Ypsilanti High School faced Lincoln High School in girls and boys varsity basketball on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Convocation Center. The Ypsilanti girls won 42-26, while the Lincoln boys slipped away with a 67-66 victory.
In the girls’ basketball game, Ypsilanti came in at 11-6 overall and added another win to their total. They got off to a quick start behind six points from shooting guard senior Sadre’a Rougeau in the first quarter. Rougeau knocked down her first two shots from the field to get things started. Eva Parrish came off the bench and helped the Grizzlies add to their early lead. She had four points in the opening period and kept the momentum going in the second quarter with eight points.
Lincoln struggled to take care of the ball in the second quarter, turning it over seven times and continuously giving Ypsilanti opportunities to score in transition. Ypsilanti led 27-13 at the half, after holding a seven-point advantage after the first quarter. Despite shooting just 20 percent from the field in the third quarter, the Grizzlies remained ahead by double-digits going to the final period. In the fourth quarter, senior captain D’Iania Harton put the final touches on a 42-26 victory for Ypsilanti.
In the boys’ game, Ypsilanti was looking for revenge after losing 68-56 on Jan. 18 at home to Lincoln. In the opening quarter, the Grizzlies got off to a quick start and led 6-0, but the Railsplitters answered. Senior guards Jalen Fisher and Christian Knox led their respective teams with five points each in the first quarter. Lincoln held a 17-16 lead after one quarter, and part of that was because the Grizzlies turned the ball over seven times and had just three assists.
Fisher kept firing away in the next eight minutes, leading both teams with eight points in the next quarter, and the Railsplitters extended their lead to five points by halftime. Lincoln’s Emoni Bates, who is widely regarded as the top freshman player in the country, struggled a bit in the first half. He had just seven points at the break, but then the third quarter came. Bates proved just how dominant he can be, scoring 14 points with four rebounds in the third quarter.
Lincoln started quickly in the fourth quarter and pushed their lead to as much as 13 points, but the Grizzlies refused to go away. They fought back with a 10-0 run, capped off by a score from Markeith Browning. Unfortunately for Ypsilanti, they got multiple shots in the final seconds but couldn’t get one to go. The buzzer sounded and ended a chance at a Grizzlies upset. Lincoln is now 15-3, while Ypsilanti falls to 10-6. Browning led the Grizzlies with 16 points.
Bates finished with 24 points and seven rebounds in front of approximately 4,000 fans at the Convocation Center.