Howell boys hold off Novi — with archived broadcast

HOWELL — The Novi boys basketball team had some good luck on Friday night against Howell, when Highlanders leading scorer Danny Honkala spent much of the first three quarters on the bench in foul trouble.

But senior Adam Jones stepped into the breach, scoring 23 points — 11 in the third quarter — as the Highlanders (3-3 overall, 2-1 KLAA West) held off the Wildcats, 54-51.

Click here for the archived broadcast!

Jones was a bundle of energy for the Highlanders, playing solid defense and hitting a couple of big 3-pointers down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

HIs demeanor after the game was a stark contrast.

“My teammates found me in the right spots,” he said, calmly. “They trust me with the shots, so I took the shots.”

Howell coach Nick Simon was much more emphatic.

“He was fantastic,” Simon said of Jones. “His efficiency was off the charts. He was 9-for-12 shooting, and it wasn’t just that he made shots — he made big shots in big moments, and in those shots you’ve got to have the guts to take them, and I thought he did a good job doing that. He was willing to put the team on his back, and he did a great job.”

Another senior, Carter Bandemir, helped carry the Highlanders in the first half, when he scored 11 of his 12 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. The first two came after Novi took a 6-0 lead to start the game.

“Carter did a great job early, keeping us afloat when our offense wasn’t working well,” Simon said “it was just seniors making plays.”

After drawing his fourth foul early in the third quarter, Honkala sat out the rest of that period and went back in early in the fourth. He then hit three of four free-throw attempts down the stretch.

“Danny did a good job hitting those free throws,” Simon said. “That’s a hard thing to do for a big guy, coming in and getting fouled more than anything else.”

Rodney Hackman had 12 points and Danny Groecher 10 for Novi (4-4, 1-4).

“I thought they played their tails off,”Simon said of Novi. “They’re really, really well-coached. We were lucky to get a win.”

The Highlanders are at Northville on Tuesday.


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