University of Kentucky commit James Young got his first taste of the Seventh Annual Crosstown Showdown on Friday night when his Rochester High squad faced Rochester Adams at Oakland University’s O’Rena.
The rough-and-tumble game drew a standing-room crowd and Young, holding his stomach during the game and leaving twice to go to the bathroom, drew plenty of attention from defenders as he scored just three points in the 43-36 loss.
Adams is 7-0, 1-0 Oakland Activities Association. Rochester fell to 6-2, 0-1.
The game plan was to throw different players at the 6-foot-6 senior forward, hand-fighting and pushing him whenever possible with smaller defenders.
“He’s under the weather,” coach John Pleasant said of Young. “They were physical with him, and we were terrible offensively. We couldn’t get anything going, but give Adams credit.”
At one point, an Adams assistant coach asked junior Brant Santana, assigned to Young, if he had brushed his teeth. When Santana said no, the coach replied, “Good.”
Adams dominated the first half, building a 25-14 lead.
With Young being a facilitator, the Falcons got as close as 28-22 in the third before he left the game a second time.
“We had a whole system of things in place that we wanted to do,” Adams coach John Hall said. “We started working on them during the Christmas holiday. We used four different people on him because one person can’t stop him. We have to play him two more times, so I’m not going to get into details.”
By the time Young returned, the Falcons trailed, 35-27, but rallied to within 37-35 on a free throw by Young with 4:36 left.
The outcome wasn’t decided until sub Sam Gasiorowski’s lay-up with 30 seconds left gave Adams a 41-36 lead. He finished with 10 points.
“We just tried to man up and stay on him and face-guard him the whole time and don’t let him get the ball at all,” Gasiorowski said. “We depend on our guys to make plays, and they made plays tonight.”
Falcons center Abren Camaj led all scorers with 17 points.
The Falcons didn’t help their cause with nine first-quarter turnovers — 21 overall — as Young went scoreless and the home team trailed, 15-6, early.
Young scored his first basket with 1:47 left in the half to trim the deficit to 23-11.
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