FLINT, Michigan — No. 13-ranked Mott rode a spirited second half performance to knock off St. Clair Wednesday night in Flint, 86-68.
The Bears needed a strong performance heading in to Saturday’s road matchup against first-place Macomb County. That game will go a long way toward deciding who is crowned the MCCAA Eastern Conference champion.
The Bears’ looked lifeless in the first half against St. Clair, seemingly going through the motions against a completely outmanned Skippers squad. The Bears led by three at the half and strode meekly to the locker room. A little less than 15 minutes later, there was an entirely different team on the court.
Five minutes into the second half, the Bears led by 12 points after an 11-2 run. Mott was sparked by freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee and fellow freshman reserve forward Louis Taborn. Not only is Taborn one of the only players on the planet actually taller than his roster height (6-4), he’s also exactly the type of player this team has lacked for most of the season.
Taborn, who has played sparingly this season, brings another level of energy and effort on both ends of the floor. In limited minutes, he scored 12 points (season-high) and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Deandre Wilson led Mott (21-5) with 20 points (including a dunk) and six assists. Pardee and Robert McCalley added 14 and 13 points, apiece. Freshman point guard Darwin Weis, who sets the bar for energy and effort in the backcourt, had seven points with six assists and six steals.
The Bears have a couple days to prepare for Macomb, a team that they beat by eight points at home a little more than three weeks ago. Listen live Saturday afternoon on MRSN.us. The game tips at 3 p.m.