Ypsilanti – Detroit Edison came back from a 10-point second-half deficit, putting on some defensive pressure to pull out a season-opening 69-66 win over Canton in the Ypsilanti Tip-Off Classic Monday night at Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center.
Edison returned just one starter from last year’s Class C state championship team in 6-foot-7 senior Brian Taylor, and he made sure he would lead his team back.
Taylor scored eight during the final four minutes of the third quarter, three off of putbacks, to turn a 47-37 deficit into a 52-51 lead.
Then, Edison coach Bo Neely decided to turn up the pressure and the full-court press forced multiple turnovers while also starting to fatigue Canton’s talented backcourt of Vinson Sigmon (28 points) and Western Michigan-bound guard B. Artis White (20 points, 3-of-9 3s).
"In the first half we were getting beat off the glass so at halftime Coach (Neely) told us that we had to rebound more if we wanted to win the game," Taylor said. "We also used the 2-2-1 to pressure the offense because we wanted them to speed up so they'd turn the ball over and they did."
Said Neely: "We just wanted to get a feel for what they were going to do versus us and the thing that really shocked me was how well they played man-to-man defense. We thought that we'd be able to spread the floor and dominate the game, you know pound it in, but they were a very good defensive team man-to-man.
"We thought that we could add a little pressure (in fourth quarter). We hang our hats on our defense, so we needed to put up the pressure and force some turnovers."
The fourth quarter was close throughout with Edison 5-10 freshman guard Kyle Millender splitting through Canton’s defense to make a three-point play (basket and free throw) for a 67-64 lead with 1:28 left.
"I saw an open lane, nobody wanted to stop the ball so I had to go in strong and finish," Millender said. "It feels great to be a freshman coming in, making that shot in a big moment at Eastern Michigan. I just had to go hard and it felt great.
"They have two great guards, one going to Western Michigan and they played great today. It was great to play in a game like this."
After the teams traded turnovers, Taylor blocked a shot, leading to a transition dunk by Raynard Williams for a 69-64 lead, but he was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim and Sigmon made the two free throws with 14 seconds left to cut the deficit to 69-66 with Canton also owning the ball.
And, Canton had a good look at a long-range shot, but White’s 3-point attempt from the right wing bounced off the front of the rim as time expired.
Williams finished with 11 points and Thaddeus Powell and Millender each scored 10.
More boys basketball
Detroit University Prep 75, Grosse Pointe South 68: Jarreau Gonville scored 22, Ashton Henderson 15 and Malcom Cain 13 for University Prep. Ryan Downey had 24 points for South.