Posted On: 03/27/18 11:32 PM
This weekend marked the end of the 2017-18 boys basketball season in Michigan. With semi-final and final action taking place at the Breslin Center, we saw some performances for the ages. Here are my picks for MVP and all-tournament team:
Loyer silenced any doubts that he deserved Mr. Basketball with his performance on his future home floor this weekend. The Michigan State signee was purely dominant, pouring in two 40-point performances en route to an easy state championship win. Simply put, Loyer was unguardable, no matter the defense did. He put up monster numbers at an insanely efficient rate. He was hands-down the MVP of the tournament.
Carlos “Scooby” Johnson (2020, Benton Harbor) – When you hit a game-winner to win a state championship while posting a 25-point double-double, it’s hard not to be considered for the first team ballot. Johnson rose to the occasion in a huge game against future Spartan Marcus Bingham and 6’8″ Jacob Polakovich, proving he can not only hang, but excel on the big stage. Though he didn’t match the point production in Benton Harbor’s semi-final win over River Rouge, Johnson was key with his activity in the paint, both on the glass and with rim protection.
Harlond Beverly (2019, Southfield Christian) – Beverly proved yet again why he’s considered a top-70 player nationally in the junior class this weekend. The 6’5″ guard showed his versatility with activity in all areas of the game, both offensively and defensively. He spearheaded a dominant Southfield Christian win over Buckley in the Class D championship game with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 8 steals and 4 blocks. While he only scored 11 points in the semi-final game, he still posted great numbers in every other statistical category. Beverly flashed his athleticism with several high-flying dunks throughout the weekend.
Xander Okerlund (2019, Glen Lake) – Okerlund put together a pair of good games against some quality opponents. In Glen Lake’s semi-final win over SMCC, Okerlund scored an efficient 23 points. He hit shots from range, off the dribble and got to the rack with ease. Okerlund is a smooth operator, never seeming out of control or rattled, even when he takes tough shots. In a finals loss to a loaded DEPSA squad, Okerlund proved he could play his game against D1 competition. He was unfazed being guarded by 6’5″ Gary Solomon, who’s a quality defender, as well as 6’6″ Brian Taylor. He finished with a game-high 19 points.
Marcus Bingham (2018, Grand Rapids Catholic Central) – The Michigan State signee made himself comfortable on his future home floor, showing that smooth shooting stroke that has him ranked so high. At 6’11”, there was nobody on the floor that could contest his shot, allowing him to fire away whenever. He posted a pair of double-doubles, with multiple blocked shots in both games. While Bingham has the ability to hit multiple threes in any given game, he almost always makes his presence felt on the defensive end. His combination of height, length, mobility and good timing makes him an elite shot blocker.
Pierre Mitchell (2018, DEPSA) – Mitchell earns a spot on first team for his takeover in a final win over Glen Lake. The game went back and forth until midway through the 3rd quarter, when Mitchell caught fire from beyond the arc and opened the DEPSA lead up for good. He rattled off 11 straight points entirely by himself – anybody who’s watched Mitchell knows he can get hot from deep and go on streaks just like he did in this game. He finished with a team-high 17 points in the final game, as well as a respectable 13 points in the semi-final.