Ferndale Girls' Basketball Wins 3 Straight
The Eagles' physical press was too much for Berkley to handle in a 61-45 OAA win.
BERKLEY - Janecia Jenkins did not downplay the importance of Tuesday’s game.
It showed in her play.
Jenkins played with the sense of urgency that was necessary to help the Ferndale High School girls’ basketball team cruise to a 61-45 win over Berkley in an Oakland Activities Association Blue Division showdown.
Ferndale (5-6, 4-3 OAA) jumped behind a pair of double-doubles to extend its win streak to three games.
Berkley (6-5, 5-2 OAA) snapped a six-game win streak and lost a key starting player for an indefinite amount of time.
Ferndale’s quick and physical press combined with the loss of Berkley junior Aarica McCray proved to be the difference maker on both sides of the court.
“I was so excited and I’m really glad we won this game, too,” Jenkins said. “It was a big one. We have a big week and this is one of the big ones that we had to win. I was determined.”
Jenkins led the way for the Eagles with 16 points and 10 rebounds to log her second double-double of the season. She scored eight in the third quarter and all 16 before spending a bulk of the fourth quarter resting on the bench.
Ferndale freshman Ariel Walker added 10 points and 10 boards for her second double-double of the season. Walker scored six in the third quarter.
Ferndale freshman Micaela Ellis scored seven of her nine points in the second quarter to help Ferndale outscore Berkley 23-8 in the quarter.
“We wanted to pick up the pace and play hard on defense,” Ferndale coach Berwyn Ellis said. “We’re kind of like a pressing team. We like to throw several different types of presses out there and our girls are kind of able to recover. Tonight was probably one of our best nights as far as the press and being able to cover and pick up well.”
McCray scored five points in the first quarter to help the bears cling to an 11-10 lead, but Ferndale’s press and solid defensive play on the boards proved to be too much to handle.
Berkley Senior Audrey Duncan completed a three-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to help her team pull within five, then the momentum shifted to Ferndale’s favor for the duration.
But things would get worse for Berkley. McCray was hit in the right shoulder and fell to the ground screaming in pain with 3:08 left in the first half.
McCray was assisted off the court to seek treatment for what was listed as a dislocated shoulder. McCray left the gym on an ambulance stretcher with less than 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
“We haven’t had to overcome something like that yet this year,” Berkley coach Jordan Gruppen said. “We’ve overcome deficits as far as scoring, but an injury like that right in front of your bench is a little different. It’s a big loss (with McCray out). We’ve just got to have some other people step up. We battled at least, we just couldn’t overcome the deficit.”
McCray scored seven points before leaving the game with the injury.
Junior point guard Diamond Wilford led Berkley with 11 points.
Despite getting some open looks early, the ball just wasn’t falling for the Bears.
“We didn’t hit a very high percentage and a lot of it was our composure,” Gruppen said. “We’ve got to be able to handle it a little bit better. We knew it was going to be a physical game and we’ve handled games like that in the season a lot better. We’ve got to just come out ready to play next time, that’s for sure and we will.”