Lakeshore Finds Way to Win, Play for More
March 25, 2016
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
EAST LANSING – The Stevensville Lakeshore boys basketball team of January and February won as many games as it lost.
The Stevensville Lakeshore team of March will play Saturday for its first MHSAA championship.
It’s been that drastic of a turnaround over the last month for the Lancers, who came back to beat Big Rapids 61-60 in Friday’s late Class B Semifinal to advance to their first title game since 2012.
The win also ran Lakeshore’s streak to 11, a string that’s included two victories in overtime and three by two points or fewer.
“We’ve always had this goal. We always thought we were this good to make it here,” Lakeshore senior center Braden Burke said. “We just had a rough patch in the middle, but everyone stayed positive. We never really thought we were out of it. We just did our thing and eventually came around.”
Lakeshore will take on reigning Class B runner-up Detroit Henry Ford in this season’s final game, at 6:30 p.m., as both seek their first MHSAA title.
The Lancers have indeed emerged from some rough patches to close this season. After going 5-0 in December, Lakeshore lost its first two games of 2016 and then five of six from Jan. 29-Feb. 19. Those defeats resulted in the team finishing fourth in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West behind three teams that shared the title.
But the Lancers defeated two of the co-champions at the start of this run and have continued to battle through – although just as the team had a rough go during the middle two months of the season, so did it look to be done after Friday’s middle two quarters.
Lakeshore led 11-8 at the end of the first quarter, but Big Rapids went on a 41-33 run over the second and third to swing the score and carry a five-point lead into the final period. The Cardinals (23-3) ran the lead to seven on senior Jeffrey Davenport’s bucket with 6:12 to go.
Big Rapids connected on eight of its 11 3-pointers during the run, and shot better from beyond the arc (48 percent) than inside it (44 percent) for the game.
“In all the films we watched on them, we never saw them make that many 3s,” Lakeshore coach Sean Schroeder said. “They shot the heck out of it, and it’s a credit to them. But it’s also a testimony to my team in that boy, we seem to find a way to win. And that’s how we’ve been throughout the entire tournament.”
One last 3-pointer by Big Rapids senior Kenny Davis put his team up 56-50 with 3:57 to play. But Lakeshore senior Gibson Archer answered with a trey as well, starting a 9-0 run that he also finished with a score to put the Lancers up 59-56 with 34 seconds remaining.
The teams traded pairs of free throws before Davenport put back a rebound with seven seconds left to cut the deficit to one. Big Rapids managed to stop the clock with a foul with just under a second to play – but after two Lancers free-throw misses could get off only a desperation shot that was on line but short and just after the buzzer.
“The one thing that always happens with this group of kids is they always come to play, and they did tonight,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “You get to the state semifinals and it’s a tight ball game, one point, and it could either way. I hope the people in the community are proud of these kids and the entertainment they provided again too.
“We stumbled a couple years in quarters and finally got here, so I guess we’ve got next year to get back here again.”
Burke scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and junior Max Gaishin had 15 and 10, respectively, to help pace Lakeshore. Archer finished with 15 points as well. And senior Logan Steffes had 11 points including a key steal and score late.
Junior Demetri Martin led Big Rapids with 22 points and four assists, and Davis had 15 points on five 3-pointers.
The Boys Basketball Finals are presented by Sparrow Health System.
PHOTOS: (Top) Stevensville Lakeshore’s Braden Burke (34) pins a shot against the glass just above the reach of Big Rapids’ Braeden Childress. (Middle) Kenny Davis (14) launches a 3-pointer from the corner.
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.)