BOYS BASKETBALL: Power Source: Unbeaten Rochester Adams overwhelms Avondale
BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — There was a slight power outage Tuesday at Rochester Adams.
With 4:27 left in the second quarter of the Highlanders’ OAA White Division boys basketball contest with visiting Auburn Hills Avondale, most of the lights went out in the Adams gymnasium with the Highlanders holding a commanding 26-10 advantage.
A 10-minute delay didn’t seem to hamper the Highlanders’ perfect season.
Adams raced out to a 20-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in trouncing Avondale 73-43 to remain alone in first place.
In fact, after the loss of power, Adams came out and blitzed Avondale with a 14-4 run to open up 40-14 lead with 1:15 still left in the second quarter.
“I think the one thing we do really well is that we play so hard — all of them,” offered Adams coach John Hall. “Anytime you are 12-0 you obviously have chemistry and talent. But we play so hard in every game and practice and every kid on the team has bought in completely to what we are trying to accomplish, offensively and defensively. We have seven seniors that all play a lot. We have great leadership on this team, guys that set an example of what it takes to succeed.”
Adams (11-0, 5-0) never trailed in building their early lead, going 7-for-14 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the foul line in the first quarter. The Highlanders forced nine turnovers in the frame and limited the Yellowjackets to 3-for-7 shooting with four boards in the quarter.
Adams shot 50 percent from the floor and 50 percent from beyond the three-point arc in building a 44-18 lead at the half.
Avondale (4-7, 1-3) eventually cut into the Highlanders lead in the third quarter, using some stingy defense to fuel a 16-11 run to claw to within 19 points late in the third frame.
The Yellowjackets could not make a serious threat after that point, as Adams built up their advantage to as many as 34 points (71-37) in the fourth quarter.
“We played better in the second half, but we were down by too much,” offered Avondale coach Jeff Borja. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well. We were 0-for-15 from three-point range and we only made 13-of-26 free throws. Adams had a lot to do with that.
“I think they are very good. They play very tough. That’s the best thing about that team. They are very, very hard working,” continued Borja of Adams. “Their rotations are outstanding. They play the half-court very well. It took us a while to adjust. They opened the game 16-2 on us and that’s too much against a team like that.”
Adams, averaging around 62 points a game as a team, scored over 70 for the third straight contest. The Highlanders cooled off in the second half, but the game was never in doubt. Adams finished 24-for-61 from the floor, 16-for-23 from the foul line and 7-for-18 from three-point land.
The Highlanders also had 18 assists on 24 made baskets, forced 22 turnovers and recorded 12 team steals.
“This team gets along so well. The chemistry is there and you can see that if you watch us play,” said Hall. “We have a player like Akhemji Williams, who is a Division I player and kind of does everything for us, and Zack Littleson has been playing a lot better recently. He’s started to realize that he can score by taking the ball to the basket. We have a lot of guys playing well right now, playing their roles.”
Williams, a junior point guard, led the Highlanders’ balanced effort with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Littleson added 11 points and nine rebounds, Ben Limb scored 10 and Sam Gaswiorski also had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Adams.
Zarrick Sturgis scored 11 for Avondale. Brandon Golden added seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Yellowjackets, who shot just 15-for-55 from the floor (27.2 percent).
(Dan Stickradt is Senior Editor for Digital Daily www.northoaklandsports.com and The Real Deal sports and coupons magazine, as well as a freelance writer for multiple media outlets, including State Champs! High School Sports Show website. He is a 20-year veteran sports journalist based in Oakland County, Mich. He can be reached by email at [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans.)