If you’ve never heard of Eastern’s Dontre Garrett before, there’s a good reason why.
“He’s probably the best kept secret in the city of Lansing,” Eastern coach Rod Watts said.
But after Tuesday’s 63-57 win for Eastern over East Lansing, Garrett is a secret no longer. The sophomore came off the bench to score 22 points for the Quakers on Tuesday night.
And although he’s played just four games on varsity, he already knows how to give credit to his teammates like an upperclassman.
“They gave me good passes that I was able to finish,” Garrett said. “I worked hard to get where I am right now.”
Garrett wasn’t the only one lighting it up for the Quakers at Don Johnson Fieldhouse.
Senior Brian Morton had a game-high 26 points four days after scoring 31 in an overtime win at Holt, which remains a game ahead of the Quakers (7-6, 6-3) in the CAAC Blue.
The league race aside, the win was a big one for Eastern for more important reasons. Former basketball coach Howard Cook died Monday and getting the victory for him was special for the team.
“That was important that we got a win for Coach Cook,” Watts said. “He was a staple in the community, as well as the school.”
Both teams were hot coming into Tuesday’s game, but that’s not the way it looked early on.
A sluggish first half was marred by missed shots and turnovers.
The Trojans, though, were able to finish strong. They closed the half on a 7-2 run that was capped off with a three-pointer by junior Da’Vontay Haines that gave East Lansing a 21-19 halftime lead.
The Quakers’ offense woke up in the second half to earn a fourth straight win. They scored 44 points over the final two quarters and were up by eight with 55 seconds left.
East Lansing made one last push after a technical foul allowed the Trojans to score five points in less than 10 seconds. In the end, though, a 10-for-20 performance from the free throw line doomed them.
“When you miss a free throw, it gives the other team a lot of momentum when they go down to the other end,” East Lansing coach Steve Finamore said.
Javon Haines scored 20 points, Grant Uecker 13 points, and Da’Vontay Haines 12 points for the Trojans (7-6, 4-5).
The Quakers will look to keep the momentum going against Everett on Friday, while East Lansing plays at Holt.