BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Since the Crosstown Showdown moved to the Athletics Center O’rena on the campus of Oakland University six years ago, neither Rochester or Rochester Adams had been able to go on a win streak.
Adams finally broke the hex Friday night.
For the first time, a team won back-to-back games in the sixth annual showcase, topping Rochester for the second straight year, 43-33, in an OAA White Division girls basketball contest.
Sophomore Amber Jamison was the X-Factor for Adams, dominating the paint with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds, five blocks shots and four steals to pace Adams (6-4, 4-2). She was the energizer on both ends of the court for the Highlanders, disputing shots and inlet passes and forcing the Falcons to chuck it from the cheap seats.
“She’s a sophomore who keeps getting better each time out on the floor,” said longtime Adams coach Fran Scislowicz. “She can play all five positions on the floor and brings so much energy on the floor for us.”
Rochester struggled on the offensive end and could never gain the momentum after winning six of their last seven games.
“It seems like nobody could shoot the ball well,” offered Rochester coach Adam Sheldon. “Part of that is a tribute to Adams’ defense. I think we took the shots that they wanted us to take, not the shots we wanted to take.”
Rochester finished 10-for-46 from the floor for the game (21.8 percent) and converted just one shot from downtown (1-for-17).
Adams finished the night 18-for-48 from the floor (37.5 percent), making 4-of-23 three-pointers (17.4 percent).
The Highlanders’ defense stole the show, forcing 11 turnovers but consistently forced the Falcons out of rhythm and never allowing them to make more than a four-point run throughout the whole contest.
After the two teams only scored four points each in the first quarter Adams used a 7-2 run to fuel a 16-14 halftime advantage.
In the third quarter, the Highlanders ventured on a 15-9 run and never trailed in the second half. Adams led by as many as 14 points (43-29) late in the game.
“The girls were really excited to play in this game. They were really nervous, too,” said Scislowicz. “There were three or four passes out there I don’t know (who they were to).
“But I thought we played well enough (to win),” continued Scislowicz “We went on a little bit of a run in the third quarter, started to make a couple of shots, and we were able to pull away a little bit.”
Jenny Rosonke added nine points and five assists, Raiven Owusu followed with eight points and six boards and both Lauren Finkelstine and Brittany Boyle contributed seven points and five rebounds each for Adams, which held a 33-29 edge on the boards.
Neither team could gain much of the upper hand for much of the first half, as both teams struggled from the field.
Adams shot 6-for-22, including 1-of-13 from beyond the arc, in the first half. Rochester was a dismal 5-of-23 from the floor and misfired on all seven of its three point attempts over the first 16 minutes.
In the third quarter, Adams finally discovered some cohesiveness — and its shooting touch. A 10-3 run gave the Highlanders a 31-19 cushion with 3:35 to play in the frame.
By the end of the third, still Adams held an eight-point advantage (31-23). That was as close as the Falcons would get the rest of the way. Adams opened up the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run to go up 38-25 and tuck the Falcons to bed.
Zhana Randolph scored eight with five rebounds and three steals, while Anne Tucker had eight points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for Rochester.
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