Leaving Dearborn with a win hasn’t been so simple for Mott over the last five or six seasons. Henry Ford Community College, under head coach Abe Mashour, has been the Bears’ chief rival during the program’s rise to prominence.
On Saturday afternoon, Mott took on a Henry Ford squad that’s a little less talented than normal, but still unwilling to lay down for a better team.
The no. 7-ranked Bears led by seven at the half before pulling away to earn an 82-66 win.
“I didn’t think we were as sharp as we need to be, especially after how we played against Owens,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt. “I had hoped to see some of the intensity (from Monday night). But, that’s been one of the toughest places for us to win; they always play us tough.”
Every passing week, more and more teams are saying the same thing about Mott guard Malik Albert. The 6-2 sophomore poured in 37 points on 19 shots. Six missed free throws cost him a chance to reach the 40-point mark for the third time this season.
Sophomore Devin Foster, another division one caliber guard, turned in his second straight strong performance for Mott. The 6-3 sophomore scored 12 points and dished out six assists.
“Devin is starting to play the way we need him to play,” Schmidt said. “We need him to continue to play at a high level.”
Another player who is turning a corner for Mott is 6-foot-6 forward William Abbott. The redshirt freshman from Detroit backed up a 12-point effort against Owens with two points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
“That’s the type of production we would love to get from him every game,” Schmidt said.
Sophomores Myles Busby and Jamal Reynolds added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Schmidt was quick to point out that, as the team enters the meat of its schedule, he needs all hands on deck. Two significant omissions from the box score are sophomore Chester McFadden and freshman Lorenzo Collier. The pair combined for 21 points against Owens but failed to score against Henry Ford. Schmidt said he is counting on the pair to play significant minutes and produce, as both have shown an ability to score from the perimeter this season.
“We’ll take the win and move forward, but we need to be more consistent,” he said. “We need a better effort out of those guys.”
Mott is still nursing a couple injuries, most significantly to small forward Ruston Hayward. The freshman is eying his return from a knee injury in the next two weeks.
Mott will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at home versus Macomb.