Walled Lake Northern Basketball: News

Wednesday, February 1
Defensive intensity keys Walled Lake Northern to rout of Walled Lake Western

WALLED LAKE - Visiting Walled Northern played stifling defense for 32 minutes against cross-town rival Walled Lake Western and came away with a 42-23 statement boys basketball win over the Warriors. The Knights, paced by the dynamic duo of guards Jalen Kelso and Troy Lattimore, led a smothering half-court defense that held the high-powered Warrior offense to just 23 points. At the offensive end, Kelso and Lattimore got the ball inside to junior forward Ethan Ancick, who had a game high 18 points. Ancick was lethal around the basket, coming off screens to score in the paint all night long.

The Northern defense set the tone in the first quarter, forcing four turnovers while holding Delano Smith and Cody White scoreless. The Knights took an 11-6 lead into the second quarter. Kelso's basket off a steal gave Northern a 15-6 lead. Ancick’s 3-point play with 2:50 left in the half upped the margin to 18-8 and the Knights never looked back taking a 24-9 lead at halftime. WL Northern kept up the defensive pressure in the second half that seemed to key its patient half-court offense. Kameron Ford’s 3-point play for Western cut the deficit to 26-13, but that was a close as Western would get the rest of the night. Ancick kept the offense rolling in hitting a short jumper in the paint to for a 28-15 lead. Kelso stole the ball and hit a driving layup to give Northern a 30-15 lead after three quarters. A thunderous dunk by Ancick with 35.5 seconds left sealed the 42-23 victory to pull the Knights to within one game in the KLAA North Division behind Western with three games to play.

“It started out in the defensive end for us,” Northern coach Ron Thompson said. “Holding a team like that in the 20’s was where it started. The effort was tremendous. All the credit goes to the kids. I’m very proud of them.” Ethan Ancick had a game-high 18 points for Northern, while Jalen Kelso and Troy Lattimore each chipped in with six points. The Knights were red hot from the free-throw line, hitting 8-of-9. Senior Delano Smith led the way for Western with 11 points. WL Northern (10-3 overall, 5-2 KLAA North) travels to Waterford Kettering (0-11, 0-7) on Friday, while the Warriors (10-3, 6-1) travel to WL Central (8-5, 4-3) on Saturday afternoon.

Friday, January 20
Kelso's last-second shot puts Walled Lake Northern over Walled Lake Central, 55-53

WALLED LAKE – There wasn’t much debate on who was getting the basketball for Walled Lake Northern when the Knights had the ball with 8.1 seconds tied on the road against Walled Lake Central. Coach Ron Thompson handed the ball to guard Jalen Kelso and left it up to him. Kelso, who had delivered throughout the fourth quarter, delivered one more time, scoring on an off-balanced shot to give the Knights a 55-53 win over the Vikings. “We drew up a 1-4 low and I was going to drive and try to kick it to one of our bigs or take it all the way,” Kelso said of the play. “(Central) dropped down on the bigs, so I just tried to go around the defender and get a shot up. Thankfully it went it. It felt really good.” The final shot completed a fourth quarter that saw Kelso score 10 points as the Knights and Vikings went back-and-forth over the last eight minutes.

The two teams were tied on five occasions in the period before Kelso gave the Knights the lead for good in the closing seconds. “If you are a fan, you saw a tremendous basketball game,” Thompson said. “It was big shot after big shot. Kudos to both teams for playing at such a high level. It was a fun game to be part of. I think it was the most focused game we have played this season.” Northern (8-3, 3-2 KLAA North) trailed 13-4 after the first quarter, but quickly battled back to take a 24-23 lead at the break. The game remained tight from there. “It was a great high-school basketball game,” Central coach Chuck Spolsky said. “Both teams played hard. I am really proud of my team. I think we battled. (Northern) had the ball last and made a good shot. Credit to them.”

The fourth quarter saw the Knights use up the first 80 seconds before getting a basket from Ethan Ancick, who had eight points in the frame. With every Northern basket, Central (7-4, 3-2) managed to answer. Dylan Hudspeth hit a pair of big 3-pointers and Runako Ziegler tied the game at 53-53 with 20 seconds to play for two of his team-high 20 points. Hudspeth added 15 for the Vikings while Houston Tucker had 13 points. Kelso finished with 27 points for the Knights while Ancick had 21. The win for the Knights allows them to pull even with the Vikings in the division. Both are still chasing Walled Lake Western, who owns a win over each. “Two losses keeps you in the race. There are a lot of good teams in this division and we are chasing Western right now,” Thompson said. “I think there will be a lot of competitive games in the conference going forward and we feel like we can keep improving and be right in the mix.”

Tuesday, January 10
WL Western regains its footing in overtime to emerge with win over WL Northern

The Knights forced overtime with a tying basket to end regulation Tuesday.


Basketball - Boys - 1/10/2017 

Walled Lake Northern 50 (OT) Walled Lake Western 57

COMMERCE TWP. — The first of what could be four cross-town clashes between Walled Lake Western and Walled Lake Northern this season did not disappoint Tuesday as the teams played to a frenetic finish. On the heels of a fourth-quarter collapse that saw Northern tie the game at the very end of regulation, Western regained its composure in overtime to emerge with a 57-50 win, allowing just a single free throw to the Knights in the extra session. The Warriors held a seven-point lead with just 1:01 to play in the fourth quarter, but five missed free throws in the closing minute left Northern with a glimmer of hope, which it seized. The game-tying basket to force overtime came with just a couple ticks left on the clock as junior point guard Jalen Kelso drove the ball into the paint and dished a pass to teammate Ethan Ancick, who went up strong with a shot that fell.

“We knew that their bigs would step up on Jalen. He had had a great fourth quarter of his own, so the play was for him to get in there having our two bigs there at each block so he could dump it off to whichever one he saw,” Knights coach Ron Thompson said of the play that tied the game, 49-49. Western found resolve before the start of overtime, however. A fastbreak layup by senior Delano Smith, who scored a game-high 29 points, put the Warriors in front for good with 1:43 remaining. “Delano is our leader and one of our captains,” Western coach Dennis Butcher said. “He came into the huddle and said, ‘This is not going to happen. We’re going to take this overtime.’ He had his team ready. There were very few words from me. I saw the look on his face and knew we were ready to go. That’s a credit to our seniors.”

Northern committed four costly turnovers in overtime and was unable to recapture what worked during its comeback efforts. “We made some very silly mistakes down the stretch,” Butcher said of being outscored 20-12 in the fourth quarter. “I’m not making any excuses. We haven’t really been in any of these situations in the late-game yet and until you experience them, you don’t know how players are going to act. All of the credit in the world to our guys to finish that game.” Senior Cody White contributed 11 points, including three 3-pointers for Western (6-1, 2-0 KLAA North), while seniors Kam Ford and Greg Windom added eight and six points, respectively. “That team that we just played can really defend,” Butcher said of Northern. “They made us turn it over and I have some pretty good basketball players that can handle the ball and handle pressure. They made us look pretty average. That’s a credit to them.” For Northern (6-2, 1-1), Kelso totaled 16 points, Ancick recorded 13, and sophomores Troy Lattimore and Spencer Brown added 10 and eight points, respectively. “Our guys didn’t stop. I was really proud of the effort. We did some different things defensively and they happened to work,” Thompson said of the comeback. “Fortunately we got some turnovers and easy baskets, but I think we ran out of gas at the end of the fourth quarter.”

The two teams will meet again in three weeks on Jan. 31, with additional meetings likely in the KLAA Tournament and district playoffs. Both teams will be back in action Friday with Western hosting Walled Lake Central and Northern welcoming in Waterford Kettering.

Friday, January 6
WL Northern goes on early run to knock off Lakeland


Basketball - Boys - 1/6/2017 

Walled Lake Northern 44 Lakeland 29

WALLED LAKE - Walled Lake Northern (6-1, 1-0 KLAA North) opened up a 12-3 run Friday night against Lakeland in the Battle of Bogie Lake Road and never really looked back on their way to a 44-29 victory over the Eagles. The aggressive play of the Knights nearly got them into foul trouble quickly as Lakeland was shooting the double bonus very early in the second quarter. Knight’s head coach Ron Thompson commented on their strategy at that point, “Our guards were our strength today, so we wanted to back it off a bit especially since we had four guys with two fouls at that point and make them come to get us, make them even out the fouls.”

Lakeland was able to hold its own through the remainder of the first quarter and went into the locker room at halftime down 23-13. The third quarter saw Northern start to open up the lead as Jalen Kelso led the way scoring all 11 of points his team’s third quarter points on his way to a game-high 17 points on the evening. “Jalen has been a tremendous asset since he came on,” commented Thompson after the game. “Not only does he do things on the offensive end, he starts things on the defensive end.” Assessing his team after the loss, Lakeland head coach Bob Brugger said, “We are just struggling as a team collectively. We have had guys hurt all year and this is our first game all year having our team together and our chemistry is poor, we just aren’t connected offensively or defensively.” Brugger also made sure not to close the door on the season, “It is a long year and it is not a killer, it is on the road at their place so we will get better, I have a lot of faith in our guys.”

Also leading the way offensively for the Knights were Troy Lattimore with nine points and Andy Millikan with eight points. Lakeland saw Kyle Soderberg drop in 14 points and Joe Rzeppa net six points for the Eagles. Both teams continue conference play next week with Northern traveling to Walled Lake Western. Lakeland will host Waterford Kettering.

Thursday, December 29
WL Northern boys edge Southfield A&T in Motor City Roundball Classic contest
DETROIT - In boys basketball action, Andy Millikan tallied 16 points as Walled Lake Northern edged Southfield A&T in a Motor City Roundball Classic contest on Thursday. Jalen Kelso and Spencer Brown each added 12 points, Troy Lattimore totaled 11 points and Ethan Ancick had eight points and four rebounds for Northern. Reme Tolbert poured in 15 points, George Osborne supplied eight points and Cameron McEvans added seven points for Southfield A&T.

Wednesday, December 21
2016 Walled Lake boys basketball preview

Knights return strong lineup; newcomer Kelso looks to win first KLAA title Walled Lake Northern returns four starters from last season, and the Knights also welcome transfer guard Jalen Kelso (Pontiac) to the mix. In his eighth year on the bench, Coach Ron Thompson looks to lead the Knights to the first division title in school history. With Kelso as the floor general, Northern will put one of the best starting lineups in the division on the floor each night. The Pontiac transfer guard led the Phoenix to the OOA White Division title and earned all-league honors as a freshman and sophomore while at Pontiac. Joining Kelso in the backcourt will be sophomore Troy Lattimore (11.5 PPG) and junior Andy Millikan (8 PPG), who hit 28 three-pointers last season.

The Northern front court will feature 6’7” sophomore center Spencer Brown (9 PPG) and junior power forward Ethan Ancick (10 PPG.) Ancick shot 50 percent from behind the arc last year. Thompson is looking forward to the upcoming season and watching how his younger players develop throughout the season. “Our biggest key is going to have a group of very talented individual players come together and understand what it takes to win as a team,” he said. “We are still a very young team still with only two seniors, but we have five underclassmen that have played every game of their careers on the varsity.” Thompson continued, saying, “Game in and game out we must win the rebounding battle and learn to defend for 32 minutes.” When asked about the competitiveness of the KLAA North, Thompson said, “We are in a unique situation to have three rivals in our division with Western, Central and Lakeland. Our division is going to be a grind all year and is the toughest it’s ever been top to bottom.”

Wednesday, December 14
MI Prep Zone WLN News

Thursday, December 8
Newcomer Kelso gets WL Northern going on opening night, shines bright in first game as part of KLAA
With Photo Gallery

Tuesday, December 6
Walled Lake Northern rallies down the stretch for hard-fought opening win over Seaholm