Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 7
January 27, 2020
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Michigan’s high school boys basketball teams are this week reaching the regular-season’s midpoint and the heart of league play from the Ohio and Indiana borders to the top tip of the Upper Peninsula.
You’ll see that move toward emphasizing conference play reflected in much of this week’s Breslin Bound report – although it’s tough to not be most excited about another showcase coming up this weekend that will match up championship contenders from two of the MHSAA’s four divisions.
“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. Send corrections or missing scores to [email protected].
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Flint Beecher 70, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 61 – The Bucs moved up to No. 2 in Division 3 MPR with a major win over the No. 2 team in Division 2 at the Horatio Williams Freedom Classic.
2. Clarkston 55, Detroit King 41 – The Wolves also made Freedom Classic headlines with arguably their best of a solid set of wins this winter.
3. Gaylord St. Mary 59, Pellston 54 – The Snowbirds pushed back into the Ski Valley Conference mix by handing the first loss this season to Pellston.
4. Grand Blanc 80, Kalamazoo Central 73 – The Bobcats are now 9-3 against one of the toughest schedules in the state, and followed up this Friday win with another seven-point over Ferndale on Saturday.
5. Traverse City West 47, Cadillac 46 – The Titans are only 5-6 overall but could make a move in the Big North Conference after handing co-leader Cadillac its first loss this season.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
Hamtramck (9-2) The Cosmos have flown a bit under the radar, but sit second in the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference Blue with an opportunity to make a loud statement. Hamtramck fell to league leader River Rouge 54-49 on Jan. 10, but a win in the rematch Tuesday arguably would be one of the program’s best in some time. The Cosmos’ only other defeat this season came to Warren De La Salle Collegiate, 65-62 in overtime Dec. 20.
Mount Pleasant (10-0) Reigning Saginaw Valley League Red champion Mount Pleasant is off to another fantastic start after winning its first 18 games last season. A 66-58 win over SVL Blue co-leader Flint Carman-Ainsworth a week ago was particularly impressive, even as the only single-digit victory surrounded by much larger margins in the Oilers’ other nine games.
Croswell-Lexington (10-1) A three point December loss to 9-1 Flint Southwestern is all that has kept Croswell-Lexington from perfection this winter – and only a few others have come close to breaking up the success. The Pioneers have nine double-digit wins and Friday against Almont can finish an unbeaten first half in the Blue Water Area Conference.
Fremont (10-0) The Packers’ 102 points last week against Howard City Tri County likely caught even casual fans’ attentions. But it was just a highlight from a greater body of work that is setting Fremont up for a run at a third straight Central State Activities Association Gold title. The Packers are perfect through the first run of the league schedule, thanks in part to a three-point win over Newaygo and four-pointer over Grant. Fremont also downed Lakes 8 Activities Conference co-leader Ludington.
Hanover-Horton (7-1) The Comets face Napoleon on Wednesday for first place in the Cascades Conference as they continue to pursue a third-straight league championship. All seven wins so far have been by 10 points or more, and the one defeat looks pretty good too – 68-66 to Division 1 one-loss Grand Rapids Union. A Feb. 10 matchup with Ypsilanti Arbor Prep could be telling of the team’s possibilities come tournament time.
Ravenna (10-0) The Bulldogs have climbed from six to 11 to 15 wins, respectively, over the last three seasons, and seem likely to continue the rise after a flawless first half. Ravenna leads the West Michigan Conference by a game over Muskegon Oakridge, which gave the Bulldogs their closest game so far – a six-point battle Jan. 16.
Alanson (8-1) Alanson improved from five wins in 2017-18 to 10 last season and could equal that latter total before the end of January. The Vikings are undefeated since falling to Bellaire 61-54 in their season opener, and they’ve hung tough in tight times with three wins by three points or fewer. That success has sent Alanson into a tie for first place in the Northern Lakes Conference with Ellsworth, which hosts the Vikings on Friday.
Hillsdale Academy (8-1) After playing in the 2018 Class D Semifinals but falling back to 9-13 last season, the Colts rank No. 5 in Division 4 MPR and sit tied for first in the Southern Central Athletic Association East despite losing Dec. 19 to co-leader Camden-Frontier. Hillsdale Academy will get another chance at C-F on Feb. 11 and also can boast a win over SCAA West co-leader Bellevue.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Hudsonville (9-0) at Holland West Ottawa (8-2) – The reigning Ottawa-Kent Conference Red champion Eagles will try to hold off second-place West Ottawa in the first of their two meetings.
Tuesday – Iron Mountain (9-0) at Negaunee (10-0) – The Mountaineers took three wins from the Miners last season, outpacing them to win the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Iron and then eliminating Negaunee in a Regional Semifinal.
Friday – Oscoda (9-0) at Mio (8-1) – The two top teams in the North Star League Big Dipper again, Mio is just behind reigning champion Oscoda after the Owls won the first matchup Dec. 12.
Friday – Stevensville Lakeshore (9-0) at Portage Central (8-0) – This matchup for first place winds up the first half of the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West schedule.
Saturday – Ypsilanti Lincoln (7-1) vs. Benton Harbor (9-1) at Grand Rapids City – The headlining matchup of the Redhawk Showcase Classic might be one of the most entertaining regular-season games of this entire season.
Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
PHOTO: Alma improved to 7-3 last week with wins over Shepherd and Frankenmuth. (Click to see more from 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.)