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Posted on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 10:48 p.m.

Weary Huron loses, Saline tops Dexter and more Friday results

By Staff

Playing its third game in four nights, the Huron High School boys basketball team came out slow in the final game of the Metro Detroit Basketball Coaches Association Christmas Tournament.

Mike Lewis and Yante Jackson each scored 14 points for Huron, but the River Rats couldn't overcome Saginaw High in a 60-53 loss Friday at Ypsilanti High School.

“It takes a toll both mentally and physically on the kids,” Huron coach Waleed Samaha said of his team's recent stretch, which included a win against River Rouge on Tuesday and a loss at East Lansing on Thursday.

Huron (2-4) trailed 15-8 after the first quarter but picked it up in the second quarter to enter the half down 27-25.

Saginaw (6-1) was led by Travontis Richardson, who had 11 points and 10 assists, while Devario Gaines added 10 points and 15 rebounds.

More coverage: Boxscore

Samaha said that even though his team has lost four games already this season, he is happy with the progress they’ve made entering Southeastern Conference play.

"This is a new group. Sixteen kids are playing their first varsity basketball,” said Samaha. "The speed, intensity and the level of skill that we've seen is going to have us prepared for the SEC conference. We're eager to start conference play."

In their first six games, the River Rats have played some of the best competition the state has to offer, and Samaha thinks those games will make a difference later in the season.



A deadly combination of inside and outside shooting helped Saline win the Dexter Holiday Tournament. Michael Smutny and Michael Hendrickson each scored 18 points to lead the Hornets.

More coverage: Boxscore

"Our advantage was in size. We have two big men that can score, and a couple guys that shoot it well from the outside,” said Saline coach Matt Seidl. “It’s a nice little balance that we have."

Saline got out to an early lead thanks to Smutny, who was able to score baskets near the rim and force Dexter (3-3) into focusing on his inside game.

"We had a tough time guarding him and when we sent some help on him, they found some shooters,” said Dexter coach Randy Swoverland.

Hendrickson was one of those shooters, knocking down two 3-pointers for the 6-0 Hornets.

Seidl, a former assistant on Swoverland’s staff at Dexter, said the two teams are remarkably similar in system and style. Those similarities led to a feeling-out process early and a sloppy first half.

"It was tough to run anything against them,” Seidl said. "I never felt good; I thought the first half was not extremely well played by either side."

With a five-point lead and the clock winding down in the third quarter, Matt Grasley hit a 3-point shot as time expired to push Saline's lead to eight points.

The Hornets would slow the game down in the fourth quarter, forcing Dexter to foul. The Hornets made 17-of-21 shots from the line and were able to ice the game late by making important free throws.

"Winning the Dexter tournament was one of our goals,” said Seidl.

On top of coaching the tournament champions, Seidl gained bragging rights in his home over his son Derek, the starting small forward for Dexter.

Derek Seidl was held scoreless in the first half, but rebounded to score a team-high 11 points in the second half and help make the game close.

Matt Seidl said he was happy to win, but added the game couldn’t have ended any sooner.

"Personally I'm glad it’s over, there was a lot more pressure on him than me,” Matt Seidl said. "It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be."


Jamal Poplar scored 24 points and pulled down 17 rebound for Willow Run, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Flyers from dropping their second straight game at the Dexter Holiday Tournament.

“Jamal came to play tonight,” said Willow Run coach George Woods.

More coverage: Boxscore

The Flyers did not show up on the defensive end, according to Woods. After holding Northern to 15 points in the first quarter, the Knights scored 31 in the second frame, blowing open a 46-28 lead going into halftime.

"Defensively, we are not playing defense well as a team. As a unit, we're allowing people to score,” said Woods. "We're still not playing as a team."

Willow Run (3-4) will have the next 10 days off, which Woods plans to use to work on execution and teamwork.

"Execution is the key to winning games and winning championships. And once we do that we'll be fine,” said Woods.


No details available.



Devin Talley scored 11 points and Micah Robinson added 10, but Huron couldn’t find the bottom of the basket in the second quarter and paid for it.

"I think we spread the ball around pretty well. We did not shoot it very well, but we got some pretty good looks,” said Huron coach Steve Vinson. "Goodrich guards the ball well, they get after it. They didn't make it easy to score."

Vinson was happy with his team’s defensive effort in the first half. The River Rats held Goodrich to 17 points, but trailed 17-15 when it scored just four second-quarter points.

More coverage: Boxscore

"I was pleased to hold a team like that to just 17 points in the first half,” Vinson said. "We came out with a lot of energy, a lot of focus."

Aketra Sevillian scored a game high 16 points for Goodrich.


At every practice its had this season, Ypsilanti has seen the pressure defense employed by Father Gabriel Richard. After all, it’s the same one the Phoenix use every game.

On Friday night, Ypsilanti couldn’t figure out a way to handle it and the Fighting Irish (4-0) cruised to a victory.

More coverage: Boxscore

"Our defense is how we win games and how we're going to win games,” said Gabriel Richard coach Matt Carroll. “They had a tough night handling."

Ypsilanti coach Chris Slater was disappointed with his team’s inability to break the press and the amount of turnovers that resulted from it.

"I knew there would be some lapses; I didn't think it would be that bad,” Slater said. "(Friday) was the worst game we've played."

Ypsilanti (0-5) scored just two points in the second quarter and had more turnovers than shot attempts in the game.

"We came out extremely flat and Gabriel Richard was firing on all cylinders,” Slater said.

The Irish had their own issues with turning the ball over, committed 26 turnovers of their own. A majority of them were on traveling calls, however, so Ypsilanti was not able to capitalize on the fast break.

"We turned the ball over quite a bit,” said Carroll, "Our defense bailed us out."

Gabriel Richard was led by Jessica Jenkins' 13 points. But it was senior Sarah Falvey that Carroll was most pleased with. She had four points, five rebounds, five assists and seven steals for the Irish.

"Tonight was one of her better all around games at Gabriel Richard. She had a really good game, I'm proud of her,” said Carroll.

Cara Easley led Ypsilanti with nine points.


Dexter defended its home court and won the Dexter Holiday Tournament behind nine points from Olivia Cares. Holly Washabuagh and Makenzie Svihra added eight points apiece.

More coverage: Boxscore

"I think they were pretty excited about we've been able to accomplish early this year, but they know they have a long way to go to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves,” said Dexter coach Mike Bavineau.

After scoring just two points in the first quarter, Dexter settled down and was able to hold South Lyon to 11 points through three quarters. The Dreadnaughts fought hard to rebound and contest South Lyon’s shots, according to Bavineau, a strategy that has proved successful all season.

"Defensively everybody has to chip in and do their part and we played good team defense,” he said.

Dexter is 7-0 as it nears the halfway point of its schedule. The Dreadnaughts are off until Jan. 10, and while Bavineau is anxious to use the break to iron out some kinks in practice, his team is not.

"The kids want to play games, you don't like to have that long of a layoff, but hopefully you can improve during that time," Bavineau said.

Compiled by Matt Durr.



Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 3:43 a.m.

It is so nice to see the Saline boys basketball team doing well. I hope the new coaches will treat the boys and the program with the respect they deserve. The coaching staff before Siedl verbally abused and belittled the boys. There were a lot of good athletes that chose not to go out for basketball. They preferred playing community ed. The prior coaching staff was an embarrassment to the school district. Sitting in the stands with the Saline coaches from 2007-2011 was an absolute embarrassment. Their behavior has permanently scarred quite a few of the boys who played for them. Coaches have a big impact on the boys and are supposed to be mentors. I don't understand what took the administration so long to get rid of those bad coaches.