PICKING FOUR STATE CHAMPIONS
The state finals are three-and-a-half months from now. Here are the teams most likely to be holding the MHSAA hardware in all four classes.
Clarkston (27-1): The rich get richer. The 2017 state champion graduated Dylan Alderson to Toledo, but now inherit Michigan State signee 6-8 Thomas Kithier a transfer from Macomb Dakota and Hank Schemmel a 6-6 senior from Maryland. The returning senior backcourt is elite. Foster Loyer was the 2017 Bank Hoops player of the year and is headed to Michigan State. CJ Robinson is another future college point guard who checks the opponent’s top guard. Up front is more Big Ten talent. 6-8 Taylor Currie who is headed for Wisconsin, a tough defensive presence in the paint who has improved his shot. Size isn’t lacking as 6-7 senior Tristen Mysen is a future college 4 and 6-11 sophomore Matt Nicholson is already getting high-major attention. Nick Wells is the fourth returning starter a wing guard who fills in the blanks with shooting and smart decisions. 6-5 Chase Wasilk is another member of the state’s stronger senior class, a lanky wing with upside.
Defending champion: See above.
Challengers: Belleville, East Lansing, Ann Arbor Skyline, Flint Carman-Ainsworth, Detroit Cass Tech, Detroit East English Village.
Class A All-State
MVP Foster Loyer 5-11 Sr Clarkston Michigan State
Jacob Boonyasith 6-3 Sr Jenison
Gabe Brown 6-7 Sr Belleville Michigan State
Taylor Currie 6-8 Sr Clarkston Wisconsin
David DeJulius 6-1 Sr East English Village Michigan
Brandon Johns 6-9 Sr East Lansing Michigan
Drew Lowder 5-11 Jr Ann Arbor Pioneer
Traveon Maddox 6-4 Sr Novi Oakland
Joe Moon 6-1 Jr Westland John Glenn
Brandon Wade 6-2 Sr Ann Arbor Skyline Duquesne
Rashad Williams 6-2 Sr Wayne Memorial Cleveland State
Williamston (21-5): The Hornets have knocked out loaded Godwin Heights teams from the past two state tournaments. Last season they ended up losing to River Rouge by three in the quarterfinals and in 2016 fell in the semifinals to state champion Detroit Henry Ford. They have a talented guard trio led by senior Cole Kleiver, who can go shot-for-shot with anyone in the division, senior Frankie Thomey and sophomore Mitchell Cook. There are various frontcourt options with 6-7 junior Sean Cobb a walking double-double, 6-6 Case Conley long, versatile and dangerous from the corners and 6-6 Joseph Hahnenberg the glue guy winning teams need as he works the class, runs the floor and makes smart decisions with the ball.
Defending champion: New Haven.
Challengers: Benton Harbor, Godwin Heights, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, New Haven, River Rouge.
Class B All-State
MVP Romeo Weems 6-6 Jr New Haven
Marcus Bingham 6-10 Sr GR Catholic Central Michigan State
Quinn Blair 6-7 Sr Divine Child William & Mary
Zach Goodline 6-0 Jr Coloma
Markeese Hastings 6-6 Sr Godwin Heights Butler
Carlos Johnson 6-6 So Benton Harbor
Lamar Norman 6-2 Sr Godwin Heights UTEP
Jacob Polakovich 6-8 Sr GR Catholic Central
Mark Watts 6-2 Jr Old Redford Academy
Mario Whitley 6-4 Sr Frankenmuth
Trevion Williams 6-8 Sr Detroit Henry Ford Academy Purdue
Detroit Edison (14-12): Don’t look too far into Edison’s record. It was a much different team in the second semester once Cass Tech transfer Gary Solomon became eligible. DEPSA made it all the way to the state semifinals, losing by 10 to now three-time defending champion Flint Beecher. A blue-collar throwback who doesn’t play to make friends, Solomon is one of three Division I signees. He’s headed East to LIU, while senior point guard Pierre Mitchell committed years ago to CMU and 6-8 Deante Johnson, Bank Hoops Class C Defender of the Year in 2017 for his ability to check all five positions, signed with Cleveland State. Mitchell especially has a score to settle with Buctown, as he’s now lost twice in the semifinals to Beecher, last season and on a last-second shot when he was a sophomore at Detroit Loyola. After seeing some times as a sophomore, 6-5 junior Brian Taylor brings a versatile skill set and will fit in well in Edison’s starting line.
Defending champion: Flint Beecher.
Contenders: Beecher, Covenant Christian, Calvin Christian, Pershing, Manton, Glen Lake, Monroe St. Mary.
Class C All-State
MVP Blake Verbeek 6-10 Sr Grandville Calvin Christian
Myron Gardner 6-5 Jr Detroit Loyola
CJ Haut 6-8 Sr Monroe St. Mary Air Force
Deante Johnson 6-8 Sr Detroit Edison Cleveland State
Caleb Hodgson 6-9 Jr Danville
Pierre Mitchell 5-10 Sr Detroit Edison Central Michigan
Xander Okerlund 6-4 Jr Maple City Glen Lake
Jayden Perry 5-7 Sr Manton
D’juan Seal 6-4 Sr Detroit Pershing
Gary Solomon 6-5 Sr Detroit Edison Long Island
Jalen Terry 5-11 So Flint Beecher
Southfield Christian (21-6): Southfield Christian’s return to Class D ended dramatically, dropping an 84-83 double-overtime state semifinal on a last-second shot to Powers North Central. All-stater Brock Washington has matriculated from that team to MSU but there’s ample talent returning on Lahser road. Junior guard Harlond Beverly has emerged as a high-major recruit and fellow wing Bryce Washington, a senior, has double-digit mid-major offers. Junior point guard Caleb Hunter is a confident gunner at the point and yet another 6-3 athlete, sophomore DaJion Humphrey, saw solid minutes as a freshman. 6-5 senior Jacob Fergan could emerge as a tough role player in the frontcourt.
Defending champion: Powers North Central.
Contenders: Buckley, Muskegon Heights, Fowler, Benton Harbor Dream Academy, Dollar Bay, Tri-Unity Christian.
Class D All-State
MVP Harlond Beverly 6-4 Jr Southfield Christian
Denver Cade 6-2 Sr Buckley
Blake Dockery 6-2 Sr Baldwin
Daniel Everhart 6-0 Sr Marine City Cardinal Mooney
Austin Harris 6-5 Sr Buckley
Dylan Jergens 5-11 Jr Howardsville Christian
Matt Loney 6-3 Sr Frankfort
Matt Malcolm 6-4 Sr Plymouth Christian
Mason Pline 6-7 Sr Fowler Ferris State
Bryce Washington 6-4 Sr Southfield Christian
Jacob Witt 6-7 Sr Ewen Trout Creek Michigan Tech