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5th annual Winter Breakout Preview

Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley


The Winter Breakout has grown immensely since its start in the 2012-’13 season as state champions, current college and high school standouts, as well as memorable games have built this into one of Michigan’s powerhouse events. 

Saturday, December 10th at Arbor Prep High School (6800 Hitchingham, Ypsilanti, MI., 48197) located just south of I-94 off Exit 183 starting at 1pm for the start of five card line up.  Here’s insight to each of the day’s games:

1pm- Arbor Prep vs Howell          
2:40pm- Grand Rapids Union vs. Flint Carman-Ainsworth    
4:20pm- Detroit Henry Ford Academy School of Creative Studies vs Dansville
6pm- Ann Arbor Skyline vs Toledo (OH.) St. John's      
7:40pm- Ann Arbor Pioneer vs Westland John Glenn

The Winter Breakout’s host Arbor Prep (Independent) tips off with Howell (Kensington Lakes Activities Association- West) at 1pm to start this year’s Winter Breakout.  Garret Gardette is one the state’s top point guards and his senior leadership will look to carry the Gators.  Howell returns six from a season ago including senior center Jake Lothaman and sophomore guard Josh Palo who scored 14 points in last year’s Winter Breakout.

Grand Rapids Union will challenge perennial power Muskegon for the OK-Black title and Flint Carman-Ainsworth is the top team in the tough Saginaw Valley-South and a top 15 team in Class A.  Junior point guard Ja’Kavien Lewis is one of Michigan’s best point guards and will lock down defenders, while Union’s senior guard Quantes Jackson will fuel the Redhawks’ offense.  Junior wing O'Mari Duncan is a stat stuffer who averaged 14 points and 4 rebounds for the Cavaliers.  A great sophomore matchup can be found on the block with Carman-Ainsworth’s 6’7” Mike Fletcher and Union’s 6’6” Jaivian Fowler

Dansville is one the state’s top young teams and will be at the top of the Central Michigan Athletic Conference vs Detroit Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies Michigan is the preseason favorite in the Metro Athletic Conference presents two of Michigan’s top big men in 6’8” Trevion Williams who holds numerous Big Ten offers including Michigan State and 6’10” sophomore Caleb Hodgson who is arguably the top sophomore front court player in the state.  As a freshman, Hodgson was second team all-state for Dansville.  Also, look for the Aggies’ sophomore guard Hayden Voss.

Top teams from Michigan and Ohio tip-off as Ann Arbor Skyline from the Southeast Conference-Red and Toledo St. John’s are the favorites in Ohio’s Three Rivers Athletic Conference.  Skyline is the Detroit News #11 preseason team and are led by junior point guard Brandon Wade who holds multiple D1 offers, junior guard Jack Ammerman is one of the best shooters in the Midwest, sophomore guard Christian Knox can score in bunches, and the younger Wade, Ryan, is a sophomore holding an offer from the University of Toledo. Dan Black and Kayron Rogers are seasoned seniors who produce in the paint for the Eagles. 

In his 38th season, Ed Heintschel is a future Hall of Fame coach and brings 665 wins to the start of the 2016-’17 season ranking him 6th in all-time Ohio state coaching wins.  St. John’s senior Harrison Riggs is an efficient floor general who will play for Lake Erie College next season.  Like Michigan, Ohio has an excellent junior class and 6’6” small forward Vincent Williams is one of the top players in the Midwest while Houston King is effective scorer from the wing.

The Winter Breakout’s momentum peaks with a battle between Ann Arbor Pioneer and Westland John Glenn.  Both teams are loaded with returning players, have outstanding guard play in seniors Deric Murray (Aquinas-commit), Cedric Benton (GVSU-football), and Chris McGaughy as well as one of Michigan’s top sophomores in Drew Louder.  6’7” senior forward Jordan Currie is a versatile inside-out scoring threat who MIAA and WHAC schools see as a prize recruit.  have veteran talent and will look senior forward Noah Osebar is one of the state’s most underrated defenders and rebounders, but it’s his play in transition that brings crowds to their feet.  Drew Lowder is one of the best sophomore guards in the state and looged a lot of quality time for Pioneer as a freshman.

John Glenn has a strong backcourt with the high-flying senior, Christian Agnew, and steady sophomore Joe MoonDaijon Parker is a four-year varsity player who holds down the post with physical play, back to the back scoring, defense, and dominating the boards.

Pioneer represents the Southeast Conference-Red and John Glenn from the Kensington Lakes Activities Association- South.

Here's a look at Winter Breakouts of the past:

Last year's Winter Breakout was loaded with strong teams and featured a very strong group of individual talent that included: Wayne Memorial Keion Epps (Eastern Michigan) and Isaiah Lewis, Detroit Loyola PJ Mitchell (Central Michigan), New Haven Innocent Nwoko (Central Michigan '20), Jerry Ben (Vermont Academy '17), 2017 Eric Williams, and 2019 Romeo Weems (#1 Inside Prep Sports in MI. 2019); Ypsilanti Lincoln Ty Groce (EMU '21) and 2018 LaTravian Jackson, Detroit Cornerstone's Jamal Cain (Marquette commit and I.P.S. #1 in 2017); Grand Rapids Union Sergio Diaz (Grand Rapids CC '18), 6'6" center Keidren Davis (Ball State-football '20), 2017 Quantes Jackson, jr., and 2019 Jaivian Fowler; Detroit Loyola's PJ Mitchell (CMU '22); Ann Arbor Pioneer's 2017 Derec Murray (Aquina commit), 2017 Jordan Currie; Howell's 2017 Jake Lothamer

The 2014 Winter Breakout saw Milan's Latin Davis eclipse the 1,000 point mark to start his senior year:

The 2nd Winter Breakout started the 2013-'14 season in December forecasting the 2014 Class B Champion, Milan, and 2014 Class A Runner-up, Bloomfield Hills in the feature game as well as a young Detroit Henry Ford team who won the 2016 Class B State Champion.  This four game event: Flint Southwestern's Jaire Grayer (George Mason Devin Haygood (Youngstown State '19), Ty Groce (EMU '21), Curtis Davison (Lansing CC '19), Rashaud Orange (Aquinas '18), Canton's Davon Taylor (California University, PA. '18) and Jordan Nobles (EMU '19); Detroit Henry Ford's Josh Davis (WMU '19) James Towns II (Niagara '20), Bloomfield Hills' Armand Cartwright (Rochester College '18), Yante Maten (Georgia '18); Milan's Nick Perkins (Buffalo '19), Latin Davis, jr. (Youngstown State '19) and a freshman by the name of Jamal Cain playing for Melvindale A, B, & T, who is the top prospect in Michigan's 2017 class.

January of 2013 tipped off the Winter Breakout at Concordia University with eight teams from Southeast Michigan, quality teams, and championship coaches in Curtis Hervey (Jalen Rose Academy), Durand Shepherd (Inskter), and Chuck Suttles (Taylor Truman).  Many consider this event put University of Detroit-Mercy red-shirt sophomore Aaron Foster-Smith (Taylor Truman) on the map.

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