January 10, 2013The Grosse Pointe South boys’ basketball team ended its season-opening five-game losing streak last weekend, beating Harper Woods 46-41.
The Blue Devils opened the year with losses to Chippewa Valley, Detroit Osborn, U-D Jesuit, Grosse Pointe North and L’Anse Creuse.
“This is a big lift for our boys and it gives them some confidence heading into our division schedule,” head coach Dave Grauzer said. “Before the game, I told them they had to do three things: bring defensive intensity, don’t give up second and third shots and handle their pressure.
“I thought we did the first two things well and went to win a game we needed.”
The host Blue Devils trailed 10-3 halfway through the opening quarter, but rallied to take an 11-10 lead.
Their second quarter was one of their best of the season. They were forcing turnovers and turning them into baskets.
The one-point lead turned into a 25-16 halftime advantage. Junior Darius Harris scored five points in the Blue Devils’ 14-point surge.
Head coach Russell Collins had his Pioneers ready to play in the second half and they made a charge.
They cut the deficit to 37-33 at the end of the third quarter and eventually tied it at 37 with five minutes left in the game.
Grauzer’s players didn’t panic. Instead, junior Jabari Burton took over and converted a three-point play and hit two free throws as the Blue Devils took the lead for good, 42-37.
Senior Joe Becker converted a driving layup to make it 44-37,
It was 44-39 with 1:24 left and another basket gave the Pioneers life as it was 44-41.
A turnover gave the Pioneers a chance to tie the game, but junior Charles Davis missed a three-point attempt.
Harris was intentionally fouled and drilled his two free throws to put the game in the win column. Harris finished with a team-high 16 points and had five rebounds.
Becker had nine points and five rebounds, while junior Dan Dixon had his best game, scoring five points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Senior George Duffield had five points, while Burton finished with seven and junior Josh Gray had four.
“We’re still a fairly young team and I can see the guys make mistakes,” Grauzer said. “However, tonight they cut down on those mistakes and made some nice plays, especially down the stretch.”
Grosse Pointe South is 1-5 overall with the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division slate dead ahead.