Henry Ford CC Hawks make it to Final Four
The Henry Ford Community College Men's basketball team defeated Wayne County Community College 72-64 Tuesday evening to advance to the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) state semi-finals.
The MCCAA Final Four will be played at Mott Community College in Flint Friday and Saturday. The Henry Ford Hawks (17-8) will play the winner of tonight's game between Glen Oaks Community College (23-3) and Grand Rapids Community College (17-9) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Mott, ranked second nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and currently 26-2, will play the winner of tonight's contest between Lake Michigan College (21-5) and Lansing Community College (18-6). The championship game will be played Saturday at 3 p.m.
This will be Henry Ford's first Final Four appearance since 1997.
The winner of the Final Four will be the 2005 MCCAA state champion.
'All of us at Henry Ford are proud of these young men, all of whom are walk-ons to this team,' said Henry Ford President Andrew A.Mazzara. Due to state aid cuts, the scholarship program for Henry Ford athletics was eliminated. 'These fine young men play basketball for the love of the game and the pride they have for their college.'
Henry Ford athletes must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (out of a possible 4.0) and be full-time students. Sophomore forward Brandon Manus leads the team with a 3.8 GPA and is taking 15 credit hours this semester.
Last night's game for the play-off berth remained close in the first half, with neither team able to build more than a five-point lead. Wayne County held a 29-28 half-time advantage.
With 11 minutes left in the second half, the game was tied at 48. Henry Ford pulled ahead by 10 points and led 60-50, but then Wayne County scored eight unanswered points to leave the Hawks with only a two-point lead, 60-58. Henry Ford prevailed in the last few minutes, pulling away for good to win 72-64.
Henry Ford sophomore Ken Gupton was the high scorer for the Hawks with 25 points, scoring 20 of those in the second half. Cedric Bird, also a Henry Ford sophomore, scored 15 points, 12 of those coming in the second half. Hawks' freshman Kendrick Moton added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Henry Ford victory over Wayne County.
Mott also will host the Region 12 tournament Mar. 2 - 6, with the winner going to the NJCAA National Basketball Tournament Mar. 23 - 26 in Danville, Illinois.
Hawks' head coach Abe Mashhour was a member of the HFCC basketball team in the early 1990s. Assistant coach Jason Skoczylas played for the Hawks in 1997, the last time HFCC made it to the Final Four. Dave Williams also is an assistant coach and Nancy Bryden is HFCC's athletic director. For more information, please call Bryden at 313-845-9647.