while allowing 48.3 per contest.
Farmington will be the opponent for GRC, and they enter with a .500 record. The Falcons have also faced an extremely difficult schedule, with all five teams that they have lost to fielding an 8-4 record or better. Jaden Akins will yield a great matchup for Kobe Bufkin, as he has racked up plenty of Division 1 attention himself.
3:30 Hudsonville (10-0) vs Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (10-1)
The Eagles of Hudsonville are also undefeated as they enter the Red Hawk Showcase. Hudsonville is ranked number 8 in the Division 1 poll, and the team is led by Max Perez and Justin Degraaf. At 65.9 points per game, including four straight games in the mid seventies earlier in the season.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s has had a fantastic season so far of their own, reaching number 5 in the Division 1 poll. Led by Lorne Bowman, a commit to Wisconsin, the Eaglets’ only loss so far has been to state power Flint Beecher. This offensive powerhouse is averaging 66.4 points per game, including a remarkable 94 points in a victory against Detroit Catholic Central on January 14.
5:15 East Kentwood (5-5) vs Cass Tech (12-1)
The Falcons enter this game with a 5-5 record. Ja’Moni Jones is one of the most explosive guards in West Michigan, and he will have his hands full in this matchup. East Kentwood averages 58.2 points per game, but they have scored an average of 69 points per contest over their last three OK Red wins.
Cass Tech’s Tyson Acuff is a Mr. Basketball candidate as the calendar turns to February. The senior guard is averaging 28 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists per contest, and he has committed to play basketball at Duquesne. The Technicians average 72.2 points per game, and they scored a season high 102 in a victory over Detroit West Side Academy. Cass Tech’s only loss came in a one-point defeat against Flint Carman Ainsworth.
6:45 Muskegon (8-1) vs Saginaw (5-3)
The Big Reds have defeated all eight teams that they have faced from within the state of Michigan, their lone loss coming to Chicago Curie. This Muskegon team is also rising in the polls, climbing to number seven in the Division 1 rankings. Offensively, this bunch averages 64.2 points per game, with a season high of 94 coming against Mona Shores last week.
Saginaw started their season with three losses in their first four games (two of which were Flint Carman Ainsworth and Cass Tech), but the Trojans have won four consecutive games. Saginaw can match Muskegon offensively, averaging 68.3 points per game, including a season high of 88 against Arthur Hill. This team is led by Sir’Real Smith, who is a two-time All-State player that is collecting Division 1 offers in his senior season.
8:15 Benton Harbor (10-1) vs Ypsilanti Lincoln (8-1)
The game of the night is the conclusion of the Red Hawk Showcase. Benton Harbor is coming off a 22-2 season last year, and they have responded with winning ten of their first eleven games to achieve the fifth place ranking in Division 2. At 75.6 points per game, the Tigers can surely score, with a season high of 95 against South Haven. Defensively, they have held opponents to 51.2 per ball game. This team is led by Carlos ‘Scooby’ Johnson, a 6-6 senior who has committed to play at Butler next season.
Their opponent in this game is Emoni Bates, who many claim is the best high school player in the country, regardless of class. The 6-9 sophomore led the Railsplitters to a Class A State Championship last season, and they have won their last eight games of this season. These two individuals will put on a fantastic show for this game. At 68.6 points per game, the offense is slightly less for Ypsilanti Lincoln, but they have faced stronger competition.