Mount Clemens, Clinton TownshipMarch 5, 2014
Boys basketball teams win league titles
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
The Mount Clemens High boys basketball team will hang a fifth straight Macomb Area Conference Gold Division championship banner after going undefeated in league play.
But Bathers coach Jermaine Jackson said there is another banner he and his players want to see hanging from the rafters of their home gym.
“We want to win a state title,” said Jackson, who, in his second year, guided Mount Clemens to an unblemished 12-0 record in divisional play. “That’s what you work out for. That’s what you run for and do extra work for. Everything is in preparation for March.”
The Bathers, at press time, had a 19-1 record. Its lone loss came in a nine-point setback to Muskegon High Feb. 15 at Muskegon.
Mount Clemens has traveled to Chicago to play Hyde Park, played two Detroit Public School League squads, and played teams from Grand Rapids and Cincinnati. Jackson said that schedule has also prepared his team — which, at press time, had an average margin of victory of 25.2 points — for the postseason.
Mount Clemens’ Class C playoff opener against Warren Michigan Collegiate took place after press time. The winner of that matchup advances to take on Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest in a Class C district semifinal at 8 p.m. March 5 at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian.
“With the teams we’ve played and how we scheduled, we’ll know how to handle a lot of different kinds of situations in the playoffs,” said Jackson, who has amassed a 40-3 record in two years at Mount Clemens. “If we’re down one with 10 seconds to go or up one in the same situation, we’ll know how to get it done.”
Clintondale wins outright MAC Silver title
The Clinton Township Clintondale boys basketball team went 12-2 in the MAC Silver to win its second straight division title.
The league crown is the third for Dragons coach Rob Townsend, but this is the first his team has won outright. Clintondale shared the MAC Silver title with St. Clair Shores Lakeview last season and with St. Clair Shores Lake Shore in 2008-09.
“To finally win one outright is a good feeling,” said Townsend, whose team sat at 16-3 overall at press time. “To know that you were the best in your league without a doubt is nice, especially with the tough teams we have to face.”
Clintondale’s march to back-to-back league titles started with a group of new faces. Nine players from last year’s team graduated, so team building and cohesion were big early on, Townsend said. He said his players bought into the idea of playing relentless defense and embraced the style even more once the wins started to pile up.
Only one team in the 36-team MAC had allowed fewer than the Dragons’ 44.9 points per game at press time — MAC Silver foe Marysville, which at press time surrendered just 42.1 points per game. Clintondale and Marysville split two meetings this season.
“This season brought a completely different team with mostly different players, a different style of play and a different attitude,” said Townsend, in his seventh year with the program. “You would think this was just carryover from last season, but it was a new start.”
Like Jackson, Townsend is excited for the start of the postseason. Clintondale’s Class B opener with South Lake took place after press time. The survivor of that game moves on to take on Center Line High at 6 p.m. March 5 at Center Line.
“The winner of (Clintondale/South Lake) takes on Center Line, and we struggled in their gym this season,” Townsend said. “If we’re fortunate enough to make it through those two matchups, we would face a team that knocked us out of the playoffs each of the last two years — Warren Lincoln or Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy.
“So we face teams we’re familiar with. I think if we play how we’re capable of playing, then we have as good a shot as any team in the district to win. Doing that would make this season really special.”