Ypsilanti opens four-day basketball tournament in its gym with win over Westland John Glenn
Over the next four days, teams from across the state and beyond will play showcase games on the Ypsilanti High School basketball court.
The host Phoenix kicked things off Tuesday afternoon, opening the 19-game Metro Detroit Basketball Coaches Association Christmas Tournament with a 49-35 win over Westland John Glenn.
Tristan Simmons scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as the Phoenix (3-2) overcame a sluggish start that ended with the teams tied 16-16 at halftime.
A 1 p.m. tipoff following a short holiday break was a bad combination for both teams, said Ypsilanti coach Steve Brooks.
"It was just really lethargic," Brooks said of the early part of the game, which featured three ties and six lead changes among the 10 combined field goals. "It was an early start -- we don't even practice until 2:30."
Simmons helped pick up the pace of the game in the second half, however. His jumper with 6:32 left in the third quarter gave Ypsilanti a 20-19 lead -- the final lead change of the game.
His 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third quarter put Ypsilanti ahead 33-24 and a three-point play by Lavonte Davis early in the fourth quarter stretched the Phoenix's advantage to 12 points, the largest of the game to that point. Davis finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
John Glenn made a fourth-quarter run, something the Phoenix weren't able to handle just five days ago when Saginaw High wiped out a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes of a 45-44 win.
The Rockets' 9-2 run cut the lead to 38-33, but a three-point play on an offensive putback by Derrick Richardson -- his only points of the night -- turned the momentum back in Ypsilanti's favor. The Phoenix outscored John Glenn 11-2 over the final three minutes.
While Brooks was pleased to see his team respond to the late John Glenn rally, he wasn't so happy about the mistakes his team made to get themselves into the position in the first place.
"You're still supposed to say, 'Let's take care of the ball,'" Brooks said. "We don't mind a team making a run at us if it's a run, if they're making plays. But don't help them make the run."
Nick Daniels scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in first quarter for John Glenn.
Metro Detroit Basketball Coaches Association Christmas Tournament
All games at Ypsilanti High School
1 p.m. - Ypsilanti vs. Westland John Glenn
2:30 p.m. - Detroit Finney vs. Windsor Forster
4 p.m. - Saginaw Arthur Hill vs. Detroit Southeastern
5:30 p.m. - Huron vs. River Rouge
1 p.m. - Mattawan vs. Detroit Finney
2:30 p.m. - Detroit Kettering vs. Windsor Forster
4 p.m. - Detroit Crockett vs. Milwaukee Morse Marshall
5:30 p.m. - Chandler Park Academy vs. Detroit Consortium
7 p.m. - Detroit Community vs. Dearborn Heights Robichaud
1 p.m. - Taylor Truman vs. Detroit Western
2:30 p.m. - Detroit Northwestern vs. Milwaukee Morse Marshall
4 p.m. - Saginaw vs. Detroit Denby
5:30 p.m. - Detroit Henry Ford vs. Ecorse
7 p.m. - Ypsilanti vs. Detroit CMA
1 p.m. - Westland John Glenn vs. Grosse Pointe South
2:30 p.m. - Flint Northwestern vs. Detroit Osborn
4 p.m. - Detroit Mumford vs. Saginaw Buena Vista
5:30 p.m. - Detroit Community vs. Milwaukee Young Groggs Prep
7 p.m. - Huron vs. Saginaw