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A second-quarter slam dunk by Devonte McGregor helped Truman remain in control of Friday night's game at Roosevelt. Photo by Larry Caruso
Basketball - Boys
BOYS' BASKETBALL: Truman big men help overpower Roosevelt (PHOTOS)
Truman's Anthony Wartley-Fritz scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in his team's 65-46 victory Friday night at Roosevelt. Photo by Larry Caruso
Donovan Stewart (3) and the Roosevelt Bears were overpowered Friday night by Truman, but will have another shot against the Cougars next month in Taylor. Photo by Larry Caruso
Even without one its top players on the floor, unbeaten Truman easily took care of Roosevelt Friday night on the road and earned a 65-46 Downriver League victory.
Aaron Foster-Smith led all scorers with 21 points against the Bears (4-4, 4-3) and had eight rebounds, while fellow big man Anthony Wartley-Fritz scored 16 for the Cougars (8-0, 6-0) and had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Out with an injury was Truman’s starting point guard Devain Newbill, who averages 11 points per game and is among the team’s leaders in nearly all statistical categories.
“We were playing without our point guard tonight, and probably our best defensive guard,” said Truman Coach Chuck Suttles. “So we had a couple of guys who really had to step up and they did a very nice job stepping up defensively and offensively.
“We knew we were going to have to hit (Roosevelt) hard because we didn’t know what was going to happen without Devain.”
Taking over for Newbill was Matthew Mason, a junior who stepped into the role nicely and finished with seven points. Devonte McGregor and DeMarco Woodward both helped out, as well, as McGregor scored eight points and Woodward netted six.
However, it was Truman’s two big men who really stole the show Friday night, as they overpowered their opponents on both sides of the court and at times nearly scored at will.
To start, the pair combined for 10 first-quarter points, which helped guide their squad to an 18-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
McGregor kept things going early in the second quarter for the visitors, as he grabbed a rebound and slammed it home to put his team up 20-4.
The Bears did manage to get more points on the board in second quarter, but ultimately the Cougars’ domination continued.
With about four minutes left in the half, Roosevelt’s Donnie Corley scored an easy layup after a steal and made it a 24-10 game.
However, Foster-Smith followed up soon after with a powerful slam dunk that emphasized his team was still in control and Truman went on to take a 31-13 lead into the half.
After the break, Wartley-Fritz came out and looked unstoppable, as he outmuscled his opponents on the boards and scored eight third-quarter points.
Wartley-Fritz said the eventual victory was satisfying, knowing that everyone executed well and gave a solid overall effort.
“It feels real good,” he said. “I came out strong, my team out strong. We played good defense. We moved the ball nice and we rebounded well.”
The Bears scored 17 third-quarter points for what was their best offensive showing of the night.
Roosevelt’s Tyler Thorington had seven of his team-high 11 points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer, while Ramases Patterson knocked down a three and both Jacob Lavis and Tommy Cannon added two each.
Patterson finished the game with seven points, which was third best on the team behind Corley, who scored eight points and led the way in rebounds with six.
In the final quarter, Foster-Smith put an exclamation point on the night with eight more points, highlighted by back-to-back slam dunks, and the Cougars left Wyandotte with the 65-46 victory.
Despite the lopsided loss this time, Roosevelt Coach Shawn Stewart said his squad should be better prepared to handle the Cougars’ attack when the two squads meet again on Feb. 14
“In that second half we played defense and we found a scheme that we like that we could probably play against those guys the second time we match up with them,” Stewart said.
In the more immediate future, Stewart said his team is a resilient bunch that should quickly rebound from Friday’s defeat and come out strong next week.
“I think we’ll bounce back on Tuesday and be ready to go,” Stewart said. “They work hard, they work extremely hard, (and) they play together."
Next week, Roosevelt will welcome in Woodhaven on Tuesday and on Friday will head to Melvindale for a battle with the Cardinals.
Truman is scheduled for a battle at Trenton on Tuesday, as well as a home game Friday against second-place Kennedy and a non-league contest Saturday at home against Inter-City Baptist.
Last Updated: 1/19/2014 3:49:49 AM EST