Ypsilanti High School is the city champ.
A week after routing Willow Run, the Phoenix girls basketball team gave Ypsilanti Lincoln the same treatment in a lopsided 57-28 win.
“I told the girls in the lockeroom that when you play someone from your own city, you have to go out and win those bragging rights,” head coach Chris Slater said.
While Ypsilanti’s press disrupted the Railsplitter’s flow, Lincoln created their own issues by missing 21 free throws.
The Splitters went seven for 28 from the line while Ypsilanti (2-3, 1-1 SEC) shot 16 for 21.
“It didn’t hurt that they missed 21 free throws,” Slater said. “That was pretty much the tale.”
Ypsilanti’s press also forced 23 turnovers, which led to easy buckets and they dominated the boards.
“We were able to get out and run, and we rebounded well,” Slater said. “We were also able to create quite a few turnovers, which helped us out tremendously.”
DeLisia Morris led the Phoenix with 17 points, while Mariah Hawkins added 11 and Allante Larkin, who was back after missing the part of the season, caused the Railsplitters problems all over the court. She finished with eight points, eight rebounds and five steals.
“That was her first game back and she played really well,” Slater said. “She hit the passing lanes real well, got her hands on a lot of their passes and she was very instrumental in creating those turnovers.”
As was the case against Willow Run, Lincoln was too short on experience to hang with Ypsilanti. As was also the case against Willow Run, Ypsilanti had just come off a lopsided defeat several days earlier.
Chelsea thumped Ypsilanti last Tuesday 66-35, in what will be the first of many tough games in the Southeastern Conference for Ypsilanti.
“There’s no in between for us right now,” Slater said. “We get up and everybody is happy or we get down and everybody quits. I keep telling the girls that wins and losses are both impostors. We have to play all the games all the way through. I think they’re starting to come around and understand that little by little.”
Despite out-rebounding Lincoln, Slater said Ypsilanti’s practices between now and their next game in early January will focus on boxing out and fighting for the boards.
“Boxing out has been a real problem,” he said. “You have to get physical, especially when you’re talking about rebounds.”