KENTWOOD, MI – Trey McKenney may barely take a deep breath with out bumping chests with an East Kentwood defender, and when he had the basketball, the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s sophomore confronted frequent double groups.
The blue-chip prospect was the main target of the Falcons’ protection throughout their Saturday matchup, and due to that, McKenney managed simply 15 factors, however his potential to impression the sport with out scoring in bunches helped OLSM draw back from East Kentwood, 56- 41, in the headliner on the Gotta Get It Hoop Classic.
PHOTOS: See our gallery from the East Kentwood vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s matchup
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard with affords from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Texas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama and Arizona State, amongst others, went 7 of 16 from the sector, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished two assists on the Falcons’ house courtroom.
It was a somewhat modest stat line for the nation’s No. 22 total recruit in the category of 2025, however he discovered a fan in East Kentwood head coach Mike Thomas.
“He’s a three-level participant, and if he is struggling from the surface, he can get himself going inside,” Thomas stated. “He’s capable of finding his teammates, and he was unselfish right this moment, as effectively. Plenty of instances, superstars like that attempt to simply drive it up, however you’ll be able to inform he is maturing as a participant, and as a sophomore, he is solely going to proceed to get higher. It’s going to be scary as he continues to become older.”
McKenney’s maturity additionally acquired reward from OLSM coach Todd Covert, who did not look like more than happy with how his group was enjoying, notably throughout East Kentwood’s second half spurt that narrowed the Falcons’ deficit to 42-28 halfway by means of the third quarter after a pair of and-1 finishes by Marshaun Flakes.
The animated Covert chewed out his group as his gamers headed in the direction of the bench, and McKenney walked into the firestorm attentive and head held excessive.
“He’s particular; he is a particular human,” Covert stated. “I do not know what number of five-star children may get coached like that with no flinch of a nasty angle. One of probably the most superb children I’ve ever been round in 20 years, take basketball away. His humility is off the charts, he has nice character, is well mannered, and I may go on and on.”
Although McKenney was solely credited with two assists, his potential to get in the lane and zip the ball out to the perimeter created many open appears and a handful of hockey assists.
Junior guard Daniel Smythe was the first beneficiary of his group’s ball motion, scoring 18 factors on 6 of 11 3-point makes an attempt, which earned him recreation MVP honors.
Sophomore Sharod Barnes added 10 factors and freshman Luke Crighton scored seven.
As a group, OLSM tallied 13 assists on 21 area targets and went 9 of 24 from 3-point vary.
“That’s once we go from a reasonably good basketball group to a very good basketball group,” Covert stated. “Trey will get a lot consideration and is aware of different guys can get in the fitting spots, and I can not say sufficient about Luke Crighton, a freshman, and the way a lot poise he needed to play in this setting.
“Bugsy (Daniel Smythe) was pulling down shot after shot, and I assumed we performed excellent group basketball in the primary half.”
“It’s laborious,” Thomas stated of defending OLSM’s complete group. “Our aim was to return in and double (McKenney, then attempt to contest these photographs, and whenever you double, you are prepared to surrender one thing, and people have been the issues we have been prepared to surrender. We did not actually need Trey to get going, however the different guys did, and you must decide your poison, particularly whenever you’re enjoying a man like Trey and his group.”
That’s to not say McKenney did not dwell as much as the hype that drew a packed home for the showcase’s finale, which tipped shortly earlier than 9 pm
Early in the second quarter, McKenney received the ball on a fastbreak with just one defender between him and the ring, permitting him to drive to the basket and pull off an abbreviated model of Julius Erving’s cradle dunk over a helpless East Kentwood opponent.
Seconds later, OLSM received out on the break once more, and McKenney threw down one other thunder dunk that gave the Eaglets a 27-10 lead with 5:17 left in the second quarter, prompting a timeout from Thomas.
To East Kentwood’s credit score, they by no means backed down from McKenney, with Flakes and sophomore Jah Hatchett pestering him up and down the courtroom.
Despite the lopsided loss, Thomas stated he is hopeful the battle his group confirmed for a full 4 quarters pays off in opposition to a grueling OK Red schedule.
“We received down just a little bit, however everytime you compete, I feel it’s extremely constructive,” Thomas stated. “I feel the Catholic League over on the east facet might be the most effective league in the state, and hopefully it helps us put together for the OK Red, which is not a pushover.”
The Falcons (8-3, 4-1 OK Red) resume convention play Tuesday at West Ottawa, they usually’ll probably be with out Division-I prospect Christian Humphrey-Rembert, who sustained an ankle damage in Friday’s recreation in opposition to Caledonia.
“In the fourth quarter, he took a nasty spill on his ankle and completed the sport, however went a received some X-rays and stuff right this moment, and it is sort of dangerous, so we’re simply going to sit down him out till he is wholesome .”
Without its 6-foot-9 star ahead in the lineup Saturday, East Kentwood was led by Flakes, who completed with 15 factors and 4 rebounds, whereas Hatchett added 12 factors and 5 boards.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (6-3) resumes Catholic League play Tuesday in opposition to Detroit Catholic Central, earlier than visiting Detroit UD Jesuit on Friday with first place in the convention on the road.
Like Thomas, Covert is hopeful his group can use Saturday’s expertise to pay dividends in the hunt for a convention crown.
“I feel this recreation was good as a result of East Kentwood places quite a lot of strain on you, and we’ve got to proceed to get higher in opposition to that and make good selections,” Covert stated. “You cannot simulate that kind of strain in observe, so the extra we play in a majority of these environments and beneath that strain, it’ll assist.”
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