It had been a while since the Stadium Tigers had been to the district playoffs – 2006, to be exact, when they were defeated by Josh Smith and Kentwood High. And the Tigers hadn’t won a district contest since 2001. But that was then and this is now as the Tigers, behind the game-high 17 points from Eric Anderson-Connolly and 13 points from Jordan Powers, blew away the Jefferson Raiders last night at the Stadium Gym by a score of 67-40 last night.
“That was our best defensive game of the year, and we were pretty good on offense too,” said Stadium head coach and Narrows League 4A coach of the year Doug Cocke’, who will see his team advance to play Curtis on Friday night at 7:45 at Auburn High School.
The Tigers started fast in this game and never looked back behind patient play on the offensive end and a tenacious defense that held Jefferson to a mere 14-for-46 from the field.
“It all starts with Eric, and tonight we could not have played any better on either side of the court,” said Powers. Adding to the excitement of the game was both a packed house and bands from both schools, making the atmosphere befitting of a postseason basketball game.
“Basketball has not been here in a while but we are back now,” said Anderson-Connolly, who directed a near flawless Stadium effort on the night.
The mission on the night for Stadium was try to contain Raider leading scorer Daryon James, who would lead Jefferson in scoring with 15 points but had to work hard just to get off shots all night long.
“He is an absolute baller, and we did a pretty good job on him, all things considered,” said Anderson-Connolly.
With the Curtis Vikings looming in the wings on Friday, Cocke’ does not have much time to get his team ready, but that should not be a problem. “The momentum from this game alone should be enough to get us going, we will need a near, similar effort against a very good Curtis team,” Cocke’ said.