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North Side big man fuels Redskin tear in SAC win

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Davis drains long shots to widen gap over Northrop

Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 1:49 am

Mike Davis is one of the tallest players on a North Side roster that includes solid guards Tre'Vion Crews and Jeremy Jones. This means he shouldn't be the outside threat, but that hasn't stopped him from pulling up from long range this season.

It's a good thing for North Side he's a big man who can connect from deep. Friday night he nailed two 3-pointers early in the second quarter as part of a 17-2 run that put North Side (4-0, 2-0 SAC) in control at Northrop (3-4, 1-1) en route to a 58-51.

Struggling with foul trouble and turnovers in the first quarter, the Redskins fell behind 7-4. Then they turned it on defensively, forcing Northrop into bad shots and found offense from unlikely sources, including Davis's two 3-pointers in the first few minutes of the second quarter.

“You know, a couple guys got in foul trouble early so we had to weather the storm,” Davis said. “I played more minutes than usual, had to work on my conditioning during the game and thought I just played very efficient, took smart shots and we all just came and played the way we're supposed to.”

Davis play was especially important as that foul trouble included three North Side starters with two fouls in the first half forcing them to spend a large portion of it on the bench. Oosha Mitchell, Jones and Terrell Crews all went to the bench putting pressure on the rest of the Redskins to play well.It also found these contributions without Tre'Vion Crews providing his normal scoring touch. He only had three points in the fast half, but Davis and Myluv Sutton took over the scoring as North Side had a 10-point lead at halftime.

Davis scored six of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter and Sutton scored all seven of his points in the first half to go along with six rebounds.

“That's what I felt real good about, that we were able to get good, productive play from our bench because we're going to need those guys as the season progresses,” North Side coach Shabaz Khaliq said. “So, if Tre (Crews) only has three (points in the first half) and somebody else is picking up the load, I'm okay with that because we're not the type of team that depends on one guy in particular to lead us and get us to the promised land.”

With this double-digit halftime, lead North Side kept Northrop at arms length the entire second half. The Bruins pushed early in the fourth quarter behind Enis Becirevic, who scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, to pull within six three times.

“I told our team about 70 percent of the game we showed the mental toughness and focus and poise and about 30 percent we kind of let up or got tired or just didn't fight through,” Northrop coach Barak Coolman said. “That's just a learning curve of a group that's inexperienced against a team that's been through it and a team that hasn't. It's all brand new for (our team).”

This ability to close the game out may be new to Northrop, but even Khaliq wants to see more from his team's leadership in these situations. With multiple tough games coming up, including the SAC Holiday Tournament, he knows improvement is needed.

“I thought tonight our physical effort was great, our mental effort not so much,” Khaliq said. “We're going to have to get better mentally, especially with the seniors we have, we just have to make better decisions, but I feel pretty good with where we are at.”

NORTH SIDE 58, NORTHROP 51

North Side*9*19*14*16*-*58

Northrop*7*11*13*20*-*51

North Side: Mitchell 9, Davis 16, Jones 6, Te. Crews 3, Sutton 7, Lee 3, Tr. Crews 14.

Northrop: Thomas 4, Claypool 12, Starks 15, Becirevic 18, Berry 2.

NORTH SIDE 58, NORTHROP 51

North Side*9*19*14*16*-*58

Northrop*7*11*13*20*-*51

North Side: Mitchell 9, Davis 16, Jones 6, Te. Crews 3, Sutton 7, Lee 3, Tr. Crews 14.

Northrop: Thomas 4, Claypool 12, Starks 15, Becirevic 18, Berry 2.