Tuesday, December 23, 2008

HOOPS: Grand Blanc vs. Heritage

**Tony Jones drains a jumper**
**Lavario Smith squares up for a tough shot**
**Chris Jones draws a foul attacking the basket**
**AJ Thomas goes around the back on a defender**

Saginaw- Heritage led 17-15 after one quarter of play but a Will Sams 3-pointer, to open the second quarter, gave Grand Blanc a 18-17 edge. Heritage's Chris Jones managed to tie the game up at 26-26 with his own 3-pointer. However Grand Blanc ended the half with a zone trap that allowed the Bobcats to force a few turnovers and get some fastbreak points to take a 32-28 lead into the half.

Heritage continued to fight in the third quarter and stuck basket for basket with the Bobcats but then Tony Jones got hot and knocked down three jumpers on three consecutive trips down the floor.

Two free throws from AJ Thomas cut the Bobcat lead to 51-49 with 6:13 to go in the fourth quarter. Grand Blanc fired back with a 9-0 run to take a 60-49 lead with two minutes to play, but Heritage still wouldn't go away. Baskets from Lavario Smith and Jones cut the lead to three points with ten seconds to go. Sams was able to sink a free throw with four seconds to go to give Grand Blanc a 65-61 road win.

BREAKDOWN: these are two of the more improved teams from a year ago. I really like the guard play that both teams have to offer but I am not sure how either team will do in conference play or during the state tournament because neither team has true inside presence.

PLAYER OF GAME: Tony Jones, GB- the 6-0 combo guard did an excellent job of distributing the ball to his post players. He finished with 9 assist and atleast 5 of them came on no look passes from the other side of the court. Jones added 13 points.


Will Sams, GB- the 6-2 guard needs to improve his decision making if he wants to be a point guard at the next level. He did show off the value of his length by blocking two 3-point attempts. Sams has improved his 3-point shot as he drained three of them for a team high 15 points.

Mitchell Vallie, GB- the forward finished with 12 points and even though he is undersized for a 6-4 center he is consistent and has good lateral movement. He also finished strong around the basket.

AJ Thomas, Heritage- AJ is one of the most improved players from a year ago. He didn't waste any time to push the ball up the court. He has a good handle on the offense and does a good job of moving the ball around. Thomas finished with 9 points, 5 assist, and 2 steals.

Lavario Smith, Heritage- led the Hawks with 18 points and 12 rebounds. At 6-2 Smith can play a number of positions for his team.

Chris Jones, Heritage- Jones is more than a 3-pointer shooter. He made some nice hustle plays on both ends of the court and added 10 points to his team.

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