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Destroyers Open Inaugural Home Game In High Style

What A Great Game!

January 13, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: John Keuvelaar

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The Mid Michigan Destroyers provided great family entertainment and fun in the inaugural home opener game at Western High School Saturday night. Along with a great up tempo basketball game, the Destroyers delighted their fans with a live band, Soul Train that kept the adults toe's tapping and had children dancing during stoppage of play. Kids and spectators participated in shooting games near the end of each quarter and the mascot, "Sharky" brought smiles to young faces. In the end, it was the great basketball that made the night special.

Jere Shockey shows off a ticket to the first Destroyers home game with the team mascot "Sharky".
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The Destroyers reveal their secret weapon to be Mayor Charles Brunner.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

A band called the Soul Train livens up the place with their songs.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The Destroyers faced the Detroit Panthers for the second time, having lost the first game on a 75 foot buzzer beater in their first meeting. Both teams came out strong as hot shooting was the tone with the two teams combining for 50 first quarter points and a Panther 26-24 lead.

Sharky shows that he isn't as scary as he appears to some of the children at the game.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Detroit Panthers #44 Corey Gupton launches a pass over head.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Stane's Bufford launches to the basket as Destroyers #23 Justin Halls tries to block his path.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The second quarter saw the Destroyer shooting fall into a deep freeze. Getting behind, they looked to the three pointer for a quick turn around. But the strategy backfired as they shot 1-11 behind the three point line and 4-22 overall to dig them into a big hole. The Panthers took advantage of the poor shooting as they converted their opportunities off the missed shots, outscoring the Destroyers 29-13 in the quarter to take a 55-37 half time lead.

Oscar Sanders rushes past Detroiter's defenseman #3 Brian Woodland.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Sharky watches as one of the contestants gets ready to shoot a basket from the free throw line.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

#44 David Williams shoots a jump shot while be surrounded by a couple of Detroiters.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

One of the exciting features of this league is that no lead is safe. And with the talent the Destroyers have, they certainly fit into that mold. Shaking off the "cold", the Destroyers charged back. Out rebounding the Panthers and pushing the ball up the court, the Destroyers knocked 10 points off the Panther lead to climb back into the contest only trailing by 8, 79-71 at the end of the third quarter.

#14 Eugene Seals tosses the ball at the basket.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

#15 Odgar Bobo rockets through the air as he prepares to land a slam dunk.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Watch Out! Coming Through!
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The shooting got even hotter in the fourth quarter. The Destroyers continued to attack the Panther defense. Aided by 11-17 shooting (65%), the Destroyers found themselves to within one point, 98-97 with 1:27 left in the game when point guard, Troy Coleman completed a three point play by sinking the free throw. In the end, it came down to free throw shooting. The second half comeback effort was quite draining as the Destroyers were only able to convert 6 of their 15 free throws in the fourth quarter while on the opposite charity stripe, the Panthers went 12 for 19 including 5-8 in the closing seconds to pull out a hard fought 107-102 Panther victory.

David Williams launches a two-point shot.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Luke Lloyd tries to break his way through to get off a shot.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Destroyers #25 Luke Lloyd launches a three-point shot at the basket.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

"It was a tough game. We made correctable mistakes. Missing free throws, we can correct them," observed Destroyer Head Coach TJ Newsham. "We out rebounded them, we did pretty well. We had a pretty good effort but we can't make silly turnovers."

The stands filled with fans to see the Destroyers first home game.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Sharky instructs the kids on the contest they are playing in.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

This contest finds the rim to high to shoot.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Coach Newsham reflected on the second quarter deficit. "We had a 16 point deficit in the second quarter, 29-13, so that put us in a hole. We came out and had two very strong quarters. With that comes some energy but we are just not going to make it shooting 18%," Newsham went on.

Destroyers were led by Troy Coleman with 20 points. Odgra Bobo had 19 points while Chuck Reed, Eugene Seals, and Luke Llyod all had 12 points each.

Destroyers David Williams helps out the little contestant to score the basket.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Mom and child dance to music of the Soul Train band.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Troy Coleman drives for the lay up while dealing with Panthers' defenseman David Myers.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

On the teams overall opening night performance, "Overall, we are happy with our performance. Nobody likes to loose a basketball game and our players are no different. But this is a professional basketball league and we have a game tomorrow night. We don't have time to dwell on it. We have to correct the things that went wrong and move forward."

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John Keuvelaar

John Keuvelaar is a college student at Midwest Photography Workshops and Delta College.

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