Hoops on Film: 1954 Class A Boys Final
July 2, 2015
By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director
This week's installment of MHSAA.tv's Hoops on Film series features the first championship victory for one of Michigan's most accomplished boys basketball programs.
This is the second of 10 games being brought back to MHSAA.tv this summer. From the late 1940’s to the mid 1970’s the Michigan High School Athletic Association shot portions of the action at its basketball finals on 16mm film. The films were loaned out, primarily to the participating schools, to help them relive the moments of playing in a championship game.
While many of the old films have wandered astray over time, about 60 games still exist in the MHSAA archives. Anyone in possession of such a film is encouraged to contact John Johnson at the MHSAA Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss having the film converted to a digital format.
Some of the films only have portions of the second half and the postgame awards; some have most of the action. None of the films have sound. They range in length from 10 minutes to about an hour. A new film will be posted online each Monday through the week of August 17.
The game recap below is courtesy of MHSAA Historian Ron Pesch of Muskegon.
Muskegon Heights 43, Flint Northern 41 (OT) – 1954 Class A Boys Final - After three visits to the MHSAA Semifinals, Muskegon Heights grabbed its first-ever title with a 43-41 overtime win over Flint Northern at Jenison Field House in East Lansing. Tied at 41-41 at the end of regulation, the Vikings opted to hold the ball for nearly three minutes of the extra period, after the Tigers missed two shots following the opening tip-off. But as Vikings guard Bob Failing drove in for the final shot, he was called for a charging foul. Under the rules of the time, Murt Johnson of the Heights stepped to the line, and calmly sank two free throws for the only points of OT. Future University of Michigan star M.C. Burton scored 22 points to pace the Heights.
1973 Class C Boys Final: Detroit East Catholic 50, Saginaw St. Stephen 49 - Watch
Second-Half Surge Sends Tri-unity Christian to 3rd-Straight Final
By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com
March 23, 2023
EAST LANSING — The Defenders will once again have a chance to do just that.
In what has become a usual rite of March during longtime head coach Mark Keeler’s 36-year tenure, the Wyoming Tri-unity Christian Defenders are once again headed for the Division 4 boys basketball championship game following a 54-37 win over Frankfort in a Semifinal on Thursday.
Making its third-straight appearance in a Final and 11th in school history, Tri-unity Christian will attempt to repeat as champion when it faces Munising in the 10 a.m. title game Saturday.
Junior Owen Rosendall scored 13 points and senior Roy Fogg added 11 on Thursday to lead Tri-unity Christian (22-6), which will go for its sixth Finals win.
“At the beginning of the year, we had some ups and downs in the season,” Rosendall said. “But we stuck to it and kept working.”
Tri-unity Christian got it done mainly by dominating the board, collecting a 41-22 rebounding advantage.
“I think our quickness on the boards outdid their size,” Keeler said. “I was really happy with how explosive we were on the boards.”
The discrepancy even surprised Frankfort head coach Dan Loney, who said rebounding has been a strength of his team all year.
“Going into the game, I would not have guessed they would have outrebounded us like that,” Loney said. “It’s one thing we’ve done well all year. I think honestly a lot of that came from their guard play. When their guards got to the rim (and) our bigs stepped over to help, their bigs were there to get their missed layups.”
Sophomore Carter Kerby led all scorers with 21 points to pace Frankfort (18-9).
“It was a fun season for sure. We look forward to the future,” Loney said.
Tri-unity Christian separated itself in the third quarter after Frankfort cut the lead to 29-26 with 4:40 to go in the period.
From there, Tri-unity Christian ended the third on an 11-1 run to take a 40-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We have a little more depth, and it helped,” Keeler said. “We were really trying to push the ball, and we were really trying to pressure them on defense. I think we wore them down a little bit.”
The Defenders continued to grow the lead in the fourth, taking a 48-32 advantage with 4:17 remaining after a 3-pointer by Rosendall and a basket by Akais Giplaye.
Tri-Unity Christian forced Frankfort into 12 turnovers and 38.9-percent shooting from the field while committing only six turnovers itself.
“We played great defense,” Keeler said. “That is what I was really happy about. We made them work for everything they had.”
Tri-unity Christian got off to a good start, taking a 16-8 lead after the first quarter before Frankfort settled in during the second.
Frankfort outscored Tri-unity Christian 13-9 in the second quarter to cut its deficit to 25-21 by halftime.
PHOTOS (Top) Tri-unity’s Jordan VanKlompenberg (3) puts up a shot over the outstretched arm of Frankfort’s Xander Sauer on Thursday. (Middle) Emmerson Farmer (0) gets a hand up high as Owen Rosendall puts up a jumper.