Breslin Bound: Boys Quarterfinal Preview
March 18, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Tonight's MHSAA boys basketball Quarterfinals include plenty of matchups you'd expect to see during the final week of the season – and a few that will establish clear favorites as we move to Breslin Center this weekend.
In Class A, powers Detroit Pershing and Romulus have been considered the frontrunners all season and square off for the second time. In Class C, the winner of Detroit Consortium and Flint Beecher likely will be considered the team to beat this weekend. And in Class D, Southfield Christian and Climax-Scotts meet in a rematch of last season's MHSAA Final.
See below for a quick glance at all 16 games being played this evening. And click here for brackets including tip-off times and sites for every game.
Detroit Pershing (25-0) vs. Romulus (24-1): This rematch, held at University of Detroit Mercy, pits what most believe are the two best teams in the state regardless of class. Pershing won the first matchup, 83-76 on Dec. 8, and has continued to stack victories by large margins and close – including by two points in two of the last three games. Get there early for the 5 p.m. tip.
Saginaw (22-3) vs. Ypsilanti (20-4): The reigning Class A champion Trojans have rebounded from a 30-point loss to Romulus on the final night of the regular season to beat all of their tournament opponents by double figures. Ypsilanti is riding a 10-game winning streak and is a combined five points from boasting a 23-1 record.
Detroit Southeastern (19-5) vs. Rochester (21-4): Southeastern might’ve gone a little under the radar following Detroit Public School League frontrunners Pershing and Cass Tech. But the Jungaleers can make a loud statement by beating Rochester and Kentucky recruit James Young, a Mr. Basketball finalist this season.
Grand Rapids Christian (19-6) vs. Muskegon (19-6): The Eagles and standout Drake Harris have been making headlines lately and have bounced back nicely from a 2-4 start this winter. But Muskegon has to come in with some confidence as well after beating Christian 72-48 in their lone meeting Jan. 22.
Big Rapids (23-1) vs. Cadillac (20-4): Both of these teams are league champions – Cadillac as one of three that shared in the Big North Conference and Big Rapids after finishing 18-0 in the Central State Activities Association. Both boast high-scoring guards – Big Rapids led by junior Quinn Tyson (21.7 ppg) and Cadillac countering with senior Nick Paquet (15 ppg).
Detroit Country Day (22-3) vs. Flint Powers Catholic (13-12): Country Day is playing to return to the Semifinals for the fourth straight season and is keyed by 6-foot-3 point guard Edmond Sumner (16.1 ppg). Powers is looking to get back for the first time since 2009 and has made a nice run after a 3-8 start under first-year coach Jeremy Trent, formerly of Swartz Creek and Burton Bentley.
Jackson Lumen Christi (21-3) vs. Detroit Community (16-9): After losing seasons in coach Rich Karasek’s first two, Lumen Christi is having one of its best seasons ever; the Titans are a combined 12 points from being undefeated and eliminated two-time reigning MHSAA champion Lansing Sexton in the Regional. Community’s record is a bit deceiving – four of those losses came to Class A or C Quarterfinalists and two more to out-of-state powers.
Stevensville Lakeshore (24-0) vs. Wyoming Godwin Heights (22-2): Lakeshore is 48-2 over the last two seasons, and another win also would be coach Sean Schroeder’s 400th. Similarly, Godwin Heights is 46-3 over the last two seasons. One of its losses this winter was to Class A Quarterfinalist Grand Rapids Christian, and the Wolverines beat Class D Quarterfinalist Wyoming Tri-unity Christian.
Detroit Consortium (20-3) vs. Flint Beecher (24-1): Consortium has played courageously since coach Al Anderson died unexpectedly a month ago; the Cougars have won all eight games since that night and 19 of their last 20. Now they’ll contend with reigning Class C champion Flint Beecher and Mr. Basketball Monte Morris (21.5 ppg), whose only loss was by seven to Class A favorite Detroit Pershing on Jan. 19.
Laingsburg (22-2) vs. Beaverton (22-2): This is Beaverton’s fifth Quarterfinal under coach Roy Johnston, who has won 705 games over 39 seasons at four schools and took Beaverton to the Semifinals in 1984. The Wolfpack have made it this far twice before during coach Greg Mitchell’s 24-season career – in 1997 and 2002 – and he’d win his 350th game if Laingsburg advances.
Maple City Glen Lake (23-2) vs. Negaunee (23-1): Glen Lake is only a combined four points from being perfect this season, and the run has included beating reigning Class C runner-up Traverse City St. Francis during the regular season and again in the District Final. Negaunee improved to 45-4 over the last two seasons with its Regional title, and also avenged its lone loss, to Class A Marquette.
Schoolcraft (23-2) vs. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (22-2): St. Mary Catholic is back in the Quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons, and aside from a pair of losses to Milan is undefeated this winter. Schoolcraft has won three straight Regionals and was the Class C champion in 2011. Guard Luke Ryskamp was his team’s leading scorer that night as a sophomore, and is finishing off one last run.
Climax-Scotts (24-1) vs. Southfield Christian: This rematch of the 2012 MHSAA Final takes place a couple games earlier and this time at Battle Creek Central, but should be closer than last season’s 76-44 Southfield Christian win. A one-point loss to Mendon is the only flaw on Climax-Scotts’ record, and Southfield Christian has won 17 straight since opening 3-4.
Cedarville (22-1) vs. Powers North Central (22-3): People still bring up Cedarville’s 3-point fueled run to the 2007 championship, and the Trojans could be back, as their only loss was to another Quarterfinalist, Frankfort. North Central also has a great story – the team won a combined 25 games over coach Adam Mercier’s first four seasons before upping it to 16 each of the last two and 22 this winter.
Lansing Christian (21-3) vs. Beal City (17-7): Both of these teams are hoping to march to a first MHSAA title. The Pilgrims have won 16 straight and boast four players who average double figures scoring. The Aggies will counter with a defensive effort that has held opponents to fewer than 50 points 12 times this season.
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (23-2) vs. Frankfort (20-5): Tri-unity is back in the hunt for a fifth MHSAA championship and second in three seasons; the Defenders have won 17 straight and as usual against a number of bigger schools. Frankfort has made a major rebound after losing four of its last five during the regular season and counters with 6-3 sophomore David Loney (17.8 ppg).
PHOTO: Romulus' Juwan Clark gathers a loose ball during a win over Saginaw Arthur Hill last month. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
St. Clair County Celebrates 1st Mr. Basketball Winner, PHN's Jamison
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
March 29, 2023
The Jamison family has spent plenty of time over the years driving long distances as Tyler chased his basketball dreams.
After the Port Huron Northern senior achieved one of the biggest ones, they had to put some more mileage on the family vehicle.
As the newly-crowned Mr. Basketball, Jamison was invited to a special presentation during the Boys Basketball Finals this past Saturday afternoon at the Breslin Center. It was an invitation Tyler and his family didn’t hesitate to accept, and the drive from Port Huron to East Lansing was nothing.
But it did cause a pretty big change to some other travel plans.
Tyler and his family were scheduled to fly to Florida on Friday for spring break. That flight had to be canceled, though, and instead, the family made the drive down later.
“There were some jokes about just leaving me and letting me find my own way down there,” Jamison said.
While they joke, there’s nowhere the Jamisons would have rather been Saturday than at the Breslin. As a true basketball family – Tyler’s dad Brian is also the coach at Northern, and his brother Alex was a standout freshman for the Huskies – they have a great appreciation for the Mr. Basketball Award and its significance.
“I had said a while ago, ‘Hey, if we’re still in the tournament, we’ll be playing Friday,” Brian Jamison said. “I even mentioned that it would be a miracle, but Tyler could win Mr. Basketball. Now we’re eating plane tickets and driving down to Florida. But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we’re not missing this.”
Jamison was the overwhelming winner of the award, which is named after Hal Schram and given out by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. He received 3,058 points in the vote to become its 43rd winner. Curtis Williams of Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (2,004 points), Kaden Brown of Grand Rapids Catholic Central (1,918), Sonny Wilson of Detroit U-D Jesuit (1,883) and Ryan Hurst of North Farmington (1,811) were the other finalists.
“It was just insane,” Tyler Jamison said. “I can’t even really put into words how I felt – it was just a dream come true, a culmination of all the hard work that’s been put in over the years. My mom was in the other room (when his dad called to tell him), and I just hugged her and we were kind of screaming. The dog was getting riled up. It was fun. There were a few tears shed.”
Jamison, who signed with Fairleigh Dickinson in December, finished the season averaging 26.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game. He was named the Macomb Area Conference White division MVP after leading Northern to the league title and a 20-4 overall record.
Even with all that, winning the most prestigious individual basketball award in the state didn’t seem like a reality.
“We purposely try to play a tough schedule, and we purposely got into some showcases because we wanted people to see, not only him play, but us play,” Brian Jamison said. “We had beaten Skyline and Hamtramck, and went up to Croswell-Lexington and won up there, and I thought, ‘OK, now he’s done it against some of the better teams.’ Up to that point, when we played those tougher teams, he’s always showed out well, but it’s different when you’re not winning them. But at that point, I thought he had a chance. Really, I was just hoping he would get on the list. To win it was kind of above and beyond what I had hoped for.”
On the court, Tyler’s impact on the program was pretty obvious and immediate.
He’s the program’s all-time leading scorer – a record he set as a junior – with 1,763 career points. He also holds Northern records for career rebounds (825), points in a game (59), rebounds in a game (28), career field goals made (638) and career free throws made (439). As a junior, he was named MAC Blue MVP.
Northern did not lose a league game in either of the past two seasons.
But Northern is likely to see future success because of Tyler’s non-statistical impact.
Leading a young team, including a group of star freshmen – his brother Alex, Cam Harju and Amir Morelan – was a major part of Tyler’s job this season.
Northern’s home games were must-see events this winter, as the Huskies were one of Division 1’s top teams, and Tyler was providing nightly highlights and must-see performances. Even in his final game, a loss against Macomb Dakota in the District Final, Jamison treated the standing-room crowd with a 46-point performance and a halfcourt shot at the third-quarter buzzer in a valiant effort.
“That’s the big thing, you want the students and the school community to support you, and they did an amazing job,” Tyler Jamison said. “We also had people from the community that wanted to support us and watch us play. Port Huron High had a really good season, too, and I think both schools in the city had that public support. That’s huge. It makes you feel like you’re playing for more than yourself.”
Among those crowds were the next generation of Huskies, some of whom were coached by Tyler in youth basketball. As he’s the first Mr. Basketball winner from St. Clair County, those kids now have a hometown example of someone who has reached the highest heights.
“I think interest gets sparked when the little kids come to the gym, like, ‘Hey, I want to do that,’” Brian Jamison said. “They want to play for Northern or (Port Huron) High. And with him winning Mr. Basketball, I think it gives kids a little bit of ‘Hey, why not me?’ I do think it helps motivate younger people. We’ve had great crowds at our games. I think the area is excited about basketball. It really is a great basketball area.”
With all of that excitement surrounding him, Tyler had one more challenge after the season – keeping the secret that he had won. He found out six days before the award was announced.
“It was terrible – especially when it’s something of that magnitude,” he said. “You want to tell everyone. You want to tell your friends and family. It was hard to be like, ‘No, I don’t know.’”
Paul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.
PHOTOS (Top) Tyler Jamison, second from left, with his parents and brother, stands with his newly-received Mr. Basketball Award trophy during the ceremony at the Detroit Free Press. (Middle) Jamison throws down a dunk. (Photos courtesy of the Jamison family.)