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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Melvindale thumps Woodhaven (TOUT VIDEO)

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The score in Friday night’s tilt between Melvindale and visiting Woodhaven could have been a lot closer had the Warriors shot halfway decent from the free-throw line.

For the night, the Warriors (0-6, 0-4 Downriver League) were just 8-for-25 from the charity stripe and the Cardinals (2-4, 2-2 DRL) ultimately took advantage to come away with a 57-37 victory.

Melvindale hopped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter and as small as that lead seemed at the time, it was more than enough to keep the Woodhaven team at bay for most of the half, despite less-than-stellar play on their part.

“We played solid defensively in the first quarter,” said Cards Coach Mac Horvath. “We held them to 10 points and I think five of those came off free throws but it was kind of weird that we held them to 10 points because we didn’t rebound the ball that well.”

Ricky Cripps scored 11 of Melvindale’s 24 first-half points, draining two three-pointers in the process. The Cards scored only nine points in the second quarter, but luckily for them, Woodhaven did not hit a single field goal, scoring only three second-quarter points from the free-throw line.

The third quarter was a much different story for Woodhaven, the squad came out and nearly doubled its first-half scoring output in just over seven minutes. Six different Warriors scored field goals in the third quarter, a quarter that saw Woodhaven cut a 14-point deficit to seven at one point.

Warriors Coach Greg Scheffler said he told his team at halftime to improve its effort on both ends of the court.

“I told the guys that we have to put more shots up and also put more pressure on them on defense,” Scheffler said. “I told them to make sure they get one shot and that’s it and then to push the ball, and they did that.”

Melvindale withstood the onslaught, however, and threw a couple punches of their own, particularly senior Malik Boynton, who scored nine points in the third quarter.

The Cards took a 40-29 lead into the final frame of the night, where Woodhaven faltered again. Melvindale outscored the Warriors 15-8 in the fourth quarter and milked the clock for much of the final four minutes of the game.

Horvath said he thought his team looked a lot better in the second half, despite Woodhaven’s third-quarter offensive explosion.

“It seems like we allow one big quarter every game and tonight was no different, so that’s something we’ve definitely got to improve on,” Horvath said. “But we started to execute a lot better on offense. We ran a lot of screens, we took care of the ball, and we didn’t turn it over. Then in the fourth quarter we stepped up our pressure defensively and did a better job on the boards.”

Melvindale outrebounded Woodhaven 7-5 in the fourth quarter and 28-20 in the game. Boynton led the Cards in scoring with 19 points and Albert Webster controlled the glass for Melvindale with seven rebounds. Marrell Pulley paced Woodhaven with 10 points, while Nick Towianski led the team in rebounds with six in the losing effort.

The Cardinals will stay home this coming Tuesday and will look to improve upon their 2-4 record when they face off against Southgate.

The Warriors will look to earn their first win of the season when they lock up with Carlson at home on Tuesday.

Last Updated: 1/11/2014 3:46:53 PM EST