Posted On: 03/9/18 9:23 PM
This district championship was filled with the state’s and the city’s top talent. Old Redford’s 2019s Rocket Watts, Aundre Polk, Troy Lattimore, and their 2020 star big, Isaiah Jackson. For Henry Ford, one of the states top unsigned seniors, Anthony Roberts and their senior sniper, Deonte Ulmer. To get to the district championship Henry Ford had to beat Detroit Cornerstone and Detroit Mumford whereas Old Redford had to beat Southfield Bradford. With both teams possessing deep benches, this contest was bound to be a classic.
The start of the game was signaled by a swat on the defensive end from Jackson followed by a transition layup from Polk. Roberts came down on the next possession and knocked down a deep triple. Ball State head coach, James Whitford was in the crowd tonight to watch Roberts. Henry Ford did a great job in the first quarter maintaining Old Redford’s two 6’9 bigs. With stiff rims and great defense for both teams, the game was low scoring yet exciting. At the conclusion of the first quarter, Old Redford held an 8-7 advantage. Roberts was the leading scorer with 5 points.
The first bucket of the second quarter came from Ulmer from downtown. This was later answered with a slam from Polk and the game was knotted at 10 a piece with 6 minutes left in the half. On the next possession, Jackson came down with a slam of his own. Roberts came down with another triple as he had 8 of Henry Ford’s first 12 points. Roberts showed his versatility as most of his buckets usually
come from around the basket. Henry Ford’s perimeter defense was very impressive, especially from guards, DeShawn Marbury and Anthony Daniels. After a pair of Old Redford free throws, Marbury answered with a deep triple. He gave Henry Ford a ton of fire off the bench. At the break, Henry Ford led 20-18. They were led by Roberts with 8 points.
Out of the break, Old Redford got two triples from their 2019 backcourt of Watts and Latrimore. Then, a Polk tip in and another Lattimore triple gave Old Redford a 7 point lead as they opened the half on an 11-2 run. A drive and kick triple to Roberts brought the deficit back to 4. But a pair of layups from Old Redford’s Kejuan Andrews brought their lead back to 8. At the end of the third, Old Redford held a 33-28 lead. The game was getting chippy.
Within the first 20 seconds of the final quarter, the crowd was brought to their feet with a lob from Ulmer to Roberts over multiple Old Redford defenders. 40 seconds later two technical fouls were assessed to a Henry Ford player and coach. Throughout the ball game, many Henry Ford fans voiced their frustration in what they saw as lob sided officiating. The Old Redford lead reached nine points after these calls. An Ulmer triple chipped away at the lead but a Polk slam brought the deficit back up to eight. Henry Ford continued to fight back as their press sped up the Old Redford offense forcing turnovers and bad shots. As the fourth quarter continued, Henry Ford simply wanted it more. Their tremendous defense brought the deficit back down to four. The teams continued to battle but Roberts was in control. He swatted an Old Redford fast break layup off the glass which turned into an easy lay for him. The deficit was at five with three minutes left but both teams were battling. Roberts stayed in control, hitting big shots. However, whatever Henry Ford did, Old Redford had an answer. The main reason why Old Redford was ahead was their strong offensive rebounding. Having two 6’9 players in the paint really helps, especially when the opposing team lacks size. A pair of Ulmer free throws brought the Old Redford lead down to four… again, in the final 40 seconds. Henry Ford had more than five attempts to bring the deficit back to a single possession within the final 30 seconds but they couldn’t capitalize. Old Redford won the ball game 54-48. Old Redford was led by Polk with 14 points, Andrews with 13 points, and Watts with 11 points. Leading all scorers was Henry Ford’s Roberts with 22 points with four treys. Ulmer added 10 points for Henry Ford. Roberts played very impressively for Henry Ford. He carried the load playing the entire ball game and never backing down. He played great defense on Old Redford’s strong ball handlers and hustled for loose balls.