East Lansing Boys Defeat Everett In District Championship
The East Lansing Trojans Boys’ Basketball team wears warm-up shirts that say “Unfinished Business.” It was a direct message to their Friday night opponent, Lansing Everett. The Everett Vikings ruined East Lansing’s perfect season in 2015-16 in the Class A Regional Finals, en route to their second straight berth in the Class A Semifinals. Tonight,once again undefeated on the season, East Lansing got the redemption they sought, taking care of another piece of that unfinished business, dispatching Everett 61-56, ending the season for the Vikings.
Everett got a great performance from senior Diego Robinson who finished with 18 points and rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting. What was most impressive was how Robinson defended East Lansing’s star junior forward Brandon Johns. Johns scored only two field goals in the game as Robinson made it tough all night long as junior Marquez Gordon helped mightily in double team situations.
But, it was Johns and his teammate Malik Jones that knocked down the free throws late in the game, sealing East Lansing’s win. Johns finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 huge blocks defensively. He was 6-of-7 from the free throw line, 5-of-6 down the stretch, while Jones went 4-for-4 from the foul stripe in the final minute of game play. They were the only Trojans to attempt free throws in the game.
While the go-to Trojan struggled offensively, Seniors Weston Myles and Deandre Robinson stepped up to provide the scoring for East Lansing, scoring 18 and 15 respectively. Myles was especially hot-handed in the first half, knocking down five 3-pointers as East Lansing took a 37-30 lead into halftime.
Everett kept it close in the second half as Jalen Hayes (14 points) and Allen English (11 points) started to knockdown the deep ball while East Lansing went cold behind the arc, making just 1 of their 8 second half 3-point shots. But, the Trojans defense came to life late in the fourth quarter, as Johns returned the defensive favors to Diego Robinson, forcing him to miss his final four shot attempts at close range. Johns picked up four of his six blocks while defending Robinson in the fourth quarter.
East Lansing (23-0) moves on to the Regional Semifinals at Richland Gull Lake Monday at 7:00 PM when they face Battle Creek Central. Everett ends their season 13-9, but not before their fans showed another horrible display of poor sportsmanship, hitting Johns in the back with a drink bottle just before he sealed the win with his final two free throws. See the game’s final 30 seconds, including the classless display of an Everett fan in the video below.