It’s a heartwarming feeling for Lake Shore basketball coaches to see the ball in the hands of Jalen Jackson as the Shorians secure a lead in the final minutes.
“For four years I rode it, it does everything we need it to,” said Mike Jackson, who is also Jalen’s father. “We had Caleb (Bates), we had Nick (Olmeda) and now it’s Jalen’s turn to play.”
Jalen Jackson scored 24 points, including six straight free throws in the final 1:49 on Tuesday, to lead Lake Shore to a 57-46 win over host L’Anse Creuse Nord in the 18th Crusader Classic Championship Game .
Although Jalen is usually the smallest player on the pitch, he plays a big part in the success of the Shorians, who improved to 6-1 with the win.
“As a little guard, I have to do everything – play defense, give the ball to my teammates, score,” he said. “I have to make the right plays and make my free throws.”
Jalen Jackson said he had a good role model in Bates, who plays for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, when he joined the Lake Shore team as a rookie.
“When I got into college, my freshman year, I learned from Caleb Bates,” Jackson said. “Now I try to teach people what I learned.”
Jackson gave the Shorians an early lead when he broke a 7-7 tie with a 3-point field goal and a layup. Lake Shore never gave up the lead and led 29-23 at halftime, helped by Jackson’s 15 points.
LCN got a field goal from Adam Koch to start the second half, but the Shorians responded with a 10-0 run, with 3 points from Jackson and Jalen Awosika, to open their biggest lead of the game. The Crusaders, who had won their first five games, cut the lead to 39-36 after a 3-pointer from Jacob Davenport.
The rally ended when Awosika hit a triple from the left corner, Davon Pearson scored on a lay-up and followed with a three-point play to put Lake Shore back by 11. LCN never came close seven points the rest of the way.
“We’ve been playing defense all year,” said Mike Jackson. “It’s something we work on all the time. We will continue to work and see where it takes us.
Mike Jackson praised the play of Joe Washburn, who missed the semi-final due to illness.
“Joe came in tonight and did a terrific job on the rebounds,” Jackson said.
LCN coach Jay Seletsky said the Crusaders were “out of sync” offensively.
“Turnovers were a big factor, but in our five wins our shot selection was very good,” he said. “I thought we took a handful of forced shots tonight. The decision making on the offensive end after we stopped killed us.
“It’s going to be a great movie to watch and see where we’ve been exposed in some areas. We’ve bounced back really well and got killed on the glass tonight. We need to go back to the drawing board and make sure we “We’re ready for the MAC Red game. If you can’t bounce back in the MAC Red, you’re in for a long, long season. I know we can, but we sure didn’t show it tonight.
Seletsky is confident that LCN will be ready when the league game begins on January 7.
“I thought the energy and effort was good tonight. Tonight we missed the execution,” he said. “I don’t foresee it being a staple for us. I think that it’s a little bump in the road. It’s an eye-opener, something we’re going to learn from.
Pearson finished with 14 points and Awosika had 12 for Lake Shore. Juan Caldwell led LCN with 17 points and Drew Kozel scored nine.
In the consolation match, Warren Woods-Tower defeated Eastpointe 58-31. The Titans led 18-5 after the first quarter and stayed in control until the end.
“I thought our energy was a bit better tonight, but we still have a long way to go,” WWT coach Jason Henshaw said. “They’re learning to play the right way, but it’s going to take time. There is talent. They just have to run, focus on what they’re doing and stop turning the ball over. It’s our Achilles heel right now. We are going to see the pressure in our league, so we have to figure it out quickly. Let’s hope our resolution for 2022 is to take care of basketball.
Antuan Marsh led Woods-Tower with 14 points and Marquis Smith scored 11. Latrell Johnson’s eight points were high for Eastpointe.
Lake Shore placed three players on the All-Tournament Team – Jackson, Pearson and Awosika. Caldwell and Adam Koch made it from LCN, Marsh and Smith were the selections from Woods-Tower and Johnson was the representative from Eastpointe.
Warren Woods-Round 18 5 12 23–58
East Point 5 6 7 11—31
Warren Woods-Tower (4-2): Antuan Marsh 14, Chris Kyles 8, Chris Randolph 4, Marquis Smith 11, Corey Charleston 2, Brady Macomber 8, Xzavion Allen 5, Sireon Horton 2, Devin Hartwick 2, DaKarri Jenkins 2. Totals: 23 (9) 3-4—58.
Eastpointe (1-4): Latrell Johnson 8, Sean Shelby 6, Jaron Jackson 6, Eddie Higginbotham 4, Rayshawn Reeves 5, Chris Mallette 2. Totals: 10 (4) 7-19-31.
Lakeside 12 17 18 10—57
L’Anse Creuse North 9 14 15 8—46
Lake Shore (6-1): Davon Pearson 14, Jalen Jackson 24, Jalen Awosika 12, Antonio Huston 5, Xzorion Simmons 2. Totals: 20 (5) 12-14–57.
L’Anse Creuse Nord (5-1): Lorenzo Alfred 5, Juan Caldwell 17, Adam Koch 6, Jacob Davenport 3, Drew Kozel 9, Conner Kouki 2, Rufus Hamilton 4. Totals: 19 (3) 5-11–46 .
South Lake 64, Ford 54: Amarion Brownlee scored 17 points and Terrell Jackson 12 for South Lake at St. Clair County Community College. The Cavaliers (3-3) led 36-27 at halftime. Jacob Barrett led Ford (1-5) with 25 points.
Roseville 82, Monroe 64: Derrek Bolton III scored 30 points, Brian Hunter 18 and Ricky Johnson 15 to lead Roseville to Ferndale.
Marysville 44, Troy 42: Cornerstone University rookie Kaitlyn Cain scored 16 points to lead Marysville (4-2).
Dakota 59, Southfield A&T 27: Hannah Toutant had 10 points, 14 rebounds and a school-best 13 blocked shots to lead Dakota. Tamia Tounsel had 15 points, five rebounds and four steals and Ella Burger had eight points, five assists and seven steals. Dakota is 4-2.
L’Anse Creuse North 59, North Farmington 32: Brooke Daniels had a triple-double with 24 points, 12 steals and 13 rebounds to lead L’Anse Creuse Nord. Jekiah Mack added 13 points and four steals and Robin Rouseau and Reese Sparks eight points each.