Monday, March 11, 2013

Boys Basketball Region-by-Region Preview

Ann Arbor Huron Region
Teams -- North Farmington, South Lyon, Ypsilanti, Canton
Breakdown -- In my District preview, I said that I believed North Farmington would make a deep run in the tournament, and that still hasn't changed one week later. The Raiders, behind seniors Sterling Sharp and Caleb Hogans looked like a team on a mission during their two wins during the district playoffs, which is bad news for the other three teams in this regional. What will separate the Raiders from the rest of the field this week will be its ability to knock down the outside shots with Sharp and Hogans, while having one of the best inside presences in the area with Jeron "Buddha" Rogers.
Regional Final Prediction -- North Farmington over Canton

Southfield Region
Teams -- Birmingham Groves, Detroit U-D Jesuit, Redford Thurston, Detroit Pershing
Breakdown -- This region will likely come down to Jesuit and Pershing, who would meet in the regional final if all goes according to plan. However, things didn't go according to plan in the district playoffs for teams who were matched with Birmingham Groves. The Falcons came out and surprised favored teams like Southfield, Oak Park and Southfield-Lathrup to pick up the district title, so don't overlook out Kyle Ervin, Andrew Forbes (the hero from the semifinal win over Lathrup) and Co. because that might have hurt some teams in Districts.
Regional Final Prediction -- Pershing over Groves

West Bloomfield Region
Teams -- Romeo, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, Rochester, Troy Athens
Breakdown -- Unless we see another upset from the Cinderella teams in this region, we will probably see Lahser and Rochester face off in the regional final. It will be an interesting rematch of a game that took place earlier in the season when Rochester narrowly clipped Lahser. Has anybody played much better than Arben Camaj in recent weeks? The senior standout was outstanding in Young's absence and that carried over to the district playoffs and that, paired with Young, who looks like he didn't miss a beat during his two weeks off, should make the Falcons the favorite to win a regional title. But you can't sleep on the Lahser "Big 3" of Cartwright, Gracey and Maten, who picked up a thrilling district final win last week.
Regional Final Prediction -- Rochester over Lahser in OT

Birmingham Detroit Country Day Region
Teams -- Birmingham Detroit Country Day,  Harper Woods Chandler Park, Ferndale University, Detroit Douglass
Breakdown -- With all due respect to Ferndale University and Detroit Douglass, the regional semifinal game between Country Day and Chandler Park might as well be the regional final. Both teams are loaded and the matchup to look for on Monday will be the point guard battle with Country Day junior Edmond Sumner and Michigan-bound senior Derrick Walton as both players are two of the best at their position in the entire state. Look for Austin Price, Mory Diane, and Chris Wright to play a key role against Chandler Park as the Yellowjackets will show off their depth as they will move on to the quarterfinals.
Regional Final Prediction -- Country Day over Ferndale University

Madison Heights Bishop Foley Region
Teams -- Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Melvindale ABT, Detroit Consortium, Detroit Loyola
Breakdown -- The Ventures will likely advance to the regional final as Bishop Foley has already proven it can beat Loyola as it picked up a win in the CHSL semifinals. But getting to the final and winning in the regional final will be a completely different (and much tougher) task. The Ventures will likely have to face a loaded Consortium squad, which has an 18-3 record on the season and has already topped a number of state title contenders throughout the season. A player to keep an eye on with Oakland County ties in this region will be Consortium's fab-frosh Josh Jackson (from Southfield), who is a rising star in the prep basketball landscape.
Regional Final Prediction -- Consortium over Bishop Foley

Novi Region
Teams -- Allen Park Inter-City Baptist, Southfield Christian, Bellvue, Pinckney Livingston
Breakdown -- This is a region that will come down to Allen Park Inter-City Baptist and Southfield Christian in the regional final as both teams should cruise through the regional semifinals without running into much trouble. This (potential) regional final could be a Class D state championship game as both teams are easily two of the best teams in the state for their Class. But the depth of Southfield Christian, with Bakari Evelyn, Lindsey Hunter, Marlo Brown, Damarco White, Kam Garner, Ben Cookingham and the list goes on as any of those players and others that can flat out score the basketball, and that will be the difference as the Eagles will keep their hopes for a second straight state title alive.
Regional Final Prediction --  Southfield Christian over Inter-City Baptist

Lansing Christian Region
Teams -- Birmingham Roeper, Lansing Christian, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Peck
Breakdown -- The regional final might be decided in the regional semifinal matchup between Peck and host Lansing Christian, who combined for just five losses on the season. Clarkston Everest should advance to play in the regional final, and could prove to be a real test for whoever advances from the Peck and Lansing Christian game, but the Mountaineers may not have enough firepower to hang on for the regional title. But don't count out Richie Cross and David Smith, who can score with some of the best players around, so they will lead Everest to a semifinal win and should give the Mountaineers a chance in the end of the final game.
Prediction -- Lansing Christian over Clarkston Everest

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