FLINT, Michigan — No. 5-ranked Mott put an exclamation point on another impressive regular season on Wednesday night, running roughshod over Delta College, 87-60.
The Bears continue to play their best basketball of the season and at just the right time. The District 10 playoffs begin on Tuesday. The Bears have won five consecutive games by an average of 30 points per game. They will most likely host Schoolcraft on at 7:30 Tuesday night at the Steve Schmidt Gymnasium in Flint. The semifinals and finals will be held at Delta College in Bay City on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
The District 10 tournament, at least by the numbers, is the toughest draw in the country at this level. Three of the top six teams in the national poll, Wayne County, Oakland CC and Mott, are in District 10.
Mott (24-5) led by 15 at the half and didn’t allow Delta (13-16) to get within 11 points in the second half. The Bears were led by sophomore Malik Albert, who scored 26 points with eight rebounds, four steals and three assists. He also had the play of the game in the second half, a ridiculous 360 dunk in transition (photo above).
Freshman Marcus Johnson scored 22 points and sophomore Jamal Reynolds added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Ruston Hayward, who must play well in the playoffs for Mott to have success, had a solid overall performance with 11 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Hayward is Mott’s only true frontline player, so he will need to play big for the Bears to advance to the national tournament.
Delta had been playing some very solid basketball over the last few weeks, winning five of their last seven games including a two-point loss to Oakland. Wednesday night the Pioneers ran into a buzzsaw. The Bears weren’t as polished as they had been over the last several games, but it didn’t matter. Albert was absolutely unstoppable going to the basket; he had his way with every defender he saw.
Austin Marine and Tre Johnson scored 12 points apiece for Delta. The Pioneers will travel to Port Huron Tuesday to take on St. Clair in their first round game.
Listen to Mott in the District 10 Tournament on the Michigan Regional Sports Network at MRSN.us.