While the Carman-Ainsworth varsity boys’ basketball team took early control of its Saginaw Valley League contest at Lapeer on Tuesday, the Lightning kept battling back to keep the Cavs lead under double digits. That’s what made the fourth quarter play of Ja’Kavien Lewis so invaluable as he scored twice at key times in the middle of the session to help lead the Cavaliers past Lapeer 59-46.
“We knew Lapeer had four returning starters and they were young last year and they gave us fits last year, so I knew they were going to come out and compete,” said Carman-Ainsworth coach Jay Witham. “I told our guys this was going to be a match.”
In a contest that went into halftime with Carman-Ainsworth up 29-15, Lapeer was able to pull within seven at 36-29 with 2:38 left in the third. That’s when Omari Duncan took his turn leading the Cavs with several essential field goals that allowed his team to go on a seven-point run over the next 1:17 to end up ahead 43-29.
“Changing from a full-court to a three quarters court press and getting some easy turnovers (was key). We didn’t get as many easy baskets as we wanted, but the tempo was in our favor,” Witham said. “
Another important factor for the Cavaliers in the second half was Terry Armstrong, who scored seven points over the course of the third and fourth. He also provided strong interior defense because of his height from early in the game to the absolute end.
“What’s nice with him is his length. He’s long and athletic and can cover ground in a couple of steps,” said Witham. “We’re still working on (Armstrong’s) lateral quickness. He sometimes get beat when he’s on the ball defending. We still have to work on that, but he’s only a freshman. It’s a work in progress still.”
Now up 45-31 to start the final stanza, Lapeer once again asserted itself and made it an eight-point game at 49-41 with 4:36 left in regulation. Fortunately, the Cavs were able to count on players like Omari Duncan and Jaylen Bradley for late scores that helped keep the momentum on their side. Making that task a whole lot harder was the energy and effort Drew Rubick and Aaron Hutton set in motion for the Lightning.
“Like we talked about after the game in the locker room, we still didn’t do a very good job defending in our halfcourt set,” Witham said. “Defending in our transition we also didn’t do a very good job, but we did improve on our offensive rebounding. We did do a good job on that.”
Carman-Ainsworth hosts Davison for a SVL game tomorrow. — M.S.
After a 2-0 start in nonleague games, the Lady Cavs have fallen to 2-2 with two consecutive losses in Saginaw Valley League-South play.
The Lady Cavs bowed to Lapeer 66-60 Tuesday night at Lapeer. Carman-Ainsworth fell behind 18-7 in the first quarter and spent the next two periods playing catchup. They trimmed the deficit to 33-24 by halftime, then used a 16-11 third quarter to pull within 44-40. But the host Lightning prevailed in a high-scoring fourth quarter 22-20 to seal the win. Lapeer hit 20 of 31 free throws for the game to 6 of 12 for Carman-Ainsworth.
Randi Richardson scored 20 points, Destine Strother had 12 and Nakiya Earley scored 10 for Carman- Ainsworth. Chelsey Carpenter added eight points.
The Lady Cavs lost a tight game at Southwestern last Friday, falling 54-53 for their first loss of the season. Carman-Ainsworth closed a three-point deficit to 54-53 on two free throws by Earley with 18 seconds left and got the ball back on a Southwestern turnover with six seconds to go. But the Cavs couldn’t get a shot off before the buzzer.
Carman-Ainsworth led 9-8 after one quarter and the game was tied 24-24 at halftime. Southwestern went up by nine points in the third, but the Lady Cavs rallied back to within 39-37 going into the fourth.
Richardson scored 15 points, Eriona Lee-Chambers had 11 and Carpenter netted eight to lead Carman-Ainsworth. Tyesha Bowers led Southwestern, 4-1, with 30 points, including 10-of-10 freethrow shooting.
The Cavs will host Davison in a SVLSouth game Friday. – D.N.
Carman-Ainsworth bowled in two tournaments last weekend, both at Monitor Lanes in Bay City. The girls’ team placed 11th in Saturday’s Bangor John Glenn Holiday Tournament. That qualified the Lady Cavs for match play but they were eliminated in the bestof 3 first round by host John Glenn 183-166, 152-138.
On Sunday, the boys’ team qualified for match play in the Bakers Dozen Holiday Tournament but was knocked out by Davison. The girls’ team did not qualify among the top 12 teams for match play.
Carman-Ainsworth will open Saginaw Valley League play Saturday at Colonial Lanes against Flint Southwestern. – D.N.