By Chris Zadorozny
Monday night’s first-round Class A district game against Edsel Ford at Dearborn High School was Fordson’s to lose.
The Tractors had already beaten the T-Birds three times this season and they weren’t about to let their rival spoil the season record.
The Tractors jumped out to a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back, defeating the Thunderbirds 52-40 and advancing to Wednesday’ semifinal round.
Although the Thunderbirds never gave up and fought until the end, Fordson always felt like it was going to win.
“We never really felt like we were threatened, I thought we did a good job,” said Dearborn Fordson Head Coach Osama Abulhassan.
“I’m proud of the way we played, we had some different approaches than we had the previous couple of times (other games). We decided to keep them in front of us and defend half court and I thought our kids did a great job responding,” said Abulhassan.
Senior captain Abbas Kanaan and junior forward Moussa Harb were in double-digit points in scoring to lead the team. Harb had 16 points and Kanaan had 12. Five other players scored for the Tractors, as they spread the points around well.
Along with his 16 points, Harb also had three rebounds, as did Kanaan. Jawad Hachem chipped in with six points and Ali Farran had eight.
It was clear that the Thunderbirds were outplayed in the game, but that didn’t stop them until the final buzzer sounded, even with just one win under their belts the entire season. They were coming in riding a 14-game losing streak.
“Our season’s story was the same way, we competed, we played hard every game, we just fell short. We missed some easy shots down the stretch and we needed to make a couple stops and we couldn’t,” said Edsel Ford Coach, Ibrahim Baydoun.
Leading the way for Edsel Ford was Leonte Degraffenreid, who had 15 points. He was the only player for the Thunderbirds to score in double digits. Eight players on the Edsel Ford squad scored points, but just couldn’t keep up with Fordson.
Also putting up points for the Thunderbirds were Mohammad Khalil, Anthony Ramos, Mohamed Almaweri, Ibrahim Humaisan, Jihad Baydoun, and Donovan Farrell.
Degraffenreid and his teammates did happen to cut the deficit to just seven points during the game in the third quarter, but in the end, they couldn’t make the shots they needed.
Fordson will now play Lincoln Park on Wednesday at 5:30pm at Dearborn High School.
“They’re tough, they’re always tough. They are very athletic, they can shoot the ball and they play in a tough league. They’re long, they’re fast, it’s going be a challenge,” said Abulhassan. “I think our kids our ready, I think we’ll respond. It’s going to take our best game.”
To read the original post that appeared online on the MI Prep Zone website on March 5, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/pressandguide.