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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Crestwood boys stay in league title chase (PHOTO)
Imran Abduljami had a combined 35 points in Crestwood's wins over Annapolis and Garden City last week. The Chargers' two wins, combined with a Robichaud loss, leaves Crestwood in a position to grab a share of the league title.
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Crestwood rang up three straight victories, including one over crosstown rival Annapolis, to improve to 7-2 in the league.
The Bulldogs absorbed their first loss in division play Friday night at Redford Thurston and will take an 8-1 mark into tomorrow night's home game against the Chargers with first place on the line.
Crestwood got the ball rolling Tuesday night with a 48-26 victory at Redford Union. The locals led 13-7 after the first quarter and gave up only one point in the second for a commanding 22-8 halftime lead that grew to 39-17 after three quarters.
"I wasn't happy with our defense the first time we played Redford Union," said Chargers coach Mike Bright. "We really stressed defensive positioning and intensity and did a great job with that."
Hussein Bazzi led the winners with 13 points. Sohaib Inrahim went 7-for-8 from the line in the second half and scored nine points. Bilal Abduljami had eight points. Sammy Dia and Ricky Rojeski chipped in seven rebounds apiece.
A Feb. 8 battle with Annapolis was rescheduled for Wednesday night due to snow.
Crestwood had won the first meeting and stormed to a sweep of the season series with a 66-53 victory.
The Chargers led 21-13 after the first quarter and took a big lead in the second before the Cougars rallied to get the deficit back to eight at 30-22 when it ended.
"We were in control for the whole game," Bright said, "but we got stuck on 30 for about the last four minutes of the second quarter and Annapolis cut into our lead. We got a little complacent and didn't execute on the offensive end.
"We came out with some defensive intensity and forced some turnovers that led to lay-ups at the beginning of the third quarter and that set the tone for the rest of the game."
Crestwood held a big 50-31 lead by the end of the third quarter and never looked back.
"We did not match their effort," said Annapolis coach Mike Musialowski. "We made a nice little run at the end of the second quarter, but then we came out flat for the second half.
"They started the third quarter with a 7-0 run and we can't afford to let that happen against good teams."
Imran Abduljami had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Chargers. Hussein Hashem scored 13 and picked off four steals. Bazzi also scored 13. Ayman Youssef and Bilal Abduljami twined nine each. Point guard Dee Jawad continued his outstanding play, passing out six assists.
K'Yon Lavant had 11 points and four assists for the Cougars. Nehemiah Graddick had 11 points and five rebounds.
The loss was the second in as many days for Annapolis, which dropped a 72-53 battle with visiting Thurston on Tuesday.
The Eagles led just 13-9 at the end of the first quarter, then blew things open by outscoring the Cougars 22-10 in the second for a 34-19 halftime lead that was never in jeopardy.
"We came out hard, but we had trouble putting the ball in the basket," Musialowski said. "We settled for too many jump shots, while they were able to spread the ball well and attack the rim."
Cody Nickrand had a big night with 23 points and eight rebounds. DeKary Staford chipped in 10 points.
Both teams won on Friday night.
Annapolis snapped the skid with a 72-55 romp at Redford Union.
The visitors piled up a 21-8 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, going up 42-26 at the half and 60-35 after three quarters before cruising to the win.
"It was a true team victory," Musialowski said. "We we were only playing with nine guys due to injuries and every player stepped up to get the win. We got the ball inside early and that helped open up our outside shooting."
Annapolis made a season-high eight 3-pointers on the night. Stafford led the balanced scoring attack with 16 points and also contributed five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Lavant had 14 points and four assists, followed closely by Jacob Butzin with 13 points and four assists. Nickrand scored 12 with eight boards.
The Cougars headed into this week with an overall record of 8-8 and a 4-5 mark in the WWAC Red. They will host Garden City Friday and visit Allen Park Tuesday.
Crestwood hosted Garden City this past Friday and won 68-49.
The first quarter ended in a 12-12 tie, but the Chargers owned the second to the tune of 19-6 for a 31-18 halftime lead. It was 50-28 after three and the locals never looked back.
"We came out a little flat and made some mistakes defensively," Bright said. "We left them with some wide open shots, which they made."
Jawad drilled a half-court shot at the buzzer to end the first quarter to get the momentum rolling.
Imran Abduljami led the way with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Youssef had a big third quarter, scoring eight of his 10 points on the night. Hassan Elatat came off the bench to score eight points. Bazzi also finished with eight.
The Chargers emerged with an overall record of 14-3.
Robichaud seemed poised to run away with the league title until dropping a 65-55 decision at Thurston Friday night.
The Bulldogs trailed 16-12 in the first quarter and were down 28-21 late in the second before cutting the deficit to 28-27 at the half.
The score was close until midway through the fourth quarter when the locals tied the game at 50.
The Eagles outscored them 15-5 the rest of the way for the win.
Lorenzo Bonam had 23 points to lead Robichaud.
The loss came on the heels of last Tuesday night's routine 74-46 romp over visiting Garden City.
The Bulldogs led 20-7 after the first quarter, but the Cougars closed the gap to 31-23 at the half. A 25-7 advantage in the third quarter sent Robichaud off with the easy win.
Robbie Crawford scored 13 points. Bonam and Marshall Burns added 12 each.
The Bulldogs headed into this week with an overall record of 13-3. They will host Dearborn High on Tuesday after tomorrow night's showdown with Crestwood.
Last Updated: 2/19/2013 1:14:23 PM EST