The second chapter of this year’s Northville-Novi boys basketball rivalry was written Friday night at the Northville gym, with the Mustangs taking a 52-45 victory. Northville came out with tremendous energy, most likely derived from the inspiration of Alec Lasley’s presence on the sidelines. The senior point guard, who was injured in the second game of the season, had ACL reconstruction surgery earlier in the day, but he refused to miss the game. Northville played stifling defense from the outset, forcing numerous Wildcat turnovers with their active hands and their changing defenses. The Mustangs poor shooting however kept Novi in the game through the first quarter, which ended in an 11-8 lead for the home team.
Northville scored the first 5 points of the second quarter to push their lead to 15-8, and the Mustangs never let the margin drop below four for the remainder of the game. The first half ended with Northville leading 23-17, despite shooting only 8-22 from the field. In the second half Northville continued to play with great energy which again led to numerous Wildcat turnovers, and they played probably their most efficient offense of the season. Midway through the third period the Mustangs led 33-19, and the lead at the end of the quarter was 38-26.
The fourth quarter was typical of a cross-town rivalry, and two consecutive possessions around the 6 minute mark typified the effort that the Mustangs gave throughout the game. Northville lost possession of the ball near midcourt, but Dan Sims quickly knocked it away from a Wildcat, and hit the floor to grab the loose ball. Before a jumpball was called he was able to pass the ball to Malik Bazzi who fed the ball to Andrew Meacham for a resounding dunk to give Northville a 44-33 lead. On Novi’s subsequent possession the Mustang’s got their hands on another Novi pass, two more Mustangs went to the floor after the ball, and in the ensuing scramble technical fouls were called on both teams. Novi eventually cut the lead to 49-43 with several free throws, but they could get no closer. The Mustangs took only 19 shots from the field in the second half, but they connected on 11 of them. This victory for Northville was a true team effort. The Mustangs’ next game is Tuesday February 5 at home against South Lyon.