Tough Division Opener.....Rocks 55, Mustangs 50

Ryan Roberts goes big for a soft shot.
Ryan Roberts goes big for a soft shot.
     The 2014 KVAA Division scheduled opened this evening with a showdown between two of the perennial powerhouse teams.  The contest, as is so often the case between these two foes, came down to a break or two in the closing seconds.  This year's edition ended with a couple Northville shots barely missing their mark to allow the Salem Rocks to escape with a huge victory 55-50.  
     The game was hotly contested from the opening tip.  Salem was out front 15-13 after the first period, but the Mustangs fought hard to tie it up at the half 27 all.  Both coaches emptied their benches, trying every possible combination and angle to get an edge.  Each team had balanced scoring and strong contributions from multiple players, but in the end, it seems it came down to whose shots were going to find the mark at crunch time.  The Rock's did.
     Salem's Coach Bob Brody, the dean of KLAA coaches, was happy with his teams effort.  "Our Cole brothers really played with patience and showed the experience of Seniors tonight", he said, "but Northville really pushed us to find a way to win.  The next time we meet should be a war."  Although disappointed with the outcome, Northville's Coach Todd Sander admitted his team played hard and never quit.  "We just couldn't get the shots to go tonight", he lamented, "although we did keep them well below their scoring average.  We'll just need to buckle down in the division and make sure we get them the next time around at their place.  I am proud of the overall team effort tonight.  We are getting better as a team each time out."
     Once again, Andrew Meacham led all scorers with 19 points and 9 rebounds.  Andrew Stevens added a tough 12 while Malik Bazzi had 11, including 2 late clutch triples for the Stangs.  Regrettably, this scribe was unable to obtain scoring statistics for Salem before press deadline, but suffice it to say that they got balanced scoring and were led by senior brothers Brady and Connor Cole.
     In what is becoming a grand tradition, the fanatically loyal Mustang fans made another great showing this evening.  They were raucous and rowdy, causing even the normally solid Rocks to crack from time to time.  After the game, they were treated to fresh, hot pizza in thanks for their loyal support.  "They are really bringing it, game after game", exclaimed AD Bryan Masi.
     The Mustangs won't have to wait long to turn it around, since the next game is tomorrow evening at Stevenson at 7:00.   Don't miss it!

     In earlier action, the Mustang Frosh prevailed in a nail-biter overtime, and the JV squad outlasted the Rocks with a 10 point victory.

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