BOYS BASKETBALL: Stoney Creek stymies Rochester for first district crown

| March 10, 2017 | Comments (0)



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ROCHESTER HILLS — It took 15 years, but Rochester Stoney Creek can finally call itself a district champion in boys basketball.

The Cougars put on a defensive clinic Friday in beating Rochester for the third time this season, this time topping the Falcons, 42-28, in the Class A district finals to claim the very first district crown in the 15th year of the school.

The game was moved from Utica to Stoney Creek after Utica was without power for three days.

“Every game for us is a grind,” admitted Stoney Creek coach Steve Norgrove. “We might not be the most talented team, but our guys have bought into our system and just play hard. I think that’s why we finally won a district. We’ve been here (to  the district finals) four times, but finally able to win one. It took a team effort.”

Junior guard Nate Davis had 12 points, four rebounds and two steals, senior guard Evan Becker added 12 points and junior forward Michael Melaragni finished with 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Cougars (18-5), who will face Linden Monday in the regional semifinals at Grand Blanc.

Stoney Creek held a 33-23 edge on the boards, even though Rochester held a height advantage on the Cougars.

“It’s a positioning thing,” offered Norgrove. “When the other team is taller, that just means we have to work harder. And that’s the way we have played all season. We play hard going after rebounds, loose balls. The kids leave it out on the floor.”

Rochester (11-11) opened the game with a 6-0 run, but was ice cold after that point. Stoney Creek held the Falcons to 23.3 percent shooting from the floor (10-for-43), including a dismal 2-for-20 from three-point range (10 percent).

Stoney Creek only finished 11-for-32 from the floor (34.4 percent), and played smothering defense to keep the Falcons at bay.  The Cougars converted 18-of-26 free throws, including 10-of-14 in the final quarter, to pull away.

“They don’t have that one guy, but they collectively guard the post so well. We are a post-type of team and they collapse on us so well inside and contest everything,” said Rochester coach John Pleasant. “Credit them and their defense. They simply frustrated us the whole game.”

Davis’ two free throws at the end of the first quarter gave Stoney Creek an 11-10 lead.

Rochester surged ahead 15-13 with 4:23 to go in the second quarter, only to see Stoney Creek take an 18-15 lead into halftime.

The Cougars held the Falcons to no field goals after the 4:23 mark of the second quarter until Ivan Barraza hit a jumper with 4:38 remaining in the third stanza, which closed the gap down to 21-18.

Stoney Creek led 26-22 early in the fourth frame before outscoring the Falcons 16-8 in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

“We’ve been building this for years,” said Norgrove. “Last year we felt like it was like to lose a close game in the district finals. This year we found a way to come together and win it.”

Rochester’s duo of juniors Hunter Schattler and Lamarkco Gulledge were held in check. Schattler scored eight with four rebounds, while the 6-foot-5 Gulledge scored seven with 11 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Falcons.

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Category: Basketball, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), NOS reference, Prep Wraps, Rochester, Rochester Stoney Creek, Sport, Top Stories, Uncategorized

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