EAST LANSING – Ken Flowers and his point guard are making history.
Detroit Henry Ford, a Class B finalist a year ago, wasn’t expected to make a return appearance to the Breslin this year, let alone be playing for the championship tonight after blitzing Williamston, 70-48, on Friday.
“This is the first time Henry Ford has made back-to-back semifinals,” said Flowers. “We made our first championship game a year ago, so we are making history. This is great for the school and the community. This is a blessing for us”
Superb point guard James Towns was back this year, but gone was outstanding scorer Joshua Davis, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the 85-68 championship game loss to Wyoming Godwin Heights last season.
Towns, the only Trojan with any experience from last year’s squad, had 15 points and six assists in the title game. That season followed two .500 years under Flowers.
“Nobody expected us to be here,” said Towns, who finished with 17 points, three assists and three steals in Friday’s victory. “We have good chemistry. We aren’t big, but we play together.”
Towns averages 23 points, 5.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. The only other Trojan starter to average double figures is senior Jeremy Crawley at 10.7 per game with a high of 30, one less than Towns’ season high.
Two players that have emerged this season are sophomore guard Deonta Ulmer and senior forward Kavon Bey.
“Ulmer has the green light,” said Flowers. “He’s a young guy, but I think he’s one of the best shooters in the state in my opinion. Because he’s so young he’s going to get better and better every year. Bey has been playing well the last half of the season and right now all the guys are playing well.
Bey, who watched the state championship game from the bench last year, scored 21 and pulled down eight rebounds against Williamston.
Flowers runs a three-guard offense and Bey is the teams’ best inside player.
“A lot of people don’t know about him, but he’s a good player and he grabs every rebound,” said Towns.
“We put in the work in the summer time and came back strong,” said Towns. “We just had to come out here and prove it. Everybody underestimated us.”
On Ulmer and Bey, Towns said: “People don’t know their names but they are the heart of the team. Ulmer can hit threes and Bey is tough under the basket. Colleges aren’t looking at him, but he comes out and plays hard every night.”
HOT HANDS: Williamston and Henry Ford combined for seven triples in the first quarter. Riley Lewis had three for the Hornets and Towns and Crawley had two each for the Trojans.
Lewis scored all 11 points for the Hornets in the first quarter and took all their shots. Williamston had 23 points at halftime with Lewis scoring 21 of them. He finished with 32.
FOOTBALL RECRUIT: Big Rapids sophomore Braeden Childress is on the basketball team, but the 6-foot-3 sophomore is already being recruited as a tight end/defensive end by Mid-American Conference schools. He comes off the bench for the Cardinals.