BY DAN STICKRADT
PONTIAC — Melvindale Academy of Business & Tech is one of the top scoring teams in the state in Class C. The Gators are also proving to be one fine defensive team.
MABT cruised past host Pontiac Academy for Excellence 88-56 Thursday in a battle of unbeatens, showcasing why it is every bit as good as their bop-five ranking in Class C.
PAE entered the game honorable mention in the Class C polls.
“It all starts with our defense and the offense follows,” said MABT coach Mychal Covington, who grew up in Pontiac and was an all-state player at Pontiac Northern in the late 1990s. “We take pride in our defense and us working hard. We’ve been playing like this all season.”
Academy of Business and Tech forced 24 turnovers in the game and held Pontiac Academy to just 20-for-65 shooting (30.8 percent).
The Gators (11-0) opened the game with a 16-4 run to set the tone. MABT led 24-13 after the first quarter and 48-25 by the half, where they shot 50 percent (20-for-40) from the floor.
MABT cooled in the second half but never allowed the Eagles to get any closer than 19 points in the second half. The Gators finished 50-percent from downtown (8-for-16) and 47.2 percent (33-for-70) overall from the floor.
Holding a 23-point advantage at the break, the Gators outscored PAE 19-18 in the third quarter and 21-13 in the final frame to make it a 32-point final.
Terson Ramsey scored 30 points with 13 rebounds, both which were game highs, with four assists and two steals for the Gators, which had eight of nine active players score points.
“He’s a special player,” said Covington. “He’s a four-year varsity player who has been averaging a double-double since he was a freshman. I don’t know why nobody is talking about him being one of the better players around.
“As a team, our goal is to try to make it to Breslin (Center for the Final Four). We have a long ways to go. We’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” added Covington.
Carmen Lewis added 19 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and two blocks, while Shandon Mootoosamy chipped in with 13 points and four steals for MABT.
This was the first time the Eagles had been in a situation of competing in a game with two top-15 programs.
“We’re trying to build something here, a good program,” said PAE coach Ryan Beane. “We’ve come a long ways (in the past couple of years). This is the first time we’ve been in a game like this.”
Senior guard Deon Fears led PAE with 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Savonne Keyes added 12 points, six rebounds and five steals.
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