I don't remember the last time that the boys state high school basketball semi-finals was without any mid Michigan teams. But it's been a down year in the area no matter what anyone says. It will be better next winter. But there's still plenty for fans to enjoy with four semi-finals on Thursday and Friday and the four championship games on Saturday.
Kids will like the inaugural HoopFest in Jenison Fieldhouse and it costs just $2 to get in or it's free with a ticket to any of the Breslin Center games. In class C, Melvindale Academy's Michael Talley scored 25 points in the semi-final and he'll be fun to watch at noon Saturday. Talley's dad is the former Mr. Basketball, Michael Talley, his coach, who went on to play at Michigan. In class A Friday afternoon, wait until you see the dunk superstar, Doug Anderson of Kalamazoo Central. Best dunker I ever saw. But Kalamazoo Central will have to play well to get past Clarkston. Both teams have just one loss. And Detroit Pershing plays Romulus in the other game and future Spartans Derrick Nix and Keith Appling will be on display for Pershing. And in class B, Flint Powers is hoping to atone for its one point loss to Lansing Catholic in last year's championship.
I love watching the small town communities assemble in classes C and D. Many are wide eyed over playing in the big arena and the games aren't always spectacularly played, but many are close, the noise is loud and the fun is easy to enjoy. All four games are on Fox Sports Detroit on Saturday during the finals. It's always special and next year, the girls' finals precede the boys in the Breslin Center by one weekend.