Smith and Legion Advance; Shepherd Player of Year

<b>Jerret Smith</b> and <b>Alex Legion</b> lead their team to the quarterfinals. Also, <b>Jevohn Shepherd</b> was named Ontario Player of the Year.<br>

Smith Propels Romulus to Regional Championship

Jerret Smith has heard the from a bevy of critics over the years. Slowly but surely, though, they are starting to decrease in number. With three minutes remaining in the game and the Eagles behind 67-65, Smith canned a huge triple to put his team up for good. That capped a furious comeback from 15 points down, as Romulus went on to win 75-69. He told afterwards, "I had to take that shot! I wanted to take that shot." He finished with 20 points. (GBW will have more from Smith later in the week).

Romulus coach Nate Oats said his senior guard's play this season serves as vindication against all of the doubters. "Jerret has gone through a lot over the years with people questioning if he should be going to Michigan on a scholarship and questioning his heart," Oats told the Detroit News. "He led Romulus to its second regional championship in school history so those people can get off his back."

Next up for Romulus is a class A quarterfinal match-up with Deshawn Sims and Detroit Pershing on Tuesday.

Renaissance advances; Legion Comes up HUGE in Blowout victory.

Detroit Renaissance won its fourth straight Regional title yesterday with a 53-42 victory over Dexter. Michigan football signee Carson Butler had 10 points, along with eight rebounds and two blocks. "We had a bunch of players on different pages early in the game," Butler told the Detroit News. "We had to re-focus, since they had the momentum. Our defense was coming along, we just had to execute on offense. Regardless of who's on the team, we're still Renaissance. It's the program, not just the players."

The Phoenix will match-up with Detroit Country Day in the Class B quarterfinals on Tuesday at Calihan Hall. The Yellow Jackets thrashed Warren Lincoln, 79-59, for the Regional championship. The story of the game was the 41 point, 10 rebound, four assist, two steal effort from sophomore sensation Alex Legion.

"The last time we had a sophomore that went for 40 in a regional final, his name was Chris Webber," Country Day coach Kurt Keener told the Oakland Press. "Alex does it a little differently, but that's what it reminded me of. Alex is just a special talent. He's just gotten better and better. He has learned to play within the team's framework and he takes good shots. He does things on the basketball court that you just can't teach. He's an amazing basketball player and he's playing his best ball right now."

Other notables
Grand Blanc was eliminated from the playoffs by Clarkston Friday evening, 50-47. Michigan commitment K'len Morris finished with eight points, while Zach Gibson finished with 12.

Class A powerhouse Benton Harbor was put out of the playoffs by Holt yesterday in a 58-54 overtime thriller. Mr. Basketball favorite and DePaul signee Wilson Chandler finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Jevohn Shepherd Named Player of the Year

The Hoopla all about West Hill’s Jevohn Shepherd

(Hamilton, ON) — The Hoopla has named Toronto West Hill’s Jevohn Shepherd, the Ontario Player of the Year. The award was presented to him after his team’s semi-final game at the Quad ‘A’ OFSSA Championships held at Cathedral High School.

Jevohn, is a 6’5” All-Canadian shooting guard who has been rated as one, if not the top NCAA Division I prospect coming out of Canada this year. He will be making his home away from home in Ann Arbor, Michigan this fall as he will be entering his first year at the University of Michigan on a full athletic scholarship.

“Jevohn’s game is flat out nice.” said Kirk Alfaro, founder of The Hoopla web site. “He’s good right now but it’s scary to think how much better he’s going to get once he starts playing against D-1 talent day in and day out. I really don’t think it’s going to take him that long to adjust once he gets there.”

The Hoopla had selected 10 nominees for the first ever annual award, which included the likes of Toronto Eastern Commerce Saint Ronnie Williams, Mississauga Loyola Warrior Ryan Wright and Tecumseh St. Anne Saint Dan Trepanier. The winner was selected by a panel of judges which included Jim Thomas of All Ontario scouting services and is given to the player who best exemplifies consistency, leadership, determination and excellence on the court.

The Hoopla was founded as a labor of love by Kirk Alfaro in 2000. In five years, through its game recaps, scouting reports and news stories, its popularity has grown immensely and has come to be recognized as the leading voice on the internet when it comes to basketball in Ontario.

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