Hoops on Film: 1971 Class A Boys Final

July 6, 2015

By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director

A battle between the best in the Saginaw Valley and the Detroit PSL will be featured this week as part of MHSAA.tv’s Hoops On Film Series.

From the late 1940’s to the mid 1970’s the Michigan High School Athletic Association shot portions of the action at its boys and girls 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 ([email protected]) to discuss having the film converted to a digital format.

Some of the films only have portions of the second half and the post-game 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. DVD’s may be purchased directly from the MHSAA.tv Website – just click the Get DVD button below the player. 

Here’s a look at this week’s game, with recap courtesy of MHSAA historian Ron Pesch:

Flint Northern 79, Detroit Kettering 78 – 1971 Class A Boys Final - After downing top ranked Pontiac Central and prep All-American Campy Russell in the Semifinals one week earlier, Detroit Kettering fell victim to Flint Northern, 79-78, in the Class A title game at University of Michigan's Crisler Arena. Just five weeks previous to the title contest, Pontiac Central had demolished Northern by 33 points. Led by coach Bill Frieder and a solid 2-3 zone defense, Northern went to work on shutting down Kettering's own prep phenomenon, Lindsey Hairston. Despite the absence of all-state forward Tom McGill, who was forced to the bench with four fouls, Vikings ended the third stanza with eight quick points and a 56-49 lead. Hairston erupted for 11 fourth-quarter points to pull Kettering within two, 75-73, with 1:44 to go. However, a pair of free throws by Rick Jones and one by Tom Jackson in the final seconds of the game sealed the win for Northern. It was the school's first title since 1947. Hairston ended with 21 points. Wayman Britt led Northern with 18 points and 19 rebounds.

Previous releases:
1973 Class C Boys Final: Detroit East Catholic 50, Saginaw St. Stephen 49 - Watch
1954 Class A Boys Final: Muskegon Heights 43, Flint Northern 41 (OT) – Watch

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