- Submitted by S. Patrone
The Mustang boys’ varsity basketball team will play for their Holiday Tournament
Championship today at 7 p.m. at Northville High School.
The ‘Stangs beat an energetic Birmingham Groves Falcons team 50-39 to advance to the finals.
The ‘Stangs got out of the gate a bit slow offensively, but their composure was never lost. The Falcons took an early 4-0 lead, however, that setback was soon erased when Junior Stewart Henzi made a huge defensive block on a Groves player that kick started the Mustangs. Junior Nick Raad took the reigns offensively when he drained a three-pointer from beyond the arc. Later, Raad took a defensive outlet pass and weaved his way all the way to the hole with a full-court layup. The Mustangs took the first quarter lead 14-9.
The Falcons started the second quarter mixing up their defense between a 2-3 zone and a trapping half court press. The ‘Stangs responded with a composed offense working the ball around the perimeter to get a high percentage shot from the post play of Henzi who was 4-for-4 from the floor. Senior Brett MacDonald also took charge from top of the key faking the 3-point shot and drove the lane to drain an 8-ft jumper. With 45 seconds left in the half, MacDonald stole a Groves’ defensive outlet pass for an easy bucket and the halftime lead of 24-16.
The second half proved to belong to the Mustangs. Brett MacDonald started the second half where he left off at halftime converting a defensive steal into a full court drive for an easy layup. He followed this by dropping in a baseline 3-pointer from the arc and creating an And1 power layup from top of the key.
The Mustangs point guards of Raad and Jeff Hewlett dissected the Groves 2-3 zone with penetrating drives that created multiple open shots. The ‘Stangs sent five different players to the charity stripe with Hewlett and Henzi being perfect at 2-for-2. The Mustangs outscored the Falcons 13-6 in the third quarter for a 37-22 lead.
The Groves Falcons stepped up in the fourth quarter with a full court press that created some Mustang turnovers. The Mustangs responded on defense with the game highlight of senior point guard Jeff Hewlett blocking a Falcons’ three-point arc shot from the baseline and securing the ball for a perfect steal. Although the Falcons outscored the Mustangs 17-13 in the fourth quarter, the ‘Stangs held on for a 50-39 victory. Mustang offensive leaders were Stewart Henzi (16pts), Brett MacDonald (14pts), Nick Raad (9pts) and Jeff Hewlett/ Andrew Meacham with (4pts) each.
Three out of four Mustangs Basketball teams are in the Holiday Tournament
Championships today at the high school. The varsity girls will play at 5 p.m. against Farmington Hills Harrison Hawks followed by the varsity boys hosting the Milford Mavericks at 7 p.m. for the title. The JV boys team will also be playing for the championship at 5pm in the auxiliary gym. Hope to see you there to cheer us on!