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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Downriver and Huron League roundups (PHOTO)

Anthony Wartley-Fritz and the defending Downriver League champion Truman Cougars beat Lincoln Park in the league opener for each team Friday. Photo by Larry Caruso

Truman kicked off its Downriver League basketball title defense last Friday night with a 71-58 win against Lincoln Park. The next afternoon, the Cougars beat Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 54-49 at the West Bloomfield Basketball Showcase.

Against the visiting Railsplitters, the Cougars’ Aaron Foster-Smith led all scorers with 26 points, while Devain Newbill scored 18 and Anthony Wartely-Fritz finished with eight. For Lincoln Park, Tywan Cage led his team with 22 points, Joe Decoster netted 11 and Kenneth Wright had nine.

The host Cougars grabbed an 18-10 lead in the first quarter, with 14 points coming from Foster-Smith.

At the half, Truman was up 37-24, but the Rails had pulled to within a point earlier and made it a 21-20 game with about four minutes left in the second quarter.

After three quarters, Lincoln Park was still within striking distance, down 48-34 heading into the final eight minutes.

Eleven fourth-quarter points from Cage, along with 13 missed free throws by Truman, allowed the Rails to cut the lead to single digits late in the fourth, but the Cougars clamped down enough to come away with the 71-58 victory.

“It wasn’t a very good night for us, said Truman Coach Chuck Suttles. “We’re fortunate that we got the win still, we’re happy with that, but give Lincoln Park credit, they came over here and played some basketball tonight and they outplayed us.”

For the Rails, the loss came on the heels of a 56-33 defeat two nights earlier against Novi Catholic Central. In that contest, Cage led Lincoln Park with 12 points. Yesterday the Rails hosted Woodhaven and tomorrow night will welcome in Melvindale.

In the Cougars’ battle with St. Mary’s on Saturday, Foster-Smith led the way again with 21 points, while KenDarius Slaughter added 12 and both Newbill and Garret Adkins each had six.

After one quarter, Truman was down 12-8 to the Eaglets, but a second-quarter surge had the locals up 31-18 at the half.

St. Mary’s dominated the third quarter and outscored the Cougars 20-7, which led to a 38-38 tie.

With about three minutes left in the game Foster-Smith got the ball under the basket and promptly buried a slam dunk. He was also fouled on the way up and converted at the free throw line for the three-point play.

Suttles said Foster-Smith’s dunk energized his squad and ultimately helped them hang on for the victory.

Truman was in action again yesterday, at home against Allen Park, and tomorrow the team travels to Woodhaven.



Kennedy

Kennedy opened its 2013-14 season with a 62-59 win on Dec. 9 against Novi Catholic Central and an 86-59 victory at Woodhaven last Friday.

In the nonleague battle with the Shamrocks, Andia Marsh led the way with 17 points, while Kareth O’Neal scored 14 and Anton Hogan had 10.

For the Eagles, the key to victory was a big second half, as they outscored CC 23-7 in the third quarter and were able to hold off a rally in the fourth quarter.

The contest with Woodhaven was also led by Marsh, who had 19 points. Verteaz Tillman scored 17 for Kennedy and Anton Hogan had 10. For the Warriors, Rashod Johnson had 14 points and Marrell Pulley scored 11.

Through much of the third quarter, Woodhaven was able to keep things and was only down by eight to 10 points most of the way.

Toward the end of the third quarter and into the fourth the Eagles dominated and ultimately pulled away for the big victory.

Last night Kennedy took on Melvindale on the road and tomorrow will travel to Carlson.

Before taking on the Eagles, Woodhaven traveled to Bedford Tuesday night and was defeated 72-40 to open its season. Pulley led his team with 14 points and Kortez Turner had nine.

Last night the Warriors took on Lincoln Park, on the road, and tomorrow will welcome in Truman.



Allen Park

In three games last week, Allen Park came away with two close victories and a defeat.

The Jaguars opened their season with a 53-50 overtime win at Divine Child on Dec. 10, then beat Anderson 43-41 last Thursday at home and the following night were dropped 62-40 at Inter-City.

With 15 points each, Antonio Reviere and Richie Slate led the way against Divine Child in what was a comeback effort.

Heading into the final quarter, Allen Park was down 38-31, but a trio of three pointers from Danny Monear sparked the comeback and with less than a minute to go, Slate hit a three to tie the game.

In the league battle against the Titans, Adam McJunkin led the Jags with 10 points and Reviere had nine. Dejon Matthews scored 22 points for the Titans and Connor Phee finished with nine.

Allen Park led nearly the entire night, and was up by 12 early in the fourth quarter, but a late run by Anderson made things interesting at the end.

The Jags were held scoreless for five minutes in the final quarter and during that time the Titans got five points from Matthews, four from Phee and two from Richard Hodnicki.

Richard Gamble finally got the Jags on the board again and was followed by one point from Slate, making it a 43-39 game with less than 1:30 on the clock.

With just 10 seconds to go, Matthews hit an easy layup and got the Titans back to within two.

On the ensuing inbound pass, Allen Park lost control of the ball and the officials gave possession to the Titans, but they couldn’t cash in.

With 1.5 seconds Slate lined up for the Allen Park free throw and missed. Phee grabbed the rebound and in desperation heaved the ball down court. Unfortunately for the Titans it bounced off the ceiling and the attempt at a comeback officially fell short.

Allen Park Coach Jim Victor was pleased to see his squad hold off the late rally and hang on for the win.

“We kept our composure as best as we could,” he said. “It’s a good early-season test for us. I was happy with how they responded and we made plays when we needed to.”

The next night, however, the Jags lost their composure at times in the 22-point loss to crosstown rival Inter-City.

The Chargers led by 15 points after the first quarter and at the half they were up 34-16.

A frustrated Jags squad was hit with two second-half technical fouls and a pair of fouls on Inter-City three-point shots.

In the final quarter, the Chargers led by as many as 29 points before wrapping up the victory.

McJunkin led Allen Park with 12 points and Inter-City’s Evan Kraatz led all scorers with 17.

Last night the Jags traveled to Truman and Friday night will welcome in Roosevelt.

Two nights before losing to Allen Park, Anderson opened its season with a 57-56 win at Saline.

After the first quarter, the Titans were up 20-13, but at the half the Hornets had cut their deficit 28-26 and after three led 44-38.

In the fourth quarter, Anderson trailed by as many as eight points before mounting a comeback.

The Titans grabbed a two-point lead inside the final minute, but a steal and a quick basket from Saline tied the game. With only 0.5 seconds left, Anderson’s Joe Galetto was fouled on a tip-in and hit the free throw to put his team up 57-56, which would be the final.

Phee led Anderson with 17 points, including a trio of three pointers, and Matthews finished with 14.

Last night the Titans hosted Roosevelt and tomorrow they travel to Trenton.



Melvindale

Last Thursday Melvindale welcomed in Trenton and knocked off the Trojans 66-40 in what was the season opener for the Cardinals.

Malik Boynton led Melvindale with 15 points, while Wissam Saeed had 11 and Ricky Cripps finished with 10. Jerry LaBell was tops for Trenton with eight points and Matt Smellie had four.

In the first half the Cardinals completely dominated and were up 22-5 at one point of the second quarter, but Trenton was able to cut the deficit to 29-17 by the half.

After three quarters, Melvindale was up 47-26 and ultimately played to the 66-40 league victory.

Cards’ Coach Mac Horvath said that despite the lopsided score, the Trojans put up a strong effort against his team.

“We shot the ball pretty well, which we had to do, because Trenton did a real good job of not allowing us to get the ball to the middle of their zone,” he said. “We had 20 turnovers which is way more than we ever want to have.”

Melvindale was in action again last night, at home against Kennedy, and on Thursday will travel to Lincoln Park.

For Trenton, the season opened up four days earlier with a 62-37 loss at Redford Thurston.

The Trojans were down 11-1 after the first quarter, but the cut the deficit to 25-19 at the half and trailed by only three points early in the third quarter.

At that point, Thurston quickly capitalized on some Trenton turnovers and went on to hand the locals the 25-point loss.

The Trojans’ leading scorer was Christian Mercure, who had 11 points for the night.

Trenton was at Carlson last night and will welcome in Anderson Thursday.



Roosevelt

To get the 2013-14 campaign underway, Roosevelt split a pair of games last week.

The Bears opened up on Dec. 10 with a 68-37 loss at state-ranked Ypsilanti and then bounced back three nights later with a 54-53 win against Carlson.

After the first quarter Roosevelt trailed 20-5 and was down 39-17 at the half and 52-22 after three quarters.

The leading scorer for the Bears was Jacob Lavis, who had 10 points, and Donovan Stewart added five.

“This was a tough way to open the season, but Ypsilanti is ranked No. 2 in the state for a reason, said Roosevelt Coach Shawn Stewart. “They returned four starters from a team that lost in the semi-finals last year. We knew this was going to be a tall order.”

Against Carlson, Roosevelt trailed much of the way, but outscored the Marauders 12-5 in the fourth quarter to come away with the win.

In the final quarter, both Lavis and Donnie Corley came hit some big shots to help lead the Bears’ comeback effort.

For the game, Lavis led Roosevelt with 15 points, while Tyler Thorington had nine, Corley had eight and Stewart had six. Jarrett Atkinson was tops for the Marauders with 14 points and teammate Jared Henson finished with 11.

The Bears took on Anderson last night, on the road, and on Friday travel to Allen Park.

Carlson opened its season three nights earlier with a nonleague 58-46 victory at Grosse Ile.

After one quarter the Marauders trailed 20-13 and the contest was tied at the half, but in the final 16 minutes Carlson outscored the Red Devils 27-15.

Leading the Marauders was Henson with 17 points, Atkinson with 11 and Prince Ideozu with 10. Nine of Atkinson’s points came late in the third quarter.

For Grosse Ile, Danny McCarty scored 17 points and Tommy Daly scored 15.

Carlson welcomed in Trenton last night and will host Kennedy Thursday. The Red Devils traveled to Richard last night and will take on Cabrini Thursday at home.



Flat Rock

The 2013-14 season got underway for Flat Rock last week with two nonleague losses.

On Dec. 10 the Rams were beaten 62-58 by Ida and three nights later were knocked off 62-39 against Dundee.

In the Ida contest, Kevin Fritz led Flat Rock with 20 points and Mike Mayberry had 16. Overall, Ida shot 32 free throws while the locals only shot 10.



Riverview

A 51-38 loss to visiting Garden City on Dec. 10 opened the season for Riverview.

The Pirates were down 18-9 after the first quarter and were outscored two of the next three quarters to ultimately suffer the 17-point defeat.

Riverview’s leading scorer in the contest was Nolan Glime, who finished with 12 points.

Three nights later the Bucs took on host Summit Academy and fell 56-39 to the Dragons. Once again Riverview was down after the first quarter, except this time they were outscored the next three quarters, as well.

Glime was the Bucs leading scorer once again, netting 20 in the game, while teammate Brad Skidmore added eight.

Summit got 23 points from Cory Hicks, as well as 11 from Blake Horvath and 10 from Chris Flannigan.

The Dragons’ season opened up three nights earlier with a 69-44 win at home against Monroe Jefferson.

Hicks led the way again, as he scored 26 points in the winning effort. Horvath scored 16 for the locals and Flannigan had 10 again.

Up next for Summit is a home game Friday night against Airport.



Last Updated: 12/18/2013 11:00:18 PM EST

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