Performance: Quincy's William Dunn

January 18, 2019

William Dunn
Quincy junior – Basketball

The 6-foot-8 forward had 30 points to lead Quincy past Reading 55-46 on Jan. 8, pushing the Orioles to 9-0 this season while becoming just the third player in program history to go over 1,000 career points. He entered the game needing four to reach the milestone, and he also grabbed 12 rebounds on the way to earning the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

Over 2½ varsity seasons, Dunn has lead Quincy to a combined 47-10 record, two league titles and a District championship, earning all-state honorable mention from The Associated Press after both of his first two seasons. This winter he’s averaging 25.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, making 55 percent of his shots from the floor and 42 percent of his 3-point tries. Heading into tonight’s game against Concord, Dunn has 1,026 career points, trailing only 1995 graduate Jeff Bell (1,071 points) and 2003 grad Dominic Lopez (1,707) on the school’s all-time scoring list. Both of those players went on to compete at the college level – Bell at Olivet and Lopez at Navy – and Dunn already has scholarship offers from three Division I or II programs, including Division I American University in Washington, D.C.

Dunn has worked over the last year to get stronger and has upped his endurance as well, necessities especially as he deals with two and three defenders at a time aimed at stopping him. He also played football as a freshman and sophomore, making the varsity as a receiver his second season, and carries a 3.2 GPA with history his favorite academic interest. He could help his 380-student high school make some before his career is done; the Orioles are seeking their first Regional title in boys basketball and made the Regional Final his freshman season.  

Coach Scott Rodesiler said: “William Dunn is a unique talent who has been on the varsity team since his freshman season. During his first season, you could see that there was something special about him as a player. … (He) brings a unique blend of size, skill, athleticism, work ethic, competitiveness, and unselfishness to our team. Dunn's game is extremely versatile because his skill set allows him to score in so many different ways: fastbreaks, posting up, shooting a 3-pointer, driving to the hoop, shooting a mid-range jumper, (putting back) an offensive rebound, or hitting free throws. You may see him filling a lane on the fastbreak or getting the rebound and leading the fastbreak himself. William is basically a guard in a big man's body. I would not hesitate to play him at point guard if I needed him to do so. His ball handling and vision of the court are outstanding. The great thing about having William on the team is that you always know going into a game that you have a great chance of winning because he is capable of scoring 30+ points, pulling down 15+ rebounds and forcing other teams to change their defensive game plans. ... William's biggest improvement since last season has been his outside shot, in my opinion. Dunn made thousands of shots in the past year to take his game to a new level. He always had a nice shooting stroke, but the work he put in has allowed him to shoot with greater consistency. William has achieved at a high level all while facing double and triple teams, as well as numerous 'junk' defenses. One of his greatest abilities is making the right decisions with the basketball when faced with these types of defenses.”

Performance Point: “I just thought it was pretty cool that I was the third player to get (1,000), and so that means that not many people get that opportunity,” Dunn said. “(Reaching it as a junior) just shows all of the work that I've put in. It's just reflecting that. It's another step to everything that's been going on.”

On the radar, and the map: “It's nice for people to start recognizing some of the stuff that I've been able to do, or some of the stuff that I've accomplished. After my freshman year I had gone to some camps, and some people asked who I was and said they had heard of me. It's funny, because a lot of times they'll ask me where I'm from, and I tell them and they have no clue. They don't know where (Quincy) is. I ask them (if they know) where Coldwater is, because we're right next to that and it's a little bigger town, and if they don't know where that is, I just say it's right next to the Indiana border. ... Sometimes I hold up my hand like the mitten and point to it.”

Small town, big support: “It's kinda unique. … It feels like when we do something special, it's means more because it doesn't happen as often. I like the community aspect (of being small-town). Everybody knows you, everywhere you go. You go in town, go out to eat, there's people that you have no clue who they are but they've heard about you, seen you in the newspaper. It's real cool.”

Hard work pays: “It's really exciting to do this for the school and for the town. We work hard. We come into practice every day, practice extremely hard. We bond really well. There's nobody butting heads or anything; we mesh really well.”

School in session: “I’m been thinking about going into education and trying to be a teacher. Both of my parents are teachers; my dad is a weight training teacher and (teaches) health class and personal finance, and my mom is a fifth-grade science teacher. … They’ve always stressed (education), that school always comes first. Sometimes it gets a little hectic, but I've always adjusted to it. I always have known I have to get my work done.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2018-19 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard recognizes a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Past 2018-19 honorees

November 29: Dequan Finn, Detroit Martin Luther King football - Read
November 22: Paige Briggs, Lake Orion volleyball - Read
November 15:
Hunter Nowak, Morrice football - Read
November 8:
Jon Dougherty, Detroit Country Day soccer - Read
November 1:
Jordan Stump, Camden-Frontier volleyball - Read
October 25:
Danielle Staskowski, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep golf - Read
October 18:
Adam Bruce, Gladstone cross country - Read
October 11: Ericka VanderLende, Rockford cross country - Read
October 4:
Kobe Clark, Schoolcraft football - Read
September 27: Jonathan Kliewer, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern soccer - Read
September 20: Kiera Lasky, Bronson volleyball - Read
September 13: Judy Rector, Hanover-Horton cross country - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Quincy's William Dunn goes to the basket against Jonesville on Dec. 9. (Middle) Dunn rises to the rim during the 35-29 win. (Photos by Expressions Photography Design.)

Ferndale Caps Winter Season with 1st Boys Hoops Title Since 1966

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for

March 25, 2023

EAST LANSING – One team was going to end a long championship drought in Saturday’s boys basketball Division 2 Final.

Ferndale’s was especially lengthy, and spanned more than five decades.

And now it is no longer.

The Eagles won their first Finals championship in 57 years with a 44-38 victory over Grand Rapids South Christian at Breslin Center.

Ferndale had last won a state title in 1966.

“The drought is over,” Eagles coach Juan Rickman said. “That’s big time, and the biggest part about making it down here was seeing how charged up the community was and the school was so charged up. It’s the greatest feeling to see how vested our community was in our success.”

Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim.Ferndale senior Christopher Williams led the way with 16 points and four rebounds.

“It feels great,” Williams said. “Especially since the past four years we’ve been to the same place and lost twice in a row to the same team, and now it feels like weight is lifted off my shoulders.

“We started off the season 1-5, and going till now we knew if we stayed together through adversity then we could do it. And it made it more impactful that it was our coach’s first state title, and that’s what we wanted to do.”

Added senior point guard Cameron Reed, who had a game-high seven assists: “It’s incredibly special. I wasn't born back then, my teammates weren’t born and my coaches weren’t born. It definitely rejuvenated the whole city and community.”

Ferndale led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter, and both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Eagles connected on a paltry 24 percent from the field, and South Christian on 35 percent of its attempts. Nate Brinks drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sailors a 16-14 halftime lead. 

Junior guard Jake Vermaas opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to make it 19-14, but Ferndale made a charge.

The Eagles sliced the deficit to one (25-24) on a 3-pointer by Trenton Ruth, and Cameron Reed tied it at 28-28 with an acrobatic layup.

“Our team was mentally strong, and I’m so proud of them for their accomplishment,” Rickman said. “Just so committed to the process and just being resilient.”

Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.An 8-2 spurt by Ferndale over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter made it 36-30.

“That was extremely important, and we always want to win the first four minutes,” Rickman said. “And we tried to open up the fourth quarter with what we call a kill; we want to get five straight stops and score on two or three of those possessions so we can build a lead. We did that fairly well against a good team.”

South Christian was attempting to win football and basketball Finals championships during the same school year, and was looking for its first basketball title since 2005.

“It was a really hard-fought game and I thought we played at our speed, but it got away from us a little bit,” first-year Sailors coach Taylor Johnson said.

“But it doesn’t take away from what we accomplished this year. We’ve been through it all, including three season-ending injuries, and to still make it to the state finals is an incredible feat.”

Senior Jacob DeHaan and Vermaas led the Sailors with 14 points apiece, while senior Sam Medendorp added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Ferndale raises the Division 2 championship trophy Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) Christopher Williams (13) tries to power past South Christian’s Sam Weiss (23) to the rim. (Below) Cameron Reed (0) leads a break for the Eagles.