West Bloomfield holds off third quarter push from Oak Park to earn 51-39 win
West Bloomfield – Four days after surviving a comeback bid from Auburn Hills Avondale in the Oakland Activities Association White Division opener, West Bloomfield found itself needing to hold off another comeback attempt against Oak Park on Tuesday night.
Despite losing its 13-point early third quarter lead on Tuesday night, West Bloomfield responded early in the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run to retake the lead and hold on for a 51-39 win.
West Bloomfield coach Jeremy Denha said that at times in the second half as Oak Park chipped away at the Laker’s lead, his team was simply unable to knock down shots, but noted that key 3-pointers from Kevin McAdoo and Tyler Davis helped turn things around for his team in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think we were playing bad, but we weren’t hitting shots, we had a lot of open looks,” he said. “3-pointers that were falling early, we were missing and what stopped the bleeding was Kevin (McAdoo) hit a 3-pointer and then Tyler Davis hit another one. A lot can be said for a team getting some confidence, Avondale did it to us last week, we were up 24 in the third and the same kind of thing that happened here, we took the first three minutes of the second half and we kind of gave it back to them. I think we did a good job scheming the 2-3 (zone) and the 1-2-2 trapping, but we just weren’t hitting shots.”
After jumping out to a more than comfortable 31-18 lead over Oak Park early in the third quarter, Oak Park began to chip away at the West Bloomfield lead, beginning with a Robert Zanders 3-point play to cut the deficit down to 31-21.
Oak Park would close out the third quarter on a 15-3 run to cut the West Bloomfield lead down to 34-33 heading into the fourth quarter, behind six points from Zanders and five from Lamont Mason.
Oak Park coach Jamie Thomas said that he felt his team did a good job of defending West Bloomfield’s outside shooters during his team’s run, but said that his players started wearing down as the second half went on.
“They (West Bloomfield) can’t hit every 3-point shot,” he said. “So as long as we’re getting up an arm to contest shots, we knew that high school teams aren’t going to hit 75-percent from 3-point range. They kind of cooled off, but later on they caught on fire. I think that was a combination of that group that made that run got tired and they caught fire.”
Trevon Gardner finished with 12 points to lead Oak Park.
Early in the fourth quarter Oak Park would grab a 35-34 lead on a basket from Dwan Mathis, but West Bloomfield answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from McAdoo and Davis to retake the lead, 40-35 with six minutes remaining.
McAdoo finished with a game-high 15 points to lead the way for West Bloomfield (6-3), while Trishton Jackson chipped in with 12 points as well for the Lakers.
West Bloomfield would extend its lead to 46-39 late in the game after a dunk from Jackson and an Alex Sandberg basket to all but seal the win for the Lakers.