Martians rally, fall in OT
GOODRICH – In front of a packed house at Goodrich last Friday, the Goodrich boys’ basketball team made an epic comeback but ended up falling just short in overtime of the district championship game to Flint Northwestern, 76-70. Goodrich trailed by eight in the final couple of minutes and excellent coaching strategies and well-timed timeouts led the Martians to tie it up as regulation expired.
It seemed as if the Wildcats’ will was broken heading into the extra period, but Northwestern found a way to pull away in what was a very exciting overtime on both ends of the floor.
Kevin-David Rice racked up 23 points and eight rebounds, Goliath Mitchell added 16 points, Matai Swain put up 14 points and seven rebounds and Carrington Wiggins had 10 points, five steals and eight boards.
“At the end of regulation I thought that we had really instilled our will,” said Goodrich coach Gary Barns. “I always believe that players have to make plays to decide the game. Congratulations to Northwestern. Unfortunately, sometimes the best team doesn’t always win. The players are supposed to decide it on the court.”
The Martians advanced to the district title game after taking down Mt. Morris at home last Wednesday, 74-66. Mitchell had a career game with 39 points, four rebounds, three steals and a block and Wiggins put up 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“They played inspired,” said Barns. “There were 54 personal fouls called in this game. We shot 41 free-throws and they shot 31. We had 25 personal fouls they had 29, but we had a big night.” – B.P.
GRAND BLANC: The Bobcats were dealt a tough 53-51 overtime loss to Linden (9-13) in Friday’s district final at Holly. Despite a back-and-forth game, Grand Blanc just couldn’t come out on top. Grand Blanc tied it at 48-48 with under a minute left in regulation.
Linden outscored Grand Blanc 12-9 in the first quarter, but the Bobcats fired right back in the second to take a 25-24 lead before halftime. Linden went on a 15-8 scoring run in the third to steal back the lead, but Grand Blanc then outscored Linden 15-9 in the fourth to tie it at 48-all to force overtime for a second consecutive game.
Grand Blanc took a 51-50 lead in overtime with 1:37 left, but Linden hit a 3-pointer with 13.1 left to take the lead. Thomas Cook’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell just short for the Bobcats and left Linden on top, with a 53-51 final.
Lonnell Martin led with 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Cameron Cyborowski put up 12, Cook 10, Aareon Broughton six and Cedric Givens two. Linden’s Cole Sarkon and Noah Giacomantonio had 13 points each.
Grand Blanc powered over Fenton in a 51-46 overtime win in last Wednesday’s district semi after allowing Fenton to take a 7-2 lead in the first three minutes of play. The Bobcats finally answered back with an 8-2 run to take a one point lead in the final seconds of the first, but Fenton’s Dean Miller grabbed a steal and made a breakaway layup at the buzzer for the Tigers to take an 11-10 lead to end the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, both teams struggled to gain any offense ground, with Grand Blanc putting up only nine points and Fenton eight to head into intermission tied at 19-19. Fenton started heating up in the third though, as they went on a 14-10 scoring run to head into the final quarter ahead of Grand Blanc by six, 35-29.
Thanks to a fourth quarter full-court press, the Bobcats began to rally a comeback. Grand Blanc pulled within three in the final minute of the game. Martin missed the would-be game tying 3-pointer, but was fouled on the shot. Martin was only able to knock down one from the stripe to cut the deficit to only two. Grand Blanc’s pressure forced a turnover, to which Martin atoned for his miss by knocking down a game-tying jumper with 39 seconds left to force the overtime, tied at 43-43.
Grand Blanc grabbed the first five points of the extra quarter before Fenton’s Greg Lukas hit a three heading into the final minute of overtime. A final three free throws, two from Martin and one from Thomas Cook, took the score to 51-46 for Grand Blanc to take the win.
“Our pressure down the stretch was able to rattle them and force them into turnovers,” said Grand Blanc coach Rob McRae. “We did a good job capitalizing off of their mistakes by attacking and knocking down free throws.”
Martin led both teams with 19 points, Givens had 12 and Cyborowski had seven. Fenton’s Miller had 18 points.
Linden had beat Holly in the district opener, 52-54, and Ortonville Brandon, 55-52, in district semis. Linden moved on to face Rochester Hills Stoney Creek in Monday’s Class A regional opener.
Grand Blanc finished its season with a 3-7 league record and 9-13 record overall after dealing with numerous injuries, illness and ineligibilities. The Bobcats were last in the KLAA-West this season. – K.R.
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