- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

It’s no surprise that Josh Jackson of Detroit Consortium was named Associated Press Class C basketball Player of the Year this season.

Jackson, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, is thought by many, if not most, to be the state’s top player regardless of class.

Jackson was a first-team AP All-State pick last season and was the lone unanimous selection this season.

“He’s surpassed expectations, at least by my estimation,” Consortium coach Tobias Tuomi said. “He’s more of a leader. Whereas he deferred to his teammates last year, Josh has taken more of an ownership of this team.

“He’s gotten stronger over the course of the season and become an absolutely dominant rebounder. He’s very unselfish and a great passer. We’ve seen all kinds of junk defenses, and he’s figured it all out.”

Jackson is averaging 28 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, four steals and four blocks.

He’s being recruited by all of the top schools, including Michigan and Michigan State. On a Saturday in mid-February, both Michigan coach John Beilein and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo were in Detroit at Consortium’s game against Saginaw Arthur Hill - Beilein at one end of the court, Izzo at the other.

Jackson hit his averages (28 points, 15 rebounds and six assists) in a 91-61 regional final victory over Ottawa Lake Whiteford and had his team in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.

Tyler Jandron of Negaunee received 10 out of a possible 11 first-place votes, and Noah Bacchus, a 5-10 senior point guard from East Jordan, had nine, and both join Jackson on the 11-player first-team list for Class C.

Jandron is a 6-2 senior who had 12 points and four assists in a 45-43 state semifinal loss to Laingsburg last season. Jandron is averaging 18 points and led his team to the quarterfinals again this season. East Jordan was its opponent, and it was Bacchus’ last-second basket in overtime against Beaverton (55-53) in a regional final that put East Jordan in that round.

Seven other seniors were selected to the first team, including Colin Lake of Whiteford, Amariontez Ivory of Flint Beecher, Malik Taylor of Montrose, Bernard Smith of Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, Eddie Tornes of Muskegon Heights Academy, Nick Spitzley of Pewamo-Westphalia and Luke Meyer of Addison.

The other underclassman to be selected is freshman Jermaine Jackson Jr., a coach’s son who plays point guard for Mount Clemens, another quarterfinalist. Jackson has received a handful a Division I scholarship offers and averages 18 points, seven assists and three steals.

Like Josh Jackson, Jandron, Lake and Meyer were selected to the first team last season.

Lake averaged 31.5 points this season and is Whiteford’s all-time leading scorer. With 692 points this season, Lake also holds the single-season record.

Meyer is a 6-10 center who signed with Central Michigan. He averaged a double-double.

Ivory, a transfer from Flint Northern (the school closed last year), led a balanced Beecher scoring attack by averaging 15 points, and Spitzley is a versatile 6-2 wing who averages 19.6 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Del Stewart of Muskegon Heights Academy was selected Class C Coach of the Year. In his second season as head coach, Stewart guided his team to the semifinals. Not blessed with much height, Muskegon Heights is a team that excels in transition.

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