By Chris Zadorozny
The Inter-City boys’ basketball team defeated its Downriver rival Baptist Park 68-44 in a one-sided game to win a Class D district championship in Taylor Friday night.
After a close first quarter, the Chargers opened it up and outplayed the Wildcats the rest of the way. They were led by their three big players – junior guard Evan Kraatz, senior forward Nathanael Packwood and sophomore forward Luke Barber – who combined to score 39 of the teams 68 points.
Kraatz finished with 15 points, Packwood with 11, and Barber with 13.
It was a just 15-10 Charger lead after the first quarter, but Packwood made sure that it wouldn’t be that close again.
He slammed the door on Baptist Park with emphasis with a slam-dunk with about five and a half minutes left in the first half. The Chargers led 38-15 at halftime.
“I thought that Baptist Park played tough in the first quarter and that gave us a little bit of energy. I think over time, we knew if we played well, we could wear them down,” said Inter-City Coach, Mark Kraatz.
The Chargers changed things up in throughout the game and the lead grew to as many as 35 points in the second half. That’s when Coach Kraatz decided to give some of his main players a rest and get some of the others players in.
“We gave some other guys a look and got rested for next week,” said Kraatz.
Also contributing points for the Chargers were Blake Kirkland, Derek Doran, Carson Claypool, Troy Kazlakas, Zack Riddle, Brady Fressel, Nathan Estell, and Trevor Baker.
Leading the way for the Wildcats were sophomore guard Anthony Kaminski and senior guard Kirk Thomas, who combined for 27 points. Kaminski had 16 points, while Thomas had 11.
Along with Thomas and Kaminski, the Wildcats got contributions from Caleb Culp, Shell, Devante’ Schofield, and Daniel Eubank.
“Our team, they work hard, they won’t stop and that’s all you can ask,” said Wildcats Coach, Bill Miller. “I just knew that their speed and toughness, we’d get tired after a little bit. We ran with five to six guys, and we didn’t have (as many) horses as they did.”
The Wildcats were able to play all of their seniors. Guards Kirk Thomas and Javon Shell, along with forward Raphael Johnson will all graduate this year, leaving a good core for Miller to work with.
“We have a really good group of eighth-graders coming up to ninth grade. We had an okay junior varsity team, so I fell we’ll be pretty good next year,” said Miller.
Inter-City Baptist now moves on to play Pinckney Livingston at Novi High School on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
To read the original post that appeared online in the MI Prep Zone on March 8, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald.