Menfield is top D-3 player; Oscoda’s Franklin, Hess honored
By BRENDAN SAVAGE
The Flint Journal
Flint Beecher has turned into a factory for outstanding point guards. Keyon Menifield is the latest model to come off the assembly line.
The latest wave of the production started with Monte Morris, who plays for the Denver Nuggets, in 2013. It continued with Malik Ellison in 2017 and Jalen Terry in 2019 and 2020.
All of the point guards were named The Associated Press Division 3 Player of the Year, winning the award in the aforementioned years.
Now, the Bucs have another Division 3 Player of the Year in Menifield.
Menifield led Beecher to its sixth state championship since 2012. He scored 37 points in a 75-47 victory over previously unbeaten Iron Mountain in the Division 3 title game.
“He’s the most unique out of the players that I’ve coached,” said Mike Williams, who was named the Division 3 Coach of the Year. “He’s got a wiggle and a stop and go to him that you don’t see very often. It’s almost like a Jamal Crawford or an old-school Corey Hightower.”
Eastern Michigan and Cleveland State have offered him a scholarship.
Menifield isn’t physically imposing at 6-foot-1, 155 pounds, but that doesn’t stop him from going inside to score against big men. He is also a capable 3-point shooter and can freeze defenders with stop-and-pop, mid-range jumpers.
Against Iron Mountain, he made 17 of 27 shots. At one point in the second half, he was outscoring the entire Iron Mountain team.
Menifield has been on the Beecher’s varsity steam since he was a 5-2 freshman playing alongside All-State players Terry and Earnest Sanders.
“People really thought once we lost Jalen and Earnest it was over for him,” Williams said. “Me and the coaches would look at each other in practice and laugh and say, `If we don’t win it (in 2020) we’re definitely going to win it next year.’ Keyon had to go against Jalen (now at DePaul) and Earnest when he was 5-foot-2. Now that he’s 6 foot 1, the game is easy. A lot of people would question why would I bring this (freshman) up being so small. He made me look good.
“I told him, `You win a state title, you’re right up there with all the greats that come out of Flint. They’ve got to mention your name. You’ve got to be in the conversation. I’m not going to argue you’re No. 1 or No. 2 but you’re in the conversation.'”
In leading Beecher to a 16-2 record, Menifield averaged 26 points, 9.3 assists, 6.6 steals and 4.7 rebounds. He scored a game-high 27 points during a 78-63 loss against Division 1 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, which spent the entire season ranked No. 1 by The AP.
Joining him on the 10-man first team are: senior Malcolm Clements of Ypsilanti Arbor Prep; senior Foster Wonders of Iron Mountain; junior Tharren Hill of Detroit Pershing; senior Gavin Etter of Marcellus; junior Jayce Warren of Bridgeman; junior Carmelo Harris of Beecher; senior Nolan Finkbeiner of Hemlock; senior Drew Hess of Oscoda and senior Bryce VanderWiere of Schoolcraft.
The Associated Press Division 3 boys basketball All-State team as selected by a panel of 11 Michigan sports writers.
Player of the Year
Keyon Menifield, Flint Beecher, Sr.
Keyon Menifield, Flint Beecher, Sr.
Malcolm Clements, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, Sr.
Foster Wonders, Iron Mountain, Sr.
Tharren Hill, Detroit Pershing, Jr.
Gavin Etter, Marcellus, Sr.
Jayce Warren, Bridgman, Jr.
Carmelo Harris, Flint Beecher, Jr.
Nolan Finkbeiner, Hemlock, Sr.
Drew Hess, Oscoda, Sr.
Bryce VanderWiere, Schoolcraft, Sr.
Coach of the Year
Mike Williams, Flint Beecher
Kaleb Moore, Manton; Owen Franklin, Oscoda; Carson Sanders, Hanover-Horton; Owen Varnado, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian; Jayden Alfred, Mancelona; Damarquss Palmreuter, Reese; Kyler Economou, Quincy.
Damaso Lebron, Homer; Carson Oldani, Beaverton; Kaiden McGillis, McBain; Zack Gritters, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian; Demarion Smith, Vandercook Lake; Preston Ball, Elk Rapids; Evan Solomon, Charlevoix; Wyatt Nausadis, Traverse City St. Francis; Jacob Mueller, Charlevoix; Conner Mortimer, Hanover-Horton; Ayden Rutan, Leslie; Alex Darnell, Napoleon; Lowyind Pullen, Homer; Brogan Brockie, Hanover-Horton; Zach Johnson, Pinconning; Keaton Ringley, Saginaw Valley Lutheran; Cade Pestrue, St. Louis; Levi Foco, Reese; Aaron Sowles, Bad Axe; Trent Reed, Beaverton; Kaden Johnson, Hartford; Israel Patterson, Comstock; Tyler DeGroote, Schoolcraft; Tyler Swanwick, Centreville; Brody Peterson, Fennville; Preston Malpass, East Jordan; Kendall Chrismon, Niles Brandywine; Aidan Poling, Holton; Daquan Coleman, Burton Bendle; Brock Thelen, Pewamo-Westphalia; Jaren Nelson, Dansville; Brendan Wood, Ithaca; Michael Zolinski, Hemlock; Jake Rau, Reese; Gaden Muxlow, Brown City; Collin Miller, Marlette; Kyler Stone, Carson City-Crystal; Drew Cole, Breckenridge; J.T. Smith, Blanchard-Montabella; Patrick Kombo, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep; Tommy Burt, Clinton; Stephen Ruhle, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic; Zach Hawes, Laingsburg; Tyler VanEtten, Adrian Lenawee Christian.
Matt Bauer, Hemlock; Bruce Koopman, McBain.