FLINT, Michigan — Wednesday night’s two big games on the JUCO circuit were both won by the favorites, setting up a showdown on Saturday in Oakland County.
No. 1-ranked Mott upended rival St. Clair 78-65 while no. 15-ranked Oakland squeaked out a victory over Henry Ford, the team responsible for the only blemish on the Bears’ record this season, 70-68.
Mott started slow against St. Clair, but rode the hot shooting hand of freshman guard Jakob Perry to an eight-point lead at the half.
The second half belonged to Mott’s ultra-quick sophomore scorer John Taylor, who led all scorers with 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Taylor is to ballhandling what former Mott forward Doug Anderson was to the dunk; he’s a showstopper.
As good as Taylor was, though, this game was won on the defensive end. The Bears were all over the court, forcing the Skippers into 24 turnovers. Johnnie Mills, St. Clair’s best player (at least in my humble opinion), turned the ball over seven times in the game. He did, however, finish with a team-high 18 points and six rebounds. He’s exceptionally quick in his own right.
Perry scored 15 points in only 19 minutes for Mott. Sophomores Walter Davis and Darryl Marshall added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Saturday’s game against Oakland tips at 3:30 p.m. Listen live on the Michigan Regional Sports Network.