East Lansing — Monte Morris scored 13 of his 29 points in the first quarter and led Flint Beecher to a 73-55 win over Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central in the first Class C state semifinal on Thursday.
Morris was named Mr. Basketball on Monday and on Tuesday scored 25 points to lead Beecher to a 46-44 victory over No. 2-ranked Detroit Consortium in the quarterfinals.
"We got back to practice after the award with one mindset," Morris said. "We just wanted to get back to the finals."
Morris also had eight assists and six rebounds.
In Saturday's state final, Beecher (26-1) will face Laingsburg (24-2), which beat Negaunee in the other Class C semifinal on a last-second layup.
Beecher led 40-25 at halftime and scored the first eight points of the second half to take its largest lead.
Beecher harassed St. Mary CC (23-3) defensively, sometimes with a full-court press, but most often with a half-court trap. St. Mary CC committed 17 turnovers that Beecher converted into 23 points.
"Their trap defense was tough," St. Mary CC coach Randy Windham said. "Milan was the best team we faced during the season but they didn't throw five guys at us.
"It was a great opportunity for our kids. We've been knocking on the door (before)."
This was St. Mary CC's first semifinal appearance.
Kevin Woodson topped St. Mary CC with 15 points.