BOYS BASKETBALL: Rochester holds off Adams to win annual Crosstown Showdown | North Oakland Sports

BOYS BASKETBALL: Rochester holds off Adams to win annual Crosstown Showdown

| January 22, 2018 | Comments (0)



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ROCHESTER HILLS — Hunter Schattler remembers vividly the growing pains of a 0-21 season. That was the 2014-15 campaign, Schattler’s freshman campaign

Schattler also remembers his freshman and sophomore seasons where his Rochester basketball team were blown out of the gymnasium by arch-rival Rochester Adams in the annual Crosstown Showdown at Oakland University — 64-44 in 2015 and 59-43 in 2016.

Schattler and the Falcons are now a rejuvenated ball club and captured their second straight win in the 12th annual event at OU’s O’Rena, this time coming in the form of a 62-59 triumph over the Highlanders.

Rochester (9-2) has now won six straight contests and the Falcons are soaring heading into the second half of the season.

“This game is everything to me,” beamed Schattler. “I’ve been here since I was a freshman and that year we didn’t win a game. We were 0-21, so this year the seniors wanted to go out with a bang. This is a revenge year. We beat (Rochester) Stoney (Creek in December) so we had to finish Adams off.

“It was all my teammates they gave me the confidence,” continued Schattler remarked. “My coach believes in me 100 percent and I love playing for him. It’s my senior year, I couldn’t lose to Adams. You can’t ask for anything better. We had nearly every kid from our school here, every kid from Adams and every parent from both. The energy is what made us play hard.”

Rochester used Schattler’s penetration — he scored 14 points in the fourth quarter — and towering front line to attack the young Highlanders, who have five sophomores and two freshmen in their 10-player rotation.

Lemarcko Gulledge, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, added 13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. Junior forward Corey Gulledge (6-4) followed with 12 points, eight boards and two assists, while 6-5 junior center Cameron Caggins chipped in with five points, seven rebounds and five blocks for the Falcons.

Rochester held a 40-31 edge on the boards, made 12-of-16 free throws and used its superior length inside to swat away eight Adams shots. The Falcons were 9-of-12 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

“I could sense from the guys that they wanted revenge for sure,” offered first-year Rochester coach Vance Kirkwood, knowing that Adams has won eight of the 12 meetings in the rivalry played at OU. “I know they won it last year for the first time in five years, so they were coming off some good momentum but I could tell they really wanted this one.

“I do like our size and length inside — we go 6-6, 6-5, 6-4 and teams have a hard time matching up with that,” added Kirkwood. “I thought we did a great job stopping their penetration and did a great job boxing out, getting rebounds and blocking shots.”

The Falcons led 28-27 at the half, thanks to an 8-0 run over the final 3:49 of the second quarter, and 40-37 through three quarters of play.

Both teams traded off 22 points in the fourth period, although Adams hit a pair of threes in the final 21 seconds to make it a three-point contest.

Adams (6-3) began the season 5-0 but have since gone 1-3 with all three losses coming by a combined nine points.

“We don’t make excuses around here and we still had our chances to get this one,” sighed Crighton. “It was frustrating that they got to the lane more than we did. The kids battled hard but it was just a few possessions that didn’t go our way.

“I was proud because this is a great group that works really hard and they showed it again tonight,” added Crighton “This is a fun group that is going to get better. We want to play them again in a district final. They’re mad — which is what they should be but we had a nice talk about it.”

Freshman guard Ethan Emerzian led Adams with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but more importantly the Highlanders kept the game close by committing just three turnovers over 32 minutes of play.

Senior guard Jack Jenkins added 13 points, all in the first half, 6-5 sophomore forward Austin Ursuy chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds, and junior forward Jake Schuler added eight points and eight rebounds for the Highlanders.

Adams converted 13-of-15 free throws (86.7 percent) and connected on 9-of-24 three pointers (37.5 percent) to keep within striking distance, but overall struggled from the field, making just 18-of-70 shots (25.8 percent).

Rochester finished 22-for-50 shooting from the floor (44 percent).

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