Clinton Township, Macomb Township
Late run helps Dakota top Chippewa Valley
Cougars retain first place in MAC Red, remain undefeated
By Alex Tekip
Dakota's Brendan Sackey-Afriyie (22) guards Chippewa Valley's Steven Lloyd (25) in a Feb. 5 MAC Red showdown between the Cougars and Big Reds.
Posted February 5, 2016
The second and third quarters of the Feb. 5 game between Macomb Area Conference Red Division rivals Macomb Dakota and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley both ended in a tie.
All signs pointed to a close finish in the final seconds. Or a buzzer beater. Or overtime.
Dakota (13-0, 8-0 MAC Red) ignored the signs, using a 13-point fourth-quarter run to push itself to a 64-48 win over Chippewa Valley (11-3, 5-3 MAC Red).
"We came out and (took) their punches, and we took over at the end and just did Dakota basketball," said Dakota senior Steven Marshall.
Dakota managed to contain Chippewa Valley senior Steven Lloyd in the second half after his explosive 16-point first half. Lloyd had 12 points in the second half, but Dakota watched him closely and worked to limit his chances to create offensive runs.
"We doubled (Lloyd) a lot," said Dakota coach Paul Tocco. "We face-guard him. We try not to let him touch the ball. Sometimes that's a problem, he's such a good athlete,"
"I thought (Lloyd) was spectacular," said Chippewa Valley coach Kevin Voss. "I obviously think he should've went to the free-throw line some more there, he's got guys all over him all night long, but that's what he's faced all year long. They know he can play; they know he's a special player, so every time he touches the ball people are doubling him, mugging him, doubling him, doing whatever they can to stop him."
In addition to slowing down Lloyd, Dakota's defense was able to hold the Big Reds to just four points in the fourth quarter.
"We have a tendency to pick it up where we need to," Tocco said.
Lloyd was the sole Big Reds player with double-digit points in the game. Dakota had three players reach double digits in scoring: Jermaine Jackson Jr. with 23 points, Marshall with 16 and Tavin Allison with 10.
Chippewa Valley was on the losing end of a 79-60 game when it last faced Dakota on Jan. 12. Although the second-place Big Reds didn't gain any ground against the first-place Cougars, Voss said he saw promise in his team throughout most of the contest.
"It's always a big rivalry game, it's Dakota-Chippewa, the crowd's gonna be big, everybody's gonna be here, and, you know, they put up some pretty big numbers against a lot of schools and they hammered us pretty good the first time over at our place, so I was just proud that, you know, after three quarters, we had them really thinking about us," he said.
Tocco said his players were "amped up" to play Chippewa Valley. He said he thought the high amount of energy and emotion led to some mistakes early in the game, but was happy the Cougars were able to pull out the win in front of the home crowd.
"Anytime Chippewa-Dakota, it's such a great ... you see that gym; that's an enthusiastic place to be," said Tocco. "That's a really fun place for the kids to be, and they fed off of it and in the end, I think we played the game that we were supposed to play."
About the author
Reporter Alex Tekip covered sports, primarily for the Royal Oak Review. She also wrote for the Advertiser Times and Birmingham/Bloomfield Eagle, covering schools, government and community news in Harper Woods, Beverly Hills, Franklin, Bingham Farms, and the Birmingham and Bloomfield school districts. Alex began working as a personalization writer for ESPN's digital ventures in June 2016.
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