Shy two starters, Skyline still edges Saline; Ypsilanti tops Lincoln and more Friday results
Entering a game without two of his starters, Skyline High School boys basketball coach Mike Lovelace called on Marquis Wesley and Travonn Banks to have bigger roles for the Eagles.
The duo took their coach's words to heart and were key factors in the Eagles' 52-44 Southeastern Conference Red Division win against Saline on Friday night.
"We had to rely on some guys to have better games than they normally do and we were fortunate enough to have that happen,” said Lovelace. "Marquis just had a great game for us. I challenged him before the game to have his best game tonight and he did do that."
Skyline starters Jordan Woods and Peter Bakker missed the game due to illness, but the Eagles got help from Wesley and Banks, who scored 12 and six points respectively.
Skyline jumped out to a 10-2 lead after the first quarter before Saline trimmed the advantage to 24-21 by halftime. The Hornets would continue their run and score the first seven points of the second half to take a 28-24 lead.
Saline was able to come back in large part because Wesley got into foul trouble, allowing the Hornets to pound the ball inside, according to Lovelace.
"We were defending really well early on, contesting lots of shots,” he said.
The teams would battle back-and-forth the rest of the way. Saline had the ball with 2:23 left to play and the score tied at 44-44, but failed to score again.
"Third game in a row where we've played a good opponent, battled, battled, battled, we just couldn't finish the game. That just ages me,” said Saline coach Matt Seidl. “To be in position and, regardless of the situation, to not finish. I'm not saying we should have won, but we could have won any of those last three games that we've played."
Lovelace knew it was going to be a tough match-up for his team, with or without two of his starters.
"They do a really good job of dictating the tempo to a half-court, grind-it-out game,” said Lovelace. “We tried to mix it up a little bit more than normal. They have a good coaching staff over there that scouts well."
Michael Smutny scored a game-high 19 for Saline. Theron Wilson matched Wesley with 12 points for Skyline.
YPSILANTI 64, LINCOLN 39
Tristan Simmons scored 23 and Ypsilanti stayed unbeaten in SEC White Division play with what coach Steve Brooks called a full-team effort.
"I was real satisfied with Alvin Smith and, once again, Brandon Thomas, because we had (Derrick) Richardson in foul trouble," Brooks said.
Mamadou Ba added six points and 12 rebounds for Ypsilanti (6-3, 3-0 SEC White).
As well as his team is playing now, Brooks said it can be even better when it gets into a rhythm.
"I think we'll be better when we get on that Tuesday-Friday swing," he said. "We haven't got on the Tuesday-Friday swing, and sometimes that makes it kind of sloppy, as well."
Brendan Griffin scored nine for Lincoln (3-5, 1-2).
DETROIT U-D JESUIT 74, FATHER GABRIEL RICHARD 63
Gabriel Richard couldn’t find an answer for University of Colorado-bound forward Chris Jenkins, who scored 32 points and went 13-of-13 from the free-throw line for Jesuit.
"We gave it our best effort. In the second half we made a concerted effort and, to his credit, he made some big shots in the fourth quarter,” said Gabriel Richard coach Pete Schoch. "I don't feel like we slacked."
The Fighting Irish (2-8, 0-3 Catholic League) had a balanced scoring attack with three players in double figures. Kamari Davis scored 23 points, Jason Houle 17 and Evan Fosha 13 to keep the game close.
The spread-out attack was a welcomed sight for Schoch.
"It's encouraging. We've been looking to achieve better balance,” he said. "It's great to see production from two sophomores (Fosha and Houle) against U of D."
The game within reach for Gabriel Richard when Davis fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, setting of a string of events in motion that spelled doom for the Irish. Jenkins hit back-to-back jumpers to help spark a 7-0 run for Jesuit to push the game out of reach.
"Time was ticking away and we had to gamble and we were never able to get closer,” Schoch said.
MILAN 54, GROSSE ILE 21
Three minutes into the first quarter, Milan was yet to score a basket and looking shaky against Huron League rival Grosse Ile. The Big Reds would go on to score the final 23 points on the quarter -- part of a 32-0 run -- to blow out the Red Devils.
Milan coach Josh Tropea called it the best first quarter he has seen in 14 years of coaching.
C.J. Turnage scored 15 points and had nine rebounds to lead Milan and Andre Duffin added 11 points.
Since losing its first conference game to New Boston Huron on Jan. 10, Milan (7-1, 3-1) has responded by winning three straight conference games by no fewer than 17 points.
"I honestly think, looking back at it, it was the best thing that could have happened to us,” Tropea said of the loss. "We clearly got the message as a team and as a coaching staff. We better be ready to go."
Tropea points to 10 seniors on the roster as a huge factor in his team’s preparedness. Knowing that their high school careers are coming to an end soon is a huge motivation for them.
"Their sense on urgency is bringing out the best in us,” Tropea said.
GREENHILLS 68, WARREN MACOMB CHRISTIAN 29
Having not scouted Warren Macomb prior to Friday night, the Gryphons were in a tight game after one quarter. Sixteen minutes later, they led by 30 points on were well on their way to their fourth win of the season and third in conference play.
"After the first quarter they had a feel for them,” said Greenhills coach Andrew Wright. "We just seemed flustered on offense."
The Gryphons (4-5, 3-3) shut out Macomb Christian 20-0 in the third quarter after Wright reminded his team to play their game.
"We need to make sure we're executing in games and we talked a bit about that at halftime,” he said.
Andrew Khouri led Greenhills with 15 points and Andrew Gitlin added nine, all from 3-point range. Matt Hurst led Macomb Christian with 16 points.
ECORSE 70, WILLOW RUN 21
The Flyers were tied 8-8 with Ecorse in the first quarter, but were routed after that. Ecorse, paced by Quaron Jones’ 21 points, ended the first quarter on a 14-0 run aided by Willow Run turnovers.
"At some point these guys are gonna realize they're playing basketball,” Flyers coach George Woods said. “Right now, some of these guys aren't playing with any heart.
"Ecorse took their hearts away in that first quarter."
Jamal Poplar led Willow Run (4-7) in scoring with four points .
"Again, we're still plagued with turnovers and when you go 5-for-18 from the foul line, there ain't much you can do," Woods said.
WHITMORE LAKE 49, SAND CREEK 43<
Trailing 37-36 late in the third quarter, Whitmore Lake was able to keep its composure and recapture the lead in the fourth en route to its first Tri-County Conference win since 2010.
"First league win for these guys, they were pretty excited,” said Trojans coach Casey Livingston. "It's nice to get one."
The Trojans led most of the game until Sand Creek took the 37-36 lead in the third quarter. Mental errors allowed the Aggies to stay close and take the lead, according to Livingston.
"We’re a young team, we made mistakes. We let them comeback and hang around,” he said. "If can eliminate those small errors we'll be in a lot better shape. We have to learn to win games."
Nick Nied scored 16 points and Dylan St. Charles had 11 as the Trojans improved to 3-6 overall and 1-4 in TCC play.
VANDERCOOK LAKE 56, MANCHESTER 47
Manchester was outscored 20-7 in the second quarter and could never regain momentum in the Cascades Conference loss.
Manchester (2-8, 0-4) was led by Josh Finley, who had 20 points on the night, including five 3-pointers. David Luckas was the only other Manchester player in double-digits with 11 points.
Tyler Applegate and JaVon Flowers each scored 14 points for Vandercook Lake.
LIVINGSTON CHRISTIAN 67, WASHTENAW CHRISTIAN 43
Luke Wenger scored 31 points for Livingston Christian and Washtenaw Christian dropped to 4-5 on the season.
"Some of them are battling illnesses, but the whole team looked like it had the flu," Washtenaw Christian coach Aaron Hoesli said. "It was one of those nights. Our boys came out sluggish; we came late because of the weather."
Trenton Shelby had 13 points and four steals, John Carlos Anderson had 11 points and seven rebounds and Brian Shelby had 11 points, five steals and four assists.
"They played their game better than we played our game tonight," Hoesli said. "We weren't prepared for that physical a match-up."
But he said he wasn’t disappointed with his team’s effort.
"I was proud of my boys, they battled the whole game," Hoesli said. "They played the best they could, given the situation."
NEWPORT LUTHERAN SOUTH 52, CALVARY CHRISTIAN 46
Calvary Christian battled back from a 33-16 halftime deficit to get within five points, but couldn’t come any closer.
Calvary Christian’s problems started when it was outscored 24-10 in the second quarter.
"Just went brain dead, I guess. Made bad passes, bad shots," coach Steve Thurmond said. "Had several turnovers that quarter, unforced errors."
The Cougars played inspired basketball after halftime, but couldn’t come all the way back.
"It was like two different teams between the first half and second half for us," Thurmond said. "They played much better defensively, much more active, forced more turnovers."
Thurmond said he is looking for consistency not just between halves, but within quarters.
"We'll play well for 4-5 minutes, then we'll have a two-minute spurt of forced shots," he said.
James Bergler scored 14 and Keith Shock had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Calvary Christian (2-7).
Compiled by Jason Idalski and Matt Durr. Coaches may submit results at 734-623-2565 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.