Beecher advances to Class C final once again with 76-68 win over Detroit EdisonBasketball  |
East Lansing - Malik Ellison said he was so focused that he barely noticed the fans and all of the noise inside the Breslin Center on Thursday.
As the game progressed, the Flint Beecher senior guard did become aware of one special fan rooting for him.
“At halftime, one of my former teammates, Miles Bridges...he told me, ‘Malik, man, you know you’ve got to step it up.’” Ellison said of Michigan State's freshman standout. “And I said, ‘yeah, I got you. You know, because you came out here to watch me.’
"From childhood, we grew up playing on the same AAU team. So it was good to see him come out and support me.”
Ellison scored 28 points as Beecher knocked off Detroit Edison, 76-68, in a Class C semifinal. Beecher will play the winner of Grand Rapids Covenant Christian-Manton for the title on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Beecher (22-5) has won the last two titles and four of the last five.
“I feel more poised this year because it’s our senior year and we want to go out with a bang and we want to three-peat,” said senior Jordan Roland, who had 10 points and seven rebounds.
A big part of Beecher’s success was the defense of 6-7 senior Lavane Blake, who had four of his six blocked shots in the first quarter.
“It’s been a frustrating 3 1/2 years for him,” Beecher coach Mike Williams said of Blake. “Depending on where we play at, he’s able to play his game, he’s able to get physical, he’s able to block shots. Then when he just touches somebody, he’s in foul trouble. Now he’s gotten smarter. I put him in the game (today) with four fouls with five minutes to go. I trust him.”