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Posted on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti boys shut the door on Skyline to earn sixth straight win, 57-45

By Kyle Austin

On a night when shots weren’t falling on the offensive end, Ypsilanti turned to its defense to close out a tight game.

After Skyline’s Akeme Okonkwo hit a 3-pointer with three minutes, 45 seconds left to make it a two-point game, Ypsilanti allowed only two more baskets the rest of the way as it pulled away in a 57-45 win Tuesday night at Skyline High School. Though both teams are members of the Southeastern Conference, Tuesday night was not a league contest. The two do not face each other in cross-divisional play.

“We just kind of got down really to business defensively,” Phoenix coach Steve Brooks said. “We came up with some big stops.”

More Coverage: Boxscore | Tuesday boys basketball roundup

The Phoenix, meanwhile, went 9-of-11 from the line, part of an 11-2 run in the closing minutes to secure the win.

The win is Ypsilanti’s sixth straight, as it moves to 6-1 (2-0) on the year. In its last four wins, the Phoenix has held its opponents to less than 40 points on average.

“We pride ourselves in guarding,” Brooks said. “We just pride ourselves in getting stops, and we got big stops.”

Three Ypsilanti players finished in double figures, led by Janeau Joubert with 14. Jaylen Johnson had 12 points and Corey Allen had 10. LaVonte Davis finished with nine points and 11 boards.

In the span of five days, Skyline (2-5) had a chance to knock off two teams both receiving votes in the Associated Press Class A basketball poll and that are a combined 13-1 on the season.

Friday, the Eagles led Temperance Bedford by three in the final minute, but gave up a 3-pointer and fell in overtime.

Tuesday, Skyline fell behind by double digits in the first half, but clawed back to tie the game 32-32 with 3:03 left in the third quarter before stumbling late.

“We need the killer instinct,” Skyline coach Mike Lovelace said. “Everything’s right there...Somebody’s going to have to step up. “

Okonkwo came off the bench to lead Skyline with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Travonn Banks finished with 10. As a team, the Eagles hit eight 3-pointers.

After back-to-back close losses to some of the best teams in the state, Skyline stands at 2-5 on the season. But Lovelace said he still likes the direction his team is heading, one he hopes will eventually lead to wins in games like Friday’s and Tuesday’s.

“We’d like to think we can get there, it’s just slower than we anticipated,” Lovelace said.

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.


Courtney Sacco

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

Thank you


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Great photos.