- Submitted by S. Patrone
Northville's boys varsity basketball team took on the Walled Lake Central Vikings for the rights of third place in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association comprised of 24 teams last week.
Northville (12-7 overall) beat Walled Lake Central (14-5) earlier in the season 34-33.
Offensively the ‘Stangs looked sharp in the first quarter as Jeff Gertley put the ‘Stangs on the board first with a baseline drive layup. On the next possession, Brett MacDonald nailed Northville’s first points from beyond the arc. Defensively, Andrew Meacham stood tall in the paint with a quarter ending blocked shot and steal. The Mustangs held on to a (8-7) first quarter lead.
Northville continued their hot hand on offense as MacDonald dropped in another five points but it was senior power forward Jeff Hewlett that sparked the Mustangs. Hewlett drained a three-pointer from the arc and assisted three Mustang scoring possessions to outscore the Vikings (16-6) and take the halftime lead (23-14).
The Mustangs started to pound the ball inside the paint to force the Vikings to defend Northville’s 6 foot 6 inch sophomore Andrew Meacham. Meacham drew a few fouls on three different defenders but the stripes whistles just weren’t receptive. Northville cooled off on their outside shooting but the inside game stepped up as Andrew Poterala and Stewart Henzi converted some ally-oop offensive boards for quick points. The Vikings outscored the Mustangs
(10-14) but Northville still held on to the lead at (33-28).
Both teams battled in the fourth quarter but it was Northville’s never die attitude that willed their team to victory. MacDonald took a short jumper and was fouled as the ball went in. The And1 free throw attempt was missed, however, Henzi was there with an offensive board tip-in for two points. With 45 seconds left, Henzi drained both his 1-in-1 bonus free throws to give Northville
a four point lead (41-37). The Vikings cut the lead to two points with 6.3 ticks left on the clock. Northville couldn’t convert on their bonus free throw which gave the Vikings a chance to tie or win the game with 4.2 seconds left. Unfortunately, Poterala was there to block the Vikings layup attempt and give the Mustangs the win by a score of 41-39.
MacDonald led all Mustangs with 13 points, followed by Gertley with 11 points. Henzi had 8 points, Meacham 4 points, Hewlett 3 points and Poterala had 2.