The Pistons Academy Rookie League in Southfield continued their strong play on Thursday night. Coming off an impressive first week of games, each team was ready to get back into action and build upon their successes from last week. “This is a really great group of players, coaches, and teams. The overall skill level and understanding of the rules of the game has been very good,” said League Director Bryan Bollin. “I have been very impressed with each player’s knowledge of the game, and I look forward to watching them improve as the season unfolds,” he said.
Game 1: Hawks 14 – Celtics 12
It was a match-up of unbeaten teams in our first game of the night, as the Celtics took on the Hawks. In the first half, the Celtics were relentless on the glass! They aggressively pursued each missed shot and corralled offensive rebound after offensive rebound. Tarek Agha proved he wasn’t afraid to mix it up and carve out space around the basket, as he consistently grabbed rebounds and played solid defense. Connor Cotton also displayed an impressive ability to get offensive rebounds while knocking down a couple of mid-range jump shots, showing his soft shooting touch. The Celtics tenacity paid off in the first half as they earned second and third chances, jumping out to an early 10-6 halftime lead. However, the Celtics (1-1) were unable to secure as many offensive rebounds in the second half as the Hawks made a concerted effort to box out and limit their opponent’s second chances. This adjustment paid off for the Hawks (2-0), as they stormed back and outscored the Celtics 8-2 in the second half. In a tough fought and closely contested game, the Hawks pulled out a narrow 14-12 victory. The Hawks comeback was aided by the play of Zander Manna, as he displayed a great ability to handle the basketball and make some great passes. Jace Bernard paced the Hawks with 6 points, while Jordan Scott, Henry Kole, Josiah Robinson, and Sajan Doshi each chipped in 2 points. Caleb Starr led the Celtics with 6 points, Connor Cotton dropped in 4 points, and Harry Narens added 2 points.
Game 2: Lakers 15 – Spurs 9
In our second game of the evening, both the Lakers and Spurs were searching for their first victory following last week’s opening losses. Both teams continued to play extremely hard, as they did in their opening games. The game was very close throughout, as each team played tough defense and made life on the offensive end difficult for their opponent. Stephen Harris and Aaren Sigmon really stood out of defense for the Lakers, with each player showing great focus and commitment to stopping their opponent from scoring. For the Spurs, it was Seth Hittleman who played lock-down defense. He was all over the place, diving for loose balls and playing with great energy. The Lakers led 8-5 at halftime, and were able to maintain their lead throughout the second half, eventually winning the game by a score of 15-9. The Lakers (1-1) were led by Josh Sigmon (6 points) and Eugene Conley (4 points). Aaren Sigmon and Jonathan Fletcher each scored two points, and Stephen Harris rounded out the scoring with 1 point. For the Spurs (0-2), Luca Spadafore scored 4 points, Oliver Ellenson added 3 points, and both Zachary Kozouz and Ty Thomson each scored 2 points. While the Spurs have come up short in their first two games, they have played very hard and showed great improvement in several areas. They will provide a tough challenge for their next opponent, as their commitment to playing tough defense and unselfish basketball will serve them well moving forward.
All teams will be back in action next Thursday (November 17th).