West Michigan showed off just how talented its’ high school basketball teams are on Saturday, going 5-0 against teams from the East side of the state, in the 3rd Annual Red Hawk Showcase at Grand Rapids Union High School.
Early in the day, the West Ottawa Panthers (12-1) defeated Detroit Old Redford behind 25 points from future Grand Valley State Laker Jake Van Tubbergen. The Panthers got out to a quick lead, 21-7 after the first quarter, and never looked back. In the second quarter, West Ottawa continued the onslaught (22-12) and led 43-19. Old Redford picked up the tempo in the second half, but never really forced the Panthers, Van Tubbergen specifically, to play hard on the defensive end. The Panthers zone defense caused the Ravens to struggle to find shots in the paint. Mark “Rocket” Watts, the #2 ranked sophomore in Michigan, and Jawan Snoddy did their best from the outside, but could only recess the growing lead in the third quarter, which ended 60-33 in favor of the coach Steve Windemuller’s Panthers. In the fourth, Watts showed why he’s ranked so high, hitting three-pointers from both the left and right, but couldn’t get the Ravens any closer the 24 points. West Ottawa’s Anthony Charameda sealed the deal with a fast-break dunk that brought the crowd to its’ feet late in the fourth. Van Tubbergen won MVP of the game.
In the second game of the day, the host Red Hawks took the court against the Hazel Park Vikings. Union, with standout stars point guard Quantes Jackson, center Mike Anderson Jr. and West Michigan’s top sophomore, Javian Fowler, found out quickly why the Vikings are ranked #8 in Class B. Hazel Park’s fast-paced tempo had the
Red Hawks scrambling on both ends of the court, but they found their standing ground and led 22-13 after the first quarter. Senior Chris Lafayette came off he bench for the Vikings and helped curtail what could have been a blowout, stalling the inside game of Anderson Jr. and Fowler with his 6-foot-10 frame and wide wingspan. Hazel Park had cut the lead to only four points at the half, trailing 33-29. Fowler started the second half with a mission, calling for the ball in the post and finding Jackson, Anderson Jr. and Jared Sietsema near the three-point line when he didn’t have good position on the block. The Red Hawks built the lead back to 11 heading into the final quarter, 51-40, but saw the Vikings score the first five points of the fourth. Lafayette’s block on Fowler’s shot 49 seconds into the fourth sparked a comeback bid by Hazel Park. They would tie the game at 56-56 with only 41.9 seconds to go and send the game into overtime. But it was the Red Hawks’ Jackson who would own the extra frame. Tied at 60-60, Jackson scored the next seven points of the game to give Union the lead, but a three-pointer by Dave Hearns and a quick steal and basket brought the Vikings back to within 67-65. QJ sank two free throws and Anderson Jr. added two more in the final seconds to finalize the game at 71-67. Jackson was named MVP with his 28 points. Fowler finished with 22.
In the middle game of the day, coach Mike Hudson’s Wayland Union Wildcats shook off the cobwebs and were rested enough to defeat Detroit Cornerstone 73-69 in overtime, one night after going to double-OT to defeat GR South Christian on Friday night. The Wildcats’ Avery Hudson and Zach Nieuwkoop are both committed to Davenport University. Jamal Cain, the 6-foot-7 DC Wolf swingman, is committed to play for Steve Wojchiecowski at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.
The fourth game of the day saw the Godwin Heights Wolverines, with stars Christian Rodriguez, Markeese Hastings and Lamar Norman, brought down the house with their #DunkCity style and remained undefeated on the season with an 84-73 win over Detroit Edison. See the Fox17 highlights below.
Finally, the Lawrence North (IN) with VCU commit Kevin Easley traveled north to take on the GR Christian Eagles, MSU commit Xavier Tillman and Oakland University commit James Beck. Spartans head coach Tom Izzo was on hand with his assistant coaches to watch his prized recruit help the Eagles continue their undefeated 12-0 season with a 51-39 win over the Wildcats.
Shonda Vaughn was on the mic as emcee and local legend/MI All-State hooper Michael “Pops” Sims was in attendance at his alma mater.