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Acuff Ties it at the Buzzer; Cass Tech moves on to Finals, Defeating Grand Blanc in OT

Photo by DeShawn Johnson

The seats in the Breslin Center began to fill early as high school basketball fans from all over Michigan came to see two powerhouse teams face off.

Little did they know that one of the craziest shots of the year in high school basketball would be made right in front of them. This shot ultimately put Cass Tech over the hump against Grand Blanc as they won the game in overtime, 62-56.

Keeping the Lead

The game began in favor of the Technicians as they went on an early 11-4 run. All throughout the year when Cass Tech gained a lead, they usually held on to it.

And they did just that, holding onto their lead the entire first half, but the Bobcats were constantly hounding the Technicians as they looked to even out the score early on.

The Technicians, with the help of some early points from sophomore guard Darius Acuff, began to create some space in the scoreboard by the end of the first. They lead the Bobcats 15-8, closing the first quarter.

The second half began with an unusual play in the game of basketball. First, Travon Cooper scores the first bucket for his team in the second, but then he accidentally scores for Grand Blanc on an accidental tip-in.

This put the Bobcats within a range of five-points, and then immediately after, Grand Blanc got a steal that led to a transition 3-pointer, nearly evening the score.

However, Cass Tech would make up for this awkward play after Christian Hairston checked into the game and sent a shot attempt flying off the backboard, which led to a 3-pointer from Kenneth Robertson, giving his team the lead 22-17.

By this point, both teams were beginning to run their offenses smoothly, and each team began to score back and forth. Before you know it, the score is once again close, ending the half 26-25. Cass Tech leading by one point.

Heating up after Halftime

RJ Taylor would start things off in the second half with a 3-pointer to once again close in on the lead for the Bobcats. This would spark the game’s first lead change and the lead would swap between the teams two other times in the third.

However, Grand Blanc’s lead would not last long as freshman guard Corey Sadler Jr. drove to the basket, cutting their lead to two points. Acuff and Sadler would both make some big defensive stops, and the Technicians took back their lead at the end of the third, 45-43.

The score would get knotted early in the fourth at 45 each, until Grand Blancs sophomore guard Donnie Huddleston hit a huge three, taking the lead back for the Bobcats.

Late in the fourth quarter, Taylor would step out of bounds, but a foul call on Sean Hodges would keep the ball in the Bobcats possession. Taylor would get fouled a few possessions after and is sent to the line to extend Grand Blanc’s lead with less than 10 seconds left in the game.

Unfortunately, Taylor would miss both free throws, and the Technicians would scoop up the ball and call a timeout.

Final Prayer

Less than 10 seconds remain on the clock, and the Technicians are down by three. This is it. There will be no more chances.

One final shot is all that Cass Tech had left to offer, and it wasn’t a matter of what kind of shot was needed because it was simple. Cass Tech needs a three.

It was obvious who was going toshoot the shot. He has been one of Michigan’s best shooters and scorers this year. Nobody other than Darius “cheeks” Acuff was going to shoot. And that is exactly what Acuff did; he shot it.

He shot it, and everyone in the stadium rose to their feet as they could not believe what just happened. At the buzzer, Acuff honed in on the basket and let it fly, and he sunk it with no time left, 54-54, headed to overtime.

Acuff’s shot might have been the final dagger for Grand Blanc as they were held to scoring just two points in overtime while Cass Tech kept their offense rolling, defeating Grand Blanc 62-56. After the game, Acuff spoke on his outstanding shot, “Yeah, I know it was going in because it went straight up the middle. So I knew it was gonna be all net, or it was going to go off the backboard and once I got open I called for the ball and I knew I was going to shoot it and I knew it was going to go in.”

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