Henry Ford comes back to beat Delta by one, 73-72

Posted: December 23, 2010 by Jared Field in College

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Michigan — Up six at the half and 10 with six minutes left in the second half, an upset was brewing on Tuesday night at Delta College.

The home Pioneers led most of the game, had numerous opportunities to put Henry Ford away and didn’t. They lost by one after a controversial foul with five seconds left in a tied game gave Henry Ford the lead.

Delta College coach Lonnie Griffin drew up a perfect play as the Pioneers’ guards ran the clock down under 10 seconds. Freshman point guard A.J. Thomas drove to the basket and hit a wide open Brad Norman for what could have been the game-winning basket. It didn’t fall and Norman was called for a foul on sophomore forward Terrance Tubbs.

That was the game.

You could say that Delta really deserved to win this game, but upon reflection that’s probably not accurate. The Pioneers’ played five minutes of some of the worst defense you’ll see at any level. They looked like the French Foreign Legion out there, with HFCC’s Tyrell Taylor basically scoring at will, running down the center of the lane.

Taylor did most of his damage in the second half, scoring on numerous easy baskets — shooting 10-for-13 and finishing with 20 points.

HFCC’s Jamie Stewart was, by a good margin, the best player on the floor. He finished with 24 points (17 in first half). Sophomore Terrance Tubbs scored a couple big baskets in crunch time for Henry Ford, finishing with 14. The only other player in double-figures was sophomore Christian Moon, who scored 13.

One major concern for HFCC coach Abe Mashour has to be his apparent lack of depth. The four players I’ve mentioned are very solid and Stewart might be the best player in the state. After that, they’re questionable. HFCC had a total of ZERO POINTS on their bench last night.

The player that some on this site said would basically dominate JUCO basketball in Michigan, transfer Devon Braswell, came off the bench and scored zero points with two turnovers. HFCC’s 5th starter, freshman Assad Robinson, had two points on eight shots with five turnovers. He was getting to the basket, but every time he floated in there he failed to finish strong and instead tried to pull off a Blue Angels-inspired spin-o-rama.

As a team, Henry Ford had eight assists and 12 turnovers. The lack of assists speaks to, at least in part, the lackluster defensive effort during HFCC’s offensive outburst in the second half. It wasn’t about HFCC’s execution, but more about Delta’s players just getting out of the way.

Delta’s two, as I see them, most important players came up huge in this game. Sophomore guard Brad Norman and sophomore forward Winthrop Thomas played extremely well all game. Norman led the Pioneers with 17 points, five assists and five rebounds — oh, and one turnover. This young man is a real-deal competitor. I could name a few of his teammates who could stand to learn a thing or two about playing the right way.

Thomas is a solid all-around undersized big man who limits his mistakes in the post, screens out and rebounds. He could play significant minutes for any JUCO team in this state. He missed a cupcake late in the game that I’m sure kept him up late last night, but he’s a big reason why Delta had a chance to win this game.

Delta’s most talented player, freshman point guard A.J. Thomas, struggled at times against HFCC’s perimeter. He scored 12 points with four assists and nine turnovers. He attempted passes throughout the game that probably will be there against Alpena or Kirtland, but not Henry Ford. Even still, there may only be a small handful of guards at this level that can keep him out of the lane. All that said, to be a great player you have to defend.

One final note: There were two very good teams with two very good coaches at Delta last night, so the question must be asked: Where were the fans? It’s embarrassing for a proud basketball city like Saginaw to not support this program. You could get more people in to see Michael Richards at the Apollo.

  1. TJ says:

    How did Jojuan graham play he been scoring well for Delta this year had a couple 20 point games this year vs good teams and been staying in double digits? I heard he had a groin injury but played through it!

  2. SBell says:

    What do you mean? Braswell and Robinson are from Detroit, therefor they will dominate.

  3. Marcellus Miller says:

    Fans? Man you should have seen the crowd for the Arthur Hill sponsored tournament last week at Delta…I have seen that for a tourney with a good team as the host.

  4. sp says:


    To be honest I’m a little surprised to hear that the bench wasn’t that good for HFCC that game. They have 6 guys currently averaging double figures and that has been the reason they have been tough offensively. Maybe that explains such a low point total for them (73).

    Robinson is a more than capable scorer and Gupton has led them in the few games that I saw so maybe they just had rough nights. Where do you see Delta ending up this year in the league?


    • Jared Field says:

      I think Delta is capable of beating St. Clair on a good night. They have a solid starting five and they gave HFCC all they could handle. I’d be disappointed if they finished worse than fourth.

  5. TJ says:

    The starters for Delta is AJ Thomas Brad Norman Jojuan Graham and Wintrop Thomas and Kwincy Tucker…… Graham didnt start last game due to didnt practice because of groin injury

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