It’s all about playing your best at the right time of the season. And the Skyline boys’ basketball team is doing exactly that – and they have the hardware to prove it.
The Eagles cruised past Brighton 73-58 on Friday night at Skyline to win a District title and advance to the Regionals. Skyline (16-6) will face Belleville (16-6) at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at Novi HS in a Regional semifinal. The other semifinal is Northville against Romulus. The final is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
“It was a really great overall basketball game with both teams playing very well,” said Skyline Coach Mike Lovelace. “We were working all night to get the ball into the paint to take advantage of mismatches with Jayden Potts, Sam Koelling, Will Gardner and Ben Stille. We also got great defensive effort from Ish Abdul-Aziz and James Harrison Jr to work to hold down their top two players.”
Potts certainly delivered for the Eagles. He had 25 points along with six rebounds and two steals.
In fact, Skyline’s top four scorers all had big games in the big win. Along with Potts, Koelling had 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, Stille had 16 points and 3 rebounds; and Gardner finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
Skyline looked to push the tempo and pace in the first quarter and was able to jump out to an early lead causing some turnovers and getting some baskets in transition with the press. The Eagles led 18-9 after the first quarter. Potts had 10 first-quarter points working hard in the paint to get Skyline off to a strong start.
In the second quarter, Brighton started to figure out the press and took better care of the ball and got some quality looks. It was an evenly played quarter overall as Skyline took a 36-26 halftime lead. Koelling and Stille each had eight points in the second quarter to keep Skyline in control.
In the third quarter, the Eagles continued to play well and scored 18 points in the period to take a 54-49 lead into the final period.
Skyline would switch to a zone a couple minutes into the fourth quarter to help slow down Brighton’s offense. The Eagles would get some key baskets from Gardner, Potts and Stille to keep the lead. Skyline would then push the lead to double digits and was able to secure the ball down the stretch and make free throws to secure the district championship win.