Ann Arbor Huron are regional champions!
The River Rats rode an early 16-0 run to a 64-39 victory over Livonia Stevenson on Thursday at Northville HS to clinch the program’s first regional title since 2010.
Huron head coach Waleed Samaha and senior guard Julian Lewis both said the team is “humbled” by its accomplishments this season.
“These kids have played together since seventh grade, and they’ve won a lot. To be able to do this together is amazing,” Samaha said. “This feels like a continuation of last season, and we’re just trying to keep it going. Hopefully everybody stays healthy and we get to compete next week.”
Lewis said: “Coach [Samaha] always preaches to us to stay humble, so we did that the whole season, and that’s how we’re undefeated right now.”
Huron (18-0, No. 2 in Division 1) will tip off the season’s final week in the state quarterfinals on Tuesday against state powerhouse River Rouge (11-3) at Ypsilanti Lincoln High School. The winner of the game, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will advance to the state semifinals held at the Breslin Center on Michigan State’s campus.
The outcome of Thursday’s regional championship was never in much question after Huron outscored the Spartans 23-8 in the first quarter. Senior point guard Devin Womack scored 10 of his 13 points in the quarter, draining two 3’s. Tyson Edmondson was scored five points and recorded a steal in the quarter as well.
Edmondson led all scorers with 19 points for the game, hitting five 3’s.
Not to be forgotten is Lewis, who recorded six points, a steal, and a terrific block that led to Womack sinking an off-balance jumper at the other end, forcing Stevenson to call timeout trailing 14-3 midway through the quarter. Lewis scored 15 points on the night.
Huron stretched its lead points midway through the second quarter. Lewis scored seven points alone in the quarter, including a three-pointer that put Huron up 35-15 and forced another Stevenson timeout.
The Spartans briefly narrowed Huron’s lead late in the second quarter when Huron’s offense went cold. Senior center Ethan Young, who was Stevenson’s best player on Thursday, scored a quick four points in the paint to give the Spartans a little momentum going into halftime, albeit trailing Huron 35-19.
Huron slammed the door on any prospect of a Stevenson comeback, scoring the third quarter’s first 11 points. The Rats made three 3’s in the quarter’s first three minutes, with Edmondson making two and the third coming from an unlikely source: power forward Brandon Rawls, who usually lurks in the paint. Huron stretched its lead to 46-19 and effectively punched its ticket to the state quarterfinal.