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BOYS BASKETBALL: Chippewa Valley defeats Dakota TOUT VIDEO

Big Reds stay in MAC Red race

Chippewa Valley's Trey Moore (10) sails to the basket against Dakota during the first half of Monday's MAC Red game. (The Macomb Daily/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)

Chippewa Valley's Sean Bunting drives to the basket against Dakota. (The Macomb Daily/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)

Dakota's coach Paul Tocco tries to get his point across during Monday's game against Chippewa Valley. (The Macomb Daily/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)

Dakota's Dan Crawford tries stopping Chippewa Valley's Kenneth Gwinn inside. (The Macomb Daily/RAY. J. SKOWRONEK)

Chippewa Valley defeated league co-leader Dakota, 54-50, Monday night in boys basketball, sending a signal to rivals, as well themselves, that the Big Reds are still to be reckoned with in the MAC Red Division.

The Big Reds (3-3 Red, 5-6 overall) were led by senior guard DeVonne Brooks, with 18 points and nine rebounds, and sophomore Steve Lloyd, with 15 points. Sean Bunting had a strong game, scoring four, with seven rebounds and six assists. Kenneth Gwinn scored nine and blocked four shots.

Dakota (4-2, 8-3) was led by Brian Orr (14 points) and Chris Marshall (13). D.J. Lazarus added seven.

The win keeps Chippewa within striking distance of first place in the MAC Red.

Chippewa Valley coach Kevin Voss also hopes the victory sends a signal to his team that they are legitimate contenders.

“I’m hoping this win gives us confidence that we truly understand we have a good basketball team,” Voss said.” We’ve proven that we can compete with everybody. We’ve just not finished games and had some bad breaks. But maybe we’ll get on a role here and start playing consistently better, night in and night out.”

In a closely-fought game, Brooks was the differentiating factor. But not without some teaching moments.

After helping stake Chippewa Valley to a 19-14 lead midway through the second quarter, the senior guard made a play that prompted Voss to substitute for him.

Voss says he removed Brooks not as a punishment, but to remind him about style of play.

“DeVonne had been penetrating, but not passing,” Voss said. “I took him out of the game to say, hey, do our stuff, and the other stuff will happen.”

“There’s a way that we play basketball. It’s called Chippewa basketball,” Voss said. “We haven’t played Chippewa basketball consistently this year. Tonight, we made strides to become that type of team, one that makes the effort defensively and takes care of the ball.”

The lesson hit home.

The substitution only lasted a moment, and when Brooks returned, he promptly grabbed two loose ball rebounds and hit a 3-pointer basket that stretched the Big Red lead to 22-14.

The fourth quarter belonged to Brooks. He scored in a drive early in the quarter. After Dakota, behind an Orr triple, closed to within four, the Chippewa Valley guard scored five points on two Big Reds’ possessions to stretch the lead to 52-43.

Dakota fought back, behind a triple and then an underhand scoop layup by Lazarus, but could not close the gap.

The win drops Dakota out of a three-way tie with Romeo and Eisenhower for first place in the MAC Red.

Dakota coach Paul Tocco was disappointed with his team’s effort.

“They played harder than us, they out rebounded us,” Tocco said. “I’m disappointed with our defensive rebounding. They got a ton of second shots. They played hard than us.”

Chippewa Valley outrebounded Dakota, 44-25.

“You can’t give up that many second shots and win a game against a good team.

The Cougars play at Romeo Tuesday night. The Big Reds host East Detroit.

Dakota 11 11 10 18 – 50

CV 11 14 13 16 – 54

DAKOTA (4-2, 8-3): Vladi Stojanovski 6, Chris Marshall 13, D.J. Lazarus 7, Brian Orr 14, Dan Crawford 4, John Hall 6. Totals: 21 (5) 3-8:

CV (3-3, 5-6): Sean Bunting 4, DeVonne Brooks 18, Trey Moore 6, Neiko Arapaj 2, Steven Lloyd 15, Kenneth Gwinn 9, Totals: 21 (4) 8-16: 54

Last Updated: 2/3/2014 11:45:28 PM EST

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