Onsted’s Davis goes off for 51 points
Austin Davis thought he got his week off to a good start last Monday when he scored 22 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked seven shots in a victory over Ida.
For any sophomore not named Josh Jackson, that is an excellent game.
But the next day Davis and his Onsted teammates traveled to Stockbridge and as he describes it: “I just went off.”
Davis and his teammates found themselves in a game that almost turned into a track meet. The teams went up and down the court, creating more possessions than usual — and Davis made the most of them.
“There was a lot of running,” he said. “They shot a lot of threes, so there were a lot of long rebounds. It was that kind of game.”
Davis is 6-feet-10, so an up-and-down game might not seem suited to someone his size, but Davis can run.
He knew he had scored a lot of points, but he didn’t know how many. “I guessed I was maybe at 30,” he said. “I had 30 earlier in the season against Erie Mason.”
Davis was stunned when his father, who is an assistant coach, announced in the locker room that the youngster had scored 51 points.
“We all kind of stopped for a second and were silent when we heard that,” Davis said. “And then we started getting rowdy. It was fun.”
Davis also grabbed 24 rebounds and, even though Onsted lost, 83-80, it was difficult feeling too bad about the loss.
Although he is averaging 24 points and 17 rebounds, nothing Davis had done approached this kind of performance.
“If you want a scout to come to a game, this was it,” coach Brad Maska said. “He finished with his left hand; he finished with his right hand. He grabbed an offensive rebound with one hand and finished it.
“Down the stretch with 1:30 to go, we were down two and he hit a three to put us ahead, then he came down and hit two jumpers at the elbows. Everything he’s capable of doing, he put on display. He took over.”
Speaking of scouts going to a game, Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan was at the game, and Michigan State assistant Dane Fife saw Davis play a week ago, so Davis is on the radar.
Davis’ success isn’t a surprise. He attended the Michigan Elite 25 camp and learned a lot, but most of his development comes from hard work, not to mention a couple of amazing growth spurts.
As an eighth grader, Davis was 6-3, 275. He is now 6-10, 240.
“I was lifting a lot and working on quickness,” he said. “I got with Seth Hubbard — he’s a junior at Albion College — and all summer we were going through workout plans and I continued that through the season.”
New approach at Nouvel
Mary Jo Skiendziel already had been Saginaw Nouvel’s girls basketball head coach for two games, but she officially became head coach Tuesday when Nouvel upset Flint Powers, 53-47.
Skiendziel was the varsity assistant and was elevated to head coach when Will Jones was abruptly fired with five games remaining in the season. Before this season, Skiendziel was Nouvel’s freshman coach for six seasons.
The victory over Powers, No. 3 in Class B, was a turning point in the season.
Rachel McInerney had a double-double for Nouvel, scoring 18 points with 15 rebounds. Sophomore guard Laurel Jacqmain contributed 18 points and so much more.
“I can’t tell you all the things Laurel did,” Skiendziel said. “She got a lot of hustle rebounds, a lot of steals. She’s just one of those players that seems to be everywhere.”
Nouvel has played a competitive schedule — it concludes the regular season tonight against Midland, No. 6 in Class A — which should pay off as it trudges through the Class C tournament.
“We’re heading into the districts, and they’re just so calm and composed,” Skiendziel said. “It’s almost like they feel like: ‘Hey, we got this. Who else do you want to throw at us?’ “