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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Grosse Ile opens league play with win over Riverview (PHOTO)

Grosse Ile's Will Sassack had 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the Red Devils' league-opening win over Riverview on Tuesday.

The Huron League season kicked off with a rivalry game for a pair of local schools as Grosse Ile traveled to Riverview and defeated the Bucs 60-39 Tuesday night.

Grosse Ile held a lead around 10 points for most of the game before pulling away late with a strong rebounding effort that led to transition baskets.

Riverview remained within 10 points, 40-30, late in the third quarter before Grosse Ile turned to its transition game.

“We had a little stretch there on offense where we got a little three-happy,” Grosse Ile Coach Brian Friel said. “For us, we got to move the ball more and move it inside and then move it out rather than just passing it around the perimeter.”

“In the third quarter, I called a timeout and calmed them down and I think that’s when we started moving it better.”

The Red Devils scored the final four points of the third quarter and opened the fourth quarter on a tear to pull away with an 18-3 run for a 58-33 advantage midway through the fourth.

“They definitely got out in transition,” Riverview Coach Sam Lamb said. “They’re a really tough team and the play together really well.”

“When they start rebounding that well, they really get out and start running. In the second half, we really let them get out in transition.”

Friel was pleased with his team’s tenacity on the glass and the resulting transition opportunities it created.

“Rebounding-wise, I thought we played great,” Friel said. “We get rebounds and sometimes we can get one pass to get a layup.”

“We want to get out and run and I think we are getting better at it every day. It starts with our rebounding and as long as we rebound first, we should be pretty good.”

A Danny McCarty jumper with less than five seconds remaining in the first quarter gave Grosse Ile a 19-10 lead, but Riverview’s Khalil Neal nailed a Hail Mary from three-quarters court at the buzzer for a 19-13 score after eight minutes.

The Red Devils built an 11-point lead which they held for much of the second quarter, but the Bucs chipped away to trail by only eight, 30-22, at the half.

McCarty led the Red Devils with 14 points. Ross had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Will Sassack had 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists and London added 10 points, 11 boards and four assists.

The Bucs have improved mightily in the turnover department, but went cold at times and could not keep up with the up-tempo Devils in the fourth quarter.

“We had a lot of good open looks, but we missed a lot of shots,” Lamb said. “We only had 14 turnovers, four in the first half, but we have to shoot better.”

Neal had a solid all-around effort for the Bucs with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.

“(Khalil)’s at his best when he’s patient and picks his spots,” Lamb said. “He’s a creator. If he’s a facilitator, we’re a much better team.”

Jon Houdek knocked down three triples for nine points and Todd Kissel had seven rebounds in the loss.

Grosse Ile (4-2, 1-0 Huron League will travel to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central on Friday while Riverview (0-6, 0-1 Huron League) hosts Carleton Airport.

Last Updated: 1/8/2013 10:12:03 PM EST

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