Turnovers can be expected early in the season, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcome.
Controlling the ball was a challenge for the Port Huron boys basketball team against Chippewa Valley – a battle of the Big Reds. With the early season mishaps and big, timely runs by Chippewa Valley, Port Huron fell on its home court 74-63 on Tuesday night.
Port Huron (1-1) was led by Cameron Enright and his 20 points, and Gerald LeFlore, Maurice Powell and Tyler Lee each had 10 points.
“We just need to keep working on the little things and fundamental stuff,” Port Huron head coach tony Giancarlo said. “Way too many turnovers tonight and not boxing out … but I think we got better at some things, like finishing.”
Port Huron will get back in action against rival Port Huron Northern at 7 p.m. Friday in the annual Ed Peltz Tournament. Marysville and Croswell-Lexington will tip off before the Big Reds and Huskies meet, with the winner of each game meeting Saturday for the title.
Port Huron opened the game with four turnovers in the first 1:15, allowing Chippewa Valley to take an early 7-0 lead. Once Port Huron got into a rhythm it cut the lead to 14-11 after a pair of buckets by Tyler Lee in the paint, but Chippewa Valley pulled away for a 24-14 advantage heading into the second quarter.
By way of Port Huron turnovers and sharpshooting outside the arc by Chippewa Valley, the lead started to get away from the home team. That is, until Port Huron junior Gerald LeFlore put out the fire with back-to-back 3-pointers with less than two minutes in the half to narrow Chippewa Valley’s lead to 37-29.
Chippewa Valley answered with its own pair of 3-pointers, but a long ball swished home by Port Huron’s Cameron Enright at the buzzer kept the game at a 43-32 Chippewa Valley lead at halftime.
The second half started the way Port Huron wanted it to with a 6-0 run with a basket by Maurice Powell and a pair of post buckets by Lee, making it 43-38.
Eventually, Port Huron whittled the lead down to 50-47, but a 10-0 Chippewa Valley run kick-started by turnovers brought the advantage right back up to 60-47. Port Huron’s Deavon Wehrwein nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to make it a 60-50 ballgame heading into the fourth quarter.
“We closed it to within three, then two minutes later it’s a 13 points game,” Giancarlo said. “I like they got some confidence and made some shots, but we also got to work on knowing one or two bad plays doesn’t make the game.”
Port Huron got as close as 69-61, but Chippewa Valley held on to pick up the win.