In Play with Tom Markowski

Trevor Manuel outplays Deyonta Davis, Everett knocks off defending champs, 75-52, in Class A quarterfinal

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

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Lansing – Trevor Manuel remembers his roots. And he was quick to credit those who helped him develop as player after his Lansing Everett team eliminated the defending champion in dominating fashion on Tuesday.

Manuel had 24 points, nine rebounds and five blocks as Everett blew past No. 4-ranked Muskegon in the second half to win the Class A quarterfinal, 75-52, inside the Don Johnson Fieldhouse at Lansing Eastern.

Muskegon (24-2) was 28-0 last season when it won the state title and entered the contest as the clear favorite boasting the recently-named Mr. Basketball winner, Deyonta Davis.

Davis, who scored but four points in the regional final victory over Hudsonville last Wednesday, was held to 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

If the numbers don’t tell the story, Manuel’s effort did. On this night he outplayed Davis.

Manuel, a 6-8 forward who signed with Oregon, finished third in the voting. Eric Davis of Saginaw Arthur Hill was second.

Manuel will get his shot against this Davis, too, as No. 9-ranked Everett (24-2) will play Arthur Hill (23-3) in Friday’s semifinal at the Breslin Center at 1 p.m.

Arthur Hill defeated Walled Lake Central 78-59 to advance.

“I wasn’t worried about his game,” Manuel said about the 6-10 Davis. “The Mr. Basketball was (Monday). I didn’t take it too personal.

“I tried to take these guys under my wings as best I could. Denzel Valentine did that to me when I was a freshman. He was the guy for me then. I’ll never forget that. Denzel’s my guy.”

Manuel played for Lansing Sexton his freshman year when the Big Reds won the Class B title. Manuel transferred to Oak Hill (NC) Academy after that and came back to Lansing last summer.

Everett was 5-16 last season and the addition of Manuel was the missing piece to the puzzle.

Desmond Ferguson is in his third season as Everett’s head coach and, as a Everett graduate, Ferguson was especially proud after the program’s biggest victory since winning the Class A title in 2004.

“It’s huge,” Ferguson said. “To basically be at home in the regionals (Everett hosted a regional, then stayed in Lansing for this game and will be in East Lansing on Friday) and through this, it’s great for the community.”

The first half went back-and-forth as Everett scored the last seven points of the first quarter to knot the score at 14-14.

Three times Everett took a four-point lead in the second, the last time on Jamyrin Jackson’s layup after his steal with 35 seconds left.

Davis’ second basket of the half with 15 seconds left brought the Big Reds to within 26-24 and that’s the way the half ended.

Each team had 15 rebounds and five turnovers in the first 16 minutes.

The second half belonged to Everett. The Vikings scored the first eight points of the second half then went to a one-two-two zone and it seem to frustrate Muskegon. Everett forced seven turnovers in the third quarter and took a 48-33 lead.

Jackson scored nine of his 20 points in the quarter, the last three on a 3-pointer with 1:23 left.

Jackson opened the fourth with a dunk and then electrified the standing-room-only crowd a minute later. Jackson broke out on a fast break and instead of laying it in, he saw Manuel trailing on the play, passed it off the glass and Manuel threw down the jam.

Everett led 56-34 with 6:03 left and outcome was all but decided.

Muskegon did cut the deficit to 57-44 on a Daryl Kirkland basket with four minutes left but the Big Reds got no closer.

“They came out with more fight in the second half,” Muskegon coach Keith Guy said. “We didn’t answer the bell. They wanted it more.

“They did a good job on (Davis). Our guards didn’t get him the ball enough.”

Joeviair Kennedy led Muskegon with 20 points.

“Kennedy was our concern,” Ferguson said. “He makes them go. He had 27 in their last game. We went to that zone to try to keep him outside.”