Northern stuns Port Huron in overtime
With five minutes to go, Port Huron’s gym was rocking thanks to Big Reds fans.
It’s boys basketball team was in command with a 49-38 lead with five minutes left over rival Port Huron Northern. Really, it can’t get better than that for the home team.
However, Port Huron Northern senior and Geryd Welsh had other ideas.
With a huge 3-pointer by Welsh and an open layup by Northern junior Michael Burrell to end regulation, the Huskies took the game to overtime. From there they continued their stunning comeback to pull out a 63-61.
Welsh had 14 points of his game-high 29 points in that final five minutes of regulation and overtime, but that’s just what kind of a week it’s been for him.
It wasn’t just Northern’s second overtime win in two nights – it was also its second win over Port Huron this season.
Port Huron was led by senior Jermaine Drake and his 21 points — 12 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Tyler Lee also added 14 points for the Big Reds.
The fire involved with the rivalry got started right off the bat in the first quarter as each team traded baskets, stare-downs and a few words that wouldn’t be filed under the “friendly” category.
Each team took their turns trading a two point lead, until Port Huron sophomore Cameron Enright buried a 3-pointer off an assist from junior DeAngielo Sanderson. That shot at the end of the quarter gave the Big Reds a 16-11 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Northern kicked off the second quarter with a pair of baskets by seniors Kodi Badger and Welsh. However, Port Huron went on a 8-0 run powered by the post presence of Lee to take a 24-15 lead.
After six Huskies free throws and an and-1 by Port Huron’s Jermaine Drake down the stretch, the Big Reds carried a 27-20 lead into halftime.
The Big Reds lead ballooned to as much as 12 points when Alexander Washington hit a tough layup to grab a 39-27 lead.
In the fourth quarter Northern saw itself down as much as 49-38, but that’s when they cranked up the defensive pressure to startle Port Huron.
The biggest stretch of plays came with just over two minutes to go as Welsh missed his second free throw down 45-53. However, Badger reached up for the tip-in, and then a turnover and foul on the inbounds pass turned into a slight 53-49 lead.
With under a minute to go and his team down 55-50, Welsh stepped up and hit a huge 3-pointer in front of the Northern student section to send them in a frenzy. Burrell’s layup made Northern’s side of the gym deafening as they knew overtime was coming.
Drake was clutch in overtime, going 4-for-4 on free throws for a 59-57 lead. That is, until Welsh stepped up again and knocked down a 3-ball for a 60-59 lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the night.