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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Anderson win sets up undefeated DRL showdown with Woodhaven

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It was a come-from-behind effort for the Anderson girls’ basketball team who remained undefeated in the Downriver League with a 51-42 win over Truman on Tuesday night.

With 3:22 left in the first, the Titans trailed Truman 11-2, but by the same time in the second quarter, they only trailed 17-15.

Truman won the opening tip-off, scoring just seconds into the game and controlled much of the first quarter with big blocks and timely shots.

The Cougars put up shot after shot and a big three-pointer from Judah Frazier put the team up 9-2 with just under four to go in the opening quarter.

After a timeout, the Titans made some changes and got things turned around, holding Truman scoreless for almost the next six minutes.

Truman led 11-10 after the first, but was outscored 14-8 in the second quarter and trailed 24-19 at the half.

“It was 11-2 and Coach Sakalas took a timeout and had his team transition to a zone defense,” Truman Coach Chad Putnam said. “When they went to zone defense, we had some trouble attacking against it (and) scoring against it.

“On his part, it’s a nice coaching move and hats off to Southgate for implementing that and effectively running it and getting back into the ball game. They made it a game (and) that’s what good teams do.”

The teams flipped flopped leads a few times in the second before Anderson started to pull away.

Truman extended its league with a field goal from April Micheaux and then a steal from each team gave Truman possession back and Frizer put the Cougars up 15-12.

Corley tied things up 15-15 and Micheaux tied it again at 17.

Anderson’s Sam Mazur gave the Titans a 19-18 lead and they never really looked back.

Leah Malam dominated the third quarter with six of Anderson’s 12 points and finished with eight points on the night.

“That’s what we needed,” Anderson Coach Larry Sakalas said. “I’ve talked to her all weekend. We practiced on Sunday, we practiced on Monday; she’s one of my captains and I have her in class.

“I see Leah all the time and I’ve talked to her non-stop about how she needs to step up and this needs to be a big game for her and she did. I thought she played really well.”

Truman won the final quarter, outscoring the hosts 16-15, but could not finish the comeback.

Despite the loss, Putnam was happy with the play of his girls.

“I thought our team played well,” he said. “I thought we played one of our better games of the season (and) I thought for the most part, my kids were poised and made pretty good choices throughout the game.”

Putnam said his team got into trouble with transition defense and did not capitalize on some easy shots.

“Southgate beat us down the floor and probably for the game scored 10-12 points in transition baskets,” he said. “When you look back at a nine-point game, that’s gonna get ya.

“We also had a few easy baskets we missed around the hoop and I think we had our chances, we just didn’t close the deal tonight.”

Overall, Putnam was pleased with the night’s effort.

“I’m proud of my kids,” he said. “I thought they played hard and gave Southagte a game tonight.”

Anderson started the game with a different starting five and Sakalas said it took awhile to get into the flow, but once his team calmed down they played their game.

“When we called that timeout, the first thing I told them is defense is our number one thing and we’re not playing it very well right now,” he said. “We’re kind of lazy and we need to pick it up defensively.

“And that’s what we did. We came down and we shut them down a little bit. I told them relax and just start making your shots. Take your time shooting; we can all shoot.”

Anderson was led in points by Corley with 11. Leakyn Jaciuk, Mazur and Malam each finished with eight points.

Christian Anderson had six points and Tinara Moore had four.

Truman was led by Ciara Bush and Micheaux with 13 points each. Frazier had nine and Caprice King finished with three.

Sakals was pleased with the work of his bench in the victory.

“I thought we got great minutes out of Amber McAllister off the bench and Christie Anderson,” he said. “I thought she (Anderson) had her best game of the season.

“I also thought we got good minutes out of Celeste Black and Andrea Thornsberry. They’re just those girls that are scrappers. They’re not gonna get a lot of stats, but they’re gonna battle and get all the rebounds. I thought Mena Ames came in and stepped up off the bench, too.”

Truman moved to 5-2 in the league and will now face Roosevelt on Thursday.

“I think it’s gonna be a battle,” Putnam said. “I think we’re two evenly matched teams and I think for the last couple years, we’ve been playing close games against Wyandotte and I expect the same on Thursday night.”

The Anderson win moved the Titans to 7-0 in the league and set up a big showdown of DRL undefeateds on Thursday when Woodhaven comes to call.

“This was kind of the game we needed to get through,” Sakalas said Tuesday night. “I think Thursday’s gonna be a fun day.

“I think our girls were,-I hate to say it, looking ahead- but looking ahead a little bit and they’re excited to play and I know Woodhaven will be excited to play and it’ll be a fun game.”

Last Updated: 1/14/2014 10:25:56 PM EST