David Goricki’s boys hoops state quarterfinals picks
It would be safe to say the odds were stacked against West Bloomfield and Troy to make it to the Breslin Center for the Class A Final Four and a shot at the state championship.
But, one of the two will be competing in a state semifinal Friday afternoon in East Lansing. The teams play each other in a state quarterfinal game 7 p.m. Tuesday at Calihan Hall in Detroit.
West Bloomfield (16-8) entered postseason play with a 12-8 record, defeated Orchard Lake St. Mary’s to earn its first district championship since 2003, then pulled off a controversial 67-66 double-overtime win over Novi in the regional title game.
Kevin McAdoo scored 34 in the regional title game, rallying West Bloomfield back from a 66-62 deficit with 12 seconds left, first making a 3, then making a layup off a steal as time expired for the win. The big question was, did the ball leave McAdoo’s hands before time expired? Officials said it did, and West Bloomfield’s dream season continued.
“I’m so proud of these boys and how they’ve battled,” West Bloomfield coach Jeremy Denha said. “We’re ready to go. The kids are locked in. The kids just don’t give up and that makes it special.
“During the state playoffs Kevin (McAdoo) is averaging 31 points and he demands to guard the other team’s best players. He’s ready to show everybody who he is.”
McAdoo has an offer from Wayne State and is getting interest from multiple Division 1 mid-major schools.
West Bloomfield competes in the Oakland Activities Association’s Red Division, while Troy (21-4) competes in the OAA White. West Bloomfield defeated Troy, 64-61, in early February, with Troy then on an 11-game winning streak.
Troy is led by 6-2 junior guard Jason Dietz (17.2 points), 6-5 Danny Sully (11.3 points, 10.4 rebounds) and 6-3 junior Leon Ayers (12.8 points).
Pick: West Bloomfield by 4.
Romulus (20-4) vs. U-D Jesuit (20-3) at Calihan Hall, 5 p.m.
The two perennial state powers met in early January, with U-D Jesuit coming away with a 71-58 win after trailing at halftime.
Look for U-D’s size to be the difference with 6-9 Greg Eboigbodin and Ike Eke making it tough for Romulus to score inside. Pick: U-D Jesuit by 5.
Clarkston (24-1) vs. Saginaw (21-4) at Davison, 7:30 p.m.: Saginaw has an outstanding player in 6-4 senior Henry Speight, but Clarkston has a great defender in 6-4 senior Dylan Alderson, along with a star point guard in junior Foster Loyer. Pick: Clarkston by 6.
Kalamazoo Central (21-3) vs. Grand Rapids Christian (25-0) at Lansing Eastern, 7 p.m.: Kalamazoo Central has Michigan-bound Mr. Basketball Isaiah Livers leading the way, but Grand Rapids Christian has a trio of talented players, led by MSU-bound Xavier Tillman, 6-7 James Beck (Oakland) and 6-3 junior guard Duane Washington. Pick: Grand Rapids Christian by 2 (OT).
Detroit Osborn (16-9) vs. New Haven (24-1), at Marysville, 7 p.m.: Armonee Felder said back in February he expected Osborn to be playing at Breslin for the Class B state championship, the same way Detroit Henry Ford won the title last year.
Felder, who averages 24 points, eight assists and six rebounds, has helped Osborn reach the quarterfinals. Now, he will have to beat New Haven and its talented team led by 6-6 sophomore Romeo Weems and 6-4 Eric Williams to move on. Pick: New Haven by 6.
Benton Harbor (21-3) vs. Spring Lake (19-6), at Caledonia, 7 p.m.: Look for 6-6 freshman forward Carlos Johnson to be the difference in this one. Pick: Benton Harbor by 7
Williamston (21-4) vs. River Rouge (23-1) at Chelsea, 7 p.m.: Williamston tossed River Rouge to the sidelines in this game a year ago, but that was with sharpshooting guard Riley Lewis in the lineup. Lewis has since graduated and River Rouge backcourt of Darian Owens-White and DreQuan Bell are playing at a high level. Pick: River Rouge by 8.
Lake Fenton (19-6) vs. Ludington (23-2) at Mount Pleasant, 7 p.m.: Jalen Miller, a 6-3 guard, has enjoyed a strong senior year for Lake Fenton, averaging 23.2 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Pick: Lake Fenton by 4.
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (24-1) vs. Detroit Edison (14-11), at Tecumseh, 6 p.m.: Nick Welch and MSMCC have enjoyed an outstanding season, but it will come to an end in the quarterfinals with Edison’s size and quickness just proving to be too much. Pick: Edison by 6.
Flint Beecher (20-5) vs. Beaverton (20-5) at Bay City Central, 7 p.m.: Beaverton coach Roy Johnston became the state’s all-time win leader earlier this season, topping the former mark held by the legendary Lofton Greene of River Rouge. But, Beaverton’s run will come to an end against defending state champion Beecher and standout guard Malik Ellison. Pick: Beecher by 8.
Kalamazoo Christian (18-7) vs. Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (19-5) at Holland West Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.: Look for Kalamazoo Christian to continue its Cinderella run. Pick: Christian by 1.
Manton (20-4) vs. Negaunee (20-4) at Petoskey, 7 p.m.: Negaunee has been dangerous all season with the 1-2 punch of 6-7 senior Trent Bell (19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds) and 6-0 senior point guard Dre Tuominen (20.5 points). Pick: Negaunee by 6.
Southfield Christian (20-5) vs. Fowler (17-7) at Imlay City, 7:30: The Washington brothers, Brock and Bryce, continue their strong play for Southfield Christian. Pick: Christian by 10.
Hillman (24-1) vs. Powers North Central (25-0) at Sault Ste. Marie, 7 p.m.: Senior guard Gunnar Libby is playing at a high level for Hillman, but Mr. Basketball finalist Jason Whitens will get two-time defending state champion North Central back to Breslin again. Pick: North Central by 7.
Benton Harbor Dream Academy (10-5) vs. Lansing Christian (18-6) at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, 7 p.m.: Expect Lansing’s Christian’s inside-outside punch of Preston Granger and Matt Havey to be a nightmare for Dream Academy. Pick: Christian by 9
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (16-8) vs. Buckley (24-0) at Cadillac, 7 p.m.: Denver Cade and Austin Harris have had outstanding junior years for Buckley and they will get to showcase their talent in East Lansing come Thursday. Pick: Buckley by 10.