BOYS BASKETBALL: OLSM rallies past Rochester Adams to reach regional finals

| March 12, 2018 | Comments (0)



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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Orchard Lake St. Mary’s earned a date with top-ranked Clarkston.

St. Mary’s pulled way from Rochester Adams down the stretch in a 41-35 Class A regional semifinals victory at West Bloomfield High School.

The Eaglets will face Clarkston at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the 7 p.m. regional finals at West Bloomfield

Sophomore guard Lorne Bowman finished with a game-high 22 points and both senior forward Gordon Duncan and senior guard Chizi Enechukwu both sank a pair of free throws in the final 39.9 seconds to help seal the deal.

“We hit our free throws and I thought Bowman was outstanding in this game. He hoped us come back in the second quarter. Our shots just weren’t falling in the first quarter,” said St. Mary’s coach Todd Covert. “Adams is a scary team to play because they have like 5-6 guys that can shoot it. They came out and hit a bunch of their early shots. I thought we might be in trouble. But we settled down and fought back.”

Adams (14-9) cut the deficit down to 37-33 with 1:59 to play when junior forward Jake Schuler drilled a three-pointer from the corner and Schuler sank a pair of free throws with 1:08 left that made it a two-point game at 37-35.

The Highlanders could get no closer, missing their final two shots on their final two possessions.

Adams converted four of its first five shots from the floor in building a 12-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. OLSM (16-7)  fought back by increasing its on-the-ball defense and went on a 17-8 run to tie the game at 20-20 at the half.

The Highlanders led 22-20 early in the third before St. Mary’s ventured on a 10-3 spurt, capped by a three-pointer by Caden Prieskorn pushed the Eaglets’ lead to 30-25 with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

St. Mary’s led by as many as eight in the fourth quarter.

Freshman guard Ethan Emerzian scored 10 for Adams. Schuler and sophomore Payton Prieskorn, a transfer from St. Mary’s whose older brother suited up for the opposition, both added seven points for the Highlanders.

St. Mary’s Caden Prieskorn, a 6-foot-6 senior center, added nine points and nine rebounds for the Eaglets, who sent only four players into the scoring column.

“Caden was our leader in the huddle,” said Covert. “He held us together and settled down our guys and he led us. He’s been one of our leaders all season and was key for us in the second half. He hit a big three there in the third quarter, grabbed some key rebounds.”

Adams, which finished a dismal 0-21 last season, made a 180-degree turnaround this season which included 14 wins and a district championship. The Highlanders led by as many as nine points in the regional semifinals.

“This was a tough one. To come out in the first quarter and (take the lead). I knew it would be different throughout the game,” said Adams coach Brad Crighton. “I do have some really young kids with the freshman and sophomores and the kind of shots they were taking. I’m proud of our effort tonight.

“We had some good looks, too. We missed some in the third and some tight ones in the fourth,” added Crighton. “(St. Mary’s) did hit their free throws late. We actually had there we wanted. Give the kid credit. He knocked them down when he had to. This was a close game and it just didn’t go our way in the end.”

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