Boys’ Panther basketball takes the MAC Red-White Tournament


Zane Alexander

The Panthers celebrate their victory shortly after winning the MAC Tournament championship.

Zane Alexander, Sports Editor

        The 2017-2018 MAC Red-White Tournament kicked off with the Panthers matched against the Sterling Heights Stevenson Titans in the first round of the tournament at home Feb. 15. The game went back and forth through six quarters of play finally ending in double overtime. The Panthers proved to be victorious with a final score of 82-79. In the second round, the Panthers hosted Grosse Pointe South on Feb. 21 in another electrifying game that ended with the Panthers coming out on top, winning 55-50 after being down majority of the game, and sending them into the tournament championship game against the Chippewa Valley Big Reds on Saturday.

       The first two quarters were a  delayed scoring first half, with great performing defenses from both teams. The score heading into the second half was 17-14 with the Big Reds in the lead. Once the second half got underway, the game began to go back and forth between both teams. Going into the final quarter of play, the game was practically tied and the Panthers knew they had to find  motivation to win the game. During the fourth quarter, the Panthers started to gain a lead on the Big Reds and carried it out for the rest of the game, with a final 54-40. With a win over the Big Reds, the Panthers proved to be triumphant winning the MAC Tournament championship. Junior Darien Banks and sophomore Martell Turner led the team, scoring a combined 36 points and seven assists, while junior John Ukomadu led the defense with 10 rebounds and four blocks.

       “I feel great about winning the MAC Tournament championship; it was a complete team effort, and an early goal we set early into the season. They worked  hard and achieved that goal. Going into districts, we have to stay hungry and humble to make a long run in the state playoffs. I am very proud of the whole team and what we have accomplished,” varsity basketball coach Hassan Nizam said.

       “It was an amazing feeling to win the MAC championship. We have worked very hard and put in many extra hours to accomplish this,” senior captain Austin Lorentzen said.