You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

Pioneer comeback falls short at Motor City Roundball Classic, Huron loses by 30 and more Thursday results

By Matt Durr

Trailing by two points with two minutes to play, the Pioneer High School boys basketball team found itself one defensive stop away from having a chance to tie the game. Five possessions later, the Pioneers were down by 11 and the game was all but over.

Petoskey extended the lead from there, finishing with a 51-38 win Thursday at the Motor City Roundball Classic at Detroit Country Day.

After allowing Petoskey to push the lead to four, Pioneer turned the ball over and watched Petoskey’s Jake Mullin knock down a 3-pointer, extending the lead to seven. After missing on their next possession, the Pioneers fouled Mullin as he made another basket from beyond the arc. Mullin made his free throw for a four-point play, putting his team up 11 with a minute left.

For Pioneer coach Rex Stanczak, a slow first half was to blame for his team having to fight from behind.

"We were really sleep walking in the first half, one of our worst halves of the year,” said Stanczak. “Defensively, we were a step slow and missed some rotations.”

More coverage: Boxscore

Pioneer (3-3) struggled on offense all game long according to Stanczak. Leading scorer Jimmy Holman managed only five points on the night while battling a host of injuries. Stanczak said that Holman has been dealing with ankle, knee and shoulder problems recently and those injuries have contributed to some inconsistencies in Holman’s game.

"It'll be very hard for us to score when Jimmy scores five,” Stanczak said.

Late in the first half, Pioneer trailed 26-10 before a strong defensive performance in the second half brought the team back. Petoskey (6-0) only scored 13 points in the first 14 minutes of the second half.

"You can't ask to play any better defensively than that,” said Stanczak. "I've give credit to some of our bench players; they came in and really turned the tide."

Mullin scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Pioneer was led by Jibreel Hussein, who finished with 10 points.



John McAdoo scored 18 points for East Lansing (2-0), leading the Trojans to a 30-point win over Huron at the Holiday Hoops Invitational in East Lansing.

More coverage: Boxscore

"We didn't play very well, we played against a great team,” said Huron coach Waleed Samaha. “They moved the ball well against our press and they did a good job defending us."

Offensive inefficiency played a huge role in the loss. Huron scored just two points in the third quarter before Samaha emptied his bench and let the sophomores and freshmen play the final minutes.

"We missed a lot of open shots, and the game got away from us,” said Samaha. "I liked the attitude on the bench at the end of the night, (the upperclassmen) understood the game was out of reach."

Despite the lopsided loss, Samaha thought it was valuable for the younger players to get the experience of playing against a tough opponent and in front of a large crowd.

The River Rats have a chance to rebound Friday when they face Saginaw (4-1) at Ypsilanti High School as part of the Metro Detroit Basketball Coaches Association Christmas Tournament.

"I'm confident that our guys will respond tomorrow night,” Samaha said.

Mike Lewis led the River Rats (2-3) with 14 points and seven rebounds.


Missed opportunities to put the game away cost Ypsilanti as the Phoenix fell on a buzzer beater at the Metro Detroit Basketball Coaches Association Christmas Tournament on their home floor.

More Coverage: Boxscore

"We've got a lot of cleaning up to do,” said Ypsilanti coach Steve Brooks. "You can learn from losses, but you don't have to lose to learn."

With the game tied at 31, Mumford (3-0) attempted a layup as the clock was winding down. The shot missed, but Mumford boxed out and got not one, but two put-back attempts. The second fell as time expired.

“We tell the guys all the time ‘regardless of the height, block him out,’” Brooks said.

Selfish play and a lack of solid decision making hurt the Phoenix down the stretch as they rushed shots early in possessions and allowed Mumford to chip away at the lead.

"When you play a team that deliberate, your mistakes get magnified,” said Brooks.

Ypsilanti (3-3) led 25-18 at the half, but only scored six points the rest of the way. The Phoenix were originally supposed to play Detroit Southeastern. When Southeastern canceled because of a scheduling conflict, Mumford -- who had players there to help run the tournament -- stepped in. And by stepping in, they knocked off host Ypsilanti.

"A lot of the guys want to hear about the accolades about how great they are, and they haven't put it in the work,” said Brooks, adding that correcting work habits needs to come from players, and not just him.

Tristan Simmons scored 10 points for Ypsilanti and Derrick Richardson added six. Despite his team’s 3-3 record, Brooks is confident that his squad will right themselves in time for the playoffs.

“State championships aren’t won in December," he said. "We know that.”



So far this season, the second halves of games have been where Skyline has shined. On Thursday, with the game tied coming out of halftime, the Eagles faltered and couldn’t regain their footing.

More coverage: Boxscore

"We fouled too much and they made all the free throws,” said Skyline coach Keith Wade. "They have to learn that they can't turn in it on in the 3rd and 4th quarters and expect to win."

Milford (1-4) made 15 shots from the line on the night, 12 in the second half. The Eagles (3-5) started the half with numerous turnovers, followed by bad fouls, allowing Milford to take the lead and never look back.

Janea Sims scored a game high 18 points for the Eagles, but once Milford focused in on her, Skyline couldn’t find another scoring option.

"Tried to do some things because they started keying in on Janea, but shot weren't falling,” Wade said. "We weren't getting anything done in the paint and we moved to a perimeter game, which is something we don't like to do."

Claire Slaughter had 11 points in Milford’s first win of the season.

"We were pretty passive and it showed,” Wade said.

Compiled by Matt Durr.