Harris & Grady Both Fall in State Finals

Saginaw proved that the dominating 70-54 victory over Detroit Redford back in December was no fluke, downing Corperryale "Manny" Harris and company again, 79-57 to earn the Class A state title. In Class B, Kelvin Grady saw his high school career come to an end as well, losing 66-61 to Detroit Country Day.

The story of the Class A State final game was size.  Saginaw had it and Redford didn't.  With brawn and skill on the inside in the form of Josh Southern and Draymond Green, Lou Dawkins' squad controlled the paint area on both ends of the floor

Saginaw pressed the Redford all game long, but Corperryale Harris and company were fairly effective at breaking it.  The problem was the Huskies kept hoisting hurried shots that didn't find the mark.  With no virtually no presence on the offensive glass early on, that was a recipe that impatience was a recipe for disaster.

Redford's only chance was to ride the coat tails of a big day from Manny Harris.  The Mr. Basketball recipient was ailing from a hyper-extended knee suffered in the previous game, but he did his best he could against a great deal of defensive attention.  It didn't take long for him to show that his game at less than 100% is still better than most, as he scored eight of the Huskies' first eleven points.  Unfortunately for Redford, the role players didn't perform as well as they had in recent games.  The rushed shots and lack of size began conspiring very early on, allowing Saginaw to score 19 first quarter points, 16 of which came in the paint.

It was more of the same for the Trojans in the second quarter, as they poured in another 17.  Their only points outside of the paint came on a Bobby Lewis jumper and a three-point bomb from Green that put the Trojans up 35-20 with 1:31 to go.  Harris answered the bell to keep the Huskies in it, scoring five of his squad's final six points, including a three-pointer before the horn, to send Redford into the locker room down 36-26.

After the break, Redford made its final push of the game.  Jerome Tyson opened the second half with a big three pointer, before following that up with another jumper.  Harris then continued his basket attacking ways, drawing a foul in the process to earn another trip to the free throw line.  With 5:45 left in the third the Huskies had cut the lead to five (38-33).  That, however, is as close as they would get.

Another Draymond Green three-pointer ignited a 9-0 run down the stretch that put the Trojans up 54-38 heading into the fourth.  Saginaw continued the onslaught early in the final stanza thanks to the combined efforts of Southern and Green.  The post duo scored all the points on a 9-4 run that put the game out of reach.  From there the Trojans coasted to the 79-57 victory.

On the game Manny Harris led all scorers with 31 points (including 16/17 from the line).  The Trojans were led by Draymond Green's outstanding floor game, which consisted of 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.  Josh Southern also made a big contribution to the winning effort with 15 points and 15 boards.  For the full boxsccore, click here.

In the nightcap, Kelvin Grady and East Grand Rapids took on perennial power Detroit Country Day.  The future Michigan floor general got on track from the perimeter very early in the contest.  With his team trailing 9-6 with 5:15 to go in the first, he found the mark from deep three times before the end of the first quarter.  His three-point barrage keyed an 11-5 run that put his club up 17-14 heading into the second.

Grady helped pushed the lead to six midway through the period, but Country Day's team Leader, Darnell Brown, refused to let East Grand Rapids pull away.  Brown erupted of nine points in the period, including a three-pointer just before the buzzer, to put his first half tally to 12 and send his team into the break trailing by a single basket (36-34).

Kelvin Grady opened the second half with a jumper to give EGR a little breathing room, but the advantage short-lived.  Country Day center Deshonte’ Riley started a 5-0 run that was capped off by a Darnell Brown three-pointer that gave the Yellow Jackets their first lead (57-55) since early in the first.  East Grand Rapids responded, however, and the two teams exchanged leads for the rest of the quarter. When the dust settled, EGR was nursing a one-point lead (51-50) heading into the fourth.

The jostling continued until the two teams were tied at 58 with 2:29 to go.  That's when Country Day used quick hands defensively and dribble penetration offensively the key a 7-0 run to put the Yellow Jackets in control.  At the end, it was Darnell Brown that sealed the game with four free throws down the stretch to preserve the 66-61 victory and give Country Day its seventh state title.

Brown led all scorers on the night with 22 points and eight rebounds.  Kelvin Grady paced East Grand Rapids with 20 points and seven assists.  For the full Boxscore, click here.

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