Hoops on Film: 1972 Class B Boys Final
August 24, 2015
By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director
One of the best has indeed been saved for last in the final edition of the MHSAA.TV’s Hoops On Film Series.
The series concludes this week with the 1972 Class B Boys Basketball Final between River Rouge and Muskegon Heights, a game won by Rouge in perhaps the most amazing final minute comeback in the history of the tournament.
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:
River Rouge 65, Muskegon Heights 64 – 1972 Class B Boys Final - After 16 appearances and 11 titles by River Rouge and coach Lofton Greene, the Class B crown had, in the words of Detroit writer Joe Falls, “become almost their divine right each March.” Muskegon Heights had lost to Rouge in the Final one year earlier, but it appeared that the Tigers had finally turned the tables on the perennial powerhouse. With the lead 64-57 with only 58 seconds remaining on the clock at Jenison Field House, this game appeared to be over. But, in perhaps the most amazing comeback in tournament history, the turnaround started with 45 seconds remaining. Ralph Perry's easy lay-up cut the Heights margin to five points. Fouled on the play, Perry missed the free throw, but teammate Byron Wilson pounded home the rebound and the Panthers trailed by three. An errant inbound pass kept the dream alive. Leighton Moulton sank a 22-foot jumper with 23 seconds remaining, and the Panthers trailed by a point, 64-63. The Tigers were called for traveling on the change of possession, and Rouge had its chance. Moulton, the leading scorer in the contest, was again called upon. He drove toward the basket and was fouled before the shot. “The clock read: 0:02. If Moulton missed the first, it would have been all over,” wrote Falls, capturing the scene in characteristic clarity. “All of it rested on his lean, lithe shoulders ... and the delicate touch in his finger. He stepped to the line while the crowd quieted. The pressure was immense. Moulton looked up, let it go – and swish. Now utter bedlam. Moulton broke toward the center of the court, thrusting his fist into the air. He jumped and danced and was mobbed by his teammates. ... He'd tied it. Rouge could do no worse than go into overtime. But now he had another chance,” continued Falls, “the chance to win it. He made the most of it by dropping in his second free throw. ... That's when the tears started coming out of Lofton Greene's eyes, if you can imagine that.”
1959 Class A Boys Final: Lansing Sexton 80, Hamtramck 79 (OT) - Watch
1977 Class C Girls Final: DeWitt 51, Carrollton 36 - Watch
1970 Class D Boys Final: Flint Holy Redeemer 62, Kingsley 60 - Watch
1961 Class D Boys Final: Marquette Pierce 68, Freesoil 61 - Watch
1958 Class A Boys Final: Detroit Austin 71, Benton Harbor 68 - Watch
1976 Class D Girls Final: Lake City 58, Perkins 48 - Watch
1971 Class A Boys Final: Flint Northern 79, Detroit Kettering 78 - Watch
1954 Class A Boys Final: Muskegon Heights 43, Flint Northern 41 (OT) - Watch
1973 Class C Boys Final: Detroit East Catholic 50, Saginaw St. Stephen 49 - Watch
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.)