Kalamazoo Central scored 63 points in the second half en route to their 85-45 first round District 13 boys basketball win over Portage Central Monday evening at St. Joseph. The win moves KC onto Wednesday’s district semifinal against the hosting Bears. It was the second-highest scoring game this season for the Maroon Giants, only behind the 88 from their double overtime battle with Gull Lake.
Based on the final score, you wouldn’t assume that the game was tied up 22-22 at halftime. You also wouldn’t assume that the Mustangs had a 12-2 lead midway through the first quarter. K-Central closed the first quarter with an 11-2 run to get back within one, then took the lead early in the second quarter. PC never went back ahead, but they would tie the game up at halftime and never trail by more than three in the first half.
Things shifted suddenly as the Maroon Giants had seven points within the first 62 seconds of the third quarter. The run was 17-3 midway through the third and by the end, K-Central had scored a whopping 35 points in the third quarter. Gerald Crawford III was the leader with 11 of his game high 18 points in the third. Five Giants would finish with double-digit points.
Portage Central finishes the season at 16-5 and graduates a large group of seniors: Smith Moore IV, Humza Ejaz, Hunter Young, Jake Drews, Norm Bowman, Ryan Dorff, Nick Doman, and Mike Walsh.
Kalamazoo Central improves to 15-6 and faces district host St. Joseph in the 7 p.m. semifinal Wednesday. On the other side of the bracket, Lakeshore plays Mattawan at 5 p.m. The Lancers destroyed Portage Northern 62-29 in the first game Monday night.
Kalamazoo Central statistics
Gerald Crawford III 18 points
Scott Hughes 15 points
Trevon Gunter 15 points
Mohamed Kamara 11 points
Justin Davis 11 points
Thomas Dillard IV 6 points
Jahlin Banks-Jennings 3 points
Hutch Ward 2 points
Rico Smith-Sheppard 2 points
Jarren Varnsdeel 2 points
Free Throws: 6-13
Three Pointers: 7
Portage Central statistics
Grant Pikkaart 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Luke Leto 12 points, 7 rebounds
Smith Moore 10 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 block
Hunter Young 6 points, 1 assist, 1 steal
Humsa Ejaz 3 points, 1 rebound
Ryan Dorff 1 assist
Jake Drews 1 rebound
JT Wright 1 assist
Zach MacDonald 2 rebounds
Norm Bowman 1 rebound, 1 assist