Mott head coach Steve Schmidt has made seven trips to the national tournament in Danville, Illinois and never once missed out on the Final Four. That incredible streak is intact after the Bears’ 72-57 win over Louisburg College Thursday night.
Mott (33-1) led by 23 points midway through the second half and cruised to the victory with a dominant defensive performance. They held Louisburg to 33 percent shooting from the field and forced 21 turnovers. Only one player scored in double figures (12) for Louisburg.
“When you play defense like that, you’re not going to lose very many games,” Schmidt said in a post-game interview with WDAN radio.
The Bears trailed by four in the early going before putting together a run similar to one they had on Tuesday night in the opening round. Mott scored 21 of the game’s next 25 points, led by sophomore combo guard John Taylor. With Mott’s former national player of the year Jeremie Simmons in the stands, Taylor put on a show for his Windy City brethren. He made 38 points look easy, slicing and dicing his way through a much bigger Louisburg lineup.
“I think he’s the best (JUCO) player in the country,” Schimidt said. “And I think there are a lot of people who would agree with me.”
A lot of those people live in Danville, Illinois.
Through two games, Taylor has the tournament record for points with a 32-point average. Taylor wasn’t alone, however. Sophomore forward Walter Davis scored 10 points with 10 rebounds including a couple impressive dunks. Freshman Ralph Eason added 13 points with seven rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Mott will play tomorrow night against the winner of the Lakeland and South Mountain game.
Editor’s note: I will be leaving for Danville in the morning. Check back tomorrow for more news on Mott’s run to another title.