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Mount Clemens

Mount Clemens boys basketball team wins district title, stopped in regional final

Published March 14, 2013

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The Mount Clemens High boys basketball team won a Class C district title to go along with its fourth straight division title. Pictured is Bathers senior forward Josh Branch (54) during Mount Clemens’ MHSAA Class C district title win over New Haven.

MOUNT CLEMENS — First-year Mount Clemens High boys basketball coach Jermaine Jackson said he didn’t have to give any type of “rah rah” speech prior to his team’s 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Class C district title showdown with New Haven March 8 at Mount Clemens.

The Bathers and Rockets are division rivals in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division, which Mount Clemens won by one game over New Haven. The division title was the fourth straight for the Bathers, which went 11-1 in league play.

A 69-45 win over the Rockets March 8 gave Mount Clemens a district title to go along with that divisional crown.

“I didn’t really have to say much before the game because we knew what we needed to do,” Jackson said. “We did our homework.

“We were prepared. We knew that (New Haven) only scores 17 percent of the time when they run their offense to the left side of the court.”

The win gave the Bathers a 2-1 record against New Haven this season. Mount Clemens’ only setback of the regular season came in a 101-98 loss to the Rockets Jan. 11 at Mount Clemens. In two meetings since then, the Bathers outscored the Rockets by an average of 22 points per game. Mount Clemens’ average margin of victory (20.7 points per game) this season was the highest in the 36-team MAC this season.

“It makes me feel good to see my kids win a district or a division title,” Jackson said. “That puts a smile on my face.”

The Bathers’ run came to an end in a 69-47 loss to Flint Beecher March 13 in a Class C regional final. Mount Clemens finishes the season 21-2. Beecher is the defending Class C state champion.

“We’ll just have to keep working hard,” Jackson said. “I’ve been a winner all of my life. I want these kids to experience that.”

Jackson, who played 13 years of professional ball after graduating from the University of Detroit-Mercy, said another thing that puts a smile on his face is being able to play a part in his players having the opportunity to go to college on scholarship.

Jackson said seniors Josh Branch and Jeremy Landers have four and three scholarship offers, respectively. Landers was named MAC Gold MVP last season.

“That’s a big part of my job. I wish all of my players could get scholarships,” Jackson said. “To help them be in a position to go to college for free — that’s a wonderful feeling.”

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