AP NEWS

Wolves open Big Dipper with two wins

December 28, 2016

RICHTON PARK, Ill. — The Big Dipper Tournament is now in it 44th season at Rich South High School in Illinois.

For the first time ever, Michigan City is participating. The Wolves opened their inaugural Big Dipper with two wins, beating Rich Central 69-39 on Monday and Chicago Marshall 58-54 on Tuesday.

Early on, it looked like Tuesday’s game might end up similar to Monday’s final score. The Wolves led by 20 points at halftime before staving off a Marshall rally and clinching the game at the charity stripe.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to win ugly,” City coach John Boyd said. “A lot of good competition here, a lot of good athletes, a lot of speed, a lot of attitude, a lot of toughness. They’re not going to quit. They don’t see the score, they keep fighting.

“It’s great for our kids to understand that you’ve got to play a complete game, you’ve got to fight to the finish.

That’s one thing that I was happy about — we kept pushing, we kept fighting even when it looked like we were ready to fold. As a coach, all you can do is keep being confident, keep encouraging to stay in the system and stay disciplined.”

Marshall started the second half on a 6-0 run and outscored the Wolves by 12 points in the third quarter. But the big lead held, and Jaronde Boyd hit two free throws with 15 seconds left to push the lead back to five. Dante Combs also hit a pair of free throws in the waning seconds after a Marshall miss. Marshall hit an inconsequential 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“As much as they pushed, we were able to get to the free-throw line at the end of the game,” John Boyd said. “And then we were able to knock down some after we had missed a couple, a couple of 1-and-1s. We’ve got some guys who can knock down free throws for us, and they were able to pull it out for us.”

Jaronde Boyd scored a game-high 21 points, going 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.

“He is a leader out on the floor,” John Boyd said of his son. “He played a whole lot of minutes. We weren’t able to get him a lot of rest. He was keeping everything together.

“We didn’t get a lot from our leading scorer, Keishawn Lewis (four points), but that’s the way basketball goes. Jaronde played outstanding. That’s what a senior point guard is supposed to do. His leadership carried us to this victory.”

Combs added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Wolves (6-2) on Tuesday. Rayshon Howard had eight points and four boards.

In Monday’s win, Lewis scored 15 points. Howard and Salih Washington added 10 apiece.

“We came out and just executed our transition offense,” Boyd said of Monday’s victory. “We played very fast. We were able to get the ball up the court. A lot of easy baskets.

“Keishawn had a really good game. The guys played as a team. Good defensive effort, and they were able to put a team away early. It was good because we needed all that energy tonight.”

The Wolves will play in tonight’s 7 p.m. semifinal.

“What’s great about this tournament is you don’t have time to think about the past,” Boyd said. “You’ve got to prepare for the next game. We’ve got to play another really good, tough team. No matter what the score is, they’re not going to give up. It’s just a great tournament to be in because you’ve got a lot of different talent.”

RICH SOUTH (Ill.) BIG DIPPER TOURNAMENT

Monday

MICHIGAN CITY 69, RICH CENTRAL 39

Michigan City 18 16 19 16 — 69

Rich Central 5 12 9 13 — 39

MICHIGAN CITY

Matt Westman 2 3-3 8, Keishawn Lewis 7 1-2 15, Jaronde Boyd 2 0-0 5, Troy Jones 3 1-2 7, Dante Combs 3 0-0 7, William Hanyard 1 0-0 2, Keyshawn McGill 0 0-0 0, Orson Eckwood 1 0-0 3, Rayshon Howard 5 0-1 10, Salih Washington 4 2-2 10, Michael Briggs 1 0-0 2. Totals — 29 7-12 69.

RICH CENTRAL

Jawann Hudson 0 2-2 2, Glen Abram 6 8-9 22, Camron Greer 1 0-0 2, Kyrun Heard 2 0-1 4, Charles Williams 1 2-4 5, Malik Brown 0 0-0 0, Chance Love 0 2-2 2, Bi Jahn Murrill 1 0-0 2, Jarrett Daniel 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 16-18 39.

3-point shooting — Michigan City 4 (Westman, Boyd, Combs, Eckwood); Rich Central 2 (Abram 2). Total fouls — Michigan City 16, Rich Central 15. Fouled out — None.

Tuesday

MICHIGAN CITY 58, CHIGACO MARSHALL 54

Michigan City 12 25 7 14 — 58

Marshall 4 13 19 18 — 54

MICHIGAN CITY (6-2)

Matt Westman 1 0-0 2, Jaronde Boyd 7 3-3 21, Troy Jones 1 0-3 3, Dante Combs 4 5-6 14, Rayshon Howard 4 0-2 8, Salih Washington 1 0-0 2, Keishawn Lewis 2 0-0 4, Orson Eckwood 0 0-0 0, William Hanyard 2 0-0 4, Michael Briggs 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 8-14 58.

CHICAGO MARSHALL

Johnsal Harris 7 0-1 16, Louis Bradley 0 0-1 0, Eddie Skipper 0 0-0 0, Derrick Armstead 0 0-0 0, Lamar Eskridge 1 0-0 2, Westley Walker 4 0-2 8, Jarvae Tate 8 0-2 16, Cedric Williams 3 0-0 8, Dequan Brown 2 0-0 4, Steven Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 0-6 54.

3-point shooting — Michigan City 6-17 (Boyd 4, Jones, Combs); Marshall 4-16 (Harris 2, Williams 2). Rebounding — Michigan City 27 (Combs 8, 4 players with 4), Marshall 32 (Harris 8, Tate 8, Walker 7). Assists — Michigan City 10 (Westman 2, Combs 2), Marshall 6 (Harris 2, Brown 2). Steals — Michigan City 4 (4 players with 1), Marshall 7 (Williams 2, Brown 2). Blocks — Michigan City 6 (Combs 2, Lewis 2), Marshall 2. Total fouls — Michigan City 12, Marshall 14. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None. Turnovers — Michigan City 9, Marshall 8.