BASKETBALL: Josh McFolley and Mt.Clemens Too Much For Detroit King, Wins 76-53
DETROIT - The Battling Bathers of Mt.Clemens started their 2013-2014 campaign off just like they did last season. Beating Detroit Martin Luther King in convincing fashion.
The difference in last year's game was just one point, with Mt.Clemens edging the Crusaders 66-65. The end result of the rematch wasn't close at all, as Mt.Clemens cruised to a 76-53 victory.
"We're the No.1 team in Class A, Class B, or Class C," said junior guard Josh McFolley. "We were the better team tonight."
McFolley was certainly right about that, as King wasn't able to match the production of Mt.Clemens' big men, and struggled on the glass. Mt.Clemens has three players who are 6-7 or taller, and three of them had double-digit rebounding numbers.
After eight minutes of play, Mt.Clemens only led 15-11, but would soon increase their lead for good. With the game tied at 16-16 early in the second, Devonte' Bandoo hit a huge 3-pointer for Mt.Clemens to put them up 19-16.
King would never recover from that, as Mt.Clemens closed the half on a 13-8 run to take a 32-24 lead into the half.
Mt.Clemens' lead swelled to ten with 5:47 left in the third on a McFolley 3-pointer. Armani Lee responded with a 3-pointer of his own to make it 38-31, but a 6-0 run, capped off by a lay-up by McFolley pushed the score back up to 44-31.
McFolley led Mt.Clemens with 16 points, and if the top team in Class C wants to keep it that way in March, he'll have to continue with these type of performances.
"I figured we could beat them again if I played my regular game," he said. "My regular game is being Josh. Dishing the ball. Getting everybody involved, and playing great defense."
McFolley is arguably Mt.Clemens' best player, but their victory over King was a collective effort. Gerald Blackshear chipped in 11 points, and 10 rebounds, Charles Penn added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman phenom Jermaine Jackson Jr., finished with 10 points himself.
King went on a run themselves late in third, and a 3-pointer by Tyrone Acuff (15 points), cut the lead to nine, at 54-43 at the end of the third. A basket by Penn to open the fourth made it 56-43 Mt.Clemens, and King would get no closer.
Penn did a lot of his damage in the fourth quarter, and two free throws by him put Mt.Clemens up 69-48 with 3:23 remaining.
Both coaches pulled their starters with a couple minutes remaining, and the game out of reach for King. Mt.Clemens would go on to win 76-53, and out rebounded King by a whopping 25 rebounds.
A Class C team beating a Class A team is usually big news, but not for McFolley and Mt.Clemens. They are expected to compete for a state title, and believe they can play with anyone.
"I wouldn't say this was a statement game," McFolley said. "We have confidence in ourselves that we can beat anyone."
King was led by senior Dayvon Austin's 20 points and 8 rebounds, and junior Armani Lee chipped in 15 of his own. Bandoo was a spark off the bench for Mt.Clemens, scoring 12 points.