Detroit News’ David Goricki picks the top high school basketball players in the Metro Detroit area.
Romeo Weems, 6-6, So., G-F, New Haven
Weems averaged 18.1 points, 12.6 rebounds, four steals, 3.6 assists and 3.2 blocks to lead New Haven to the Class B state championship. “Romeo plays all five spots where I can move him around and he’s effective at any of the positions,” coach Tedaro France said. “He does so much for us. He can pass, he can defend. The one thing about him is he can score, but he takes pride in playing defense. He blocks shots and he guards guys 1-through-5.” Weems already has offers from Michigan State and Ohio State.
Eric Williams, 6-5, Sr., G, New Haven
Williams showed he can put big numbers on the board, scoring 50 in a win over Fraser. He averaged 20.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, four assists and four steals to help New Haven become the first Macomb Country team to win a state championship since 1994. “Eric’s a shooting guard and has taken his game to the next level,” said coach Tedaro France of Williams, who scored 22 in the first half of a state semifinal win at the Breslin Center. “He’s 6-foot-5 and can shoot the ball well, handle the ball well and creates a lot of matchup problems.”
Jack Ballantyne, 6-9, Sr., F-C, Macomb Dakota
Ballantyne showed his versatility at 6-9 and 240 pounds, being able to score inside or make the perimeter jumper. He averaged 15 points and 13 rebounds. “Jack’s very unselfish and is a good character kid,” coach Paul Tocco said. Ballantyne is being recruited by several Mid-American Conference schools.
Jermaine Jackson, 5-10, Sr., G, Macomb Dakota
Jackson averaged 26 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals to lead Dakota to the MAC Red division championship and a Class A district title. “Jermaine is without question the best point guard in the state of Michigan in my mind,” Coach Paul Tocco said. “He does everything for us and people double team him, and when people try to take him away he’ll dish out 10, 12 assists and still get his 20 points.” Jackson has offers from Auburn, DePaul, Eastern Michigan and Detroit.
Thomas Kithier, 6-8, Jr., C, Macomb Dakota
Kithier showed the ability to dominate on both ends of the court. He averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to help Dakota repeat as MAC Red division champions. “Thomas is a very skilled player who can do so many things well and he’s a great defender,” coach Paul Tocco said. Kithier is a Michigan State commit.
Coach of the Year, Tedaro France, New Haven
France guided New Haven to a 27-1 record and the school’s first Class B state championship in his ninth year as head coach. “We take pride in playing great team defense and we start our runs from defensive stops, whether it’s blocks shots or steals from our pressure,” France said. “We kept our composure (in state title game win over Ludington) and found a way to win, made plays late. ... The support that we get too from our town and our fans, they were like our sixth man there (at Breslin Center). We got down 15-7 and things weren’t going our way, but we stayed composed and kept fighting, and it shows we have great kids from all the hard work they put in from back in November.”
Brennen Buszka, 6-5, Sr., F, Grosse Pointe South; A.J. Crawford, 5-11, Sr., G, New Haven; Jahi Hinson, 6-3, Sr., G, Sterling Heights Stevenson; Shawn Kama, 5-10, Sr., G, Sterling Heights; Donnie Schuster, 6-3, Sr., G, Utica Ford.
Ben Davidson, 6-3, Jr., G, St, Clair; Ross Hinkley, 5-10, Sr., G, Marysville; Luke Pfromm, 6-5, Jr., F, Warren De LaSalle; Ashton Sherrell, 6-7, Jr., F, New Haven; Jauron Hicks, 6-4, Sr., G, Warren Woods Tower.
Drew Arft, Macomb Lutheran North; Lance Barton, Center Line; Jordan Davis, Warren Michigan Collegiate; Ricky Dixon, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore; Zane Draper, Grosse Pointe South; Daniel Everhart, Marine City Cardinal Mooney; Justin Fischer, Warren De LaSalle; Tyler Gillery, Warren Mott; Amir Gilmore, St. Clair Shores South Lake; Kyle Hensley, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian; Alek Ivanovic, Utica Ford; Danny Longo, L’Anse Creuse North; Joe Milanov, Macomb Lutheran North; Carl Pettway, Warren Fitzgerald; Griffin Schirmer, Imlay City; Antonio Sinishtaj, Sterling Heights; Jeremy Scott, L’Anse Creuse North; D’lano Woods, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.