Fenton bounces back vs. Addison Trail

 
By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/6/2018 10:54 PM
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Let's be honest. It's been an up-and-down season thus far for the Fenton boys basketball team, but Tuesday night, the Bison got some of their mojo back.

Fenton shot 25 percent in the first half against host Addison Trail in a nonconference matchup but flipped that number around in the second half, shooting 52 percent, including four 3-pointers in the third quarter.

They also played tough defense in that half, especially in the last 6:23 when they held the Blazers scoreless.

Advantage: Bison, and a 37-34 come-from-behind victory to improve to 5-13 overall.

It was particularly sweet considering Fenton lost a heartbreaker at home to Elmwood Park 36-35 last Friday.

"We bounced back tonight," Fenton coach Chaz Taft said outside his team's locker room, where his players were hooting and hollering postgame. "We just kind of grind it out. We have some young kids and we just play hard, practice hard every day. It's just awesome to see the kids, how they didn't let their season stop because of some adversity."

Early on, it looked as if Addison Trail (11-15) would have their way with Fenton. The Bison could only manage 4 field goals in the first half. Meanwhile, the Blazers staked themselves to an 18-8 halftime lead, which ballooned to 21-8 with 7:30 left in the third quarter.

But then someone seemed to flip a switch on the Bison. That was senior forward Amari Reed, who hit back-to-back 3s midway through the period, then another one at the buzzer, which cut the deficit to 31-27. He also added a pair of free throws en route to a game-high 17 points.

"I know I have the green light, and I knew we were down and we needed some big shots," Reed said. "I was just feeling it."

From there with the momentum fully in its favor, Fenton allowed just a free throw and a jumper in the lane from junior Adem Mehmeti with 6:23 to go.

Meanwhile, the Bison got three straight baskets from sophomore forward Diamon King -- a fastbreak layup at 5:26, a jumper in the lane at 2:17 and a layup off a Reed miss at 1:07.

The best the Blazers could muster in the final minute was a narrow layup miss by junior forward J.T. Daniels at 23.3 seconds, and a pair of 3-point misses by senior guard Connor Palesch in the last 10 seconds.

Daniels paced the Blazers with 11 points, while senior guard A.J. Parnell added 8. Senior guard Ramon Casey junior had a solid night on the boards, grabbing 7 rebounds.

But that fourth quarter was a killer. Addison Trail shot just 9 percent, en route to 30 percent for the game. In contrast Fenton shot 40 percent and outrebounded the Blazers 22-21.

"It felt good today," said King, who also threw down his first high school dunk in the first quarter. "I remember this team, playing them in summer league, we struggled lot. Now that I see we can come out and do this, it's a beautiful thing."

Added Reed, "Everybody contributed, and we held them under 40 points, and that's the key to our game, holding teams under a certain amount of points."

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