North, South send off 2022 in winning fashion

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In the final week of 2022, the Gros Point North and Gros Point South basketball teams ended the year on a high note. The Blue Devils and Northmen men’s and women’s teams all came off with wins last week and hope to carry that momentum into the new year and the start of league play.

North Jr. James Phillips will use bursts of speed to pass Armada defenders in last Wednesday’s 30-point win for the Northmen. Phillips finished the game as the leading scorer with 19.Photo by Mike Adzima

At the Tarz Holiday Classic at Anchor Bay last week, the North Boys Basketball Team opened a late gift in the form of a tournament trophy. After back-to-back victories last Tuesday and Wednesday, the Norwegians had a lot to cheer for on their way into the new year.
North faced Rochester in the first match of the tournament on Tuesday, December 27th. Senior Adam Ayreau stepped up with a 21-point performance to lead the Northmen to a 54-45 victory. James Phillips also hit his double-digit mark with his 16 and North advanced to the tournament finals.
North was in the hunt for the tournament crown on Wednesday, December 28, when he faced the Armada Tigers. The Norsemen’s strength for most of the night came in the form of defense. North held the Tigers to just four points in the first quarter and led by eight as the first eight minutes passed.
The Northmen offense wasn’t scoring at their fastest pace in the first half, but it did enough to keep the front up while the defense held off the Armada. North again held the Tigers to his single-digit points in the second quarter and at halftime he led 25–13.
The lead North had built by halftime and a solid defensive performance throughout allowed the team to get away in the second half of the game. The Northmen put the Heat up on offense in the third quarter, and in just eight minutes he scored 19 points and extended his lead to 18 going into the final frame.
The Northmen’s scoring frenzy continued in the fourth quarter. North scored 20 points in his final eight minutes, but the defense continued to overwhelm the Armada all night to clinch the win by 30 points.
“It was a confidence building thing,” said North Boys basketball coach Rob Johnson after his team won the holiday tournament. “We’ve seen what we can do when we commit to the defensive side of the ball, because that translates into offense.”
Ten different Norwegians scored at least one point on the stat sheet in the tournament final. Phillips led the group with 19 and Hérault he had 12.
The Northmen will host New Haven at 7pm. The final non-league game will take place on Friday, January 6, before MAC White takes on Romeo at home on Tuesday, January 10.
The Blue Devils Boys Basketball Team had two opportunities to play in two Holiday Showcases last week. The South had the opportunity to prove their worth against the tough competition seen in the eyes of the state and they did just that.
The South traveled to Ferndale on Tuesday 27 December to face West Bloomfield in the Motor City Roundball Classic. Against an always tough Lakers team, the Blue Devils didn’t back down and impressed many with a 52-39 win. Carter Richards finished with 20 points and he was named MVP of the game, while senior big man Alex English finished with 16 points and Anthony Benard with his 11 points.
The Blue Devils had a day off before hitting the court again on Thursday, December 29th. This time, we headed to North Farmington to face off against Saleen in Chris Webber’s Her Holiday Extravaganza.
Looking at the first quarter, you might expect last Thursday’s contest to be a close, back-and-forth battle. That was the case for the first eight minutes. The South and the Hornets finished the first quarter his 20-for-19, with the Blue trading baskets in favor of his Devils, and the South’s 11 of his points in the first quarter came from Richards.
After scoring 20 in the first quarter, the South’s attack heated up and looked unstoppable by halftime. The Blue Devils had no problem finding the basket, but Saleen struggled to get anything in during the second quarter. The South beat the Hornets in the second quarter, his 6-for-28, pulling away and he trailing by 23 at halftime.
A substantial lead at halftime turned into the Blue Devils continuing to roll in the second half. Saline was a little more productive offensively, but it was too late after the South monster’s second quarter. The Blue Devils kept the momentum going, leading 65-41 as he advanced to fourth, and with the game in hand he won 84-57.
Richards was the top scorer again in a monster day on the South’s offense. The Jr. finished with 31 points and again earned honors as the game’s MVP.Benard was a close second with 27.
The South’s men’s team will play their first game of the new year on Friday, January 6 at 7 p.m. on the MAC Red Play against Roseville.
The Blue Devils women’s varsity team was Pointes’ only women’s basketball team in action last week. Last Tuesday, December 27th, South got the job done in the Ann Arbor Huron 53-42 despite tipping off before 9am at the Motor City Classic at Westfield Prep.
Madison Benard’s 25 points and six stolen bases earned him sophomore Game MVP honors. Freshman Alex his Lupo tallied nine runs scored and his three stolen bases.
The South Girls are back in action on Thursday, January 5th at 5pm, hosting Eisenhower in the MAC Red Showdown.

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