Adam’s Boy Basketball Beats Berkley

 There’s plenty of parity in the OAA White Division basketball circles this season. Five different teams are setting their sights on the prize.  So far, no one team has been able to pull away from the pack.  Adams knocked Berkley from the ranks of the OAA-White unbeatens Tuesday, outscoring the Bears 40-33 in the second half to claim a 67-58 triumph over the Bears.

Five schools now have won loss — Berkley, Adams, Auburn Hills Avondale, Ferndale and Troy — only a couple of weeks into the season.

Despite being out-rebounded 38-26, the Highlanders forced 21 turnovers and held Berkley (3-1, 3-1) to 23-for-62 shooting in the nine-point triumph.

“We’ve prided ourselves for a long time on how well we play defense,” said Adams coach John Hall said. “I thought we did a great job of defending them tonight. We kept them in front of us for the most part. The only time we struggled defensively was when we were struggling offensively. If we started rushing things and missing shots, they were right there to get some odd-man breaks going the other way for easy points.

“I think there is some parity (in the league). There’s five teams that have a chance to win it,” continued Hall. “With 16 leagues games, (the league winner) will probably have at least three losses. It’s going to be a great race.”

Senior center Brad Nylen, despite missing parts of the second and third quarters with a re-aggravated elbow injury, finished with a team-high 16 points, four assists and three rebounds. Nick Zekaj added 15 points, including four three-pointers, James Berger scored nine, Matt Nestor added eight points and Andrew Hammett collected six points and seven rebounds for Adams.

Adams opened the game with a 15-4 run and led 15-8 after the first quarter. Berkley slowly clawed back with Nylen on the bench. By the half, the Highlanders (4-1, 1-1) only held a 27-25 advantage.

Berkley finally took its first lead at 30-29 with 6:16 left in the third quarter when Damon Eldridge drilled a three-pointer. The Bears led by as many as four points (36-32) before Adams closed the third frame on a 14-5 run to take a 46-41 lead into the fourth quarter.

Adams held the upper hand in the fourth quarter, outscoring Berkley 21-17 in the period. A 6-0 run to open the stanza widened the lead to 52-41 with 5:19 to play and Berkley could not close the deficit down to under six points the rest of the way.

Berkley, which had posted impressive victories over Troy Athens, Auburn Hills Avondale and Lake Orion, never found any type of rhythm against the Highlanders.

“We really just got outworked tonight,” said Berkley coach David McGlown said. “They were beating us to all of the loose balls. They just wanted it and we didn’t.”

Ryan Bush kept Berkley close with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, but the senior guard was only 8-for-21 from the floor. Ryan Pegurse added 14 points and eight rebounds.

Dan Stickradt

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