Defense leads to conference win for Manchester and more Thursday results
McKenna Erkfritz had a balanced night on the score sheet in the Manchester High School girls basketball team's game against Cascades Conference rival Napoleon on Thursday with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four blocks, and five steals.
But it was what Erkfritz and her teammates helped keep off the score sheet that had coach Cori Kastel impressed.
Napoleon's 6-foot-3 Morgan Berry was held to a season-low four points on the night -- 16 below her average -- in the 52-32 Manchester win.
It was just the second time all season Berry hasn't been in double digits.
"She's basically their offense," Kastel said. "McKenna did a good job making it tough on her and got a lot of help-side defense."
No Napoleon player scored more than six points on the night.
Jessie Manders had 15 points and six rebounds on the night while Jessie Coltre had six points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Manchester finished with 10 blocks.
"It was a good team effort, very balanced and that's what will get it done for us against quality opponents," Kastel said.
MILAN 33, MONROE JEFFERSON 25
Milan snapped its seven-game losing streak and won a Huron League contest for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
"If I had to sum it up with one word it'd be 'finally'," said Milan coach Jeff Scott.
Corinna Schneider had 12 points and six rebounds and Lexus Kersey had seven points and ten rebounds.
Milan (3-8, 1-5) struggled from the field (11 of 47) and the free-throw line (7 of 24) but was able to come up with 19 steals and committed just nine turnovers. Thought happy to keep the turnovers down, Scott was disappointed when they all came: the fourth quarter.
"It was an ugly win, but it was a win," Scott said. "Thank god we played good defense."
Sam Cobb led Jefferson with nine points.
ARBOR PREP 59, CENTRAL ACADEMY 12
Ahead 41-10 at halftime, Arbor Prep switched out of its full-court press defense and into a man-on-man halfcourt defense for the final two quarters.
It was just as relentless as the Gators allowed just two points in the second half.
Karlee Morris led Arbor Prep (9-0) with 15 points and also had six steals. Zakiya Wells added 14 points, five steals and four assists and Julana Dukes had 13 points, six steals and six rebounds.
It was the Gators' seventh consecutive win in which they've more than doubled the score of their opponents. Coach Rod Wells said he pushes his team to challenge themselves to improve on small aspects of the game when the result isn't in question.
"(Tonight) we worked on outside shooting. Most teams throw zone at us now so we want to improve on that," Rod Wells said. "There's a lot of internal challenges that we look to try and improve on."
BOYS RESULTS CENTRAL ACADEMY 71, ROMULUS SUMMITT ACADEMY 62
The Falcons started the game on an 8-0 run and remained hot from the field, shooting 59.6 percent (28-of-47) on the night.
Central led 24-14 after the first quarter, but several starters were in foul trouble and had to sit, so Central didn't build on its lead and went into the half ahead 34-25.
"At halftime we addressed the foul issues and just told them 'stay on the ground don't allow them to draw contact like they're trying to do,'" said assistant coach Jalal Al-Zoubi.
The starters took the advice to heart and the next time they were relegated to bench duty it was because the result was in hand. Central outscored Romulus 26-12 in the third and took a 23-point lead into the fourth.
Omar Hassan and Mohammad Issa led Central with 19 points apiece.
"We came out hot again in the third. At one point we led by 27," Al-Zoubi said. "Our half-court press created a lot of turnovers and we were able to score in transition."
EASTERN WASHTENAW MULTICULTURAL 65, ARBOR PREP 34
The Chargers improved to 5-5 on the season with a win over the Arbor Prep Gators, a first-year program playing a partial varsity and partial-junior varsity schedule. (Statistics not available)
OTTAWA LAKE WHITEFORD 48, GREENHILLS 43
Marissa Thompson had 23 points and 17 rebounds, but Greenhills couldn't make critical free throws down the stretch. Whiteford never led by more than a point in after every quarter but the last.
"The game was close the entire stretch. The key for our team was our inability to make adjustments," said Greenhills coach Lisa Mack. "Whiteford played very aggressive defense and we weren't able to capitalize on their mistakes,"
Greenhills trailed by one point with 45 seconds remaining with a chance to take the lead from the free-trow line, but missed on both attempts. The Gryphons (6-3, 2-3 MIAC Red) were 5 of 12 from the line on the night.
"We definitely had our chances to build a bigger lead but we just didn't convert when we needed to," Mack said. "The goal is to learn from our mistakes in this game and use that to prepare for our next opponent."
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