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BOYS BASKETBALL: Maturing Bronchos garner big road win at Swartz Creek

Holly's Kyle Woodruff fires a jump shot in his team's 99-88 win over Swartz Creek Friday night. (For The Oakland Press/DALE SMITH)

SWARTZ CREEK - The Swartz Creek Dragons always are a threat in boys’ basketball in the Flint Metro League. When they play at home, they are even more difficult to beat in the “down sized” and “old” Dragon gym. But, the young Holly Bronchos were more than up to the challenge as they held off a strong Swartz Creek second half surge to haul down a 99-88 win Friday night.

The Bronchos cruised to a blowout 48 points win Tuesday night at Flint Kearsley. In their second game of the young season they took some hard punches to the jaw but gave no quarter. Impressive, when you consider that Holly has always found a talented and determined home team when visiting the lair of the Dragon. But behind huge nights from Kyle Woodrull, Josh Sims and Jake Daniels, the Bronchos were both poised and prepared. It paid off.

Creek appeared to be in early foul trouble, picking up six quick fouls in the first quarter. Holly then quickly followed suit, but it hurt more as the Woodruff, Daniels and six foot eight center Logan Spiker each took early breathers with two fouls each. Holly also suffered from a failure to box out on the offensive board allowing Creek to keep it close and never let the Bronchos pull off anything close to a repeat performance from Tuesday.

Holly led 48-37 at the break, but didn’t start particularly well in the second half as the Dragons twice cut the Holly margin to only five points. But, they could get no closer as the underclassman dominated Bronchos answered every run.

“I am very happy ,” said Bronchos’ coach Lance Baylis. “We went wire to wire on the road.”

While Woodruff recovered from his first half “siesta” to lead the Broncho attack with a game high 29 points, Holly’s Josh Sims came off the bench to drop in 24 big points. He often did so with a pretty move to the basket for two points right after the Dragons had cut into the Holly lead with a long three-pointer or timely inside move by one of its several talented players of its own.

Sims declined to take much credit for the victory, instead deferring to his teammates as being the primary movers in orchestrating the tough road win.

“It wasn’t easy, but we had to do it,” Sims said.

When Holly entered the break with a 48-37 lead, Daniels, Sims and

Woodruff account for 39 of those points, with Woodruff leading the way with 15 with Daniels and Sims adding 13 and 11 respectively. Although fouling out very early in the fourth quarter, Daniels had 21 points to go with six steals.

Offense can win a game like this, but rebounding and defense can assure it. Enter, Isaac Casillas. Two years ago, the six foot guard was a sensation for Holly fans. Nicknamed the “Iceman” for his cold blooded, game ending outside shooting, Casillas let others carry the offensive load but led Holly with 11 rebounds.

“Whatever my teammates need from me,” said Casillas. “It was a big game and we had to come out with the win.” Particularly impressive was the fact that Casillas used impressive strength in wrestling away several hotly contested rebounds from the Creek players.

Woodruff acknowledged that Swartz Creek with its old gym and boisterous fans was a tough place to play. Despite that, he scored 18 of his 29 points from behind the arc. “My teammates just ran screens for me,” he said. “The [small Dragon] gym bothered him more last year, but no so much this year.” Understated, yes indeed.

Creek senior Marquavian Stevens had a big game and led the Dragons with 25 points. Kelvin Weston followed with 15 points.

For Holly, Spiker had eight points. Junior Parker Rowse had seven and sophomore Adam Tooley had six.

Holly plays its only home game of 2013 by hosting the Lapeer East Eagles on Tuesday at the Horseshoe.

Last Updated: 12/14/2013 4:59:49 PM EST

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