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Howell boys roll past Plymouth — with archived broadcast

HOWELL — It’s been nearly two months since practice began for the Howell boys basketball team on Nov. 15, and the Highlanders have played four games in the five weeks since the season began in early December.

That’s all over now, as the Highlanders will play at least twice a week from now through the KLAA tournament late next month.

“Couldn’t be happier,” Howell coach Nick Simon said. “Could. Not. Be happier to get a rhythm going, without the extra stuff that keeps us out of games. We’re ready to get rolling here.”

The “extra stuff” Simon was referring to was cancellations for things like snow or, more likely these days, outbreaks of Covid-19.

The virus forced the postponement of Tuesday’s scheduled game with Salem, which will be made up at 1 p.m. Jan. 22 at Howell.

If there was any frustration on Howell’s part, it was dissipated after a convincing 60-43 win over Plymouth on Friday night.

Click here for the archived broadcast!

Danny Honkala had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Highlanders (2-2 overall, 1-0 KLAA West), who won their second game in a row.

Howell trailed early, then again 15-14 after a pair of 3-pointers by the Wildcats (3-4. 0-2), but soon regained the lead and slowly pulled away.

“I thought we did a really good job of running in transition,” Simon said. “They made us work the entire game, but I thought we did a really good job of responding to them.”

Honkala did his part in the paint, limiting Plymouth’s big men to 11 points, and his teammates did a good job of contesting almost every Plymouth shot whileon defense.

“We had a better feel for their offense in the second half,” Simon said. “We didn’t make any big-time adjustments, but I thought our guys had a better understanding of what to do.”

The Highlanders had four players in double figures. Adam Jones had 13 points, while Brevin Weller and Carter Bandemir had 11 apiece.

Honkala’s 17 points is a career high, and he got most of them at the free throw line, drawing fouls with strong inside moves. He was 10-for-12 at the line.

“I thought Danny did a great job,” Simon said. “He came to play and we got 32 minutes of great effort out of him.”

Now, the grind of the season begins, and Honkala says he’s ready.

“We’re all looking forward to it,” he said. “Practicing for seven days straight was kind of brutal, but that’s what we’re made for. Now we’re ready to play some games.” 

The Highlanders face a well-rested Hartland team on the road on Tuesday. The Eagles scheduled Friday game with Salem was rescheduled for Jan. 28 due to Salem’s Covid-19 outbreak.

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