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TENACIOUS D: Mustangs upend Novi with 3rd-quarter lockdown

 TENACIOUS D: Mustangs upend Novi with 3rd-quarter lockdown

Northville’s Sonny Rentz secures a rebound against Novi’s Aaron Lauer.

After playing decent defense throughout the first half of Friday’s game against visiting Novi (the Wildcats led 24-23 at the break), Northville’s boys basketball team turned up the rim-protecting heat in the third stanza, holding their rivals to a pair of minuscule free throws in eight minutes.

The lockdown effort — potentially fueled in part by a primetime effort from its jam-packed student cheering section — led to the Mustangs snapping a five-game losing skid with a satisfying 49-38 triumph over their rivals from north of Baseline Road.

While there was no hardware at stake, there were plenty of intangibles (pride, bragging rights, momentum heading into the final stretch of the season, to name three) on the line for both teams, who currently share 5-6 KLAA West Division records and nearly identical overall marks: Novi is 10-8; Northville 9-9.

To check out highlights from Friday’s game, click here.

He’s a sophomore

The winners were spearheaded by sharp-shooting sophomore Nate Imbuzeiro, whose game-high 17 points included a trio of deep three-point swishes.

Nate Imbuzeiro launches a deep corner three
Nate Imbuzeiro launches a deep corner three

Imbuzeiro received plenty of help on the offensive end from junior Kaden Kuban, who added 11 points and combined with his sophomore backcourt mate to sink nine of 10 fourth-quarter, victory-sealing free throws.

Seniors Chad Carney (five points), Sonny Rentz (four points) and Nick Helner (four points) also played key roles for the Mustangs, pounding the glass and displaying stingy defense.

Novi junior Aaron Lauer takes the ball strong to the basket against Chad Carney
Novi junior Aaron Lauer takes the ball strong to the basket against Chad Carney

Junior Chase LeFevre led the Wildcats’ charge with 13 points.

Aaron Lauer chipped in with seven points, and Brendan Lynch netted six.

Struggle to score

Northville held a semi-comfortable 38-31 lead with just over five minutes left before repelling Novi’s comeback plans with high-intensity defense and textbook boxing-out technique whenever a shot was launched.

Rentz and Kuban were the catalysts of the clamp-down defense as they registered multiple high-hustle efforts.

Kaden Kuban drives to the basket
Kaden Kuban drives to the basket

Both schools’ student cheering sections were represented in full force, filling the south (Novi) and north (Northville) ends of the bleachers, and bolstering their teams with levels of ramped-up enthusiasm.

Both schools were well-represented, as well, in the non-student sections of the bleachers as members of the neighboring communities turned out for a defense-dominated, yet entertaining, contest.

Marcus Hudson soars above a trio of Wildcats
Marcus Hudson soars above a trio of Wildcats

The Mustangs’ triumph capped a season sweep of the Wildcats. Northville won the first border-battle matchup, 47-44.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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