PLYMOUTH – It has been a Hollywood script of a season for Ancilla’s Chargers and the twists and turns continued Saturday as it took overtime, but Ancilla took the schools first MCCAA conference title with an overtime win over #16 ranked Henry Ford College 98-90.
“Henry Ford is really good,” said Ancilla head coach Aaron Butcher. “We’re playing a team that won their league. I was really proud of the way the guys responded. Early you’re thinking we’re in trouble. But really with these guys you just know, with their character and their toughness. And that won out today.”
The Chargers came from as many as 12 back in the first half the pull ahead for the first time with five minutes in the game and then hang on in overtime for the win. Henry Ford shot 50 percent (8-16) beyond the arc in the first half and cleaned up on the offensive boards to jump out to a commanding lead they would hold until late in the frame.
“Credit them a lot they were playing well,” said Butcher. “They were really ready to go. We were there on some of them but I thought our ball screen coverage early was not good which led to open looks for them.”
The Ancilla defense responded with some stops late in the first half to cut the lead back to eight at halftime.
“Sometimes when you play a team that is as hot as they were in the first half you want to press a little bit and you get out of position,” said Butcher. “So the message at halftime was simply ‘trust out defense’ we’re 27-2. And our guys did that.”
Taking the offensive – literally – the Chargers attacked the basket early and often in the second half and took advantage of opportunities at the free throw line in climbing back into the game. Ancilla ended the night with 30-39 from the free throw line in forcing the overtime and eventually extending the lead that would win it in overtime.
“We moved to the zone their late in the first half and early in the second and I think that slowed them down a little bit,” said Butcher. “Our guys were able to cover some stuff up and we switched some ball screen coverage in the second half and that really helped.”
After the red hot first half, the Hawks shot a more normal 30 percent from three in the second half and Ancilla was also able to limit shot opportunities cleaning up the boards.
“There was a three minute stretch where they got some rebound baskets there in the second half,” said Butcher. “It’s hard against a team like them they are big they are athletic but our guys did the job.
Jair Rodgers led Ancilla with 26 points, including hitting 12 of 13 free throws. DK Fox added a double/double of 24 points and 12 rebounds and hit some key free throws down the stretch to keep the game tight in the second half. Tyler Chisom hit for 19 points and handed out eight assists, while Teyon Scanlan scored 17 points.
The Chargers head to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 12, District 9 playoffs on Thursday at St. Clair County CC in Port Huron, MI. They will play the winner of the Tuesday game between Lansing and Muskegon.
MCCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
•ANCILLA 98, HENRY FORD COLLEGE 90 OT
Henry Ford (90): Tyler Gilley 1-1 0-0 2, C. J Wilson 6-13 3-5 19, Andre Johnson 5-13 2-2 15, Mascio McCadney 10-15 3-4 27, Matthew Eldridge 4-9 1-1 9, Luster Johnson 5-18 5-6 16, De’Lantae Peterson 0-2 0-0 0, Traveon Orr 0-3 2-2 2, Kevin Rice 0-3 0-0 0. TOTALS: 31-77 16-20 90.
ANCILLA (98): DK Fox 7-12 10-14 24, Teyon Scanlan 7-12 1-2 17, Ty’Sean Sheppard 1-4 0-0 3, Tyler Chisom 7-13 5-5 19, Jair Rodgers 5-13 12-13 26, Frank Felix 1-3 1-2 4, Erick Shepherd 2-3 1-3 5, Mike Green 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 30-61 30-39 98.
Halftime: Henry Ford 50, Ancilla 42. Three-point baskets: AC 8-22 (Sheppard 1-2, Rodgers 4-11, Scanlan 2-6, Felix 1-3,) Henry Ford 12-30 (Gillery Williams Wilson 4-7, A. Johnson 3-4, L. Johnson 1-8, McCadney 4-8, Rice 0-1, Eldridge 0-2 ) Fouls (Fouled out): AC 14 (none), Henry Ford 27 (Orr). Records: Ancilla 28-2, Henry Ford 23-7).