Huron Basketball captures District title in win over Pioneer


Zain Charania

Senior TJ Bell poses with the district title trophy. Bell had 9 points in Huron’s win over Pioneer.

Zach Phelps, Staff Writer

Huron Varsity Basketball won its 21st game of the season Friday night in the Division one, District 18 final, beating Pioneer 47-38 after beating Lincoln 48-39 two days prior. Huron was the lone team with a bye going into districts, and took advantage, winning its second district title in three years. The victory adds to the long list of accomplishments for this Huron team, including an SEC regular season championship and 20 wins in two of the last three seasons. Sophomore phenom Macari Moore led the Rats with 21 points, with Senior TJ Bell adding 9 points and Junior Mohamed Doumbouya 8 of his own.

After slow start, defense dominates second quarter
Huron got out of the gate slow, missing their first five shots from the field, yet kept pace with the Pioneers through a 14-14 deadlocked first quarter. After running a zone defense for the entire opening frame, Huron switched to man-to-man defense, where their length and athleticism took center stage. Huron never allowed more than 10 points in a quarter the rest of the way. After having an effective offense–particularly in the paint–against Huron’s zone, Pioneer was silenced in the second quarter, scoring only two points through a midst of turnovers and bad shot selection. The Rats looked more comfortable after moving away from the zone defense. Along with Bell and Doumbouya, Junior Justin Latham and Senior Braylon Dickerson were stout the rest of the way, switching every screen and stifling the Pioneer offense.

Mac & Ease: Moore Continues his dominance
Macari Moore continues to prove why he’s amongst the best sophomores in the state, scoring almost half of Huron’s points and providing solid perimeter defense. Moore has been the go-to-guy for the Rats all season, and this team will go as far as he takes them. Against Pioneer, Moore was electric driving to the rim with multiple shifty layups. He’s a beast going downhill, while also having a three-point shot to boot. Teams will have stopping Moore as their first priority, yet there’s no reason to believe his run shouldn’t continue. He’s a true do it all player. The key for Moore is to play consistent defense while staying out of foul trouble. He’s dominant while on the court, but when he’s not, the cracks in Huron’s foundation start to show. The primary example being Huron’s second loss of the season to River Rouge earlier in March. As long as he stays out of foul trouble like he did in the district final, he will continue to have 20-plus point games leading the Rats offense.

Huron does what they always do, controlling the pace of the game through ferocious defense with tall, lengthy defenders all over the floor and boasting a consistent offense through Moore. Outside of the sophomore star, Bell, Dickerson and Doumbouya all played great games. Without much else down low, Doumbouya will need to continue to play as Huron’s five. Which much like Moore, means staying out of foul trouble. When he does, he crashes the glass relentlessly, and receives numerous drop-off passes from the guards for easy layups. Much like Lincoln, Pioneer played this game close, but at this point in the season a win is all that matters for Mo Kasham’s team. Huron has every right to think themselves as a top 10 team in the state with every shot at the state title they fell just short of two years ago

What’s Next?
After winning District 18, Huron moves into the regional portion of the playoff bracket, in region five. The Rats will be the favorite over the winner of District 20, Northville (14-11). That game will be on March 13th at 7:00pm. Should the Rats win that regional semifinal, they’d play the winner of a game between District 17 winner Ann Arbor Skyline (16-8) and District 19 winner Belleville (14-10). Both the region five semifinals as well as the final will be held at Ypsilanti Lincoln High School.