The Dundee boys basketball team has stacked up a pair of accomplishments already this winter – one to enjoy right now, and another to take pride in for years to come.
The Vikings, after finishing last season 10-11, are off to an 8-0 start this winter. The early run has included a 67-64 win on Dec. 15 over Onsted, last year’s Lenawee County Athletic Association champion.
The significance of that accomplishment is easy for players to get, especially since the majority of this year’s rotation went through the growing pains of last season. But the historic meaning of the win that came after Onsted probably will take some more time to sink in – even as it’s bound to be one of the most lasting achievements of these players’ careers.
Dundee’s 60-50 win over Carleton Airport on Dec. 20 was the 1,000th victory in program history, making the Vikings one of at least 12 in Michigan high school history to have reached that milestone and the first from Monroe County.
“I don’t think at their age they understand how big of an accomplishment that is – that you’d basically have to go undefeated 50 straight years to get to 1,000,” said second-year coach Jordan Bollin, who is in his 11th season total as a coach in the southeast part of the state. “We tried to explain it to them, and I think they do (get it more) now.”
Dundee is the Applebee’s “Team of the Month” for December in part for both headlining moments this season, pulling off its first five wins during that first month and seven of eight so far by double figures.
The Vikings are paced by six seniors, including four who start alongside junior Ben Miller, who also started last season as a sophomore and leads with team with 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. To make this season's jump, they put in the necessary time; Bollin said he held four-player workouts three times a week during the offseason, in addition to the players honing their skills during open gyms and over a busy summer.
Bollin also emphasized that while the program has undergone a system change – introducing a more free-flowing offense and shorter practices this winter – it’s maintained the same culture of toughness that exists throughout the community and is often most recognizable with the school’s best-known team – a wrestling program that has won three of the last four MHSAA Division 3 championships.
“I’ve coached at a couple places, and the kids at Dundee are tougher bred,” said Bollin, who graduated from Temperance Bedford, then assisted there and at Blissfield before coming to Dundee as an assistant three seasons ago. “I don’t know how to explain it. The parents do a great job of raising them. A lot of the parents played at Dundee, and it’s a well-versed culture there. It’s a very tough community … and it’s always ‘Yes coach. No coach,’ very respectful kids.
“The wrestling program sets the tone, and if our kids ever get tired or feel that our practice is tough, we ask, ‘Do you want to go wrestle?’ Tim (Roberts) is one of the best coaches probably in the nation, and they probably outwork any team in any sport in the state, and I can say that in confidence.”
It’s certainly worth noting that Dundee’s basketball program also is making this impressive run sharing winter athletes with that wrestling program in a school of just under 500 students. That might make the Vikings’ basketball depth notable as well; Bollin said in 11 seasons he’s never had a team with this many contributors, as six players have scored at least 13 points in a game. Senior guard Brayden Federer is another top scorer, pouring in 12 points per game while also serving as the leading lockdown defender.
For Dundee’s next game after winning 1,000, against Flat Rock on Dec. 22, the Vikings welcomed the school’s 1987-88 team that advanced to the Class C Semifinals and is considered the program’s best of all-time (Dundee’s 1937-38 team also made the Class C Semifinals, but no team has won a Regional title since 1988). Those past players were recognized with an on-court ceremony and visited the locker room before the game to meet the current players before these Vikings went on to a 44-30 win to close the month.
Bollin had an idea before this season that this team might be lined up for a special run too. So far it’s included a couple of meaningful accomplishments, and the Vikings hope they’re just getting started.
“We’re a starless team … and even in my second year, I’m improved as a coach. We’re prepared for anything they see, but a lot of it is on them,” Bollin said of his players. “People take it for granted, that experience, but it’s a big deal. These guys don’t get rattled much this year. Last year if a team switched defenses on them, it would set them back a couple of plays.
“(And) we’re a really close-knit unit, and they don’t let each other slack. It’s easy to coach when you have a team like that.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Dundee’s Tyler Turner looks to get past an Onsted defender during the Vikings’ three-point win last month. (Middle) Dundee players and coaches commemorate the program’s 1,000th win after defeating Carleton Airport. (Photos courtesy of the Dundee boys basketball program.)
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.
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.