Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HOOPS: Southwestern vs. Northwestern

**Kortes Ross guarded by Walter Trouser**
**Cincinnati football commit-DeMarkus Bracy**
**DeAndre Upchurch looks for a shot**
**Chatavius Turner cashes in on a steal**

Flint- Crosstown rivals, Southwestern and Northwestern, kicked off the Flint city series in an intense fashion last night infront of a packed gym. Both Southwestern and Northwestern are my favorites to win the city championship, with Northwestern holding the crown as last year's champion.

The game was physical from the opening tip seeing that the refs let the two teams bang around. Brandon Thompson scored the first four points of the game to give Southwestern the lead. But less than three minutes into the game DeMarkus Bracy picked up his second foul and sat the rest of the first half. Walter Trouser later tied the game at 9-9 with his runner in the lane, as the two teams ended the first quarter tied 13-13.

A long 3-pointer and dunk (yes a dunk!) from DeAndre Upchurch gave the Wildcats a 20-13 lead. However the Knights clamped down and fought their way back, Kortez Ross' long 2-pointer tied the game late in the second as the teams stayed deadlocked at 29-29 during halftime.

With the game so close the crowd cheered like crazy, giving both teams a full tank of adrenalin. Unfortunately for Northwestern, the Wildcats could never settle down and the result were plenty of turnovers. The Knights took advantage of those turnovers and built a 46-39 lead after three quarters and as big as a 50-42 lead midway through the fourth.

The Wildctas were able to rally back, and two long shots from Upchurch tied the game at 52-52 with 2:34 to play. Bracy answered for the Knights with a pair of free throws, and then a steal from Chuck McLaurin set up another pair of Bracy free throws to make the score 58-52 with 57 seconds to play and secure Southwestern a 61-52 win.

BREAKDOWN: this was a great high school basketball game. Both teams played hard and gave it their all for four quarters. Both teams also showed great sportsmanship along with a crowd that was ecstatic for two hours non stop. It was good to see the teams feed off of the crowd's energy but too many times players got too excited and took bad shots or tried to force something and just ended up turning the ball over.

Chris Campbell is Northwestern's only inside force and when he fouled out with 4:37 to play it allowed Bracy to take over and bring home the win for Southwestern. Southwestern is going to be good and they play hard, especially on the defensive end, but they don't have a true point guard and that might hurt them down the road.

PLAYER OF GAME: Kortez Ross, SWA, 6-3 wing- Tez was the only Knight that managed to stay out of foul trouble and he was the most consistent player for all four quarters. The win was a full team effort but Ross is the glue to this team. Ross just doesn't get enough credit for his skills. Yes, he is a hustle player, but he also can do some nice things with the basketball.


DeMarkus Bracy, SWA, 6-5 fwd- got in early foul trouble and sat most the first half but he was big down the stretch by knocking down 6-of-6 free throws in the final quarter. Scored 8 points and pulled down 7 boards.

Deonte Savage, SWA, 6-6 center- the big fella gave his team productive minutes in the first half when Bracy was in foul trouble. At 6-6/310 pounds Savage ran the floor well and showed a soft touch around the basket which led to 6 points and 7 rebounds.

DeParris Gordon, SWA, 6-3 wing fwd-
the junior is starting to come into his own. He played smart and made some big blocks that fired up the crowd. Chipped in with 10 points and 3 blocks.

DeAndre Upchurch, NW, 6-0 guard- "Church" had to work hard just to get open because the Knights were all over him. Too many times he went spurts without touching the ball, but when his team needed a basket he delivered one. Finished with 15 points.

Walter Trouser, NW, 6-3 PG- Trouser continues to impress me time after time. Upchurch gets most the team pub, but Trouser is just as valuable. Just check out his stat line- 17 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals.

Chris Campbell, NW, 6-4 Power fwd-
for the second straight year Northwestern's paint duties will fall on the shoulders of Campbell. He bangs around and uses his strength to make up for a lack of height.

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