Two Ann Arbor heavyweights slugged it out Friday night in an SEC Red Division clash at Huron. The River Rats remained perfect on the season without playing perfect against the feisty Skyline Eagles in a game that wasn’t decided until the final minutes before a packed house.
“Both teams played hard with intensity,” said Skyline Coach Mike Lovelace. “It came down to a couple possessions that if they would have went our way it would have been a different outcome.”
The River Rats had what they felt was a comfortable 55-46 lead in the fourth quarter until the Eagles cut the deficit to 55-51 with 28 seconds left in the game. But the Eagles missed some shots and the River Rats didn’t when they were sent to the free-throw line down the stretch.
Huron led 13-12 after the first quarter and 41-38 at halftime. The River Rats outscored the Eagles 43-33 in the third quarter.
Huron improved to 9-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEC Red Division with a 58-53 victory over rival Skyline in the first meeting of the year between two of the better teams in the area.
Skyline falls to 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the league. Pioneer is 5-5 overall and 2-1 in the league along with Saline.
Devin Womack led the River Rats with 13 points. Michael Robinson, Kingsley Perkins and Tyson Edmondson each scored 12 points in the win.
Junior Chris Cayton led all scorers with 19 points. Senior Kabir Bergin had 14 points and Jermaine Davis scored eight for the Eagles.
One statistic that went Huron’s way was free-throw attempts. The River Rats went to the free-throw line 34 times compared to 14 for the Eagles, who didn’t shoot the ball very well from the floor.
“We had five players combine to go 2 for 21 from two-point range so we missed many opportunities there along with Huron defending the paint well,” Lovelace said. “Huron was more aggressive and made some big defensive plays in the paint on some of our transition opportunities and shots in the paint.
“We needed to make one or two more shots and execute a couple plays better to get our teammates open in the second half to really turn up the atmosphere. We only had eight turnovers and did a good job of taking care of the ball.”
Skyline hosts Bedford on Tuesday and Saline on Friday. Huron plays at Saline on Tuesday hosts Pioneer in a boys and girls doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.