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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Downriver League roundup

Truman stays undefeated, Kennedy and Melvindale suffer OT losses

In its only action last week, Truman took on Detroit Western International at Robichaud on Saturday night and knocked off the Cowboys 65-47.

The Cougars (5-0, 3-0 Downriver League) were up 25-15 after the first quarter of the non-league battle and held a 41-30 lead at the half. In the final two quarters, the locals continued to overpower their opponent and outscored them 24-17 en route to the 18-point victory, which kept them undefeated for the young season.

Standout Aaron Foster-Smith had another big game for Truman, leading the team in points with 23, including a trio of 3-pointers. The senior also pulled down 12 rebounds, including a pair of offensive boards, which was second to the 14 total rebounds grabbed by teammate Anthony Wartley-Fritz.

Devain Newbill was second in points for the Cougars with 17 in the winning effort and he led in assists with seven and in steals with four.

Fritz came away with 11 points for the game, as well as five assists and three steals.

Truman will be in action again Jan. 7, as it will host Melvindale in a DRL battle.



Kennedy

Kennedy took on L’Anse Creuse in a non-league game on Dec. 21 at University of Michigan-Dearborn and was edged 75-74 in overtime.

In a contest where neither squad ever led by more than six points, the Eagles (3-2, 2-1 DRL) and Lancers were tied 14-14 after the first quarter and at the half Kennedy trailed just 30-26.

Out of the break, the teams both put up 17 points in the third quarter, leaving the locals still down by only four heading into the final eight minutes.

The Eagles battled it out in the fourth quarter with L’Anse Creuse and at the end of regulation the teams were tied. However, in overtime, the Lancers were able to hang on to a narrow lead and handed Kennedy the 75-74 defeat.

Leading the way for the Eagles was Andia Marsh, how put up 18 points in the game, while teammate Kareth O’Neal finished with 17 points.

Next up for Kennedy is a DRL contest Jan. 7 at home against Anderson.



Melvindale

Last Friday and Saturday Melvindale took part in the Bishop Foley Tournament in Madison Heights and was handed a pair of defeats.

On Friday the Cards (2-3, 1-2 DRL) lost 70-44 to Brother Rice and the following day were knocked off 49-47 in overtime by Royal Oak Shrine.

Against Rice, Melvindale was down 38-28 at the half, following a couple of turnovers that led to easy baskets for the Warriors.

In the final 16 minutes, Rice was able to use its deep bench to wear down the shorthanded Cards and pulled away for the 23-point victory. The Warriors went on to win the tournament championship, as they beat host Foley the next day in the finals.

Leading the locals in points on Friday was Wissam Saeed with 12 and Malik Boynton, who finished up with 11.

Despite the lopsided loss, Melvindale Coach Mac Horvath said he was pleased with how his guys responded against the tough Rice squad.

“We played with great energy and effort, which was something we thought had been lacking recently,” he said.

The following day, the Cards jumped out to a big lead, but Shrine mounted a late comeback to send them down in defeat.

Melvindale shut out the Knights 11-0 in the first quarter and was up 23-12 at the half, having led by as many as 14 before the break.

The dominance continued in the third quarter and the Cards held a 33-22 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

In the fourth quarter, Shrine’s shooters got hot and Melvindale struggled from the floor. The Cards’ lead was cut to 43-39 during the quarter and before the end of regulation it was a 43-43 game.

Shots were still not falling for Melvindale in overtime and the Cards were ultimately overtaken by their opponent and fell 49-47.

Albert Webster led the locals with 13 points in the game and Koby Boynton finished with 10.

“Right now things just seem to not be going our way,” said Horvath. “We’re not getting the bounces, shots aren't falling and we are playing a tough stretch of good teams. But, the encouraging sign is the kids just keep working harder and harder each day. They have started to buy into trying to become the best team we can be (by) March.”

The Cards will kick off 2014 with a league game Jan. 7 at Truman.







Last Updated: 12/30/2013 12:03:30 PM EST

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