No. 4 Ferndale survives Detroit Country Day scare, walking away late for third straight district title – The Oakland Press
BEVERLY HILLS — There were probably few, if any, dunks in Treyvon Lewis’ career that he wanted to throw as badly as the one he brought home in the dying seconds of the Division 2 title game of Friday.
For the No. 4-ranked Ferndale Eagles Mr. Basketball runner-up, the dunk — which capped a 60-55 victory over Detroit Country Day — was part exclamation mark, part release of frustration, in part a sigh of relief and part a giant “Shhhhh!” to the boisterous student section of the Yellowjackets.
“I really wanted to, because their student section was talking crazy, their bench was talking crazy. I shot a 3 and fell, and they were getting up and saying, “You suck.” You are trash. Overrated, ‘this and that,’ Lewis said. “So I just wanted to put an exclamation mark on it at the end.”
The victory, which clinched the Eagles’ third straight district title (18-3), sends them to next week’s regionals at home, where they will face Detroit’s Henry Ford (10-10) in the regional semifinals on Monday.
There’s no doubt, though, that the Yellowjackets (16-6) gave the Eagles all they could handle on Friday night, taking a 53-47 lead in the fourth quarter and tying the score in the final. minute of the game.
“It shouldn’t have been so close. We went out, and we had players at fault, and we had to go for alternatives,” Lewis said. “It shouldn’t have been so difficult, but I’m glad we got it (the win), and the job isn’t done yet.”
The Eagles broke a 55-55 tie on Lewis’ layup with just under 40 seconds left, then – after two consecutive missed opportunities for the Eagles to take the lead at the free throw line – Lewis split a pair with 15.5 seconds left, then caught a loose ball in the dying seconds and was escorted for the dunk by a pair of teammates.
In total, the Eagles scored the game’s final seven points, after the Yellowjackets took their final lead on Kareem Aburashed’s jump shot.
Lewis finished with 15, and fellow senior Jason Drake had 11, but it wasn’t a game that will top their flagship reels either.
“Yeah, I mean, we got them beat. You know, these, these guys (Drake and Lewis) have to get their numbers in order for them to win. And they didn’t. So the turnover is hurting us. Credit again, credit to them. We don’t turn the round around, we beat them. Because they struggled to protect us,” Country Day coach Mark Bray said, acknowledging the two-point fourth quarter was a killer. “They took advantage of the ability to check and type by hand and they fired us. They did a great job. They are good at that. And it hurt us. We felt like we were still getting some good shots. But you know, we turn around, we don’t shoot. So that was the key. I think we could have had – just over my head, I think we had five turnovers in the fourth. It’s hard to win when that happens.
Aburashed finished with a game-high 23 points, while Julian Scott had 10. Luke Aomori was effective when on the pitch, but was fouled the entire game and was the victim of a fault with almost seven minutes remaining.
But the Eagles also had foul trouble.
“I mean Coach (Mark) Bray did a good job, they were ready. They threw the kitchen sink at us. You know, obviously we had some foul issues early on, we’ve got some injured guys,” Ferndale coach Juan Rickman said. “So we have a lot of guys, inexperienced, who probably shouldn’t even be in college right now. So just trying to improve.
One of the players at fault was Christopher J. Williams, who had his only points on a reverse layup with 5:30 to go to tie the game at 55-55, but made one of the biggest plays in the game. game when he grabbed a rebound on one and a missed free throw, giving them another Eagles possession.
“It was big. He was big. Even in huddle, during a timeout, I told him something. I told him that was a huge rebound,” Lewis said. “I mean, for having him at fault, I think it’s happened two or three times this season. And each time it was hard. It’s hard without him. Even if he has a bad game, his presence is always there.
The Eagles got a huge contribution off the bench from Jacoby Jackson, who made five 3-pointers and then knocked down a pair of free throws in the fourth to bring Ferndale back in the two, finishing with a team-high 17 points.