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Rochester Adams hoops sweeps Crosstown Showdown

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published January 24, 2020

 Rochester Adams sophomore Justice Mims drives the ball Jan. 24 in a game against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at the Athletics Center Arena. Mims led Adams in scoring with 14 points.

Rochester Adams sophomore Justice Mims drives the ball Jan. 24 in a game against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at the Athletics Center Arena. Mims led Adams in scoring with 14 points.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

 Highlanders senior Aniah Howard chases down Cougars junior Devin Vowels Jan. 24 in a game at Oakland University. Adams beat Stoney Creek 43-27 to improve to 7-4 overall.

Highlanders senior Aniah Howard chases down Cougars junior Devin Vowels Jan. 24 in a game at Oakland University. Adams beat Stoney Creek 43-27 to improve to 7-4 overall.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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AUBURN HILLS — Rochester Adams' Justice Mims scored 14 points Jan. 24 against rival Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, but the last two were the most important. After being tripped up and sent to the floor, Mims sunk two free throws with two seconds to play as Adams beat the Cougars 38-37 at the Athletics Center O’Rena on the campus of Oakland University.

“These kids deserve this,” Highlanders coach Jaret Thomas said. “It’s been a tough stretch of games, but they practice every day as if we’re 9-0. There’s no quit to them, and I’m just so proud of every single guy on that bench. They bring it.”

The sophomore scored over half his points in the fourth quarter, finished with two rebounds and no fouls.

“I was nervous, but I just took my deep breaths,” Mims said. "I remembered all the hard work I put in. I had to knock those two down for the team, because we had to get back to winning.”

Other top scorers with the Highlanders included Jack Santella with 6 points, Andrew Brown and Peyton Prieskorn had 5 points each and Jonathan Ursuy had 4.

Prior to Mims’ game-winning free throws, Stoney Creek junior Trevor Smith Jr. had back-to-back steals that resulted in points to give the Cougars a 37-36 lead. Even then, Thomas said there was no panic on the bench.

“The conversation was, we know why we’re in this boat,” the coach said. “If you can save us, great, but we love you no matter what. This is family and no matter what happens on that court, we’re all together.”

The Highlanders snapped a five-game losing streak with the win and improve to 3-7 overall.

For Stoney Creek, the loss drops the Cougars to 5-6 overall and they have now lost three straight.

Smith Jr. led Stoney Creek in scoring with 16 points. Following the junior was Lance Fogelberg with 6 points. Zac Jones and Ethan Smydra both had 4 points.

It’s been over a year to date since the girls basketball teams from Rochester Adams and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek met. When the teams last played, it was opening night of the 2018-19 season, and the Cougars came out on top 67-54.

Now some 413 days later, Adams got its revenge. The Highlanders used a big second half — outscoring Stoney Creek 29-9 — to come away with the 43-27 victory.

“Our defense,” Adams coach Shay Lewis said on the difference between the halfs. “We weren’t playing pressure the way we know that we can. I told them we had to step up our defense.”

Adams junior Maddie Dolenga led the Highlanders in scoring with 13 points, followed by senior Amelia Drahnak’s 11 and junior Lauren Petersmark’s 7.

If Highlanders players weren’t contributing in the points department, they made up for it in rebounds. Senior Nicole Claerhout finished with eight rebounds while Drahnak was next in line with four. 

“We’ve got a team of blue-collar workers; we’re hustlers,” Lewis said. “It’s just a matter of them understanding how to play hard for four quarters.”

With the win, Adams improves to 7-4 overall. The Highlanders are 3-3 overall in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. With seven wins on the season, the Highlanders are three wins away from last year’s win total with nine games to play in the regular season. 

On the Stoney Creek side of things, foul trouble and turnovers led to the Cougars dropping their seventh game of the season. Stoney Creek sits at 4-7 overall at press time.

Senior Lily DiPanni, last year’s star of the Crosstown Showdown, finished with 11 points. Junior Devin Vowels had 8 points and sophomore Milana Skoric had 4.

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