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BOYS BASKETBALL: Stoney Creek cruises past Rochester in early season rivalry matchup

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ROCHESTER – The atmosphere at Stoney Creek High School felt like a district playoff game in November, despite it being the second game for both Stoney Creek and Rochester High School. The level of aggression on defense and excellent shooting provided comfort for the Cougars as they defeated the Falcons, 55-34.

“Anytime you play a cross-town rival, it’s always great to come out with a W,” Stoney Creek head coach Steve Norgrove said. “We knew it was going to be a hard fought game and we tired to make it an up-tempo game. We got into foul trouble in the first half and we had to sit back, just let it take care of itself so we could get back into it in the second half.”

Stoney Creek was able to get a fast lead, going up 14-4 at the end of the 1st quarter. Charlie Carson led the Cougars in the 1st quarter with 7 points. Stoney Creek never lost their lead throughout the game, as they were consistently able to get the Falcons into foul trouble. The Cougars shot 19-28 from the free throw line.

“We tired to spread them out which created some driving lanes for us,” Norgrove said. “It made them pick whether to go after the ball or get to our shooters. They got to the ball which gave us some opportunities for free throws.

“We did an excellent job moving the ball up the floor,” Norgrove added. “It made [Rochester] pressure us full when they were getting desperate. It allowed us to get run-out baskets and get the free throws off of those.”

Carson led the Cougars with 20 points and 1 rebound, six points coming from the three point line. Carson’s two 3-pointers were a third of which the Cougars made throughout the night. Junior Eric Gilgenbach made three 3-pointers to add to his 13-point night.

Stoney Creek also forced 11 steals in the night against the Falcons. Poor ball handling from Rochester and the physical style defense from the Cougars were problematic for Rochester head coach John Pleasant and his team.

“We have good kids who take pride in the way they play,” Norgrove said. “I’m really proud of their effort because it’s tough in an atmosphere like this and we had a great crowd cheering us on which makes a huge difference for our effort.”

Rochester was 10-20 from the free throw line, as well as shooting only eight field goals. Senior forward Michael Murri led the Falcons with twelve points, followed by Junior Anthony Williams with seven points and Senior Jason Lee with six points.

“Every time you turn the ball over, you don’t get a shot,” Pleasant said. “Our sloppiness with the ball caused us to turn it over too many times. I thought it was a big part of the game. I’d like to make more shots but our guys don’t miss intentionally. I don’t get mad at that, I get mad at effort. I talk about control. We control our effort; we control our box-out.”

The loss tonight is Rochester’s second straight loss of the season, after coming off of a 57-26 loss against Utica Eisenhower. They will take on Avondale and Bloomfield Hills next week.

“Bloomfield is a top-10 team in the state,” Pleasant said. “Avondale gets up and down the court well and presses hard. We’ll work on controlling the ball to improve, but we’re young so there’s going to be some growing pains. We’ll stay positive and see what happens next.”

As for the Cougars, they are riding a two game winning streak after two convincing victories over the Falcons and Utica High School, 69-40. They will take part in another cross-town rival game against Rochester Adams next Tuesday, who is coming off of a 59-56 loss against Utica Eisenhower.

“We are in a city-champ type atmosphere right now,” Norgrove said. “Adams is a very good team and it’s going to take everything we have to play with them. But I like our guys’ confidence and we’ll see what happens. We have to bring the effort and make sure we play team basketball as opposed to individual basketball.“

Last Updated: 12/14/2013 5:28:01 PM EST

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