Posted On: 12/24/17 4:30 PM
Southfield High School was the place to be Saturday, playing host to the Battle of the Best. Generally regarded as one of the better pre-Holiday events, this year was no different.
A full rundown of Saturday’s top guard performances below:
Zach Winston (2018/6’2/University of Detroit )
In a defensive oriented game where neither team would give an inch, Winston’s 17 points loomed large in a 1 point victory for the Cubs. Zach would make his biggest impact in the third quarter, where he knocked down two triples and mixed in a few strong drives that resulted in free throw conversions. His 8 points in that stanza would give UD an 8 point lead that effectively put the game away with points being at a premium. Winston is a very good shooter from both distance and midrange when his feet are set and can attack closeouts and finish with good body control.
Carl Bow (2018/6’2/Hazel Park)
Big game from Carl in a huge victory over DEPSA to give the Vikings their third signature W in less than a month. Bow would finish with 12 points and 6 rebounds and is showing some real progress in his skillset to compliment his tremendous athleticism. Shooting has been a question mark for Carl in the past, and he was able to knock down multiple jumpers from midrange off the dirbble. His balance was absolutely superb, his release looked fluid and its obvious he’s put in some work on that part of his game. Really loved Bow’s work on the glass, in particular during the first half where he mixed it up with the big boys in the paint and came down with his fair share of contested rebounds. Carl was also great in transition where he used his superior speed and explosion to blow by defenders and finish at the rim.
Marlon Crawford (2018/6’1/Chandler Park Academy)
Chandler Park came up short against a talented East English Village team, but Crawford was ready for the test, finishing with a team high 17 points. Marlon did everything he could to keep his squad in the game, as he knocked down three triples and was perhaps the best shooter off the catch in the entire event. Coming off a screen or spotting up, he was money, period. He had a scoring battle with Michigan commit David DeJulius in the third quarter and answered each of Dave’s baskets with one of his own. Love to see that competitiveness and will to win.
PJ Mitchell (2018/5’11/DEPSA)
The Central Michigan commit played a gritty game in an instant classic versus Hazel Park. Although the Pioneers fell just short of the victory, Mitchell had a big two-way performance with 10 points and 4 steals. Offensively, PJ knocked down a three and was able to finish at the rim with an array of up and under layups showing great body control in the air. On the other side of the ball is where he really made his mark. Mitchell has some of the quickest hands in the state and he jumped passing lanes very well for multiple deflections in addition to his 4 steals. His ability to read and react in tight areas was impressive, as he was extremely disruptive all night long.
Ali Brewster (2019/5’11/Flint Hamady)
Ali was absolute huge for Hamady in a great game against the Technicians from Cass Tech. The lefty guard was able to score a big basket nearly every time it seemed CT was ready to pull away in the second half, knocking down 3s and finishing in traffic on his way to a game high 19 points. Brewster showed range out to 25 feet off the catch, attacked closeouts and hit midrange jumpers and showed good body control when finishing at the rim.
David Hearns (2018/6’1/Hazel Park)
One word to describe Hearns’ game versus DEPSA……..clutch. David would hit back to back triples late in the fourth quarter to seal a Viking victory. The first was a catch and shoot corner three, with the second being a walkup off the dribble from 23 feet that was a backbreaker. Hearns had a big time performance with 19 points and 6 rebounds. He scored the ball as a shooter, on the ball as a penetrator and in transition. David played a great floor game, rarely turning the ball over and playing under control with good decisions. He also flashed some ability to create easy shots for teammates and did a really nice job on the glass mixing it up in the paint.
David DeJulius (2018/6’0/East English Village)
Really not much to say about David that isn’t well-known, he’s likely the best scorer in the state. In another standout performance, the Michigan commit dropped 30 points and 7 triples in front of future head coach John Beilein. When DeJulius gets going, there really isn’t much the opposition can do about it to be candid. He’s going to have a monster year and may very well average 30 points per game.
James Wilson (2018/6’1/Flint Hamady)
The Hamady senior provided some key scoring in the first half against Cass Tech, knocking down 3 elbow jumpers and a nice up and under layup that was heavily contested by Randy Gilbert. James also jumped passing lanes for a few steals and dropped dimes in transition that turned into easy layups for teammates. While Wilson didn’t get as many shots in the second half, he nailed a big time triple in the 4th quarter and converted at the charity stripe and ended up with 14 points.
Jordan Montgomery (2019/5’10/University of Detroit)
Jordan didn’t score very many points and wasn’t a huge offensive threat for UD, but he was absolutely huge in a Cub victory over Flint Beecher. Given the unenviable task of guarding top 50 sophomore Jalen Terry, Montgomery was up for the challenge. Jordan hounded the talented Beecher guard all game long, didn’t get beat off the dribble and just suffocated Terry for 32 minutes. He was the primary defender that played a huge part in forcing 10 turnovers from Jalen while limiting him to 7 points for the game. Without Montgomery’s defense, UofD loses this game.
Devin Pettus (2018/5’11/Hazel Park)
Devin continues to produce this season on the big stage, as he finished with 14 points and 2 assists in a victory against DEPSA. Pettus was a blur in transition, simply forcing the action before finishing at the rim or finding teammates for lobs. In the halfcourt, he’s more of a catch and shoot type with a nice perimeter stroke. Devin knocked down two shots from distance with one coming from 25 feet. Although he can be a bit out of control at times, he’s not afraid of big moments and will be aggressive with the ball regardless of the opposition. Pettus is having a fine year and should be on the radar of NAIA/JUCO schools as a combo-guard.