Photo Credit: Louis Murray
Ann Arbor Huron 55 Warren DeLaSalle 39: The River Rats continue to climb their way toward a State Championship, as they are now just one victory from perfection. They got the best of the Pilots in this semifinal contest, winning all four quarters of this ballgame. Offense was at a premium in the first half, as it was 11-9 Huron after the first, and only 19-15 at the half. The Pilots scored twelve in each of the final two quarters, but the River Rats finished with 14 and 22 points in the third and fourth quarters respectively. Poor three-point shooting doomed WDLS in this game, as they finished 3/17 from behind the arc. Tyson Edmondson (18), Kingsley Perkins (13) and Brandon Rawls (10) finished in double figures for Ann Arbor Huron. Linden Holder (19) and Nino Smith (10) would do the same for WDLS.
Grand Blanc 68 Forest Hills Northern 58: The Forest Hills Northern Huskies’ season came to an end in Thursday’s semifinals, as they were unable to defeat Grand Blanc. The Bobcats got out to a strong start, scoring the first ten points of the game on their way to an 18-11 first quarter edge. A run by FHN got the lead within four at the midway point of the second quarter, but a few baskets by Ty Rodgers extended the halftime lead back to eleven points. The Huskies came out on fire in the second half, and they took the lead 45-42 with 2:30 to play in the third quarter. Grand Blanc would finish the quarter on a 9-5 run, taking a 51-50 lead into the final eight minutes. The Bobcats scored the opening seven points of the fourth quarter to extend their lead to eight, and their 17-8 fourth quarter win resulted in the ten point victory. Points in the paint were a huge differential in the box score, as Grand Blanc won that battle 40-16. The Bobcats also won the advantage at the charity stripe hitting 10/14 shots while FHN made their sole attempt. Ty Rodgers led Grand Blanc with 19 points and 12 rebounds on a 7/11 shooting day. RJ Taylor (16) and Timonte Boyd (15) each joined him in double figures for the Bobcats. Ethan Erickson (19), Gavin Fisher (16) and Trinidad Chambliss (13) were the top scorers for the Huskies.
FINALS: Ann Arbor Huron (20-0) vs Grand Blanc (14-2), Saturday 12:30, Breslin Center
Grand Rapids Catholic Central 81 Ferndale 55: The Cougars are back in the State Championship game for just the second time in school history after powering past Ferndale in Thursday’s semifinal. After a close first quarter, 16-15 in favor of GRCC, the Cougars used a 19-10 second quarter to create a ten-point halftime lead. Ferndale took the lead during the third quarter, but they let the lead go, trailing by four with eight minutes to play. The fourth quarter saw an offensive onslaught on full display. In eight minutes, GRCC scored 33 points, as they hit 11/14 field goals, including 5/7 shots from beyond the arc. The Cougars scored the first 22 points of the fourth quarter, as Ferndale’s first points came with 3:25 to play. Kaden Brown led GRCC with 23 points, as he was 9/16 from the floor. Jorden Brooks was 7/14 from the field and 6/11 from deep as he added 20 to GRCC’s tally. Jack Karasinski was the third Cougar in double figures with 19 points. Jason Drake led Ferndale with 27 points in defeat.
Battle Creek Pennfield Bridgeport: The Panthers are advancing to the State Finals with a victory over the Bridgeport Bearcats. A hot start was vital to Pennfield, as they outscored Bridgeport 13-3 in the opening frame. This continued into the second quarter, as the Panthers nearly had the Bearcats doubled up at halftime, holding a 33-17 advantage. Bridgeport responded to start the second half, and they were within six with 1:39 to go in the third quarter, before Pennfield pushed the lead back to ten at the quarter’s conclusion. The fourth quarter was mere cruise control for Pennfield, as their lead never dipped into single digits. Luke Davis led Pennfield with 25 points on 7/11 shooting, while Ryne Peterson (12) and Aiden Burns (11) joined him in double figures. Remaureon Arthur (18) and Omarion Wilkins (11) were in double figures for Bridgeport.
FINALS: GR Catholic Central (19-0) vs BC Pennfield (21-2), Saturday 5:30, Breslin Center
Flint Beecher 47 Hanover-Horton 34: The Bucs punched their ticket to the State Finals with a victory over the Comets on Thursday. After a 12-8 first quarter edge, Beecher stifled Hanover-Horton offensively in the second frame. They held the Comets to four points, allowing their halftime lead to grow to thirteen points. In the second half, these teams would play even, with Beecher’s lead never shrinking below eight. The Bucs shot 17/39 from the field, attempting just only four triples. Hanover-Horton on the other hand was 2/19 from beyond the arc, and 13/45 on the game. Keyon Menifield and Carmelo Harris each had 15 to lead Beecher. Conner Mortimer (13) and Brogan Brockie (12) were in double figures for Hanover-Horton.
Iron Mountain 54 Schoolcraft 50: The Mountaineers continue their season to Saturday’s championship game, after they edged Schoolcraft. IM got out to a 11-7 first quarter lead, but Schoolcraft won the second quarter to trim the halftime margin to a single point. In the third frame, the Eagles kept playing strong, and they created a six-point edge with eight minutes to play. Schoolcraft’s lead grew to eight points, 32-24, but Iron Mountain would go on a 10-1 run over the next three minutes to jump back ahead by a point. The Mountaineers extended their lead to four with 1:14 to play, but Jonathon Able’s lay-up with twenty-seven seconds left forced overtime. In the extra period, Iron Mountain scored the first seven points. Schoolcraft would get within two, but they could never draw even. Foster Wonders was 13/24, finishing with 34 points and 8 rebounds to lead Iron Mountain. Bryce VanderWiere (15), Shane Ryske (14) and Ty Ryske (11) all finished in double figures for Schoolcraft, who shot 2/13 from beyond the arc.
FINALS: Flint Beecher (15-1) vs Iron Mountain (19-0), Saturday 3:00, Breslin Center
Tri-Unity Christian 61 Rudyard 43: The Defenders are making their way back to the State Championship game, thanks to a stellar victory on Thursday against the Rudyard Bulldogs. In the first quarter, Tri-Unity raced out to a 20-11 edge. They pushed their halftime margin out to seventeen points thanks to doubling up the Bulldogs 16-8 in the second quarter. In the second half, it was cruise control for Tri-Unity, as the Defenders’ lead got as large as twenty-one points, before ultimately winning by eighteen. Offensively, Tri-Unity was efficient, shooting at a 44.6% clip. Brady Titus set the pace with an 11/21 shooting day, finishing the game with 28 points. Austin Treece joined him in double figures with 11 points, along with 8 rebounds. In defeat, Rudyard was led by EJ Suggitt with 19 points and Tate Besteman with 13 points.
Detroit Douglass 60 Mt Pleasant Sacred Heart 41: The Hurricanes of Detroit Douglass are moving onto Saturday’s title game after sweeping all four quarters of their game against the Irish. MPSH, with just five active players, battled hard throughout the ballgame. After the first quarter, it was only 10-9 in favor of Douglass, but the fatigue started to show in the second quarter. The Irish were 1/12 in the second frame, and they fell behind by thirteen points at the half. The second half was closer, 35-29 in favor of Douglass, but that would be more than enough to advance. Douglass shot 51.1% from the field in this game, while MPSH finished at a 29.8% clip. Pierre Brooks led the Hurricanes with 30 points and 10 rebounds on 12/20 shooting and 5/7 from the charity stripe. Javantae Randle was 7/13 from the floor, adding 15 points and 10 rebounds to Douglass’ count. Zach Wentworth (15), Luke Predum (13) and Aidan Halliday (11) finished in double digits for the Irish.
FINALS: Tri-Unity Christian (14-2) vs Detroit Douglass (16-5), Saturday 10:00 AM, Breslin Center