Unofficial High School Basketball Postseason Awards
It's a day late, but it's time to reveal the unofficial high school basketball awards for the 2022-23 season.
Some of them are pretty standard (Player of the Year, Coach of the Year), but others are a little bit different as you'll see below.
And why are these awards unofficial? Because it's only my opinion, and I could be wrong, as Dennis Miller used to say. Let's start with the girls award winners:
GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Janae Tyler - Sr. - Holt
This one is easy to pick. She carried the lady Rams all season long. The double-double machine averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds a game in her final year in a Holt uniform. She became the school's all-time leading scorer late in the season. Her career stats of 1,388 points and 944 rebounds are the best in Holt history.
And she was even better in the Rams run to the Division 1 quarterfinals. She scored 33 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in their district title victory over Jackson Northwest and led the Rams to their first regional title in 48 years.
Janae was named All-State for the second year in a row, and is headed to Kent State next year. Congratulations to Janae on a great career!
Others Considered: Anna Richards - Lansing Catholic, Megan Zeitz - Dansville, Emma Riley - Fowler.
GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Kacee Reid - Lansing Catholic
This one was a bit tougher to pick because there were other excellent coaching performances. But Coach Reid wins it because she led the Cougars to 22 victories in their last 23 games. They won the district (over Haslett), regional (over Chelsea), and the Division 2 state title (over Frankenmuth). She was also named Michigan's Division 2 Coach of the Year.
And they'll be the top team in the area heading into next year with most of the playing group returning.
Others Considered: Ross Baker - Haslett, Tori Brooks - Holt, Mike Sykes - Dansville.
UNDERCLASSMAN OF THE YEAR
Anna Richards - Jr. - Lansing Catholic
The junior led the way for the lady Cougars on their state title run. She averaged nearly 20 points in the semifinals and finals for Catholic.
She finished first team All-State, and will likely be the best player returning next season.
Others Considered: Megan Zeitz - Dansville, Maddie Uyl & Tara Kurncz - DeWitt.
COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
Lansing Christian over Olivet 45-44 on January 6th
The lady Pilgrims trailed the lady Eagles 44-34 with a minute to go. But they rallied to beat Olivet, 45-44. Lydia Brogan's two free throws in the final seconds won it for Christian. It was Olivet's only loss in the GLAC this season.
BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Zander Woodruff - Jr. - Laingsburg
This was tough to decide because nobody really was head and shoulders above everybody else in the area.
But Zander wins it because he was the best player on the last undefeated team in the area. He teamed with older brother Eli to a CMAC title and a district and regional title in Division 3. And he'll likely be named Division 3 All-State next week.
And they'll be good again next year with him returning for his senior season.
Others Considered: Cameron Hutson - East Lansing, Teddy Williams - Grand Ledge, Bryce Kurncz - DeWitt, Bo Lincoln - Olivet, Jamison Eklund, Pewamo-Westphalia.
BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
Daniel Morrill - Laingsburg
He's the coach of the year for the same reason Woodruff was named Player of the Year. He coached the last undefeated team in the area until the Division 3 quarterfinals. The Wolfpack went undefeated in the CMAC, and won the district and regional as well.
Others Considered: Lee Chaney - Mason, Tom Fleming - Charlotte, Rod Watts - Waverly, Ray Mitchell - East Lansing.
BOYS FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
K.J. Torbert - Okemos
The son of the former Michigan State player, Kelvin Torbert, showed that he belonged on varsity this season. He was key in their home victories over East Lansing and Waverly this season. And he hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to beat Howell back in December on the road.
Others Considered: Trevor Smith - Okemos, Grady Eklund - Pewamo-Westphalia
BOYS COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
Holt over Okemos 63-61 (OT) in Division 1 District semifinals - March 8th
This one is easy.
Holt trailed Okemos 43-23 in the 3rd Quarter. But behind senior guard Isiah Foster, the Rams rallied to force OT on Carloes Speed's layup in the final seconds. Then, Speed put back a Foster miss in the final seconds of OT to give them the victory. Holt went on to win the district and nearly beat Battle Creek Central in the regionals.
Thanks to all of you for following along this season. We'll see you next winter!