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West Bloomfield advances to first Class A semifinal since 2003 with convincing win over Troy

By: Jeff Dullack, March 21, 2017, 10:37 pm

(PHOTO CREDIT – Dave Donoher)

Detroit – While West Bloomfield had advanced to Tuesday’s Class A quarterfinal against Troy, the Lakers’ play in the third quarter of its regional semifinal and final games were a bit of a concern.

So when West Bloomfield took a 10-point lead into halftime against Troy, head coach Jeremy Denha made the third quarter a point of emphasis when talking to his team before the start of the second half.

The Lakers got the message loud and clear from their head coach as West Bloomfield turned in a dominant third quarter effort, outscoring Troy 20-2 to take a 52-46 lead heading to the fourth quarter, cruising to a convincing 80-43 win to advance to the Class A semifinals for the first time since 2003.

In the semifinals, West Bloomfield (17-8) will face OAA Red rival Clarkston, which defeated Saginaw on Tuesday, on Friday at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.

“In the regional, we had bad third quarters, so our message at the half was ‘Guys, there’s no letdowns now’,” Denha said. “It was a 10 point game, but we thought it should have been a 20 point game at the half and we couldn’t give up another one of those quarters.”

The Lakers would jump out to an early lead behind strong 3-point shooting from senior Kevin McAdoo and junior Tre Harvey. West Bloomfield would take a 34-24 lead into halftime as McAdoo would score eight of his team’s final 10 points of the first half.

But West Bloomfield would put the game out of reach in the third quarter. A 3-point play from Harvey and a 3-pointer from Tyler Davis gave the Lakers a 49-24 lead as West Bloomfield scored the first 18 points of the second half, before Troy would score its first points of the second half with just 35 seconds left in the third.

McAdoo echoed what his coach had to say, noting that the third quarter was a focal point for his team leading up to Tuesday’s game as well as at halftime against Troy.

“It was extremely important because the last two games, we were up 13 and 16 and we gave those leads back and those teams led in those comebacks that they had,” he said. “So we said in the third quarter we had to come back and we had to hit them again, we could not let up.”

McAdoo paced West Bloomfield with a game-high 23 points, 17 of which came in the first half, while Davis finished with 17 points and Harvey contributed 16 points in the win.

Denha said that he feels that his team’s performance on Tuesday night was proof that West Bloomfield was ready for this playoff run and is ready for Friday’s semifinal game against Clarkston.

“I think it means we’re ready,” he said. “From day one in the summer, we knew. Everyone in that locker room knew this team – we went through a crazy schedule and the kids just continued to battle, there was never dipping of their heads. This is a group that’s ready to go.”

Leon Ayers finished with nine points to lead Troy (21-5) on Tuesday night.