Class B Preview: Can't-Miss Matchups

March 21, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Class B could feature the most entertaining matchups of this weekend’s Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.

From one side of the bracket will emerge a longtime power – Benton Harbor, seeking its first title in more than a half century, or 14-time winner River Rouge.

On the other side, reigning champion New Haven is coming off its first MHSAA title and looking to repeat led by star junior Romeo Weems – who will surely get some time facing Grand Rapids Catholic Central standout Marcus Bingham, Jr., as the latter works to lead his team to its first Finals championship in this sport.

Class B Semifinals – Friday
Benton Harbor (25-1) vs. River Rouge (23-1), 5:30 p.m. 
New Haven (26-0) vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (23-2), 7:30 p.m.

Class B Final – Saturday, 6:45 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 per pair of Semifinals and $10 per two-game Finals session (Class C and Class B). All Semifinals will be streamed live on and viewable on a pay-per-view basis. The Class D, A and C championship games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit, while the Class B Final will be shown on Fox Sports Detroit on a delayed basis at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. All four championship games will be streamed live on and the FOX Sports Go! app. Free radio broadcasts of all weekend games will be available on

Below is a glance at all four semifinalists. Click on the name of the school to see that team’s full schedule and results from this season. (Statistics are through teams' Regional Finals.)

25-1, No. 3
League finish: Does not play in a league.
Coach: Corey Sterling, sixth season (112-37)
Championship history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 1965), seven runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 71-51 over No. 8 Williamston in Quarterfinal, 67-52 over honorable mention Hudsonville Unity Christian in Regional Semifinal, 77-49 (District Semifinal) and 55-46 over honorable mention Coloma.
Players to watch: Carlos Johnson, 6-6 soph. F (18.3 ppg, 13.1 rpg, 5.2 apg, 3.1 bpg); Shawn Hopkins, 6-4 sr. F (15.7 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 3.1 apg).
Outlook: Benton Harbor was Class B runner-up in 2014 and made the Semifinals a year ago, and Johnson and Hopkins starred for last season’s team as well. Senior guard Elijah Baxter (9.7 ppg, 6.7 apg) also started last season. Senior guards Dennie Brown and Devan Nichols both average just above 10 ppg as well, and total six players this winter average at least 8.8. The only loss was to Class A Hazel Park, which finished 18-3.

23-2, No. 7
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue
Coach: T.J. Meerman, fifth season (73-43) 
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 63-52 (Regional Semifinal), 80-39 and 59-40 over honorable mention Spring Lake, 73-49 over Grand Rapids Christian, 90-84 over Detroit Country Day.
Players to watch: Marcus Bingham, Jr., 6-11 sr. F (16.8 ppg, 10 rpg, 3.7 bpg); Jacob Polakovich, 6-8 sr. F (14.2 ppg, 10.5 ppg).
Outlook: GRCC has won at least 20 games for the second straight season and upped its win total the last four under Meerman on the way to its first Semifinal since 1992. Bingham was a Mr. Basketball Award finalist and is plenty to handle – but he has lots of help as well. In addition to Polakovich in the post, junior guard Darrell Belcher is putting up 14 points per game, and junior guard Austin Braun is averaging 7.8 points and 7.5 assists per game.

26-0, No. 1
League finish: First in Macomb Area Conference Blue
Coach: Tedaro France II, 10th season (185-57)
Championship history: Class B champion 2017. 
Best wins: 78-72 over No. 5 Bridgeport in Quarterfinal, 92-74 over Detroit Country Day in Regional Final, 81-70 over Class C honorable mention Flint Beecher, 82-62 over Warren DeLaSalle, 74-57 over St. Clair Shores South Lake.
Players to watch: Romeo Weems, 6-7 jr. G/F (23.5 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 5.7 apg, 5.1 spg, 2.5 bpg), Tavares Oliver, Jr., 6-0 sr. G (16.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 65 3-pointers).
Outlook: New Haven is in the Semifinals for the second straight season and second time ever – and has won 52 straight games. Weems nearly had a quintuple-double this season and will be one of the most anticipated players for fans this weekend. Senior forward Ashton Sherrell (15.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and junior guard Ronald Jeffery III (12 ppg, 3.1 apg) round out the majority of an offense outscoring opponents by 32 points per game.

23-1, No. 4
League finish: First in Michigan Metro Athletic Conference Blue
Coach: Mark White, second season (47-3)
Championship history: 14 MHSAA titles (most recent 1999), five runner-up finishes. 
Best wins: 50-43 over honorable mention Detroit Old Redford in Regional Final, 59-44 over Dearborn Divine Child in Quarterfinal, 75-32 over St. Clair Shores South Lake in Regional Semifinal, 48-42, 56-45 and 77-45 over Harper Woods. Players to watch: Jayvien Torrance-Jackson, 6-1 sr. G; Bralin Toney, 5-10 jr. G. (Statistics not submitted.).
Outlook: River Rouge is back at the Semifinals for the second straight season and after a one-point overtime last time loss kept it from a first championship game berth since 1999. Torrance-Jackson not only is the only starter back from that team, but also the only senior on this one. Toney also saw time off the bench in last season’s Semifinal and joins him in the backcourt, while the frontcourt includes two 6-6 post players. The lone loss this winter was to Class D semifinalist Southfield Christian.

PHOTO: New Haven’s Romeo Weems puts up a block as Bridgeport’s Charles Garrett drives during Tuesday’s Quarterfinal. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)

Clarkston's Loyer Leaves All-Time Legacy with 25 Record Book Listings

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 22, 2023

Foster Loyer’s four-season career at Clarkston from 2014-15 through 2017-18 certainly must be considered among the most accomplished in state history as he led the Wolves to back-to-back Class A championships in 2017 and 2018 and is listed in the record book 25 times.

Among Loyer’s most notable entries were 2,325 career points (12th most), 272 career 3-pointers (tied for ninth), records of 119 consecutive free throws and 634 career free throws, a .921 free-throw percentage as a junior (tied for fourth) and .900 career percentage (second), 589 career assists (sixth), 278 career steals (15th) and 102 games played (tied for sixth).

Loyer went on to play at Michigan State and then Davidson.

See below for more recent record book entries for boys basketball.

Boys Basketball

Four Onaway standouts were added for single-season and/or career records. Jager Mix, who graduated in 2022, was added for 92 steals last season and 225 over his four-season career. Kevin Pearson, a 2021 grad, was added for 81 steals as a senior and 247 over his career. Joe Sigsby, a 2016 grad, was added for 127 steals, and Jadin Mix was added for 124 in 2021-22. Their totals rank ninth and tied for 10th, respectively, on that all-time list. Jager Mix also was added for 967 career rebounds, and Onaway as a team was added for tying the record for most points in a quarter with 49 during the first quarter of a win over Fife Lake Forest Area on Feb. 3, 2022. Jager Mix is playing at Alpena Community College, and Jadin Mix is a senior this school year.

Uchenna Amene was added for 11 steals in a March 7, 2022, game against West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy and for 97 steals total over 25 games. He was a sophomore at Southfield Christian that season and now is a senior at Detroit Catholic Central.

Owen Franklin graduated from Oscoda in 2021 as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and nearly 44 percent of those 1,477 points came on 3-pointers. Franklin made the state career 3-pointers list with 216 over four seasons. He’s playing baseball at Northwood.

Traverse City Christian sophomore Reece Broderick became one of the state’s most accomplished long-distance shooters in just his second year of high school this past winter, drilling 104 3-pointers – good for third-most for one season all-time – over 23 games. He connected on 42 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

A pair of Rudyard four-year varsity standouts entered the record book after their graduations in 2022. Tate Besteman made the career rebounds list with 762 over 89 games, and EJ Suggitt made the career 3-pointers list with 215 over the same 89 contests. Besteman played this past season for Mid Michigan College, and Suggitt is playing baseball at Spring Arbor.

Success from 3-point range played a significant role in Mesick finishing 21-1 in 2021-22, as the team made 195 of its 578 attempts – with game highs of 15 twice in wins over Baldwin and Pentwater.

Then-senior Tristan McFolley earned the first listing under single-game rebounds since 2013 with 30 in Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy’s game with Hope of Detroit Academy on Dec. 8, 2022.

Tawas found its groove from long range Jan. 10 against Oscoda, drilling 22 3-pointers in an 86-31 win. The total tied for fifth-most in one game.

Although Norway felt just short, 40-37, in its District loss to Crystal Falls Forest Park on March 8, Alex Ortman kept the Knights close scoring 20 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to make the single-quarter scoring list. He’s now a senior.

Kobe Clark has listings in two MHSAA record books, with three for boys basketball joining those he earned for football during his Schoolcraft career. He was added in hoops for 531 career assists and 290 career steals over 94 games from 2016-17 through 2019-20, and also for 82 steals as a senior. Tyler DeGroote also was added to the record book, for scoring 20 points during the first quarter against Delton Kellogg during Schoolcraft’s Jan. 11, 2022, victory. Clark began at Saginaw Valley State for football and now plays basketball and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and DeGroote is continuing at Rockhurst (Mo.).

Past Detroit Cooley star Larry Fogle has added a seventh record book listing a half-century later. Fogle grabbed 33 rebounds on Jan. 18, 1972, during a win over Detroit Mackenzie. He went on to play at Louisiana and Canisius, and then briefly with the New York Knicks.

Trevon Gunter scored 42 points in Kalamazoo Central’s 84-56 win over Richland Gull Lake on Jan. 17, 2020, including 31 during the third quarter – second-most and just one shy of the record for points during one period. A senior that season, Gunter plays currently at Grand Valley State.

Mark Wittbrodt held the record for consecutive free throws at 70 until 2008, and that entry in the record book has been joined by several others from the Bay City Western star. He was added for his 192 3-pointers, 436 free throws, .842 free-throw percentage and 266 career steals over three seasons from 1991-93, as well as for six single-season accomplishments. He went on to play at Michigan Tech.

Ellsworth’s Jacob Jenuwine tied for 12th on the single-game 3-pointers list when he connected on 11 as part of scoring 39 points total in his team’s Feb. 14 win over Alanson. Jenuwine graduated this spring.

Bellevue senior Dawson Wing capped his three-season varsity career last winter with three entries in the record. He was added for 12 blocked shots in a 2021-22 game against Colon, 107 for the season last winter and 203 blocks over his career. Teammate Caleb Betz, a senior this fall, was added for 12 steals in a game against Athens.

Logan Mansfield capped his Morenci career in a big way last winter. The senior drilled 90 3-pointers over 24 games to earn his school’s first individual record book entry in boys hoops since the 1987-88 season, when John Craig had 132 blocked shots that would have been the second-most recorded at that time. They currently rank 13th.

New Haven earned a pair of record book entries during its March 10 win over Memphis. The Rockets bested their previous single-quarter school record with 41 points during the opening period, and they also made the statewide single-game 3-pointers list with 16.

Whitehall’s Camden Thompson, a junior this fall, earned his first record book entry last winter – and the first for his school in boys basketball. He grabbed 303 rebounds over 21 games.

Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep junior Zeekeal Jackson earned his school's first boys basketball record book entry this past season as well. He made the single-season steals list with 106, over 22 games, and just missed the single-game list with a high of 10.

Jonesville’s Brady Wright was among his team’s leading scorers during his three varsity seasons ending this past winter, but he also was a major contributor defensively. He made the records with a season-high 101 steals over 25 games as a senior, and made the career list with 232 steals over 61 games.

Sophomore Christopher McLavish Jr. made a memorable impact last season with a pair of record book entries. He made the single-quarter points list with 20 in a Feb. 21 game against Flint Powers Catholic, but even more memorable were his 97 3-pointers over 25 games for the season – tying him for 11th all-time on that list.

PHOTO Foster Loyer directs Clarkston's offense during its 2018 Class A Semifinal.