Walled Lake Western HS's Page Walled Lake Central HS's Page All Basketball - Boys Stories

Basketball - Boys

BOYS BASKETBALL: Late basket from Nafso helps WL Central outlast rival WL Western WITH TOUT VIDEOS

COMMERCE – With Walled Lake Central finding itself in a position to control its own destiny in the KLAA North, the Vikings needed some late magic to keep things that way as they played host to rival Walled Lake Western on Saturday afternoon.

With less than 45 seconds to play on Saturday, Central found a little bit of magic as the Vikings forced a loose ball after two Phil Nelson free throws, where Justin Nafso came away with the ball and quickly recorded a basket to give his team a one-point lead and Nafso later knocked down three free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal a 56-54 win over their rivals on the day Central inducted its first ever Hall Of Fame class.

“I knew my team was going to make a play,” Nafso said. “So I just knew I had to help my team out on a big court, in a big game like this against Western and I was just fortunate to make the basket and we were able to come away with the win.”

Knowing his team needed a stop to get the ball back after the two free throws from Nelson, Central head coach Chuck Spolsky used a timeout to set up his team’s defense to try and force a turnover and added that his team was able to put the pressure on Western a little more when star forward Marcus Bailey fouled out of the game with over a minute left in the game.

“We called timeout because we needed to make something happen,” he said. “We couldn’t let them just stall the clock. I’d rather make something happen on our end and get a turnover, but we pressured the ball and with Bailey out, I knew we could pressure them a little bit more, because he was a man tonight and he was a tough matchup, tough guard for us and when he fouled out, I thought we could pressure a little bit. We designed it to trap the basketball, take away reversals and take some chances.”

Nafso led the way for Central with a game-high 21 points, while Nelso chipped in with 15 more and Walter Kelser added in 11 more in the win for the Vikings (11-2 overall, 5-2 KLAA North)

With Western trailing 45-43, the Warriors took the lead back and pushed it to five points with six minutes left to play when Bailey notched a basket while drawing a foul and John Flowers and D.J. Young each recorded a basket of their own to put their team on top, 50-45.

Jerald Booker scored 16 points to lead the way for Western, while Flowers added in 13 points and Bailey chipped in with 10 more for the Warriors (8-6 overall, 4-4 KLAA North).

But Central rallied to cut the deficit down to one after a basket from Nelson and a free throw each from Kelser and Adetokunbo Ogundji and the two free throws from Nelson to set up the basket by Nafso late in the game.

“The whole game was an emotional swing,” he said. “You just try to keep an even keel and hopefully the kids get back and forget about it. Every time, we just say it’s about the next play and I think we did that a lot this game. We had it and then they came back and we just had to worry about the next play and that’s something we really stress if we make a mistake. We just kept fighting and this team just fights, they love playing together and they’re just having some fun right now.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Central next week as the Vikings will face rival Walled Lake Northern on Tuesday and then will face North division leader Waterford Kettering with an opportunity to pull themselves even with the Captains in the division with a win.

Nafso said that the win over Western is a big one for the Vikings to top their rivals, but more importantly, it keeps Central in the mix for the division title, but added that he and his teammates need to focus on their game against Northern on Tuesday first.

“It’s huge, every game from now on is huge,” he said. “Especially against Western, one of our biggest rivals to win a game like this and to keep competing for a division championship is huge, so we’re going to go work for our next game and hopefully we can get the win.”

Last Updated: 2/2/2014 3:10:37 AM EST

blog comments powered by Disqus

Promotions & Specials

See All