On December 9, 2017, Loy Norrix squared off against Kalamazoo Central in their first meeting of the 2017-2018 basketball season at Western Michigan University’s Fieldhouse. This is always an exciting game that both teams have highlighted on their calendars.
Besides the district tournament at the end of the season, these games are the most important games of the season. Not only do both teams want to add another mark in the win column, but bragging rights are on the line at least until their second match up midway through February.
The week leading up to the game is always tense. The energy around the locker room is always upbeat, along with the players. Both schools want to come out victorious.
Loy Norrix senior guard, Jordan Larkin said, “The energy made us get up and show out. We had to represent our school in the best way possible.”
The bleachers at Western Michigan University’s Fieldhouse were packed full. Everyone from around the city piled in to witness the game between the crosstown rivals. Any game between Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central will always be hard fought and played until the last whistle blows.
“Not all of the guys on the team are used to playing in front of a crowd of that size,” said junior center DeAndre Worthy. “It’s crazy to see how many people come out to support their teams. Anywhere from alumni from either school to just random people in the community who enjoy a good basketball game.”
Tip off took place at 5:05p.m. and the game was tight all the way throughout the first two quarters of play. The Knights finished off the half with a one point lead, going into the break with a score of 39-38.
The second half of the game proved to be much like the first half of the game. It was a hard fought game that came down to the wire. After getting into foul trouble early, the Knights just didn’t have enough down the stretch to push past the Giants, losing by a score of 72-63.
Michael Hughes led the way for the Knights in scoring with 21 points. When asked about his standout performance, Hughes said, “Before I came into the game, Coach [Covault] said if you’re open then shoot, and if they fall we’ll keep feeding you.”
This proved to be a good game plan for Hughes as it worked out for the best in the stat sheet, but his hot hand still wasn’t enough in the end to push past the Giants.
The next meeting between the two teams will take place Friday, February 16, 2018.