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Arbor Prep dominates Swartz Creek, 75-28, to go 4-0

By: Joe Buczek, December 13, 2014, 5:18 pm




Grosse Pointe Farms – The Ypsilanti Arbor Prep girls basketball team has had a knack for making games look easy this season.

A year after falling in the Class B quarterfinals to eventual state champion Eaton Rapids, Arbor Prep moved down to Class C and is winning games handily.

The Gators won their fourth straight to open the season on Saturday with a 75-28 victory over Swartz Creek at the Best of Michigan Holiday Classic at Grosse Pointe South. ?

“This team is really hungry,” Arbor Prep coach Rod Wells said. “They’re tired of hearing about what we could have done and what we almost did. This team wants to be champions, and they understand that it’s going to take hard work every day.  

“You better believe that Eaton Rapids comes up, as does any loss that we had last year so they can remember the pain. This team doesn’t like losing.”

Defensively, Arbor Prep’s press was a nightmare to face Saturday. The Dragons held Swartz Creek to seven field goals, three in the second half.

“I thought through three quarters of the game that we were moving our feet well and anticipating where the ball was going,” Wells said. “We’re not a very big team, but all five of our girls are moving. When we have all five girls moving when the ball is in the air or during a pass that means that we’re in sync. If you look at the film you’ll see all five girls were moving, and that’s something I’ve been impressed with.”

Arbor Prep trailed 3-0 in the first 30 seconds following a 3-pointer by Danaya Jones. The Dragons then went on a 14-0 run in two and a half minutes. An inside jumper from Swartz Creek’s Morgan Griggs with 4:57 remaining momentarily slowed the Arbor Prep attack.

Arbor Prep would eventually take a 21-8 lead after the first quarter and a 38-15 edge at halftime.

Despite a 23-point halftime lead, Wells was looking for more out of his team in the first 16 minutes.

“To be honest, I thought we missed a lot of opportunities in the first half,” he said. “I thought we did a good job defensively, but we didn’t have that focus in the first half. When we got ahead early, we just seemed to lose focus.

“Our game plan, though, is to go after teams early. We don’t want them to be able to run their offense. We want to make it a fast-paced game, and I think we accomplished that today.”

Arbor Prep turned up the pressure in the second half, opening the third quarter on a 13-2 run to eventually take a 60-21 lead after three quarters.

Junior guard Nastassja Chambers paced the Gators with 17 points, including 11 in the first half, while sophomore guard Adrienne Anderson and senior forward Payton Sims tallied 15 and 12, respectively. In all, eight players scored for Arbor Prep.

“I think with our first nine, we have players that can score and have the ability to finish,” Wells said. “They really understand our system now, so we can add things to the system and think the game out a little more instead of running the basic plays. They work so well together that we’re able to run those counters.”

Jacara Thompson led Swartz Creek (2-3) with eight points.