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BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Anderson pulls off upset, hands Truman its second straight loss

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On the heels of its first loss of the season to Kennedy, Truman (12-2, 9-2 Downriver League) played its second game in as many nights and was upset 53-46 on the road by a gritty Anderson squad (9-7, 7-6 DRL).

“We knew that they were going to be a little tired, because they just played last night, so I told the guys we had to match their intensity right off the bat,” said Assistant Coach Josh Shiveley, filling in for Coach Pratt, whose wife gave birth to twins on Tuesday afternoon.

Neither team came roaring out of the gates, as turnovers and missed shots highlighted the opening quarter of play. Despite outrebounding Anderson 11-7, the Cougars had only eight first-quarter points to show for it, and trailed the Titans by two heading into the second.

Truman struggled to get their offense going, even more so, in the second quarter, where it scored a total of only six points. Anderson, meanwhile, got everyone involved on offense in the second, managing 11 points on field goals from six different players, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Richard Hodnicki to close out the half.

Following the intermission, the Cougars came out looking like the team that went 12-0 to start off the season. Aaron Foster-Smith looked like a man amongst boys, scoring from all over the court and scoring putback after putback on his way to nine third-quarter points. Devain Newbill added six more points towards the Cougars’ cause, and the dominant third quarter put Truman up 36-30 by the time the frame ended.

But Anderson wasn’t done.

DeJon Matthews led the charge for a determined Titans team and outscored the Cougars 6-2, by himself, during the first few minutes of the final quarter.

Cougars Coach Chuck Suttles said he wasn’t sure why his team faltered down the stretch after such a solid third quarter.

“I think we got a pulse there for a minute, but obviously, we didn’t sustain it,” Suttles said. “We’re in some kind of funk here for whatever reason and we just need to get it corrected.”

In addition to his nine third-quarter points, Matthews guarded a taller Foster-Smith and appeared to hold him in check for most of the fourth quarter. Foster-Smith managed only three points in the fourth on one field goal.

“DeJon did a great job on Aaron later in the game, he made it so that Aaron didn’t get a lot of those good looks he got in the third quarter,” Shiveley said. “The boys were telling me all day long ‘we have to play 50 (man defense), we have to play 50,’ and that’s what helped us close out the game. We rebounded out of the 50 better and matched up with them better, especially on Foster-Smith.”

The Titans totaled 11 fourth-quarter rebounds to Truman’s three. By the 3:00 mark, Anderson got into clock-killing mode but also added to their lead. Clutch offensive rebounds down the stretch by Trey Harris and Blake Sloan turned into second-chance baskets for the Titans.

In the final minute, Anderson scored five points on free throws while Truman managed only four points. Matthew Mason tried to pull the Cougars to within three late in the game, but missed a running floater from the baseline. Anderson secured the rebound before eventually getting fouled.

“We were looking for penetration there and then either a dish or shot,” Suttles said. “(Mason) didn’t see anyone open, I guess, so he took the shot.”

Foster-Smith scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the way for Truman. Newbill added 13. The Cougars will look to end their two-game skid when they lock up with Roosevelt at home on Friday.

Matthews scored 15 points for Anderson and Phee added 13. Phee also led the team in rebounds with seven.

The Titans will stay at home where they are 3-2 this season and welcome Woodhaven into Southgate on Friday night.

Last Updated: 2/11/2014 11:06:50 PM EST