It’s been a magical postseason ride for the Everett boys basketball team.
And it’s one that will continue at Breslin Center this weekend.
The Vikings are headed back there for a second straight season after fighting their way to a 63-54 double-overtime victory over Hudsonville in a Class A quarterfinal Tuesday night at Eastern’s Don Johnson Fieldhouse.
Jamyrin Jackson had 24 points, LeAndre Wright scored 12 and Victor Edwards added 11 points for Everett, which added to its postseason turnaround with another gritty win.
“I couldn’t have wrote this script right here,” said Everett coach Desmond Ferguson, whose team has put things together the last three weeks after a 10-10 regular season. “To be going back to Breslin Center two years a row – it’s just a testament. It’s about team. Obviously we had a little more talent, and we lost seven seniors from last year. LeAndre and Jamyrin have been leading this team and everyone else is following.”
Everett overcame the losses of starters Jackson and Nyrell Powell, who each fouled out in the first overtime, to pull out the win. Diego Robinson and Markeese Reynolds each stepped up in their absence.
And Wright was also a key figure, coming up with several steals that the Vikings turned into points as they took control.
“Guys stepped up and came off the bench and knew what they had to do,” Wright said. “We knew what we had to do as a whole on the defensive end. It just happened to be me in some defensive passing lanes (making plays). It just happened to be Markeese that stepped up and knocked down free throws.”
Robinson hit the go-ahead basket early in the second overtime that gave the Vikings the lead for good. Reynolds followed with a pair of free throws after a steal that made it a two-possession game. And then Wright made several big plays that helped Everett extend its season into Friday’s state semifinal where it will face North Farmington.
“These guys just toughed it out,” Ferguson said. “Diego gave us a big bucket in overtime, LeAndre was cramping up, but he fought through it. It was a total team effort. For two of our starters to foul out in overtime and we still come out with a victory – I’m so proud of them.”
Jackson was also proud and believed in his teammates – even as he was saddled to the bench for most of the overtime periods after fouling out on a tough call.
“It was just nothing but support, knowing my presence wasn’t on the court,” Jackson said. “I knew they had it in them. I had faith in my team.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.