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Posted on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Gabriel Richard student section a finalist for best in Michigan and other prep basketball notes and leaders

By Kyle Austin


The Father Gabriel Richard High School basketball student section, above, has a reputation for getting a little wild and is a finalist in the MHSAA Battle of the Fan's contest.

Lon Horwedel | file photo

Some of the best high school hoops fans in the state are right here in Ann Arbor. And they're dressed in green.

Father Gabriel Richard’s student section has been named a finalist for the MHSAA’s 2013 Battle of the Fans contest, the MHSAA announced this week.

Gabriel Richard was chosen as one of five finalists from 27 schools that submitted applications to this year’s contest. Applications included a video of their cheering section in action.

The winner will be chosen based on the results of Facebook vote Feb. 18-21 and a vote of the MHSAA’s Student Advisory Council. Every finalist will also be visited during the judging process -- Gabriel Richard will be visited during its Feb. 5 game against Madison Heights Bishop Foley.

The contest winner will be announced Feb. 22.

Freshman in name only

Ypsilanti guard Corey Allen may have a 9 next to his name, in the column labeled “grade.” But his coach, Steve Brooks, doesn’t consider him the typical freshman.


Ypsilanti freshman Corey Allen

Courtney Sacco |

“He’s been in our program since our 04-05 team,” Brooks said. “He knows the offense and everything. We’ve just been waiting on him.”

Allen earned the rare chance to start for the Phoenix as a freshman, and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s averaging 12.6 points per game, and has scored in double digits in five of seven games. That included a 10-point performance Tuesday night against Skyline.

The biggest thing he needs to work on, Brooks said, is adding size, But there’s plenty of time to do that.

“He’s really trying to buy in, and that’s all you can ask for,” Brooks said. “He’s just trying to get stronger and better.”

Varsity eighth grader

When your total school enrollment is 71, sometimes you have to get creative to fill out a roster.

Such is the case with Washtenaw Christian forward Jurnee Tipton, an eighth grader who finds herself playing varsity basketball this year thanks to an MHSAA rule that allows low-enrollment high schools to dress middle-schoolers.

Tipton scored a season-high six points Friday against Livingston Christian. For the season, she has 22 points, fourth-most on the team.

“She is holding her own out there at the wing position,” Washtenaw Christian coach Bob Trevino said. “She has an extremely bright future.”

Tipton is merely the youngest player on a young Washtenaw Christian team. Kara Ross and Michaela Donat, the Wildcats’ two leading scorers, are both sophomores.

Area Leaders

Girls Leaders
Name, School, Games, Points, PPG

Jackie Oestreich, Greenhills 8 222 27.8
McKenna Erkfitz, Manchester 10 158 15.8
Arie Cargor, Lincoln 11 160 14.5
Desiree Cougill, Pioneer 7 100 14.3
Jennifer Fichera, Pioneer 9 122 13.6
Grace Sauers, Chelsea 9 122 13.6
Riley Singleton, Chelsea 9 120 13.3
Janae Sims, Skyline 9 119 13.2
Taylor Manders, Manchester 10 130 13.0
Nastassja Chambers, Arbor Prep 11 140 12.7

Boys Leaders
Name, School, Games, Points, PPG

Jason Houle, Gabriel Richard 8 188 23.5
Mathias Donat, Washtenaw Christian 7 127 18.1
Jibreel Hussein, Pioneer 8 142 17.8
C.J. Turnage, Milan 8 137 17.1
Kamari Davis, Gabriel Richard 7 116 16.6
Reece Dils, Saline 7 106 15.1
Evan Fosha, Gabriel Richard 8 118 14.8
Adrian Harrison, Arbor Prep 8 115 14.4
Jake Korican, Manchester 7 100 14.3
Daquanta Brown, Willow Run 5 70 14.0

Martin Luther King Day Tournaments

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored on the holiday named after him on Monday, but area basketball teams aren't waiting until then to honor him with several high school basketball tournaments being held on Saturday in celebration of the holiday.

The Huron boys team will take on Detroit Renaissance at 6:40 p.m. at the third annual Freedom Classic at Warren Fitzgerald High School. Fans of high school hoops might want to stick around after the Huron game as Detroit Pershing, the No. 1 ranked team in Class A, take on Flint Beecher, the defending state champs and ranked No. 1 in Class C .

On the girls side, Arbor Prep is hosting The MLK Shootout with JV and varsity games scheduled all the way from 9:45 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. The host Gators will play Benton Harbor, Gabriel Richard will play Southfield and Ypsilanti will play Inkster.

Game of the Week underdog

Despite a combined enrollment of 461 students of both of the schools involved, the Rudolf Steiner at Arbor Prep boys game has led from Day 1 in our Game of the Week for Jan. 22-25. The two small schools are beating out five schools with more than double their combined student population and three (Huron, Lincoln and Skyline) with more than 1,000 more students in their respective schools than the two have combined.

More refs

Have you noticed more than the standard three striped referees uniforms present at high school basketball games of late? This isn't a new fashion trend, there is one more person the MHSAA decided should be in uniform this year: the official scorer.

The scorer's table can be a confusing place at a high school basketball game. There are often stat keepers for each team, announcers, athletic directors and the occasional annoying sports reporter seated there, to name a few. It can make it difficult for a referee to know who he should be speaking to when he needs clarification from the official scorekeeper.

In order to make it easy to identify who is in charge of the official scorebook, the MHSAA is requiring official scorekeepers to wear striped referee uniforms.

- Pete Cunningham contributed to this article.

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.