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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Downriver League roundup (PHOTO)

Allen Park closed out its Downriver League season last week with a pair of victories over Woodhaven and Lincoln Park.

On Tuesday, the Jags traveled to Woodhaven and defeated the Warriors 67-54.

The visitors were clicking on all cylinders early and led by as many as 20 points in the first half, but Woodhaven chipped away and cut the deficit to eight points – 37-29 – at the half.

The Warriors would get within three points in the third quarter, but Allen Park weathered the storm and was able to pull away steadily throughout the second half.

“We went cold there for a little while, but once we started handling the pressure, we were able to take control back of the game,” Allen Park Coach Jim Victor said.

Tyler Warga led the Jags with 15 points. Richie Slate had 12 in the win while Damien Bortolussi added eight points off the bench.

Woodhaven’s Donnie Stoddard led all scorers with 17 points.

On Thursday, Allen Park battled Lincoln Park in its DRL finale and outlasted the Railsplitters in a 48-46 thriller.

In a back-and-forth game, Lincoln Park pulled ahead with a seven-point fourth quarter lead, but the Jags fought back in the final four minutes with Richard Gamble knocking down a pull-up jumper with less than two minutes remaining to tie the game 43-43.

With 30 seconds to go, Allen Park’s Trevor Simms made a three-pointer to put the Jags ahead 46-43, but Lincoln Park answered with a Tywan Cage triple to tie the score once again.

Allen Park had the ball out of bounds with 10 seconds remaining and when Richie Slate’s inbounds pass was deflected, the junior recovered the ball, drove into the lane and kicked the ball to a waiting Jake Barann who proceeded to knocked down a 17-footer for the game-winning basket.

“We led by seven in the fourth, but the last five, six minutes was just ugly basketball,” Lincoln Park Coach Todd Tobin said. “Our kids play hard. We’re just going through a tough shooting stretch and we’re having a hard time putting it in the bucket.”

Simms led the Jags with 12 points while Gamble scored 11 and Antonio Reviere added 10.

Lincoln Park’s Michael Tillmon-Cornett had 13 points while Tywan Cage and Lucas Espitia each scored 12 for the Rails.

Allen Park (9-10, 6-7 DRL) hosted Dearborn Heights Annapolis on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, shooting woes continued to plague the Rails in a 62-41 loss to Trenton.

After being outscored 10-4 in the opening quarter, Lincoln Park found its legs offensively in the second and went into the half trailing 23-21.

The Rails led at one point early in the third, but Trenton took control and carried a 38-33 lead into the fourth before outscoring Lincoln Park 24-8 in the final eight minutes.

“Our biggest downfall this year is that we go in spurts where we can’t score,” Tobin said. “Part of it’s defense, part of it’s shot selection and part of it is shooting ability.”

Dan Hall led the Trojans with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jason Zahran had 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, and Jake Smith and Jerry LaBell each scored 11 in the victory.

Cage had 18 points for the Rails and Tillmon-Cornett added 11 in the loss.

Lincoln Park traveled to Melvindale on Tuesday and will host Warren Cousino on Thursday.



Bears go 1-1

Roosevelt ended its league season with a Taylor split last week after losing to Truman and defeating Kennedy.

On Tuesday, the Bears were walloped by eventual league champion Truman on the road 88-58.

Roosevelt remained close in the first quarter and trailed 21-15 after eight minutes, but the Cougars turned it up in the second and carried a 41-23 advantage into the half.

“Give Truman a lot of credit,” Roosevelt Coach Dave Cramton said. “They played very well against us.”

Truman’s Aaron Foster-Smith had a monster performance with 37 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

Robert Whitehorn was also stellar for the Cougars with 20 points, six assists and four steals.

Devan Stewart led the Bears with 17 points while Divon Robinson scored 14 and Damon Singleton added 12.

The Bears rebounded on Thursday with a 54-48 victory over Kennedy.

The score remained close throughout with Roosevelt holding a one-point halftime lead – 31-30 – and a two-point advantage entering the fourth.

“We played much better defensively,” Cramton said.

The Bears keyed on Kennedy’s Andia Marsh, who scored 13 points in the first half. Marsh finished with a game-high 18 points for the Eagles.

Robinson scored 17 points for Roosevelt in the victory while Singleton scored nine and Stewart had eight.

Roosevelt (13-6, 7-6 DRL) will end its regular season schedule on Thursday against Garden City.



Anderson splits

Anderson’s winning streak reached five games last week before ending in a loss to Carlson on Friday.

On Tuesday, the Titans returned home after winning four straight road games to defeat Melvindale 65-47.

A balanced scoring attack and a massive advantage at the free throw line paid dividends for Anderson and the Titans continue to play better and better as districts loom in the coming weeks.

The Cardinals took a 12-6 advantage less than three minutes into the game after knocking down their first four three-point attempts. Anderson took over for the rest of the quarter and outscored the visitors 19-4 over the final five minutes for a 25-16 advantage heading into the second quarter.

Anderson scored the first six points of the second quarter for a 31-16 lead, but Melvindale ended the half on a 12-4 run to climb back within seven points at the break, 35-28.

Anderson’s Trey Harris and Dejon Matthews each had 11 points in the first half. DaiZoun Oliver, Ricky Cripps and Matt Schrzan each knocked down a pair of triples for the Cardinals in the first half for six points each.

The Melvindale offense hit a snag in the third quarter as the Cardinals were held scoreless from beyond the arc and scored only six points overall.

Connor Phee – who scored six in the third – became more aggressive on the boards in the second half and helped push the Anderson lead to 15 entering the final quarter.

Cripps made a pair of early three-pointers in the fourth quarter, but the Titans had an answer for every Cardinal shot and never let their visitors get closer than 13 points.

The Titans held a significant advantage at the free throw line throughout the contest and was able to continually build its lead by getting to the line.

Anderson went 17-for-23 from the line on the night whereas Melvindale made its only two attempts.

“They attacked, attacked, attacked and when you do that, you get rewarded,” Melvindale Coach Ryan Vranesich said. “When we stay on the perimeter and shoot, you’re not going to get to the free throw line.

“That’s the game. They got easier shots than we did and there’s just no way around that. For whatever reason, they had more quality shots and we had to shoot an extremely high percentage from three to be in it and you’re not going to win like that.”

The offensively styles were dramatically different as Melvindale scored 27 of its 47 points from beyond the arc. Anderson did most of its damage slashing to the basket and made only two triples as a team.

“We actually put in a new offense because we our flex wasn’t working against teams that really pressure,” Anderson Coach Dave Pratt said. “The good thing about it is that it allows (Connor) Phee to get the ball in the high post and it leads to a lot of driving lanes and backdoor cuts.”

Matthews led the Titans with 19 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Phee had 16 points and seven rebounds, Harris had 14 and Joe Galetto added seven ponts and six rebounds.

“We’ve got number of guys who are playing really well and any one of them can go off on a given night,” Pratt said. “That’s something that we haven’t had before.”

Cripps led the Cardinals with 12 points and Schrzan added 11 in the loss.

On Friday, the Titans hosted Carlson and fell to the Marauders 49-45.

Carlson led 23-18 at the half, but a solid second quarter effort by the Titans gave them a 36-35 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Marauders recovered and outscored the home team 14-9 over the final eight minutes to secure the victory.

Kaylyn Erwin led the Marauders with 13 points and nine rebounds. Daton Aaron and Larnell Tidwell each scored eight while Jared Henson and Eddie Perry had six apiece.

Matthews led the Titans with 15 points.

On Tuesday, the Marauders defeated Kennedy at home 70-54.

The hosts jumped out to a 15-7 advantage after one quarter and gradually built their lead over the next two quarters for a 56-37 advantage entering the fourth.

Tidwell had one of his best performances of the season with 21 points and 17 rebounds.

Aaron had 12 points, five assists and four steals, Evan Wallace had 10 points and 12 boards and Henson added 10 in the win.

Kennedy’s Andia Marsh led the Eagles with 24 points.

Carlson (14-5, 8-5 DRL) will host Melvindale on Thursday.



Cards top Woodhaven

In a season where wins have been hard to come by, the Melvindale Cardinals ended their week on a high note with a 60-51 victory at Woodhaven on Thursday.

The Cardinal offense had one of its better outputs of the season and played well throughout, holding an eight-to-12 point lead for much of the contest.

After taking a 32-20 lead into the half, the Cardinals held off the game Warriors who fought back to within five at one point in the fourth quarter.

“It’s great to be able to get a victory,” Melvindale Coach Ryan Vranesich said. “It had been a while and the kids are working really hard.

“I enjoy this team. It’s been a long year, obviously, but they are really fun to work with and they show a lot of character.”

KleSean Clark had 21 points for the winners. Malik Boynton (12 points) and DaiZoun Oliver (11) joined him in double-figures.

Woodhaven’s Donnie Stoddard led all scorers with 24 points.

Melvindale hosted Lincoln Park on Tuesday and will travel to Carlson on Thursday to wrap up the regular season.

Last Updated: 2/26/2013 2:14:49 PM EST

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