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Chippewa Valley beats Ford II in key MAC Red contest

By: Jon Malavolti | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 7, 2011

 Chippewa Valley senior Nick Gregory (33), pictured earlier this season, scored 18 points to lead the Big Reds past Utica Ford II 47-46 Feb. 4 at home in a crucial MAC Red contest.

Chippewa Valley senior Nick Gregory (33), pictured earlier this season, scored 18 points to lead the Big Reds past Utica Ford II 47-46 Feb. 4 at home in a crucial MAC Red contest.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley’s boys basketball team won a crucial Macomb Area Conference Red Division game against Utica Ford II 47-46 Feb. 4 at home.

The Falcons nearly left the Big Reds’ gym as the victors, but couldn’t convert a few last-second attempts nearby the basket.

A free throw by Chippewa senior Dre’ Simmons broke the 46-46 tie with 40 seconds to play. Ford, after taking a timeout with 20 seconds left, could not convert on its set play, and ensuing rebounds and put-backs as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

“All we needed was that point,” Big Reds coach Kevin Voss said of the tiebreaking free throw. “Fortunately (we got) enough defense and enough unfortunate plays by them at the end,” Big Reds coach Kevin Voss said.

Chippewa senior forward Nick Gregory led all scorers with 18 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

“He’s a tough kid who keeps playing hard,” Voss said of Gregory. “Down the stretch when it got tough, somehow we were able to find him, and he delivered a lot of key baskets for us.”

The fourth quarter had been back and forth between the two squads, preceded by an exciting finish in the third quarter. Chippewa, leading 34-31, had possession of the ball and was looking to extend its advantage heading into the fourth.

But Ford senior center Aaron Cox stole the ball in the backcourt, crossed halfcourt with an impressive around-the-back dribble move to get past one defender and launched an off-balance, 3-point shot as time expired. And not only did the acrobatic shot swish in, Cox was fouled and headed to the free-throw line, where he coolly converted a rare four-point play to put the Falcons up 35-34.

Ford senior Shane Ellis led the Falcons with 14 points.

The teams entered the evening in two of the top spots in the MAC Red. Chippewa (7-1) ended up alone in first place when the league action was over for the night, while Ford (5-3) fell into a three-way tie for second with L’Anse Creuse and Romeo.

While Falcons coach Mark Bray would have liked to see his team pull out the victory, he wasn’t too dismayed.

“We didn’t seem to get it at the end,” he said. “We’ve got an experienced group. I’m not worried about rebounding from this. That’s the fun thing about playing the regular season, you don’t get a chance to sit on big losses, you’ve got to get ready for the next opponent.”
 

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