The last time a Mott guard scored 40 points in a game, the Bears won in a runaway. This time around, Steve Schmidt’s team needed every one of the 40 points put on the scoreboard by sophomore guard John Taylor as the Bears downed Jackson, 88-82.
Mott, down by seven at the half, stormed back in the second half behind Taylor and his backcourt mate Darryl “Boo” Marshall. It was actually Marshall who sparked the Bears late with a 3-pointer from the left wing and some clutch free throws down the stretch. Marshall looked like a different player in the second half, playing tireless defense and pushing tempo. He finished with 17 points.
Taylor was downright unstoppable from start to finish. Unlike the season opener, Taylor didn’t settle for as many outside shots. He fearlessly attacked the basket.
Early in the game, players on the end of the Jackson bench were chanting “overrated” in Taylor’s direction. Those same guys spent the rest of the game craning their necks to see if he would crack 40.
Some Mott fans have compared Taylor’s talent level to former NJCAA national player of the year at Mott, Jeremie Simmons (Ohio State). Ironically, Simmons was the last Mott player to score 40 points in a game. The two came from the Windy City, but that’s where the similarities end. Simmons was a greyhound; Taylor is an attack dog.
Jordan Union and Larry Taylor led Jackson with 22 and 17 points, respectively. Jackson’s most impressive prospect, 6-4 sophomore guard James Johnson, struggled with foul trouble. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
Mott (2-0) is off until November 19th when they travel to Dayton (Ohio) to take on Sinclair CC.