2018-02-08 / Sports

Martians topped by East Kentwood; Barns wins 400th

BY BRANDON POPE 810-452-2651 • |bpope@mihomepaper.com


Goodrich coach Gary Barns coaches from the sideline during his 400th career victory on Friday. 
Photo by Brandon Pope Goodrich coach Gary Barns coaches from the sideline during his 400th career victory on Friday. Photo by Brandon Pope GRAND RAPIDS – The Goodrich boys’ basketball team took a long road trip to Grand Rapids Union to take on East Kentwood right after playing the previous night. The fatigue ended up catching up to Goodrich, as they took a 76-49 loss to the Falcons. Goodrich was led by Latrell Fordham and Tyson Davis, who each scored 14.

“We played so hard Wednesday night, so hard last night and spent two and a half hours on a bus to Grand Rapids,” said Goodrich coach Gary Barns. “I knew we were in trouble when they were still asleep when we pulled up to the school on the bus. What we had out there at times was so young. We played hard. We needed a call; we didn’t get a call. We’re a hundred and some miles from Goodrich. They were a veteran team and I’ve got no excuses for them.”

Friday’s game was a special occasion for Goodrich, and not just because they got the victory. The Martians went on to top Corunna in a close game, 44-37, which turned out to be coach Barns’ 400th career victory.

“Channel 12 asked me ‘How do you feel?’ I said ‘I feel like I’ve been here a long time,” said Barns. “It’s great to have the opportunity to make a difference in young men’s lives.”

Davis poured in 17 points with eight rebounds, three assists and five steals. Fordham added four points, nine boards, three assists and six steals, Nick Waterworth had nine points, two rebounds and a steal and Mason Vitale added five boards.

As for Barns, earning his 400th coaching victory at Goodrich cements him as one of the Flintarea’s greatest high school basketball coaches.

“Who came to the game tonight was Stan Gooch’s (Flint Central) JV coach for many, many years and he came up before the game and hugged me and said ‘Man, we’re really proud of you,” added Barns. “I used to bug Stan to death. Those guys mentored me and Grover Kirkland (Flint Northwestern) was the same way. So was Jack Pratt (Flint St. Matthew, Goodrich, Grand Blanc, Flint Powers Catholic) and Linden’s Dennis Hopkins. They brought me along. I asked a million stupid questions but they always answered them.”

The Martians hosted Flint last Wednesday, and although a tough day at the line didn’t help Goodrich, it was able to get past the Jaguars for the 57-56 win. Goodrich was led by Davis, who racked up 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and five steals.

“It shouldn’t have been that close. As usual, our free-throw shooting was atrocious,” said Barns. “We were 10-for-24 from the free-throw line. That hurt us, but we did make five three-point baskets, which helped out as the game progressed. Our free-throw shooting came back to haunt us, but we were able to hold out for the one-point win.”

Colby Wiggins recorded 13 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal and Waterworth added eight points and three assists. Fordham added seven points, 12 rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks and Nolan Robb had five points, five rebounds and two steals.

Former Martians Kevin-David Rice, Matai Swain and Tylor Leedom have transferred to Grand Blanc and are ineligible to play until August.

Goodrich returns to action tonight, hosting Lake Fenton.

GRAND BLANC: The Bobcats hosted Brighton on Tuesday and knocked off the Bulldogs for a 46-34 win. Lon Martin poured in 14 points to lead the way, while Jackarus Smith had 12 points and seven rebounds and Goliath Mitchell put up five assists.

The Bobcats went to Saginaw on Saturday and pulled out a nail-biting win over one of the state’s greatest basketball programs ever, 53-52. Aareon Broughton led with 16 points, Kortez Toles had nine and Goliath Mitchell and Martin each had eight. Smith put up seven points and 13 rebounds, Cedric Givens had four points and Cameron Cyborowski one.

The Trojans controlled the pace early on, leading 16-9 after the first and were able to up their edge to 10 points by the half. Grand Blanc poured in the first eight points of the second half, spurring a 12-2 run.

Not only was it a special win because of the caliber of program they were up against, but Bobcats’ head coach Mike Thomas was on the sideline for the first time against his alma mater.

“It’s my very first win here as a high school coach after going 0-2 against Lou Dawkins so it’s nice to pick up a win here,” said Thomas. “Julian Taylor is another mentor of mine and he’s got a good young team, but it was good to overcome diversity and pull out a dogfight. We’ve been ‘speaking the same language’ as a team. We’ve been talking about it since day one that the good teams that fight through tough situations are the ones that are going to be champions.

“The good teams are the ones that are able to play multiple styles of basketball. One of the reasons we wanted to come play Saginaw is you just can’t simulate this against anyone else. It’s a one of a kind place to play, and I thought our guys did a really good job of sticking together, believing in each other, talking things out and getting the win.”

Both Howell and Livonia Stevenson lost on Tuesday, leaving Grand Blanc with an opportunity to clinch the Kensington Lakes Activities Association-Gold title if it can top Northville at home on Friday.

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