Ypsilanti Community pitched a first-quarter shutout — and this wasn’t football.
Led by senior guard Corey Allen, the leader of the Grizzlies, Ypsilanti scored 21 unanswered points in the first quarter against befuddled Ypsilanti Lincoln and cruised to an 81-39 victory Friday night.
The hardworking home team improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Lincoln fell to 4-4, 3-2.
Allen, a Detroit Mercy-bound guard, finished with 33 points, set up teammates for easy baskets and showed the toughness necessary to compete at the next level.
“I think in 2014 we held Huron to two points in the first quarter,” said Allen, who has switched from shooting guard to point guard.
“It started out kind of tough,” he said. “I’ve been working pretty hard, and right now it’s not that difficult.”
Jamezell Davis was the only other Ypsilanti player in double figures with 14 as coach Steve Brooks’ team spread the wealth.
“We’re starting to jell,” Brooks said. “That’s the second time we’ve played that lineup. It’s hard to get continuity when you change the lineup all the time.
“We got (Michael) Bruce back. He had been injured, and he’s back. He was a little nervous at first. Twenty-one nothing — that’s a pretty good statement.”
Allen scored eight of the team’s first 11 points as Ypsilanti eventually jumped out to a 23-0 lead.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Brooks said. “He’s probably one of the best guards we’ve had since this guy” — pointing to Fred Cofield, an All-State pick in the 1980s.
“He’s really starting to come into his own as far as running the point,” Brooks said. “This is really the first season he has run the point.”
Ypsilanti consistently beat the taller Railspliltters down the floor for easy baskets, and Lincoln had trouble holding onto the ball.
After the home team scored the first 23 points, the Railsplitters finally got on the board on a steal and thunderous dunk by Ty Groce (12 points) in the second quarter.
It didn’t help that the Railsplitters’ two 6-foot-7 players, sophomore Tray Jackson and Groce, a senior, were willing to settle for jump shots instead of working inside to use their height. First-year coach Jesse Davis implored them to post up instead of taking the easy way out.
Groce picked up two quick fouls, and JeJuan Williams picked up his third with 1:27 left in the first quarter to further hurt the cause.
Lincoln scored nine points in the second quarter, but Ypsilanti built a 35-9 halftime lead.
Allen continued to blitz the Railsplitters’ defense in the third, scoring 13 points to give the Grizzlies a 64-28 advantage.
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.
Call in results to the Free Press at 313-222-6660 or 800-678-6728 anytime after 6 p.m. weekdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays.