July 16, 2010

More from day two of the Great Lakes Championship

The third and final day at the Great Lakes Championship at "The Cage" in Swartz Creek became a match-up between Team Detroit and Dorian's Pride. To start the day it was the semi finals in the under 17 division where Team Detroit beat a pesky OAA Select team 72-50. After only being up 31-23 at the half, Team Detroit turned up the pressure and OAA Select's shots finally stopped falling. In the other semi final it was Dorian's Pride-McCormick vs. BBC Select. The game was tied at halftime and then Pride went on a 10-0 run, that was answered by a 12-2 run for BBC Select. But Pride was able to pull away and win 63-49.

The Under 16 final was next and that saw the Pride jump out to an early lead behind some hot shooting from 6-foot-5 wing Anton Wilson from Flint Carman-Ainsworth, who has recently picked up a CMU offer. The lead got up to 18 (28-10), before a Team Detroit run cut it to 9. However a Pride three at the buzzer ended the first half with a score of 42-28 in favor of the Pride. But the second half was all Team Detroit as they gained momentum in the form of Flint Powers wing Javontae Hawkins. The talented 6-foot-4 wing has picked up offers from Oakland, Central Michigan, Michigan, Dayton, Iowa, South Florida and Minnesota and he showed why he is quickly rising in everyone's rankings. He is a super athletic wing who attacks the glass hard and is a human tip dunk waiting to happen. He has decent handles and a better shot then most would think. Hawkins is explosive going to the basket and even pulling double duty, playing three games in a row with the 17's, 16's, and then back to the 17's. He displayed plenty of energy and even took a charge in the 16 final while Team Detroit was making their run. In one sequence he hit a three to cut the lead to 4, got a steal and had an assist on another three to cut the lead to one, and then after another steal by one of his teammates he followed their missed lay-up for a tip dunk to give Team Detroit a lead they would hold for the rest of the game.

For Team Pride Taylor Perry, a 6-foot-3 wing from Rochester, played very hard and shot the ball well. Anton Wilson also played well though he didn't get many touches during the contest. Kevin Marshall a 6-foot-6 forward from Saginaw High showed good hands and finished well around the basket. He needs to get stronger but I don't think he is done growing yet.

In the 17 final, Team Detroit took control early as multi-talented as 2012 Bay City Western post man Matt Costello got hurt four minutes into the game. I believe it was a concussion, but he doesn't think so and says he feels fine, though he did not return to the game as Coach McCormick didn't want to take any chances. That made Pride's challenge much harder and it got harder when in the first 30 seconds of the second half, down 20, 6-foot-8 Jackson Kumen Christi big man Dan Chilote also got hurt and did not return. Even with two of their star players out, Pride still played hard and kept it very close all the way though. Ray Lee played like the best point guard in the 2012 class got to the basket at will while also knocking down some treys. Even though 6-foot-6 Ann Arbor Huron wing Dante Williams was fresh off hip surgery, he still showed some of the smooth shooting that led his high school to the state finals. His three point shot wasn't falling, but you can tell the stroke is there as he did not miss by much and he even had three trips in a row where three's barely rimmed out. Michael Hundley is 6-foot-9 and 195 pound forward from Detroit Renaissance who needs to add some weight and strength as 195 pounds was probably being generous. He did a nice job rebounding and does keep the ball high on his catches and finishes, but he needs to get stronger…a lot stronger. In the end Percy Gibson, Hawkins and Brandon Kearney were too much for Pride even though a three pointer at the buzzer by Dorian's Pride ended the game at 59-57. While the final score was close, Team Detroit never allowed them any momentum in the end as they hit free throw after free throw.

A very entertaining day of basketball at the Cage to end the Great Lakes Championship saw Team Detroit win championships in both the 16 and 17 and under divisions. Coaches from Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Dayton, Temple, Buffalo, Detroit, and Eastern Michigan among others were all present.

Stick with Chippewa Country as we will have interviews with several key players from the tournament up in the next few days.

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