Wednesday’s roundup: Walled Lake Northern guts out win

Al Willman
The Detroit News

Some nights it’s OK to accept an ugly win as a win.

Such was the case on Wednesday for Walled Lake Northern, whose boys basketball team held off visiting Pontiac, 44-39, in a game that was far from ideal.

“It was an ugly game all the way around,” Northern coach Ron Thompson said. “But we’re happy to get out of there with a win.”

Sophomore guard Troy Lattimore had 15 points to lead Northern (4-1). Junior guard Jalen Kelso and sophomore center Spencer Brown added eight each.

At the half, Northern had a 22-20 lead, and was sitting all but one of its starters because of foul trouble.

“Give our bench credit for giving us a lead at halftime with four starters sitting on the bench,” Thompson said. “Tonight we didn’t execute our defense at all. We need to do a better job at staying in front of guys. Defensively, in the first half we got in foul trouble because we got beat off the dribble and got our bigs in foul trouble early.”

Lattimore, a 6-footer who started all 22 games as a freshman a season ago, has continued to impress his coach.

“He stepped it up today,” Thompson said. “He made some real nice plays in the open court. He pushed the tempo when he needed to.”

He said Kelso, who averages seven steals a game, has been an important piece of Northern’s defense.

“Jalen does it all for us,” Thompson said of Kelso, who alternates wtih Lattimore in the point guard role. “He picks up the other team’s point guard. He settles us down when he needs to. He’s having one of the most unbelivable defensive seasons I’ve ever seen.”

But Kelso struggled Wednesday. He had three fouls in the first half.

“He was in real bad foul trouble, but he fought through it,” Thompson said.

Northern’s foul trouble paved the way for 6-foot-7 Brown to contribute off the bench. Six of his eight points came in the first half.

“Spencer gave us a really big spark,” Thompson said.

Northern is off until next Wednesday, when it plays Detroit Renaissance in the five-day, multiple-site Motor City Roundball Classic at Renaissance.

It then begins Kensington Lakes Athletics Association-North play with games on Jan. 6 at home against White Lake Lakeland and Jan. 10 at Walled Lake Western, the presumptive conference favorite.

Pontiac will also be at the Roundball Classic. It takes on Livonia Stevenson on Monday, before playing Grosse Pointe North on Wednesday.

Pontiac’s Oakland Activities Association schedule starts on Jan. 6 with a home game against Troy Athens.

Cleontai Brown scored 12 and Dorian Jackson nine for Pontiac (3-1).

More boys basketball

Detroit Voyageur Prep 65, Melvindale ABT 51: Elijah Bell had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Voyageur (2-0). Isaac Brooks scored 16 for ABT (0-1).

Wayne Memorial 84, Detroit Old Redford 65: Rashad Williams had 26 points and 10 assists and Isaiah Lewis 18 points for Wayne Memorial (5-1). Mark Rocket Watts scored 20 for Old Redford (2-2).

More boys basketball scores

Birmingham Brother Rice 47, Traverse City Central 31

Birmingham Seaholm 50, Berkley 29

Grosse Pointe North 69, Utica 60

Warren Woods Tower 51, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 45

Girls basketball

Detroit Cody 65, Detroit International Academy 17: Courtney Stone had 16 points and Nala Barlow eight for Cody (5-2). DIA is 0-7.

Detroit Collegiate Prep 61, Detroit CMA 40: Ajanee Horton had 22 points, Sapphire Dawson had 10 points and 12 rebounds, Ericka Smith 11 points and Nikiya Cordell 10 points for Collegiate Prep (6-1, 4-0 PSL West Division 2). Ishamere Smelley scored 16 and Vantane Garrett 14 for CMA (3-5, 1-3).

Detroit Denby 53, Detroit Delta Prep 12: Caprice Brown had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jamila Gortman 14 points, Faith Hymon and Asia Hayes 10 points each for Denby (6-1, 2-0 PSL East Division 2). Samiyah Washington scored eight for Delta Prep (0-5, 0-1).

Detroit East English 72, Detroit Osborn 13: Jayla Smith had 19 points, 10 steals, eight assists and five blocks for East English (7-1, 2-0 PSL East Division 1). C’Erra Maholmes added 19 points and Jordan Witcher 12 and Diamond Massey 10 points and 13 rebounds. Maria Martin scored six for Osborn (2-3, 1-2).

Detroit Mumford 53, Detroit Renaissance 48: Chastity Willis had a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals for Mumford (5-2, 3-0 PSL West Division 1). Tierra Earnest and Donnetta Colbert added 10 points each. Nia Reynolds scored 15 and Dalyn Henderson 10 for Renaissance (6-1, 2-1).

Detroit West Side Academy 32, Detroit Central 25: Ashlee Diamond had 12 points and Sancia Johnson nine for West Side Academy (2-6). Central is 1-7.

More girls basketball scores

Birmingham Groves 56, Lake Orion 53

Detroit Southeastern 49, Detroit Davis Aerospace Academy 2

Warren Cousino 68, Macomb Dakota 43

Waterford Kettering 34, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 24

Al Willman is a freelance writer.