I didn't think it would be a great season when I looked at the players and teams last fall. And it wasn't. High school basketball in the area was down this season. No teams in the greater Lansing, in the boys ranks, won so much as a Regional championship. The girls were led by East Lansing, DeWitt and Olivet, all good teams, but no one in the state championship game.
The boys top teams were Okemos and I think partly because no one else challenged the Chiefs, except for Holt, for much of the season. Holt improved the most through the winter, but others, like Eastern, Sexton and Grand Ledge frustrated themselves at times with inconsistent play. Sexton had the best opportunity for a big year and let it get away. The Big Reds have won 14 straight games, then got clobbered by Holt in the regular season finale at home, then lost to Lansing Catholic in the class B district at Williamston. Sexton should have romped through that district and won the regional at Dewitt. But it wasn't meant to be. Eastern was a puzzle all year long-- plenty of raw talent, but inconsistent all season. And yet next winter, Okemos, Holt, Sexton, Eastern and Grand Ledge should all be reasonably good behind a crop of promising juniors.
The area's best player may well not be LaDontae Henton of Eastern, who will be a junior. I'm looking at current junior Cole Darling, who made great strides through the year. If he improves in the off season he'll be the best in the area, the most heavily recruited and he'll make Holt the most dangerous team next winter.