Monday’s roundup: Dakota downs Clarkston in 2 OTs

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Macomb — In a regional semifinal game the state championship bout could only dream of duplicating, Macomb Dakota defeated Clarkston, 68-66 in double-overtime, on its home floor on a layup by Chris Magee off a pass from Steven Marshall with five seconds left.

The showdown featured outstanding point guards in sophomore Foster Loyer of Clarkston and junior Jermaine Jackson of Dakota.

The stars both struggled with their shooting before Jackson scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half and overtimes. He made a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:10 left in the second overtime to give Dakota (24-0) a 66-64 lead before Loyer made two free throws to pull Clarkston (20-3) even with just over a minute left.

Dakota had the ball for the final shot and Clarkston double-teamed Jackson, forcing him to give it up to Marshall on the left wing. Marshall penetrated and found Magee cutting to the basket for the winning shot.

“Steven Marshall attacked and dished it off to me and it was an easy finish,” Magee said. “He’s a great attacker and he’s been attacking the basket all year. It wasn’t a designed play, just our players making plays.”

Marshall made big plays all game, finishing with 16 points (7-of-11 shooting), eight rebounds and numerous steals. Magee scored just four, but the most important points of the game.

“I just knew for a fact my defender couldn’t check me and I took him off the dribble, my teammate (Magee) cut to the whole, I passed it to him and he completed it,” said Marshall. “All I know is Dakota beat Clarkston, that’s it.”

Dakota coach Paul Tocco talked about the winning play.

“We wanted to get an isolation for J.J. (Jackson) until about eight seconds and when they went to double, he moved it and (Marshall) attacked like we told him to attack and he found the open guy,” Tocco said. “We’ve been preaching that for years, being unselfish and I’m just very proud of the way we executed down the stretch.

“And, Chris Magee never complains about playing time, just does his job, and because of injuries (knee injury to Brendan Sackey-Afriyie in first half) and because of foul trouble (Thomas Kithier) he was in the spotlight and did a great job.”

Dakota avenged last year’s 63-58 regional title game loss to Clarkston when Loyer scored 35, 13 coming in the final quarter.

Loyer had trouble finishing at the basket this time around while attacking Dakota’s defense and 6-foot-8 sophomore Kithier (20 points, eight rebounds) who altered many of the shots.

Loyer scored 25, but made just 6 of 18 shots, missing all five of his 3-point tries. Mitch Heaton, a 6-6 center, scored 12 for Clarkston, but fouled out with two minutes left in the first overtime. Junior guard Dylan Alderson scored 11, but couldn’t connect on a 15-footer as time expired.

“This is what we live for, going hard now for four months and it feels unbelievable to get revenge on them after what they did to us last year,” said Kithier, who picked up two fouls in the opening quarter. “This is great, but we have to get ready for Adams (in Wednesday’s regional title game).”

Tocco was proud of Kithier, saying: “I give a lot of credit to Thomas because when we needed him, every time down the floor we threw it in to the big boy, and he made free throws for us and that was huge.”

Also at Dakota

Rochester Adams 47, Brandon 38: Senior guard Joey Ziniti stepped up during the second half to make sure Adams would be playing for a regional championship.

With Brandon concentrating on slowing down Mr. Basketball finalist Spencer Littleson after he broke loose for 15 points to give Adams (18-5) a 25-13 halftime lead, Ziniti took it upon himself to make a few big plays.

Ziniti made a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third quarter for a 10-point lead (33-23), then scored on a driving layup with 3:30 left to keep it a three-possession game after Brandon had cut its deficit to 40-34. He made four free throws during the final 1:06 and finished with 14 points.

“Spencer had a great first half so I knew they would try to take him away a little more in the second half so I just stepped up and looked to attack and made some shots,” Ziniti said.

“It’s awesome (to reach the regional title game). We’re looking to win our first regional title in school history. This group of seniors, we’ve been working for this for a long time and to get this far is awesome.”

More boys

Class A

Ann Arbor Pioneer 60, Woodhaven 37: Jordan Currie scored 20 for Pioneer. Weshaun Warren had 13 points for Woodhaven (17-7).

Detroit Western 67, Dearborn Fordson 31: Josh Long had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Brailen Neely and Armani Tinsley had 10 each for Western (20-3).

North Farmington 63, Hartland 30: Billy Thomas scored 25 and Alex Darden had 12 points and 10 rebounds for North Farmington (21-2). Hartland finishes 12-11.

Roseville 61, Birmingham Groves 56: Johnny Jones scored 14 points, and Dezmond Wright, Abdono Berry and T.J. Anderson had 12 each for Roseville (18-5). Grant Gilbert scored 17 for Groves (16-8).

Class B

Detroit Henry Ford 63, Detroit Northwestern 56: Jeremy Crowley scored 19, James Towns 18, Kavon Bey 13 and Alston Hunter 11 for Henry Ford (17-6). Kaylan Shipp had 18 points, Terrance Sewell 15 and Dawin Weis 10 for Northwestern (14-6).

Detroit Osborn 62, Detroit Douglass 56: Rashard Zimmermon scored 19, Kenneth Holloway had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Devin Dubois had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Osborn (14-10). James Smith scored 21 for Douglass (16-8).

New Haven 45, Detroit Country Day 44: Alante Stevens scored 15, Eric Williams Jr. 14 and Romeo Weems 12 for New Haven (21-2). Paul Mocur had 13 points for Country Day (9-13).

Class C

Detroit Loyola 66, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 53: P.J. Mitchell scored 22, DeQuan Powell 13 and Romari Ennis 12 for Loyola (19-5). Stephen Umfress had 23 and Arthur Sconochia 12 for Catholic Central (22-2).

Riverview Gabriel Richard 71, Adrian Madison 66: Jake Lipetzky scored 20, Anthony Brown 16 and Juri Alonte 13 for Gabriel Richard (18-4). Jared Sloop had 25 points and Colin Anschutz 11 for Madison (19-4).