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Published March 27, 2013

Southfield Christian boys basketball wins second straight state title

» click to enlarge «
Southfield Christian freshman Eugene Brown takes the ball up court against Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian March 23 at the Breslin Center. The Eagles won the Class D state title game 65-46. Brown finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

EAST LANSING — In just two seasons under Josh Baker, the boys basketball program at Southfield Christian has gone from obscurity to state power.

The year culminated in a Class D state championship, as the Eagles beat Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian 65-46 March 23 at the Breslin Center for their second straight title.

“That was my goal; that was my vision,” Baker said. “I thought it was a great school. It’s great academically, and it’s a great Christian school.”

In the two seasons before Baker’s arrival, the Eagles won 12 total games. In the two seasons since, Southfield Christian has 47 victories (23-4 this year) and the program’s first two state championships.

Baker said this season started slowly. The team went 3-4 overall, but then found its footing and didn’t lose again.

“When people asked how we were going to be, I kept saying we were going to struggle, and hopefully be great by the end of the year. That’s how it kind of turned out,” Baker said. “We knew we had the potential, just early on we just struggled understanding the work ethic that you have to put in. It’s not just handed to you. Every team you play is going to come after you.”

Against Tri-Unity, the Eagles led by five points after the first quarter and then were able to push the lead to 11 at the half.

In the third, Southfield Christian took over, outscoring the Defenders 20-9 in the frame, including an 18-2 run.

The Eagles shot 63 percent in the quarter and held Tri-Unity to 33 percent.

For the game, Southfield Christian shot 52 percent. The Defenders put up 34 percent.

The Eagles also got their scoring from a variety of sources. They had four players in double figures, with junior Damarco White leading the way with 15 — nine of those came in the third.

The Defenders had two players in double figures and just two points from their bench, compared to the Eagles’ 14.

Though the Eagles won the state championship last season, there were only two primary players back for 2012-13.

And players like White and freshman Eugene Brown were playing in their first title game. Brown finished with 13 points.

“They told us, ‘Go out and have fun,’ and we got the medal,” White said.

Soon after the final, the attention turned to next season and the chance of three in a row.

Every player who scored and saw double-figure minutes in the championship game are expected back.

“I’m looking forward to the summer league and just playing with the top competition,” Baker said. “If we play a bunch of games in the summer, we could be very good.”

“The sky is the limit,” Brown added.

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