Local players earn state honors

Cairnduff, Tyson and McDonald recognized by BCAM

BIG RAPIDS — The post-season high school basketball awards continue to roll out as the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) released it’s All-State teams for each class, with a few local players earning honors for their efforts on the hardwood.

The 2014 “BCAM’s Best” boys All-State basketball teams are chosen by BCAM coaches throughout the state who nominate players that are then selected by a group of regional directors.

ABOVE THE REST: Big Rapids’ Quinn Tyson was selected to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) All-State team for Class B. (Pioneer file photo)

ABOVE THE REST: Big Rapids’ Quinn Tyson was selected to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) All-State team for Class B. (Pioneer file photo)

This year’s “BCAM’s Best” featured three local talents. Big Rapids’ Quinn Tyson made the grade for the Class B team, while Morley Stanwood’s Tim Cairnduff and Pine River’s Mitch McDonald were special mentions in Class C.

Tyson made the cut for the Cardinals after leading Big Rapids to its second-consecutive regional championship and came just a few points away from moving on to the Breslin Center in a close overtime quarterfinal loss to Cadillac.

He averaged over 24 points per game against Central State Activities Association (CSAA) opponents and scored over 1,300 points in his illustrious career as a Big Rapids Cardinal.

“The thing I like about BCAM is that it’s coaches doing the voting,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “There’s an old coaching slogan that says the price of success is paid in advance. Quinn has been paying that price since second grade. He’s taken hundreds of thousands of shots and he’s been a gym rat, putting in a ton of hours on his game.”

Ingles said Tyson has been a major part of Big Rapids’ success over the last few years and that his presence will be missed on the squad next season.

“It’s still a team game, but Quinn has been a part of our team for three years and he’s stood out for three years,” Ingles said. “We lost four seniors last year and (Quinn) really stepped into a leadership role this season. As a coach, it’s comfortable to know that you have a kid who’s going to go get 20 points every night. He’s going to be missed, but thankfully he’ll be playing (at Ferris State) a couple of miles away, so we’ll try to get out there and see him.”

“It feels great, it’s a privilege to get it and it’s something you work for and it’s great to see your hard work pay off,” Tyson said. “My experience on the court and at reading screens and reading defenses is just something I got used to after playing so much. Me and Jake Hayes had the role of leading the team and we just made sure everyone kept their heads on straight and it really worked out through the season.”

Tyson’s CSAA counterpart from Morley Stanwood, Cairnduff, also picked up BCAM honors as a special mention in Class C for the Mohawks.

Cairnduff and the Mohawks had their season cut short in the Class C district semifinals in a 60-57 loss to Ithaca, but Cairnduff played a major factor in his team’s success all season. Morley Stanwood coach Josh Bull said that Tim’s multi-faceted game was what earned the selection.

“It’s a pretty special accomplishment to make the team,” Bull said. “Other coaches picked Tim and there were only so many slots and he worked hard all year and I think this is just a byproduct of that hard work. Tim, as a point guard, is a dangerous offensive player because he does so many things well. He can pass and he sees the floor and he can shoot and I really think his anticipation is a big part of (the selection). At 6-1 he’s not a dominating physical presence, but that anticipation led him to five steals per game and he’s just played so much basketball and put in so much work and that’s pretty evident.”

Cairnduff and the Mohawks battled to a 12-10 record in a very tough CSAA conference, and Tim said it was great to have his hard work recognized with the BCAM special mention.

“It feels really good. It’s great to be on a list with some of the best players in Class C,” Cairnduff said. “It’s good knowing that all the hard work my teammates and I put in has been recognized. I was looked to as a leader for my team and when we needed someone to score, I was that guy. My teammates helped me out a lot making some big shots in some big games while I was kind of looked at as a go-to player. Offensively, I love to find the open guy and to help make my teammates better in any way that I can. On defense I’m good at reading the passing lanes and getting steals.”

Pine River’s McDonald, like Cairnduff, also earned a special mention in Class C, and Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said he earned it with his unique playing style.

“I would like to see the world through Mitch’s eyes,” Goodenow said. “He’s a junior on his third year of varsity and it’s impressive how he communicates and navigates through traffic. He can find teammates and can find lanes to shoot and rebound and he just really has a unique feel on the court.”

The Bucks had a stellar regular season before falling to Beaverton in the Class C district finals, but McDonald and company still put together a 19-3 campaign, and, the best part for Pine River fans, he’s still got one more year of high school basketball.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that Mitch is coming back,” Goodenow said. “He’ll be there to mentor our younger guys, and we have a talented group coming in, and he’ll help us become better faster. He’s just one of those kids. Our system isn’t made to have one guy average 25 points or anything, but he just has the all-around game. This year he focused a lot on his rebounding, because we were vertically challenged, and raised his totals above last year and really took it upon himself as a guard to help the team.”

Leave a Reply