Arthur Hill closes door on Northern and the Coca-Cola Classic

Posted: December 29, 2010 by Marcellus Miller in High School

Flint, Michigan– The annual Coca-Cola Classic tournament hosted by Flint Northern was capped off by a Saginaw Valley clash between the host team and the highly-touted Saginaw Arthur Hill squad.  All eyes were on the 6’9″ tree, Jordan Hare, and there were plenty of scouts on hand to prove it.

The first quarter went back and forth with the Hill finishing with a 15-13 advantage.  Shaquille Smith and Donald Fisher kept the Vikings in it, scoring six and five points respectively.  Fisher even stepped out and knocked down a 3-pointer off of an inbound play.  However, Hare’s length (at least a 7’0″ wingspan) gave Northern fits as he sliced through the heart of their 1-2-2 zone and finished at the rim.

The second provided more of the same as both teams struggled to gain control.  Costly turnovers by Northern squandered numerous opportunities to grab a lead.  Lydell Symon (Hill) started to capitalize on these errors by leading his team to easy baskets on the other end.  Dalvin David kept Northern alive with 6 points in the frame, all working inside against Hare.  A steal and dunk by Dewrell Tisdale Jr. fired the home crowd up and tied the game up as well.  A late free throw gave the Hill a 26-25 advantage at the break.

Deja vu set in for the Vikings as the third quarter began, which has been their weakest on the young season thus far.  For whatever reason, they cannot seem to get going out of the locker room and Arthur Hill took control.  A 16-4 opening run by the Hill gave them a 42-29 lead.  However, Northern clawed their way back into the game behind Eric Long and David to close the gap to seven entering the final stanza.

Arthur Hill seemed determined not to lose rather than to win this game.  They started to enter into a stall with about six minutes left in the game.  However, their ball-handling and discipline deficiencies do not fit this style and it allowed Northern to use a 3/4-court press to get back into the game.  The press also allowed Hare to get lost around the baseline for a couple vicious dunks, including a nice 180-degree jam off a feed from Symon.  Not to be outdone, two huge 3-pointers by Richmond Lewis and a steal and lay-up by Tisdale tied the game at 65 with under 50 seconds remaining.  A foul by Long gave the Hill the winning free throw and Symon added two more near the end.  David’s triple try at the buzzer fell short as did Northern’s hopes of pulling off this upset and the final was 68-65 Arthur Hill.

Scoring Leaders: Hill- Hare 26, Symon 15, Chandler Young 11  Northern- David 18 and 5 boards, Lewis 12 and 7 assists, Fisher 10

Random Thoughts:

Let me get this out-of-the-way; while I feel the refs did not cause the Hill to win, they certainly helped.  Case in point; Hare, who jumps at every single shot in his area, had no fouls. That’s right, ZERO fouls.  He is a good shot-blocker, but not great.  How does he end with no fouls as the starting center? Case two; a charging call where the defender was on the side, not in front of the offensive player.  Sad…

– Speaking of blocks, I had Hare for three which is equivalent to the number of goaltending calls he had.  That’s just not the smart thing to do.

– Smith (Northern) has got to get back to what made him a top-ten player in this area.  He can’t seem to buy a bucket in the last two games and until he proves he can make the jumper with consistency, Northern is likely to see a ton of 2-3 zone defense.

– Long finished with nine points and two assists in only 13 minutes of play all in the second half.  Why did he only play the second half?  Missed practice = lack of respect for the game…geez…

– David went 9-10 from the floor inside the paint.  At only 6’3″, he used savvy moves around the bucket to score at will even with Hare there.

– Lewis found nothing going too well for three quarters only to explode in the 4th.  He dropped 10 points in that quarter alone.  Now if he could only get the first three together…

– Symon has no flash to his game at all and is not a prototypical point guard, but I understand why the coach has him there.  He knows his game and sticks to it.  He is much stronger than most at his position and bullies his way to the rim looking for contact, lobs to Hare, and trips to the foul line.  And he gets them, a lot.

– Fisher and Hare were ranked right next to each other as freshmen.  Hare has since risen to the top of the ranks, while Fisher has largely slid down.  Tonight, Fisher held his own until foul trouble took him to the bench.  With a year left, the question will be how hard he will work to climb back up the ladder.

– Tisdale does a bit of everything.  He had five steals and four assists to go along with his eight points.  His steal and dunk was one of the best of the night.  Once he builds confidence in a jump shot, look out…

  1. Jared Field says:

    I’ve been openly critical of coaching in Flint for some time, and it’s almost never about X’s and O’s. It’s typically about expectations and discipline.

    I have a problem with this:

    – Long finished with nine points and two assists in only 13 minutes of play all in the second half. Why did he only play the second half? Missed practice = lack of respect for the game.

    To me, disrespecting the team/coaching staff by missing practice without just cause should mean missing a game in its entirety — if not more. I’m not a coach, so set me straight. Does that sound like a slap on the wrist to anyone else?

  2. SO WHAT says:

    lol see what i mean.He wasn’t late for practice.He MISSED practice.Unless it was a very good reason he shouldn’t have played.Like I said “Coaches trying to be friends with their players”. O and thats definitely not the only reason the city isn’t a basketball powerhouse anymore

  3. Unless you are there, it is very difficult to pass judgement on the situation. To lump this in with any similar situation would be inappropriate. As a coach, there is a case by case basis. There are some reasons to miss practice that have merit, but yet still must be punishable. I have had players miss due to obligations at church, with family, with school, and many other things. Each is its own beast. The implication that this indicates some type of friendship with the player(s) is also ludicrous at best. There are many variables in these type of situations, but unless one coaches, one will never know them well enough to understand them fully.

    Also, if anyone can remember back when Northern WAS a powerhouse, several players (including Mateen Cleaves) were punished for the first half of their rivalry game at Central due to disciplinary issues. No one questioned Coach Holiday at the time, nor did it stop them from being a powerhouse…but that was then I suppose…

    • Jared Field says:

      There was no GLH back then!

      I take your point. But kids who are good enough to get to play in college need discipline, and fast.

      • You already know I agree with you there…including him. And unfortunately for him there was a certain JUCO coach in the audience that may have shown some interest…but I am sure that was hampered by only a half of play…that’s where he will wish he was at practice no matter what!

  4. SO WHAT says:

    thats why i said unless it was a very good reason

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