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Melvindale's Malik Boynton scored 13 points Friday night and nearly led his team to a comeback win against Carlson. Photo by Dave Chapman

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BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Carlson survives late-game Melvindale surge (PHOTO/TOUT VIDEO)

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For a game that started off slowly and without many memorable moments, it sure did end in exciting fashion.

The Carlson boys’ basketball team led from start to finish on Friday night, but saw an 11-point lead over visiting Melvindale evaporate late in the fourth quarter.

The Marauders (5-5, 4-3 Downriver League) still managed to escape with a win, narrowly defeating the Cardinals (2-5, 2-4 DRL) by a final score of 50-46.

Both teams came out flat in the first half, dragging out long, aimless possessions only to miss shots when they finally pulled the trigger.

Carlson did enough to come out of the first quarter with a 10-5 lead, but a couple Melvindale three-point baskets in the second quarter, one by Wissam Saeed and another by Ricky Cripps, cut the Marauders’ lead down to three, and Melvindale trailed only 20-17 at halftime.

The intensity picked up on both sides in the third quarter. Carlson sophomore Zach Kohn really shined down the stretch, hammering the offensive boards and coming away with nine second-half points (mostly on put-backs) and 10 second-half rebounds.

Carlson Coach Rob Raymond said his team’s effort on the glass, particularly Kohn’s, was a welcomed surprise.

“We’ve been such a poor rebounding team this season,” Raymond said. “We played Lincoln Park on Monday and we had five defensive rebounds in the first half. You’re not going to beat anybody like that. Zach, a sophomore, really gave us a lift. And he didn’t leave the floor tonight. He played the whole game.”

The Marauders looked destined to pull away when they went up 32-21 late in the third quarter. That was until Melvindale came alive in the fourth.

Saeed and Malik Boynton combined to score 16 points in the fourth quarter, and with under two minutes remaining in the game the Cards had a real shot at victory.

Boynton came up big for the Cardinals in the waning minutes of the game, hitting a three to bring Melvindale within four points of tying, and then grabbing an offensive rebound and converting a field goal on a put-back layup to make the score 48-46.

On the ensuing possession, the Cardinals forced a turnover on a play in which Carlson guard Jared Henson appeared to get fouled. Melvindale then called a timeout with just 11 seconds left.

Looking to win the game rather than send it into overtime, Saeed hoisted a three-pointer that rattled off the rim and missed. Prince Ideozu of Carlson secured the rebound and was fouled with 1.8 seconds left, effectively ending Melvindale’s hopes of a come-from-behind win.

Cardinals Coach Mac Horvath said he thought Saeed had a pretty good look from downtown, he just didn’t hit the shot.

“We drew it up like that and got a pretty decent look at it,” Horvath said. “We were expecting zone but we thought man-to-man would’ve worked too. We kind of wanted to use Malik as a decoy figuring they would flow to him but they did a good job defending it.

“I give credit to them, the guy that was on Wissam didn’t bite at all. But it was a decent look, one that I’ve seen Wissam make a ton of times too, so we’ll keep putting it in his hands. I’ve got no problem with that.”

Boynton led Melvindale in scoring with 13 points and he also grabbed eight rebounds. Saeed scored 12 and Albert Webster pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.

Kohn finished the game with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Carlson.

The Marauders will look to go over .500 on the season when they visit Allen Park on Tuesday. On the same day Melvindale will return home to face Anderson.

Last Updated: 1/18/2014 12:58:03 PM EST