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Denman, Bradfield Lead AW Boys Over Napoleon

AW junior Max Bradfield goes up for a shot over Napoleon’s Grant Strock in a game last Friday. Bradfield scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Generals opened Northern Lakes League play with a 53-38 win over the Wildcats. MIRROR PHOTO BY KEVIN FINNIGAN

BY JOEL SENSENIG | MIRROR SPORTS — The Anthony Wayne boys basketball team got maximum efforts from a pair of juniors in a 53-38 win over visiting Napoleon to open the Northern Lakes League season last Friday. Max Denman scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while classmate Max Bradfield tallied 14 points (all in the fourth quarter) and grabbed six boards to power the Generals (2-1 overall, 1-0 NLL) over the Wildcats (0-3, 0-1). Bradfield, who did not score in the first three quarters, notched 10 straight points for AW to open the final stanza, helping to build a seven-point lead after the Wildcats tied things up at 32 with a bucket to open the fourth. “In the second half, we started shooting the ball really well and we were spreading them out and it left me one-on-one on the side,” Bradfield said. “I had to finish my layups and I did.” Anthony Wayne coach Josh Arthur said it was good to see Bradfield display his array of talents on the court. “He performed for us. He posted up big inside,” he said. “He made his free throws, which he’s very capable of doing. He hit a three early in the fourth quarter, which really helped us separate that lead. “That’s something he can do. He can spread the floor. Teams are going to have to watch out for him because he can shoot it, he can drive it. He’s an absolute ox. He’s a big, strong man that can post up inside, and he’s learning every day.” The Generals had to overcome a woeful shooting performance in the first half, as they hit just 6-of-29 shots (21 percent), while Napoleon connected on 7-of-23 (30 percent). “We were moving way too quick,” Arthur said. “We knew Napoleon was down two of their better players, so I think we were just trying to win the game with one possession instead of possession by possession. “We worked on that at halftime: It’s a one-possession game, a one-possession defense, a one-possession defense . . . we’re not going to win a game with one shot.” The Wildcats hit a couple treys in the first stanza to help give them a 12-7 lead after eight minutes, with all of Anthony Wayne’s points coming from Denman, who connected on two field goals and a 3-pointer. The Generals outscored the visitors 9-5 in the second quarter, with both teams continuing to struggle from the field. AW senior Brock Nartker (four assists, three boards) and Denman each connected behind the arc in the second, while Kyle Ray got a layup on a pass from senior Andrew Murphy (nine points, three steals, four rebounds) following a steal. Napoleon junior Logan Shepard hit a shot with 10 seconds left in the half to give the Wildcats a 17-16 lead heading into the locker room. The Generals began to heat up in the third, as Denman and senior Josh Boyer (five points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals) combined for three treys early on to push their team’s lead to 25-17. Napoleon did come back in the final few minutes of the third due to threes from senior Grant Strock and Brennan Druhot, who scored seven points in the final 1:40 to make it 32-30 AW after three. That’s when Bradfield took over. He began his streak of 10 straight points for the Generals when he took an inbounds pass from Denman and put it in while being fouled. After the three-point play, he hit one from beyond the arc on a Murphy dish to give Anthony Wayne a 38-32 lead with 6:50 remaining. “We started shooting the ball really well,” Bradfield said of the late portion of the game. “We got in a rhythm and the defense really stepped it up.” The Generals went on to have their best scoring quarter of the game, hitting 10-of-11 from the charity stripe to put the game out of reach. Arthur said it was huge for his team to see it could win a game without seniors Andrew Murphy and Josh Boyer getting on the scoreboard for large chunks of the game. “It was big to watch us win a game without that happening,” Arthur said. “I’d like to see us start out with a little bit more energy, a little more focus. I think we’re going to get there, we just need another week of practice.” Both teams wore camouflage warm-ups prior to the game reading “Hoops for Troops,” as AW honored veterans and raised a total of $3,594 for Veterans Memorial Park in Whitehouse.

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