Courtesy of Frank Wladyslawski of News Herald…
Riverview Gabriel Richard and Grosse Ile squared off on Wednesday night in what was the ninth consecutive early-season meeting between the two non-league teams.
In the previous eight years, “early” meant a mid-December meeting. This winter, the matchup came in the third week of February, as high school basketball just got underway last week in Michigan.
In this latest installment, host Richard defeated the Red Devils by a score of 48-35, guided by a combined 33 points from Michael Holdsclaw (17) and 5 rebounds while Michael Calhoun (16) and 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Grosse Ile was led in scoring by Joey Cappellino (8) and Trey Swick (7) on a night where nine Devils netted at least two points.
Last season, the Pioneers (3-1, 3-0 CHSL Intersectional) knocked off Grosse Ile (1-2, 1-1 Huron League) by 29 points in what was one of their 20 victories. Three months later, Richard was set to face Ecorse in the district championship when the season was suspended and eventually canceled.
On Wednesday, the Pioneers led 9-7 after one quarter of play and were up 21-15 at halftime. After the break, the Burgundy and White outscored the Devils 13-9 in the third to take a 34-24 advantage into the last eight minutes. Holdsclaw had eight third-quarter points while Cainan Harrison hit his second 3-pointer of the night and finished with six points.
“We knew coming in this was going to be a tough one,” said Richard coach Kris Daiek. “They’re big, they’re physical. I thought in the first half we were a little (too) quick, trying to score real fast, but I think we settled down in the second half. I was proud of how we rebounded against them.”
Grosse Ile played strong in the fourth but Richard was able to hold a double-digit lead just about the entire way, helped out by seven points from Calhoun and a Holdsclaw triple.
The Devils did knock down a trio of threes in the final quarter, thanks to Michael Madrigal, Krenar Ziberi and Swick, the latter of which came inside the last minute and cut the deficit to nine points. However, the Pioneers followed it up with a quick two on the other end from Calhoun. Madrigal and Ziberi both finished the contest with three points.
Next up for Grosse Ile was another tough road game, as it was set for a trip to Monroe SMCC.
“Well bounce back, back it at again tomorrow, and be ready for SMCC,” said Devils coach Mohamed Elhaj. “I have a great group of guys who are great basketball players who can obviously pick it up pretty quickly. We’ll be back at it tomorrow, watch film and go over our mistakes and just be better.”
Richard was scheduled to play again on Saturday afternoon, back at home, against Madison Heights Bishop Foley.
Other points for the Pioneers came from Nick Szczechowski (6) and 6 assists and Drew Daiek (3) and 6 rebounds.
Grosse Ile’s remaining scorers were Keegan Mott (5), Tyler Swick (3), Ty Garza (2), Tyler Quade (2) and Robert Standen (2).