Ypsilanti – Ann Arbor Huron's Mike Robinson had to make his father proud Tuesday night at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, making things tough on Ypsilanti Lincoln 6-foot-9 sophomore Emoni Bates, who is considered to be the top high school player in the country.
Robinson, a 6-7 senior and son of Mike Robinson Sr., a two-time Big Ten scoring champion for Michigan State in the 1970s, gave Bates little room to operate in helping No. 7 Ann Arbor Huron (19-1) to a 64-54 victory over No. 10 Lincoln (16-3) before nearly 5,000 spectators.
Robinson, who scored 25 in a 52-51 win at Kalamazoo Central Friday, had a strong all-around game (12 points, five assists, five rebounds) and stayed like glue to Bates in limiting him to 29 points on 8 of 27 shooting from the field, including 3-of-11 on 3-pointers.
Robinson even gave Bates a piece of his own medicine by making a step-back jumper on him for a 40-29 lead with three minutes left in the third.
“I was just trying to force him left and not let him get his shot off,” Robinson said. “He’s long. He can get the ball up over me easily, that was the issue. I just tried to stay close to him and contest his shots.”
So, what did the victory mean?
“It means a lot, it’s a good job, but we’re going to see them again in districts, so this isn’t the game that we need,” said Robinson, who has a 44-inch vertical and a 7-foot wingspan, which helped him defend Bates.
And, yes the game could well be a preview of next week’s Division 1 district final on March 13, which has been moved to the Convocation Center from Saline High School to accommodate a larger crowd.
Bates made his high school debut against Huron on Nov. 26, 2018 at the Convocation Center, living up to the hype with a 34-point, 15-rebound effort in an 80-69 win, scoring eight to rally Lincoln back from a 68-62 deficit as Lincoln ended the game on a 14-0 run.
But, history wouldn’t repeat itself in the rematch.
In Lincoln’s first meeting against Huron since Bates’ debut, Huron’s defense came up big to set the tone with 6-7 junior Kingsley Perkins blocking multiple shots, Huron’s quick guards forcing turnovers and Robinson playing strong defense against Bates, making it tough for him to finish at the basket.
Bates, who scored 63 in a double-overtime win over Chelsea last month, made multiple spin moves and other great dribble drives to attack the basket only to miss shots, missing his first eight shots from the field until making a 3-pointer for his first field goal with 50 seconds left in the half.
Bates made just 1 of 12 shots until catching fire midway through the third quarter when he connected on consecutive 3-pointers, then making three more baskets for a 13-point quarter to pull Lincoln within 44-42 and then made two free throws to open the fourth to pull even at 44-44.
But, Robinson scored on a three-point play (basket and free throw) for a 47-44 cushion and Huron led the rest of the way with Bates connecting on just 2 of 8 shots the rest of the way.
Julian Lewis, a 6-6 junior guard who has played the last two games after missing multiple games due to an injured right wrist, had 20 points and six rebounds for Huron.
More boys basketball
Belleville 61, Westland John Glenn 37: Jalen Williams and Lorenzo Wright both had 12 points and Connor Bush, DJ Johnson and Mario Johnson each had 10 for Belleville (16-4). Kyle Holt scored 11 for John Glenn (14-6).
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 68, Waterford Lakes 56: Ethan Purther had 14 points for Cranbrook (14-5). Grant Ross had 20 points for Waterford Lakes (6-12).
Bloomfield Hills Roeper 58, Canton Prep 33: Evan Akkashian had 23 points, Jonathan Johnson 17 and Thai Fowler 11 for Roeper (14-4). Luke Wisniewski and Bo Oyeneyin each had 11 points for Canton Prep (14-6).
Ecorse 58, Detroit Leadership Academy 34: Malik Olafioye had 19 points with five rebounds and five assists, DeAndre Gains had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Keyon Williams had 15 points for Ecorse (13-6). Leadership Academy is 5-10.
Farmington 74, Southfield Arts & Technology 61: Jaden Akins had 20 points, Zion Carroll 16, Tariq Humes 13, and Demarkco Coakley 12 for Farmington (9-10, 8-3 OAA White). Daiquan Coach had 16 points for Arts & Technology (13-6, 6-5).
Hamtramck 83, Hazel Park 30: Jadon Tillman had 15 points, Noah Burns had 14 points, Amari Allen had 14 points and six steals, and Mike Lewis had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and five steals for Hamtramck (17-3). Hazel Park is 7-13.
Harper Woods Chandler Park 77, Detroit Voyageur Prep 31: Jayland Randall had 35 points and seven steals, Terrance Brown had 12 points and six assists, and Angelo Vega had 13 points for Chandler Park (16-2). Voyageur Prep is 9-9.
New Haven 50, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 37: Brent Wiles had 16 points with 12 rebounds and Brandon Lisco scored 10 for New Haven (12-8). Jalen Jackson scored 15 and Nick Olmeda 10 for Lakeshore (12-8).
New Haven Merritt Academy 49, Chesterfield Austin Catholic 34: Mason Richards had 17 points and Cody Kilcoyne had 10 points for Merritt Academy (12-8). Gabriel Nahhas had 15 points and William Weingartz had 12 points for Austin Catholic (5-8).
Northville 50, Livonia Stevenson 44: Zach Shoemaker had 19 points and Grant Mathiesen 18 for Northville (16-4). Evan Bradford had 11 points and 13 rebounds and Ethan Young had 11 points for Stevenson (12-8).
Novi 53, Livonia Franklin 37: Alando Williams had 10 points for Novi (7-13). Franklin is 6-14.
Novi Christian Academy 69, Ann Arbor Greenhills 46: Blake Goodman scored 27, Mackenzy Blackwell 17 and Johnathan Blackwell 12 for Novi (12-8). Tim Klein scored 18 for Greenhills (3-14).
Okemos 56, Detroit Catholic Central 50: Will Young had 23 points and Noah Pruitt had 10 points and seven assists for Okemos (15-4). Cooper Craggs had 16 points and Nick Smulsky had 13 points for Catholic Central (6-13).
Plymouth 57, Dearborn Fordson 42: Matt MacLellen had 21 points and Jacob Smith 14 for Plymouth (10-10). Zak Maisari had 10 points for Fordson (5-15).
Rochester Adams 41, Troy 40: Justice Mims scored 13 for Adams (7-12, 3-8 OAA White). Ethan Emerzian scored 12 for Troy (15-4, 8-3).
Romulus Summit Academy North 59, Detroit Renaissance 58: Orlando Lovejoy scored 29 and Jamele Johnson 17 for Summit Academy North (14-4). Sterling Scott scored 23 and Juwan Maxes 22 for Renaissance (8-11).
Salem 91, Livonia Churchill 52: Garrett Smith scored 18 and Ashton Wheeler 17 for Salem (6-14). Chase Loving scored 22 for Churchill (1-19).
St. Clair Shores South Lake 63, Detroit Henry Ford 59: Artez Weathington had 19 points, Jeremiah Jolliffi had 15 points with 13 rebounds and five blocks, and Isaiah Jolliffi had 13 points for South Lake (7-13). James Perry had 14 points and Wryan Williams had 12 points for Henry Ford (9-9).
Walled Lake Northern 57, South Lyon 44: Kevyn Robertson scored 23 with 10 rebounds and Bobby McGuire scored 12 for Northern (10-9, 8-7 LVC). Joe Carano scored 13 and Connor McCollum 11 for South Lyon (10-8, 8-6).
Warren Michigan Collegiate 62, St. Clair Shores Lakeview 60: Nick Johnson had 19 points and 10 assists, Mikqwan Mcclain had 15 points, and Deion Black had 13 points for Michigan Collegiate (14-6). Amare Dixon had 22 points, and Lucas Shock and Harold Irby each had 10 points for Shores Lakeview (15-4).
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 59, Wyandotte Roosevelt 43: Maurice Anderson and Evan Johnson both scored 16 for Arbor Prep (14-6).
Woodhaven 62, Lincoln Park 53
Hartland 61, Dearborn 58
Howell 52, Canton 48
Marysville 49, St. Clair 36
Berkley 69, Rochester 57
Troy Athens 69, Pontiac 66
Ann Arbor Huron 64, Ypsilanti Lincoln 54
Chelsea 79, Temperance Bedford 62
Saline 46, Ypsilanti 42
Ann Arbor Central 70, Allen Park Cabrini 51
Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 45, Kalamazoo Phoenix 34
Detroit Country Day 71, Royal Oak Shrine 58
Detroit Univ. Prep Art & Design 1, Southfield Bradford 0 (forfeit)
Madison Heights Bishop Foley 72, Clawson 63 (OT)
Monroe Jefferson 100, Ottawa Lake Whiteford 68
Pontiac Excellence 79, Detroit Oakland 13
Redford Thurston 77, Grosse Ile 46
Riverview 52, Dearborn Heights Crestwood 39
Southfield Christian 68, Dearborn Divine Child 66