Moment: 1961 Team Tips Off "Rouge Week'

April 13, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Nearly 70 years after its first championship, the River Rouge boys basketball program remains the standard at the Finals level of its sport with 20 appearances in MHSAA championship games and 14 titles.

From 1960-69, Rouge appeared in Finals seven times and won six championships – and photos and video from those six title games will make up this “Rouge Week” as part of our MHSAA Moments series.

We tip off with these from the 79-44 Class B title win over Holland Christian in 1961. The championship was the fourth of 12 earned under legendary coach Lofton Greene, following those won in 1954, 1955 and 1959.

The Panthers' 21-8 second-quarter run, keyed by 6-foot-5 freshman Willie Betts, sent them into halftime up 39-21. For the game, four players scored in double figures for River Rouge led by Jon Roman (No. 11 above and below) with 17 points.  The Panthers finished 23-2 and also included Ken Wilburn (No. 25 below), who went on to play professionally for four NBA and ABA franchises.

(Photos courtesy of The Associated Press.)

State Champs! Michigan: Hangtime 2-3-23

February 3, 2023

Join Lorne Plant, TJ Kelley and Scott Burnstein for the fifth episode this season of STATE CHAMPS! Hangtime.

0:00 – Open
1:22 - Mr. Basketball talk
1:41 - TJ’s picks
3:49 - Scott’s picks
6:37 – Making it to the Breslin helps chances
7:25 – Parity in this year’s Mr. Basketball race
8:33 – Big time player matchups
9:52 – Recap of games previously on SC! Network
10:41 – Flint Carman-Ainsworth tops Detroit Loyola
11:53 – North Farmington is consistent
13:48 – BCAM Chalk Talk with Grand Blanc Head Coach Tory Jackson
16:41 – Biggest change since 2006, social media. Players from this era include David Kool, DeShawn Sims and Tory Jackson
19:21 – Scott gives insight on how to grind for that D-1 scholarship
21:42 – Big changes to TJ’s Top 20 Rankings
23:48 - Weekend Showcases
25:53 – TJ talks about Davion Goins from Cassopolis
26:52 – Scott talks about Dylan Grant from Warren Michigan Collegiate
27:11 – And Jayden Hardiman from Ferndale
28:18 – TJ talks about Wyatt Nausadis from T.C. St. Francis
29:03 – TJ on Warren Michigan Collegiate
29:45 - Close