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Basketball - Boys
Allen Park hammers Edsel Ford to earn district final berth PHOTO GALLERY/TOUT VIDEO
Jarett Shinault and the Allen Park Jaguars coasted past Edsel Ford Wednesday night and will face Crestwood Friday in Lincoln Park for the district title. Photo gallery by Tom Alexander
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The Jaguars walloped the Edsel Ford Thunderbirds 68-23 on Wednesday to earn a spot in the Class A, District 16 title game on Friday night.
Allen Park Coach Jimmy Victor said he was proud of how his team regrouped after a rough start.
“We came out and turned the ball over, had a lot of missed opportunities,” Victor said. “I told the guys if we just play smart, composed basketball - just regular old basketball, nothing fancy - we’ll get good looks. And we were able to do that.”
Victor said he thought his team’s defensive pressure and defensive rebounding helped them get off to a good start and the box score certainly was a testament to that.
After doing just enough to edge Edsel Ford, 7-5, after one quarter of play, the Jags blew right by the Thunderbirds in the second quarter.
Allen Park shut Edsel Ford out in the second, outscoring its opponent 21-0.
Adam McJunkin grabbed eight first-half rebounds for Allen Park, and Victor enjoyed a balanced offense in which six different players scored points for him in the second frame.
Meanwhile, Edsel Ford struggled mightily to find the bottom of the net, and that bout of ineffectiveness plagued the team on both ends of the court.
“Our shot selection wasn’t good and honestly, that was the worst game we played this season by far,” said Edsel Ford Coach Ibrahim Baydoun. “We shot 6-for-37 from the field. You’re not going to win any games when you shoot like that.”
With 1:23 seconds left in the half, Antonio Reviere stole the ball near midcourt and glided in for an uncontested slam dunk, representing a microcosm of the game for Edsel Ford.
The Jaguars took a 28-5 lead into halftime where they braced for a Thunderbird charge that just didn’t come due to more excellent team basketball on Allen Park’s part.
“We knew Edsel Ford was going to come out, full-court pressing, being aggressive, and we knew if we handled the pressure, we’d be able to get some easy baskets,” Victor said. “And we were able to do that. I told our guys if we were able to go on that first run it’ll be deflating for them. Fortunately we were able to do that as well.”
Allen Park outplayed the Thunderbirds again in the third quarter, despite the fact that Edsel Ford scored more points in the third - 13 - than they did in the rest of the game combined.
In the fourth quarter, the Jags played like they were the team down by 30, executing time and time again on offense, and controlling the paint like they had all game long.
Reserve Ethan Kubik scored 12 points and ripped down 6 rebounds in the fourth, as Allen Park outscored Edsel Ford 20-5 in the final frame to seal the game and pull off the massive 45-point win.
Edsel Ford turned the ball over a staggering 40 times in the game.
Despite the poor performance in the district semifinals, Baydoun said his team had a fine year and will be returning some of their top players for the 2014-2015 season.
“We had a good season. We won 11 games, which was a big improvement from last year,” he said. “We’re very young. Five of my top six players are coming back next year so we’re going to be just fine next season.”
The Thunderbirds close out the season with an 11-9 record.
Jullian Brown scored just under half of Edsel Ford’s points in the game when he netted 11. Chad Galliard had eight rebounds in the loss.
Kubik scored 14 points off the bench for Allen Park. Reviere added 13. Kubik also pulled down nine boards.
Allen Park will take on Crestwood on Friday night, back in Lincoln Park, with the district championship on the line.
Last Updated: 3/6/2014 3:36:41 PM EST