BOYS BASKETBALL: Romulus, DCD, Beecher and SCS corral state crowns, make the most of trips to Breslin |
EAST LANSING – The Breslin Center was brimming with hoops hysteria over the weekend, as the MHSAA held their annual boys basketball state championship games and anointed four new squads as cage kings of 2013.
In Class A, Romulus, after knocking on the door for the last decade, brought home the program’s first state title since 1986 and the Terry Mills era, downing Detroit Southeastern 61-49, in the state finals. On top 28-20 at the half, Romulus outscored its opponents 23-12 in the third quarter to blow the game open and cruise to the hardware.
The Eagles’ Division I college-bound triple-threat of E.C. Matthews (Rhode Island), Wes Clark (Missouri) and Leo Edwards (Louisiana Tech) delivered in the clutch, each hitting for double-figures. Matthews, a deadeye-shooting off-guard, scored a game-high 20 points, while Clark, the team’s floor general and Edwards, the Eagles starting center, scored 13 points apiece. Clark dished six assists and Edwards posted 10 rebounds in the victory.
Back in the semifinals against Grand Rapids Christian, Matthews caught fire and dropped 37 points.
Romulus finished the 2013 campaign 27-1, its only loss coming to Detroit Pershing, a defeat the Eagles avenged in the quarterfinals with a marathon 93-91 win before a jam-packed house at Calihan Hall.
This season was Romulus’ fifth trip to the final four in the past nine years under head coach Nate Oats.
Besides the Eagles 'Big 3,' senior small forward Jalon Plummer (seven points, six boards), a wiry and athletic presence on the wing with a great outside stroke, will most likely be playing Division I ball somewhere next season as well.
Southeastern was making its second appearance in the final four in three seasons. Star guard Jovonne Hayes paced the Jungaleers with a team-high 16 points.
In Class B, Birmingham Detroit Country Day wrapped up its ninth state title, taking out upstart Detroit Community 57-49, in Saturday’s finals behind its super-steady backcourt of junior point guard Edmond Sumner and senior shooting guard Austin Price.
Price, signed with Lehigh, scored a game-high 15 points in the state championship game. The heady and versatile gunner was born and raised in Indiana, landing in Metro Detroit in 2010 with his brother Jodan (DePaul), a starter and captain on last year's Country Day hoop squad. Sumner, who went for 30 points in the semifinals against Cadillac, notched 13 points and converted three straight quarter-ending buzzer-beaters beating his man on drives to the basket in the finals Saturday evening. The 6-foot-4 playmaker is the engine that drives the Yellowjackets’ offense and quickly establishing himself a candidate for the 2014 Mr. Basketball award.
The unheralded, yet tenacious frontcourt of Maurice Ways, Christien Wright and Poet Thomas contained Community’s imposing tandem in the post of Bo Ziegler (South Florida) and Jerrell Martin and registered another in a long line of rock-solid outings controlling the paint with pure hustle and grit. Ways and Thomas are future Division I football