Ypsilanti senior Aaerion Allen has career night as Phoenix beat Chelsea, 55-44
Ypsilanti’s Aaerion Allen drained his first two shots from behind the 3-point arc to give the Phoenix boys basketball team an early 6-1 lead over Chelsea on Tuesday.
It was crystal clear at that point that the senior swing man would be counted on to fill the scoring gap left by the absence of Derrick Richardson, who has been out with the flu for a week.
How bad it would be needed, however, was not yet apparent.
Halfway through the third quarter, Allen hadn’t just filled the gap left by Richardson’s absence, but by the rest of his team’s lack of offensive production. Allen was one of just three Ypsilanti players to have scored and had 22 points as the Phoenix trailed 31-28 with four minutes left in the game.
“It was real important,” Ypsilanti coach Steve Brooks said of Allen’s career-high 24 points, also a game-high. “This is a kid in his last week of basketball -- he’s one of our few seniors -- so it was big for him to get going and for him to get it going in the locker room and show some leadership.
"He’s had to be our third scorer, but we needed him tonight. What I liked about it was he mixed it up, doing inside and out, and was understanding his length, because he had seven or eight deflections on defense, too.”
The rest of the Ypsilanti team got out of its offensive funk in the final quarter-and-half and went on to win 55-44.