The teams that Detroit Redford has played against this year have tried many things to slow down Corperryale "Manny" Harris, and seemingly every time he has done something to thwart their plans. Taylor Truman decided to take the ball out of his hands in Friday night's regional final by double-teaming him every time he touched the ball. In the first half the strategy had limited success. Harris went scoreless in the first quarter and had seven points in the second. Redford coach Ken Flowers thought it would be that type of game.
“I told Manny that after he had a good game against Romulus and that Truman would probably double him and they did," Flowers said. "That is when guys like Jerome Tyson (22 points, 10 rebounds) stepped up and hit key shots for us tonight. When the other guys stepped up they couldn’t double him anymore. Those guys stepped up tonight. I thought in the game against Romulus they deferred to Manny too much, but they played well for us and we got the win”.
Truman’s Paul Reyes (24 points) helped to keep Truman in the game by continuing to basket. At the half Redford was clinging to a 36-31 lead and the game seemed like it could go either way. Then the third quarter came and the Huskies blew the game wide open. Redford outscored Truman 25-10 thanks to the strong play of Harris and Tyson.
“That quarter broke our backs” said Truman Coach Chuck Suttles. “We made bad decisions, bad passes, and we could have played better. I thought we did a nice job on Harris. He actually was ineffective for a bit, but he was patient and got it going”
In the fourth quarter, it was just too tough for Truman to come back. Every time they'd cut the lead to 10, Redford would come right down and score to push it back to double figures. Harris' proved to be the catalyst, scoring 22 of his game high 30 points (9/13 shooting) in the second half. He led his team to the 84-71 victory. After the game Coach Flowers talked about his star player playing with patience.
“He is really showing his maturity and that he is growing up as a player," Flowers said regarding Harris. "He felt that he needed to do more early in the season. Now he is getting his teammates involved. I know I have said this a lot, but he is the best player in the state. There is not one guy in this state that can guard him."
Flowers might have point. Harris has been slowed down but not stopped. That in and of itself could be enough to sway the voters in the race for Mr. Basketball. The recipient of the prestigious award is set to be announced next week. While achieving honor is on Harris' mind, he is much more concerned with helping his team get W's. He hopes to help the Huskies continue their winning ways when they take on Detroit Osborn Tuesday at U of D.
Faces in the crowd
Manny had a few other supporters at the game last night. Among the notables were Tommy Amaker and wife Stephanie, Brent Petway, Ronald Coleman, Alex Legion, and assistant coach Chuck Swenson. Harris was particularly excited to see Amaker.
“Oh yeah I saw coach out there," he said. "I was really happy that he came to see me play tonight. I felt real good about it. Pretty soon I will have to start getting ready to play for him and I will enjoy that."