LANSING – Trevor Manuel had a point to prove, and he made it clear Tuesday.
The senior and Oregon-bound big man got the upper hand in a matchup of two of the state’s top seniors, and in the process helped Lansing Everett move another step closer to its first state title since 2004.
The 6-foot-9 Manuel had 24 points as the No. 9-ranked Vikings posted a 75-52 victory over defending state champion and No. 2 Muskegon in front of a capacity crowd in a Class A quarterfinal at Lansing Eastern.
“I wanted this game real bad,” said Manuel, who finished third behind Muskegon’s Deyonta Davis in the Mr. Basketball voting. “Mr. Basketball came out Monday and I felt like I had something to prove out here tonight.
“He’s a McDonald’s All-American, he’s a Jordan Brand Classic player and he’s Mr. Basketball. Any time you play someone big like that, you’ve got to come out and show out.”
Manuel did that and outplayed the Michigan State-bound Davis to send the Vikings (24-2) to their 18th straight win and a trip Friday to the Breslin Center for a state semifinal. Davis finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added eight rebounds and five blocks, but wasn’t able to help Muskegon (23-2) continue its quest for a repeat.
“It was very important (to help my team advance),” Davis said. “We came out ready to play, but the game just didn’t go our way.”
By the middle stages of the fourth quarter, a few Everett fans yelled “We’ve got the real Mr. Basketball” with the Vikings well in control.
“For Trevor to get half of the votes that Deyonta got is ridiculous,” Everett senior Marvin Wright said. “Trevor is the best player in the state and he showed it tonight. He had a great game we all play off him. When we play like that, we’re a tough team to beat.”
The Vikings got plenty of support from others besides Manuel as guard Jamyrin Jackson added 20 points — 14 in the second half — and guard Deshae Doll scored 10.
“The last two or three weeks, that’s what it’s been about. It’s been about team,” third-year Everett coach Desmond Ferguson said. “Obviously Trevor is going to do what he does, but you need more than one player in order to win games and Jamyrin, he stepped up huge. Deshae Doll (did), James Brown came and gave us some good minutes.”
Brian Calloway writes for the Lansing State Journal. James L. Edwards III contributed.