The game was on neither team’s schedule, but when Chicago Orr had difficulty getting out of town Saturday, it left the Floyd Mayweather Basketball Classic in Grand Rapids one team short for the final two games.
Orr was supposed to play No. 1 Muskegon and Grand Rapids Union was set to play No. 3 Saginaw Arthur Hill in the nightcap.
Instead, the fans got to see the Davis Cup.
Had there been a few days leading up to this game, it would have been billed as the battle of the leading candidates for the 2015 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball award: Muskegon’s 6-foot-9 Deyonta Davis, committed to Michigan State, and Arthur Hill’s 6-3 Eric Davis, who has a ridiculous amount of college offers.
Both juniors were terrific. Deyonta Davis hit 8 of 12 shots for 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocksto help Muskegon defeat Arthur Hill, 88-78, while Eric Davis scored 31 points, including five three-pointers.
“He’s the real deal,” Muskegon coach Keith Guysaid of Eric Davis. “There were times we had a guy all in his face and he was falling away hitting jump shots, not hitting anything, just going straight in. He’s a heckuva player and a heckuva competitor. He’s what everybody says he is.”
Deyonta Davis might have had a bigger scoring night, but took a back seat to 6-1 teammate Deshaun Thrower, who scored 32 points for the second straight game.
After riddling Zeeland East Friday, the guard, signed with Stony Brook (N.Y.), was even more impressive against Arthur Hill.
“He was geared up,” said Guy. “He wanted to kind of show that he’s going to a Division I school as well. The good thing about it is not only did he get 32, but the way he got them. He was efficient; he was 10 of 14 from the field.”
For a game that wasn’t supposed to be played, it worked out well, especially for Muskegon.
“I learned No. 1, we can adjust on the fly,” Guy said. “We fought through some adversity — both teams did. I give them credit because they shot the lights out — they made 13 threes. They can go off the bounce, too, so you have to pick your poison. Hopefully, if we see them again, they won’t shoot it that well again.”
If they play again, it will be March 21 in the 1 p.m. Class A semifinal game at the Breslin Center.
You won’t want to miss that one.
NOT LOOKING AHEAD: Detroit Cass Tech coach Dave Dixon is not the least bit worried about his Technicians, No. 8 in Class A, looking ahead to Friday’s showdown with No. 2 Pershing. That is because Tuesday’s game is against Douglass, featuring guards Darrell Davis, signed with Dayton, and Terrell Hales, signed with Cleveland State.
Douglass was ranked in Class B until this week when it lost to Warren De La Salle, but the Hurricanes will be a team to beard from in the PSL playoffs as well as the state tournament.
“They’re right down the street from us so being motivates for that game should not be an issue because they’re a very talented team,” Dixon said. “Anytime you’ve got a Mr. Basketball candidate (Davis), you’ve got another Division I guard and a couple of other guys who can really play, they’re a dangerous team.”
Cass learned that the hard way almost a month ago when it lost to Edmond Sumner (Xavier) and Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 80-75.
“Edmond had a phenomenal day; he had 33 points,” Dixon said. “I think coming into the season he was leading guy, at least from this area, for Mr. Basketball and he played like it. So a combination of us not having our best day and him having a phenomenal day was a bad mix.”
Pershing’s 6-7 Justin Tillman (VCU) had one of those performances Saturday when he lit up a talented Ann Arbor Huron team with 40 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocksin an 84-75 victory.
Tillman’s Mr. Basketball stock has skyrocketed over the last month when he established himself as a dominating post presence, as Dixon witnessed in the Huron game.
“He was phenomenal,” Dixon said. “He got every rebounding, dunking everything, blocking shots. I definitely would say 18 rebounds is very legitimate.”
Cass has 6-7 Isaac Bowles and 6-6 Charles Key, both seniors, as well as 6-6 freshman Donnie Tillman it can throw at Pershing’s Tillman in an attempt to contain him.
“We need to go play well, period, but first things first,” Dixon said. “We’ve got to play well on Tuesday and then we’ll start to focus on Pershing and their personnel.”
Cass may be focusing on Pershing’s personnel several times this season. In addition to both league games, they could meet in the PSL playoffs as well as the Class A district final at Detroit Western.