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BOYS BASKETBALL: Southfield Christian runs & guns to win over another Class A foe

By: Scott Burnstein, December 31, 2013, 8:00 am

HARPER WOODS – Wearing out its opponents with dogged persistence on both ends of the floor, two-time defending Class D state champion Southfield Christian flew past Class A Walled Lake Western 72-60 in the finale at the Motor City Roundball Classic Monday night.

Following a slow start, Southfield Christian went on a 16-0 run, capped by seven straight points by senior shooting guard Lindsey Hunter IV early in the second quarter, to climb into a lead it would hold the rest of the way.

Hunter was doing all sorts of damage, tickling the twine for 27 points along with six rebounds, five assists and four steals.

“I wanted to start attacking more tonight and after I did that I just played my game,” said Hunter of the rugged outing.

Southfield Christian upped its record to 4-1 with the victory, bouncing back big-time from a loss to state-power Saginaw Arthur Hill last week.

“The Arthur Hill game left a nasty taste in my mouth and it really motivated me and my teammates to come out today and play better, smarter basketball,” he said.

Hunter is the son of retired NBA vet and former Detroit Piston Lindsey Hunter, currently an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. The elder Hunter was on the bench with the Eagles as an assistant when they captured their first of repeat state titles in 2012.

Although a small school with less than 300 kids, Southfield Christian consistently locks horns with larger Class A and B teams, very often coming out on top. Earlier this month, the Eagles swept rival intra-city public schools Southfield and Southfield-Lathrup.

On Monday, the Eagles led 28-21 at the half and 54-40 heading into the fourth quarter. Every time Western (3-2) looked to be making a dent into its deficit, battle-tested Southfield Christian answered.

When Western got within eight at 45-37 with two minutes left in the third, Eagles senior center Damarco White quickly drove baseline for a score and then soon thereafter swished a 15-foot jumper from the right elbow. All-state junior point guard Bakari Evelyn’s triple and a last-second bucket from Hunter gave the Eagles’ some breathing room moving into the game’s final frame.

Western came within two possessions behind at 60-54 with 4:11 remaining on a Marcus Bailey put-back, but Southfield Christian took it into overdrive to drop the curtain on the contest and the 19th annual Roundball Classic, which was hosted this year by Harper Woods High School.

A pair of baskets by junior small forward Kameron Garner, a volatile slam dunk by White and consecutive steals and twisting hoops from Hunter in the closing minutes delivered the knockout blow.

White procured a prodigious double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds. Evelyn netted 17 points and delved six assists.

Bailey was a beast in the post for Western, putting up his own doozy of a double-double with 18 points and 16 boards.

“We got out of rhythm for a bit in the first half and we were fighting uphill from that point on,” Western head coach Ra’Redding Murray said. “That stretch of playing sluggish hurt us. Give credit to Southfield Christian though, they deserved to win and we didn’t.”

Last year, Murray’s Warriors club beat Southfield Christian at the Romulus Holiday Showcase.

This year, his No. 1 player, junior floor general Jerald Booker, was kept in check for most of the night by a swarming Eagles’ defense that limited him to only 12 points.

Southfield Christian is being coached by Clennie Brundidge (longtime area assistant and Army all-time great) right now on an interim basis, as head coach Josh Baker, the architect of the emerging Southield Christian cage dynasty, is on a leave dealing with family medical issues.