Southfield Christian basketball claims program’s first state title
Southfield Christian senior Chris Dewberry simply could not hide his smile at the Breslin Center in East Lansing March 24.
The guard led the Eagles to their first Class C state championship, beating Climax-Scotts 76-44.
“This is for my mom,” Dewberry said. “My mom passed three years ago, and I just wanted to let her know that I love her, and this is for her, and for my dad and two sisters that were here watching the game.” Dewberry scored 30 points in the final, which also happened to be his 18th birthday.
“Dewberry is the best shooter I’ve ever coached, that helps obviously,” Southfield Christian coach Josh Baker said.
Against Climax-Scotts, the Eagles dominated early, owning a 16-5 advantage after the first quarter and extending it to 44-18 at the half, scoring as many points in the first two quarters as the Panthers did in the whole game.
“Thrilled as anything to get the win. I thought our guys came out and we guarded,” coach Josh Baker said. “I’ve said all year, when we guard, we’re good. I thought we played solid defense rather than gambling and trapping.”
Despite a distinct difference in size, Southfield Christian outrebounded the Panthers 51-39.
Offensively, the Eagles tied the record for most 3-pointers in a state championship game with 12. They shot 42 percent from the field compared to Climax-Scotts’ 20 percent.
“It’s unbelievable,” senior guard Gavin Toma said. “No one would think we’d win a state championship in basketball, and we did.”
Just two seasons ago, the Eagles finished 1-19 overall before going 11-10 last season.
This year, they finished 24-2 with their only losses coming against perennial state powers Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day and Southfield High.
“It’s kind of surreal. It’ll be nice in a couple weeks to sit back and look at it,” Baker said. “I’m just proud of the guys. I couldn’t ask for guys that work any harder. I can’t enough the work they’ve put in.”
Dewberry led all scorers, missing only three shots all game. Senior guard Lindsey Hunter III added 15 and Toma, also a guard, accounted for 13.
“I think they’re the best three guards in Class D,” Baker said. “I think they’re better as a team than most Class A guards.”
Dewberry had seen this day coming.
He said just a few days prior, he dreamt his shot would be pure and the Eagles would go on to win.
In fact, Dewberry was so confident in his dream, he wore his white jersey to the Breslin Center, the same one he saw himself playing in, before the team found out which color it would be donning.
“I’m like, ‘so is this coincidence or is this supposed to be,’” Dewberry noted. “My dream said that I would be on fire … and that’s what it was. I thank God for it.”