Josh Davis shows his worth as Ford downs Huron, 80-73
Farmington Hills – There are a lot of good teams in the southeast part of the state and two of them went toe-to-toe at North Farmington on Friday.
Detroit Henry Ford outlasted Ann Arbor Huron, 80-73, in the marquee game of the Oakland Invitational.
Entertaining? Yes. Well played? At times. Both teams played hard and both teams made mistakes, too many by some estimations. Henry Ford had 30 turnovers; Huron 23.
Yes, it’s early but neither coach would use that as an excuse for the inconsistent play. Huron coach Waleed Samaha was displeased by his team’s play saying it doesn’t matter that this was Huron’s opener. He pointed to poor decision-making as a major contributor to the loss. These teams are led by a handful of seniors and underclassmen that have experience.
The lead changed hands six times in the fourth quarter and it was Henry Ford senior Josh Davis who hit perhaps the biggest shot of the game. Dave Wren scored nine straight points for Huron, the last two coming on free throws with 3:34 left that gave the River Rats a 65-64 lead.
Davis’ 3-pointer, his fifth of the game, with 3:16 left gave Henry Ford (2-0) a 67-65 lead, one it never lost.
Antuan Carter’s basket followed by Devontaye Webb’s 3-pointer increased the Trojans’ lead to 72-65 with 2:20 left and Huron couldn’t come back.
Davis, a 6-4 wing who signed with Western Michigan, played like a Division I recruit. He had 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Henry Ford was 10-11 last season and in games like this a season ago the Trojans might have folded down the stretch. This season expectations are high and Davis is a big reason for it.
“When possessions got tight, we stepped up,” Davis said. “Players got into their roles. Everybody came to play.
“A lot of times (Huron) tried to close out on my shot. But I’m opening up my game this year. I’m taking it to the rack. I’m pulling up (for jump shots).”
Davis is clearly the leader of this team but he’s got help. James Towns, a junior point guard and a Division I recruit, had 13 points and eight rebounds. Alston Hunter and Jeremy Crawley each added 12 points.
Wren led Huron with 29 points, Xavier Cochran had 17 and Jalen Thompson added 16. All three are seniors.
The game started poorly for Henry Ford as it committed 12 turnovers and trialed 20-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Trojans took much better care of the ball in the second (four turnovers) and converted numerous fast-break opportunities into layups and took a 41-37 lead at halftime.
Crawley provided a spark off the bench as he entered the game with 5:30 left and Henry Ford trialing 30-25. His tip-in pulled the Trojans within 32-29 and his two free throws ended a 12-0 run that gave Henry Ford a 39-32 lead with 2:18 left.
It is this type of contribution that coach Ken Flowers expects from his team.
“We finally got into a groove,” he said. “Josh and Antuan dug in. We know how to win now. Last year they were inexperienced. The guys are ready this year.
“The team feds off Josh. The focus will be on him. (The other players) have to step up, too. We have a team. You don’t have to be Superman out there.”
It doesn’t hurt when he does come out of the phone booth, though.