Class A-B Preview: Chasing Favorites

March 25, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Similar to the Class C and D Semifinals to be played Thursday, Friday's Class A and B games will feature five teams aspiring to win their first MHSAA championships.

But the field also includes four teams that advanced to Breslin Center in 2014, the undefeated top-ranked team in Class A and the reigning champion from Class B complete with its heroes from last season's run. 

All four Class A and B Semifinals will be played Friday, with all four championship games Saturday. 

Semifinals - Friday
Class A

Lansing Everett (24-2) vs. Saginaw Arthur Hill (23-3), 1 p.m. 
Detroit U-D Jesuit (22-3) vs. Detroit Western International (24-0), 2:50 p.m.

Class B
Milan (24-2) vs. Wyoming Godwin Heights (24-1), 6 p.m. 
Cadillac (18-8) vs. Detroit Henry Ford (20-5), 7:50 p.m.

Finals - Saturday
Class A - Noon
Class B - 6:30 p.m. 
Class C - 4:30 p.m. 
Class D - 10 a.m. 

Tickets cost $8 per pair of Semifinals and $10 per two-game Finals session. All Semifinals will be streamed live on MHSAA.TV on a pay-per-view basis. All four Finals will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit, the Class D and A title games on FOX Sports Detroit's primary channel and the Class C and B games on FOX Sports Detroit-PLUS. Free radio broadcasts of all weekend games will be available on

And now, a look at the semifinalists in Class A and B. 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.)

Class A

22-3, No. 8.
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League Central.
Coach: Pat Donnelly, seventh season (115-42).
Championship history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 56-54 over No. 5 Clarkston in the Quarterfinal, 52-34 over No. 10 North Farmington in the Regional Final, 72-57 over No. 6 Saginaw Arthur Hill, 69-56 over Class B No. 1 Milan.
Players to watch: Cassius Winston, 6-1 jr. G (22.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.7 apg); Gary Collins, 6-2 sr. G (9.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.6 apg).  
Outlook: Jesuit will attempt to take the next two steps after winning its first Regional title and making the Semifinals last season with Winston also the leading scorer on that team. Although in a 58-49 loss to end the regular season, Jesuit has faced Semifinal opponent Western, which should be beneficial, and also defeated Arthur Hill on Feb. 7. The only other defeats were to Romulus and Catholic League Central runner-up Birmingham Brother Rice.

24-0, No. 1.
League finish: First in Detroit Public School League West D1 and overall.
Coach: Derrick McDowell, fourth season (46-35).
Championship history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 58-49 over No. 8 Detroit U-D Jesuit, 69-57 over No. 6 Saginaw Arthur Hill, 72-55 over Class B honorable mention Detroit Henry Ford.
Players to watch: Brailen Neely, 5-10 jr. G (15.9 ppg, 4.3 apg); Josh McFolley, 6-1 sr. G (14.5 ppg, 3.2 apg).
Outlook: This has been a season of milestones for Western under former Detroit Redford coach McDowell. The Cowboys won their first Detroit PSL championship since 1922 and will play in their first Semifinal since 1974. They’ve beaten two of the three teams left in Class A and present a variety of challenges to opponents this weekend – including 6-8 senior center Gerald Blackshear, averaging 11.8 points and 5.2 blocks per game.

24-2, No. 9.
League finish: First in Capital Area Activities Conference Blue.
Coach: Desmond Ferguson, third season (36-33).
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 2004).
Best wins: 75-52 over No. 2 Muskegon in the Quarterfinal, 91-78 over No. 7 Kalamazoo Central in the Regional Final, 82-77 over honorable mention Ann Arbor Huron in the Regional Semifinal, 57-51 (District Final) and 82-78 over honorable mention Grand Ledge, 64-57 over Class B No. 10 Benton Harbor.
Players to watch: Trevor Manuel, 6-9 sr. F; Jamyrin Jackson, 6-3 jr. G. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: The Vikings have played their way through a strong field after going only 5-16 a year ago; they’ve also avenged both losses from the season's first half, to Grand Ledge and Kalamazoo Central. Manuel was part of a Class B championship team at Lansing Sexton as a freshman before transferring out-of-state as a junior and then moving back to Michigan last summer. He finished third in the Mr. Basketball voting and has signed to play at the University of Oregon next season.

23-3, No. 6.
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley Association North.
Coach: Greg McMath, 13th season (251-52).
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 2006), five runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 78-59 over Walled Lake Central in the Quarterfinal, 88-66, 90-81 and 83-47 (District Semifinal) over Saginaw, 67-62 over Class B No. 7 Flint Northwestern.
Players to watch: Eric Davis, 6-3 sr. G; Brian Bowen II, 6-7 soph. F; De’Quevion Johnson, 6-4 sr. F. (Statistics not submitted).  
Outlook: Arthur Hill enters under the rare scenario of having played all three teams also left in the Class A bracket. Although those three teams dealt the Lumberjacks their losses, Arthur Hill will be plenty prepared for rematches. Davis, who will play next season at the University of Texas, was the Mr. Basketball runner-up. The Lumberjacks are in the Semifinals for the first time since 2006, having dispatched familiar postseason foe Saginaw High during the District.

Class B

18-8, unranked.
League finish: Fourth in the Big North Conference.
Coach: Ryan Benzenberg, first season (18-8).
Championship history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 59-50 over Essexville-Garber in the Quarterfinal, 48-36 over Petoskey, 50-44 over Class C honorable mention McBain.
Players to watch: Andrew Emington, 6-1 sr. G (12.8 ppg, 36 3-pointers); Quinn Crago, 6-6 jr. C (9.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg).
Outlook: Cadillac is back at the Semifinals for the third straight season and first under Benzenberg, who formerly coached Fife Lake Forest Area and lower levels at Elk Rapids. The Vikings are 13-2 over their last 15 games after a tough start in the mostly-Class A Big North Conference. Emington brings some experience back to Breslin after averaging just fewer than 10 points per game last season.

20-5, honorable mention.
League finish: Second in Detroit PSL West D1.
Coach: Kenneth Flowers, eighth season (108-59).
Championship history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 61-55 over No. 2 New Haven in the Quarterfinal, 80-73 over Class A honorable mention Ann Arbor Huron, 54-51 over Class C No. 1 Flint Beecher, 59-54 over Class C honorable mention Detroit Loyola.
Players to watch: Joshua Davis, 6-5 sr. F (17 ppg, 6.8 rpg); James Towns, 6-0 jr. G (16.5 ppg, 3.5 apg).
Outlook: Henry Ford is at the Semifinals for the first time, having played in only one other Quarterfinal (1984) before Tuesday’s defeat of previously-undefeated New Haven. Ford bounced back from two straight sub-.500 records with its first District title since 2009 and finished second in its league only to Detroit Western International. The team has only three seniors, including 6-1 guard Antaun Carter, who adds another offensive threat scoring 8.5 points per game.

24-2, No. 1.
League finish: First in Huron League.
Coach: Chris Pope, first season (24-2).
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 2014).
Best wins: 69-60 over No. 9 Otsego in the Quarterfinal, 54-43 and 65-49 over Class C No. 9 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central.
Players to watch: Latin Davis, 6-0 sr. G (19.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg); Nick Perkins, 6-9 sr. C (16.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg). 
Outlook: Milan was a feel-good story of last season’s Finals, winning its first championship since 1948. The main change this winter was the coach – longtime assistant Pope took over a squad returning top scorers Davis and Perkins and a third starter from last season’s championship game, 6-4 senior forward Lance Lewis. He adds another 7.3 points per game, and senior guard Thomas Lindeman chips in 7.9. Davis has signed to play next season at Youngstown State University, and Perkins has signed with the University of Buffalo.  

24-1, No. 3.
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Silver.
Coach: Tyler Whittemore, first season (24-1).
Championship history: Two MHSAA runner-up finishes (most recent 1960).
Best wins: 63-56 over No. 6 Wayland in the District Final, 76-39 over honorable mention Alma in the Regional Semifinal, 75-61 over No. 9 Otsego, 65-55 over Class A No. 10 North Farmington, 62-53 over Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian.
Players to watch: Delaney Blaylock, 6-5 sr. G (16.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg); Michael Williams, 6-4 sr. F (10.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg).
Outlook: Godwin Heights is seeking its first championship game appearance in more than a half-century, but has been circling for some time with three straight Quarterfinals and now two Semifinal berths in three seasons. The team lost only to league rival NorthPointe Christian, a Class C semifinalist, and avenged that loss. The Wolverines make nearly 50 percent of their shots from the floor and get another 9.8 points per game from junior guard Leon Redd, one of five averaging at least 8.3. Blaylock also started in the team’s 2013 Semifinal, and Whittemore, a first-year head coach, was the varsity assistant for seven seasons before the promotion.

PHOTO: Saginaw Arthur Hill standout Eric Davis drives to the hoop during his team’s Regional win over Davison. (Click to see more at

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.