It's not just college hoops where the regular season is winding down. Future Bulls in the high school and JUCO ranks are leading their teams in playoff pushes and showing a glimpse of the future in Alumni Arena
A 6'3" Shooting Guard from Detroit, Mory Diane signed with Buffalo at the beginning of this school year and has lead the Detroit Pershing Doughboys to a title and a berth in the state tournament. In Pershing's most recent game he scored a game-high 15 points before fouling out in overtime of a tight win over the Doughboys' main rival.
Pershing’s Mory Diane (15 points) shot poorly throughout the first three quarters, but he had three crucial baskets in the fourth quarter, including a pull-up floater in the lane with 34 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime. "I really just didn’t want to lose, so I had to put it together and suck it up for my team," Diane said. "Coach told me to get the bucket and go win the game."
And fittingly, the Doughboys are the top-ranked team in Detroit by MLive.org, and #2 in Michigan according to the AP.
1. Detroit Pershing (18-2) – Pershing could not have made it any closer but it finally got its revenge against Detroit Renaissance after winning the PSL tournament, 57-56, in overtime. Pershing did not have its first lead lead until overtime. It played the final two minutes without Justin Tillman and Mory Diane, who fouled out within six seconds of each other. It is safe to say Pershing could use a week without competition heading into the state tournament next week.
The big name of the recruiting class, Point Guard Lamonte Bearden has moved past some legal trouble and is poised to lead Germantown (WI) in the hunt for their third consecutive state title. Like Diane, Bearden leads one of the top teams in his state, astThe Warhawks have won 59 straight conference games and head into the playoffs at 20-2. Their next game is this Saturday.
Lowdown: Two-time defending state champion Germantown won its fifth straight North Shore title and overcame having four of its players arrested and cited for marijuana possession last month. Its losses came to Brookfield Central at full strength and to Wisconsin Lutheran, 62-52, while starters Lamonte Bearden and Brian Bearden were serving athletic code suspensions. Both played the final two games of the regular season. The Warhawks will face Arrowhead, which has won 12 of its last 14 games and finished second in the Classic 8, or Waukesha West, the third-place finisher in the Classic 8, in the regional final.
For Germantown, the road back to the state tournament will start with Hartford. The Hartford boys basketball team edged Waukesha South, 54-51, at home in a WIAA Division 1 first-round tournament game Tuesday. Tim Pridemore hit 2 three-pointers and went 4 of 4 from the free-throw line for the 13-9 Orioles. Germantown, the two-time defending state champion, had a first-round bye.
Germantown point guard Lamonte Bearden got to the foul line a lot Thursday night in the Warhawks' regular season closer basketball game against Homestead, but was indifferent in his results, hitting just 12 of 20 for the game. But he saved his best effort at the line for last, as he calmly drained two throws with 2.7 seconds left in a tie game to give Germantown the lead. And when the Highlanders' desperation heave from Jack Popp was off the mark, Germantown had completed its fourth straight unbeaten run through the North Shore Conference, 58-56.
Stats are a little easier to find for the Barton CC player, who is averaging 11.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg on the season. While he's one of four players on his Cougars team averaging in double figures, he also averages 4 fouls per game and has been disqualified 13 times on just 26 minutes a night. It will be interesting to see, based on the emergence and experience of Justin Moss, how newcomers to the forward corps like Johnson and Jamir Hanner fit into the mix next year.
Barton is coming off a big win over a ranked opponent and could head into the playoffs as anywhere from the top seed to the sixth.
The Barton Community College men's basketball team shook up the conference and region standings Saturday night in the Hutchinson Sports Arena with an 87-82 victory over No. 16 ranked Hutchinson Community College. The victory vaulted the Cougars into a second place tie in the conference race and set up thrilling last night of regular season play as Region VI tournament seedings yet to be determined. Improving to 8-5 in conference play and 20-9 overall, Barton can secure at least first round Region VI home playoff game with a victory Wednesday at the Barton Gym against Garden City Community College.