Southfield Christianís Lindsey Hunter IV (11) drives to the basket for two points as Auburn Hills Oakland Christianís Eric Unger (5) defends during the first quarter of the game played on Friday Jan. 31, 2014 at Oakland Christian High School. Southfield Christian won the game 66-47. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Basketball - Boys
BOYS BASKETBALL: Southfield Christian too much for Oakland Christian WITH TOUT VIDEOS
Damarco White (32) of Southfield Christian blocks the shot attempt of Auburn Hills Oakland Christianís DJ Stevens (11) during the second quarter of the game played on Friday Jan. 31, 2014 at Oakland Christian High School. The Eagles beat the Lancers 66-47. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Southfield Christianís Kameron Garner (25) saves the ball on the baseline as Auburn Hills Oakland Christianís Drew Losee (23) defends during the third quarter of the game played on Friday Jan. 31, 2014 at Oakland Christian High School. Southfield Christian won the game 66-47. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Auburn Hills Oakland Christianís Stephen Nichols (33) blocks the shot of Southfield Christianís Kasan Belgrave (2) as SCís Brock Washington (15) looks on during the third quarter of the game played on Friday Jan. 31, 2014 at Oakland Christian High School. The Lancers lost to the Eagles 66-47. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
AUBURN HILLS - The Southfield Christian boys basketball team entered Friday's contest at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian knowing if it didn't play focused basketball, it would be in for a big challenge.
Fortunately for the Eagles, they continued to take care of their business and stayed unbeaten for the month of January as they pulled away from Oakland Christian, 66-47. Friday.
Oakland Christian was coming off a big win against one of the MIAC's top teams in Allen Park Inter-City Baptist earlier this week, and could have tied the Eagles for first place in the division with a win, but the Eagles used their athleticism and pressure to pull away in the second half.
"We knew that they were a very good team," Southfield Christian coach Clennie Brundidge said. "We struggled with them at our home, and we knew they would come to fight, especially on a high after upsetting one of the top teams in our conference, so we had to be ready to play. ... Our kids came out focused."
The two-time defending Class D state champion Southfield Christian (11-1, 7-0) came in having not lost since December, and has handled every team in its path since.
Oakland Christian (8-2, 4-2) had only one blemish heading into Friday and that was their loss to the Eagles back in December, and looked to even the score after receiving a balanced effort in the win against Inter-City Baptist.
The Lancers didn't shoot well enough and eventually the Eagles' pressure defense forced turnovers and some easy buckets and made life difficult offensively for Oakland Christian.
The Lancers scored the first four points of the game, and after falling behind 10-6, went on a 9-1 run to finish the opening quarter and looked in good position with a 15-11 lead.
A three-pointer from the Lancers' Javarian Smith made it 18-11 to open the second quarter, but Southfield Christian responded by forcing turnovers and getting better looks offensively.
"We go about 12 deep and what we try to tell the kids is to maintain focus and stay in our defense," Brundidge said. "Pressure against most teams will be able to wear them down, and I think that's what happened to them."
Kasan Belgrave scored the Eagles' first five points of the second quarter to cut the deficit to one, and then a steal and bucket by Eugene Brown gave the Eagles a lead.
The Lancers, who responded well to Southfield Christian early, counter-punched with a John Van Noord triple, but Southfield Christian settled into its offense and pulled away to take a seven-point lead at halftime.
The Eagles further distanced themselves with a 9-0 run early in the second half to build a 15-point lead and stayed in front by double digits the rest of the way.
The Lancers continued to fight as they scored nine in a row in the fourth quarter to cut a 23-point lead to 14, but couldn't make enough shots early to answer the Eagles.
"We didn't shoot like we normally do," Oakland Christian coach Dennis Hopkins said. "We had some good looks, we had some good rotations at times, but the balls were off."
Lindsey Hunter IV tripled to begin Southfield Christian's scoring in the third quarter before Damarco White and Brown earned some contributions during the Eagles' run.
Smith scored 13 to lead Oakland Christian, while Brown scored 11 and Brock Washington and Kameron Garner each chipped in 10 to lead a balanced Southfield Christian attack.
Both teams will be busy as they continue league play. Southfield Christian, which secured a big win in the overall league picture, plays Birmingham Roeper Saturday, while Oakland Christian takes on Novi Franklin Road Christian Monday.
The Lancers will play three games next week as they prepare for the state tournament down the road.
"I think we're fine, we just hit a little bump in the road," Hopkins said. "You've got to turn it around pretty quick. ‚Ä¶ We'll try and regroup."
SOUTHFIELD CHRISTIAN 66, AUBURN HILLS OAKLAND CHRISTIAN 47
SOUTHFIELD CHRISTIAN - Kasan Belgrave 2 (1) 2-2 9; Eugene Brown 4 3-3 11; Lindsey Huner IV 3 (1) 9; Jalen Bouldes 1 1-2 3; Brock Washington 3 (1) 2-2 11; Richard Feagin 1 (1) 1-2 6; Kameron Garner 4 2-3 10 Damarco White 4 8
OAKLAND CHRISTIAN - John Van Noord 1 (1) 5; Eric Unger 2 (1) 1-2 8; DJ Stevens 1 1-2 3; Drew Losee 2 (1) 3-3 10; Javarian Smith 2 (3) 13; Chase Sumner 4 8
SCORE BY QUARTER
SC 15 19 15 17 - 66
OC 11 16 9 11 - 47
RECORDS - Southfield Christian 11-1, 7-0 MIAC; Oakland Christian 8-2, 4-2