Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

February 12, 2014

Red Devils complete sweep of Gladiators

TRAVERSE CITY — Earlier this season, East Jordan won its first game against Traverse City St. Francis in about a decade.

Why not go for two?

The Red Devils invaded St. Francis' gym Tuesday and left with a 72-60 Lake Michigan Conference victory.

"It's extraordinary," East Jordan senior Noah Bacchus said. "I've never done this. Four years on varsity and we haven't beaten them once. It feels good to beat them twice in a season."

Bacchus — who nearly had a triple-double in the win, putting up 16 points, nine assists and nine rebounds — not only hadn't beaten St. Francis before this season, but most games weren't close.

"We were losing by like 15 or 20 points," he said, "getting humiliated sometimes."

The setback snapped St. Francis' three-game winning streak.

"It's been awhile, especially here," eight-year East Jordan coach Darrin Weber said. "Twice in the same season. We're on a little bit of a roll. These guys keep impressing me every game. You come into a hostile environment, and Traverse City has been on a little bit of a roll and improving. This is a signature win for us and our program."

Last week's 53-40 win over Charlevoix also marked the first time under Weber the Red Devils (10-2, 8-2 LMC) beat the Rayders twice in a season.

"We tried to neutralize their bigs by playing up-tempo," Weber said of the Glads' pair of 6-foot-8 interior players. "If they get you in a half-court game, they're tough to defend. And (Byron) Bullough is so strong, too. We don't match up very well, but I've got kids with really good basketball IQs, and they do a lot of nice things on the floor and they help each other out when the big guys do catch it."

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