The Saginaw Valley League Championship is set for tonight at Davison high school and the match-up between Saginaw High and Carman-Ainsworth could turn in to an instant classic with the amount of D-1 talent that will be on the court.
The game is a rematch from a January 8th meeting when Carman took a 63-56 win on Saginaw’s home court. But a lot has changed since that meeting, particularly to the Trojans’ front court who have added plenty of grit and size in 6-5 Henry Speight and 6-7 Al Eichelberger, both are currently averaging double-doubles in points and rebounds.
Throw 6-7 junior Terrence Crumpton in the mix and that’s a heck of a front court teams have to wrestle against. But what makes the SVL North winners so good is the improved play of junior point guard Qua Southward. The 6-0 floor general has been the Trojans leading scorer the last two seasons, and while his scoring duties haven’t changed, his ability to run the team and put his teammates in high percentage scoring positions has only improved.
Since the addition of Speights and Eichelberger the Trojans have quickly become a favorite to compete for a state title, but first the Trojans must take down the young Cavaliers to win the SVL crown.
When the season started Carman presented a youthful starting line-up that featured 2 freshmen and 2 sophomores, with all four underclassmen playing like true D-1 prospects. So you knew the future was bright and Carman would eventually compete for a SVL title as well as a state title.
But nobody expected the future to come so quickly! The youngsters at Carman have rolled to a 17-2 record, 9-0 in the Valley, including the SVL South crown.
Leading the way is one of the nation’s top 10 freshman in Terry Armstrong. The 6-6 wing can mix it up inside and out, and can score at all three levels. While Carman has carried a balance scoring attack, Armstrong poured in 30 points and 10 rebounds last week against Davison. Ironically on the same court where tonight’s championship game is being held.
Sophomore Ja’Kavien Lewis may be the state’s most improved player from a year ago. Lewis has been great orchestrating the Cavs offense and is a natural leader for only being a sophomore.
6-8 freshman Mike Fletcher is a load down low and is a crafty finisher. Throw in bouncy 6-4 sophomore Omari Duncan and the Cavs mean business.
The question now is just how soon will Carman win a SVL title? Could tonight be the night or will the Trojan tradition add another trophy to their historic trophy case?