Munising Mustangs’ Anthony Mattson gets honorable mention in state boys basketball Division 4

Munising’s Anthony Mattson, right, follows Dollar Bay’s Conner LeClaire as he dribbles in the backcourt during their MHSAA Division 4 regional tournament game in Negaunee on March 5. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Jamie Glenn)

STURGIS (AP) — Marcellus Howardsville Christian senior Dylan Jergens is The Associated Press Division 4 boys basketball Player of the Year.

The three-time first team All-State selection was a unanimous pick by a panel of nine Michigan sportswriters. He honed his skills in a barn that was made into a complete basketball court. About seven years ago, his father and coach, Tim Jergens, added an automatic ball return.

“I try to get out there at least once a day for a couple hours,” Dylan Jergens said. “I try to get in about 500 shots.”

One area player received mention on the AP Division 4 honors list — 6-foot senior Anthony Mattson of Munising made the honorable mention list. Mattson was named Player of the Year in the two-division Skyline Central Conference.

Several other Upper Peninsula players also made the honors list in Division 4, led by senior Andrew Blanchard of Engadine on the First Team.

Others players named were Ashton Janke of Dollar Bay on the Second Team and Marcus Harris of Brimley in the honorable mention. In addition, DB’s Jesse Kentala was named the Second Team coach.

Dylan Jergens said shooting isn’t the only part of his game he works on. Ball handling also is important. He has had a basketball in his hand since joining his first team in second grade.

“I just fell in love with the game. From then on, I just started doing whatever I could to improve,” he said.

His confidence isn’t shaken by a slow start. He is often the focus of opponents double or even triple teaming him.

“I try not to worry about a slow start or the pressure of double teams. I had that since a freshman,” he said “In my early seasons, there were days that I struggled, didn’t score a lot and went home frustrated. But now I know I may just need to see one go in, I know eventually they will start to fall.”

A key to his success is the play of the Eagles around him.

“There is a lot of trust with my teammates. I trust them, and they trust me,” Jergens said.

Playing with his younger brother will be what he will miss the most.

“Sometimes I take him for granted, but I’m going to miss playing with him a lot,” Jergens said.

His father believes playing together helped both his boys’ games. Younger brother Jason is a sophomore on the Howardsville Christian squad.

“You won’t find two more competitive kids in a driveway or barn,” Tim Jergens said. “They compete sometimes to the point that I have to separate them. But that’s what makes you good, that competition and they have had a lot of that. It’s been good for both of them.”

The start of this season was a bit of an unknown. Over the summer, Dylan broke his right hand.

“He started shooting with his left hand and became really good,” his dad said.

This season, Jergens set the Michigan High School Athletic Association record for points in a season with 971. He is third on the all-time points list with 2,782 and second with most career three-pointers with 320.

On the year, he averaged 40.5 points per game. In one game, he scored 59.

Jergens will continue his basketball career as a preferred walk-on at Central Michigan University.

In addition to Blanchard, joining Jergens on the AP First Team All State boys are Trey Gilbert of Bear Lake, Will Newbold of Frankfort, Connor Riley of Blanchard-Montabella, Bennett Skinner of Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian, Kevon Washington of Muskegon Heights Academy, Da’Jion Humphrey of Southfield Christian, John Sanders of Southfield Christian, Britton Angell of Big Rapids Crossroads and Blake Cassidy of Pellston.

Division 4 Coach of the Year is Dan Loney of Frankfort.