Posted On: 01/19/18 9:57 PM
This had the feel of a playoff game. The gym was packed and had a good mix of Warrior and Marauder fans. However, the Marauder fans had a little more to cheer about, as their team won by a final score of 62-51. The game was tied at half and Carlson led by just two after the third quarter, but a monster fourth quarter by Matt Harmon and Jaylan Franklin led Carlson to victory. The duo combined for 29 points and 19 rebounds. For the Warriors, Josh Warren scored 29 points, but wasn’t efficient at all, shooting just 38 percent from the field.
I was really looking forward to this game, and it didn’t disappoint, as these two rivals played a physical, back-and-forth game. However, the Marauders proved they are the better team, despite Woodhaven having just one league loss. Carlson lost an early season game to Kennedy, but since that loss, the Marauders have won eight of their last nine games. This team is about as hot as you can be right now. They were clicking on all cylinders against the Warriors, knocking down the three ball, grabbing offensive rebounds, blocking shots and playing tough defense. Carlson’s big three of Harmon, Franklin and Tyler Koons dominated, and I mean dominated Woodhaven. The trio combined for 54 points and 24 rebounds. They have a few flaws, which I’ll touch on later, but this team is scary.
If you’ve seen Warren play, you know how good he is. But, you also know that he takes a ton of shots. Against Carlson, Warren scored 29 points, which sounds phenomenal, but he took 29 shots, making only 11. Carlson played him very tough, and he had a hard time getting inside because of Carlson’s length. He found some success getting to the line and knocking down the three, but his shot just wasn’t falling tonight. It happens to everyone, but he needs to trust his teammates and get them more involved on offense. He could use another scorer to help ease the burden.
I’ve seen Carlson play a few times now, and no one has been able to stop their three headed monster. Tyler Koons is without question the star of this team and he stepped up in a big way against the defending league champs. Koons dropped 25 points on 69 percent shooting from the field, while also grabbing five rebounds. Early in the game, Koons was a one man show, keeping Carlson in the game. He had seven of the Marauders’ 16 points in the first quarter and 15 of their 29 at half. That’s when Harmon and Franklin decided to take over. Franklin finished the game with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Harmon added 10 points and nine rebounds. Both were effective scoring around the basket and protecting the rim on defense. They held Woodhaven’s big men to just eight points. The craziest thing about these three is the fact they are all pursuing different sports. Koons is committed to Eastern Michigan for baseball, Franklin signed with Wisconsin football and Harmon is a three-star tight end.
Carlson came into Woodhaven’s house and bullied them, but that doesn’t mean they played a perfect game. Don’t get me wrong, the Marauders played outstanding. However, I can almost guarantee that Carlson head coach Robert Raymond will be upset with the 18 turnovers they had. Had they not turned the ball over so much, this game wouldn’t have been close. The Marauders had trouble hanging on to the ball late and almost allowed Woodhaven to claw its way back. Turnovers will be something to watch as the season goes along. For Woodhaven, the flaws they have showed in a big way. First, they have limited secondary scoring. Outside of Warren, this team struggles to score the ball. Marcus Brown and Bryon Wilkinson have shown flashes of scoring ability, but nothing consistent enough to think the problem is close to being fixed. Brown had eight points all coming in the first half and Wilkinson had six. Second, Carlson just wanted it more than Woodhaven. The Marauders were diving on the floor for loose balls, playing tougher defense and just looked more engaged. It’s almost as if the Warriors thought they could just show up and win the game. That was not the case, and they need to learn from this loss, because they are going to get everyone’s best shot going forward.
At this point in the season, I have no clue who is going to win the league. Woodhaven is currently atop the standing with just one league loss, but Carlson, Kennedy, Wyandotte and even Allen Park are within striking distance. I think it’d be interesting if we saw a five way tie for the league championship, however, I don’t think that is going to happen. As of right now, if I had to predict the league champion, I’d pick a tie between Carlson and Woodhaven. If Carlson had one league loss, I’d pick them to win outright. However, since they have two, it’s hard for me to pick them, considering I don’t think Woodhaven is going to lose more than two league games the rest of the year, and I don’t think Carlson will win out in league play, despite how dominate they look. Once playoffs roll around, don’t be surprised to see these two teams playing in the district final.