Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Even without a full roster, Walled Lake Northern runs past Howell 60-42 | MIPrepZone | #vacation | #seniors | #elderly – Active Lifestyle Media

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VacationEven without a full roster, Walled Lake Northern runs past Howell 60-42 | MIPrepZone | #vacation | #seniors | #elderly

Even without a full roster, Walled Lake Northern runs past Howell 60-42 | MIPrepZone | #vacation | #seniors | #elderly

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WHITE LAKE – The Jesse and Johnny Show was a smash hit with Walled Lake Northern boys basketball fans Tuesday night, with seniors Jesse Lawson and Johnny Archer dazzling the crowd and lifting their Knights to a decisive 60-42 win over Howell in a Division 1 regional semifinal game hosted by Lakeland High School.

Lawson, an All-LVC 6-4 combo guard, dotted the stat sheet for 23 points, five rebounds and five assists. He took the game into his hands in the third quarter and lit the floor on fire with his electric play. His 12 straight points concluded the frame, highlighted by a coast-to-coast finger roll and a pull-jumper to beat quarter-ending horn to place Northern in front 41-23 to start the fourth.

“I think you saw how good Jesse can be when he decides to take over a game,” Northern head coach Ryan Negoshian said. “He’s a serious match up problem and everyone in this program knows we can rely on him when the going gets tough and the game is on the line.”

Lawson joined the Northern program last year after spending his first two years of high school at Clarkston. Nursing an ankle injury through most of the month, he was sidelined for three weeks and just returned to the rotation last week.

“I want to be patient on offense, pick my spots, try not to force things if they aren’t there,” Lawson said. “I feel like I’m a big time player. The best players come up the biggest in the biggest games. I have to prove myself. My teammates make it all possible. We have faith in each other and know how to motivate each other. I was getting downhill tonight and finishing at the rim. We want to ride this train, this tournament run as long as we can. We control our destiny at this point and that’s all you can ask for at this time of year.”

Archer, the Knights’ agile, soft shooting big fella, had a dogged double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds.

“We’re fighting hard for each other out there and we’re attacking on both ends of the court,” he said. “We put in some new stuff in practice and it worked to perfection.”



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Johnny Archer of Walled Lake Northern shoots over Nolan Petru (21) of Howell during the D1 regional semifinal played on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at Lakeland HS. Archer had 21 points to help the Knights defeat the Highlanders 60-42 and will play Orchard Lake St. Marys in Thursday night’s final.  (MediaNews Group photo by Ken Swart)


Northern (11-4) was missing six players, two starters, due to spring break on Tuesday. Negoshian installed a match-up zone defense that gave Howell (10-6) fits most of the night.

Howell got 18 points from junior guard Carter Bandamere. The Highlanders compete out of Northern’s old league, the KLAA.

The road doesn’t get easier for Northern looking ahead to Thursday’s regional championship game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, the No. 1 team in the state and knowing there is the prospect of losing another starter to an already-planned vacation.

“I’m going to see what I can do, I’m trying keep as many guys here in Michigan as possible,” Negoshian said.

Because the season’s start date was pushed up on the fly almost three months related to the COVID-19 outbreak, many vacations were pre-booked and that has caused personnel issues for many boys and girls basketball teams in both districts and regionals. St. Mary’s is 12-0 and eked out a 38-37 victory versus Clarkston Thursday to advance to face a surging Northern squad.

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