BY JAKE LOURIM
TROY — Rochester Adams tried to make a run. It really did.
But, as Adams assistant coach Chris Flynn said, “then there was James Young.”
Young was spectacular again Friday in Troy’s rout of Rochester Adams — a 63-47 OAA White Division boys basketball victory, which is the Colts’ seventh in their last eight games.
Troy (9-4, 4-1) put itself alone in second place in the league, one game behind Ferndale (10-3, 5-0).
The Highlanders’ slow-paced, deliberate style put Troy in a funk for part of the first half, but when the Colts brought the pressure, it was all over.
“With James up top, it’s a hard defense to stop,” Troy coach Gary Fralick said.
“We made it tougher for their guards to penetrate, and we just did a much better job of closing down passing lanes. I always call it making the other team uncomfortable.”
Joe Leonard hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half, then Troy forced a 10-second violation and came back with Young’s offensive board, put-back, and free throw. Time-out, Adams.
“That was one of the keys,” Flynn said. “They got three straight deflections, and at that point, offensively we got out of sorts.”
Troy’s 1-3-1 three-quarter-court press gave Adams fits, including two 10-second violations in the first three possessions. A minute later, Young went coast-to-coast for a layup that caused another time-out.
His driving layup with 5:05 left made it 13-2 in three minutes and gave Troy a 42-29 lead. At the four-minute mark, Young had seven points and five rebounds over the outmatched Highlanders, who couldn’t handle the sensational junior.
Young outscored Adams 6-0 in the last three minutes, including a dunk.
“We were just passing the ball around and getting it to the open man,” Young said.
Adams put up 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Young stomped every run the Highlanders put together.
“A couple of times it looked like we were going to make a run and get back in the ballgame,” Flynn said, “but then there was James Young.”
After a big win over a solid team, there was a light atmosphere after the game as Troy found itself in the league hunt through one round of play.
The Colts will travel to Ferndale in a league showdown Feb. 17 to try to avenge their only league loss and take the lead in the OAA White.
The Eagles could have a hard time in the rematch if Troy plays like it did Friday.
“It was a team effort,” Fralick said. “James did his part, everyone else did their part. We switched our defense to press more, and we came after them with a lot more intensity than we did in the first half.”