FLINT, Michigan — It was a put up or shut up type of game for no. 4-ranked Mott Community College on Saturday versus rival Henry Ford.
One of the Bears’ two losses this season came at the hands of HFCC on the road back in January, when the Hawks scored on the final play of the game to win by one.
The cream rose to the top the second time around as Mott soundly beat the Hawks, 81-67, in front of a packed house at the Steve Schmidt Gymnasium.
The Bears, who led by six at halftime and as many as 20 in the second half, were bolstered by an extraordinary effort from players who typically serve in a reserve role.
Reserves like sophomore forward Laron Rodgers, who played 23 minutes of the toughest post defense you’ll see out of an undersized forward.
Sophomore shooter Ricky Rowse connected on three of four attempts from 3-point range. The Flushing High School product continues to play solid and smart basketball coming off the bench.
Mott was led by sophomore point guard Demetrius Miller, who scored 14 points with seven rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers. No Mott player has come farther this season, in terms of development, than Miller. He played 32 minutes, by far the most on the team, and significantly more than is typical of players in Mott’s system.
Miller shared player of the game honors with sophomore Mike Brigham, who led Mott with 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Brigham played with the fire and intensity that became his calling card as a freshman last season.
Mott’s Doug Anderson, plagued by foul trouble after earning two in the first 77 seconds, managed 13 points in the second half to finish with 14 for the game.
Henry Ford, now 9-2 in conference and 15-9 overall, had two more players in double figures. Terrance Tubbs had 18 points with five rebounds and added 11 points including nine free throws.
Mott, now 21-2 on the season, is alone in first place in the MCCAA’s eastern conference. The Bears will travel to Delta on Monday night for a make-up game against the Pioneers.
MCCAA EASTERN CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS
|#4 – Mott CC||9||1||.900||–||21||2||.913|
|Henry Ford CC||9||2||.818||.5||15||9||.625|
|St. Clair County CC||7||4||.636||2.5||17||8||.680|
— By Jared Field | Great Lakes Hoops