Richard boys continue to roll

Robbie Henderson and the Gabriel Richard Pioneers have been nearly unstoppable this season. Photo by Larry Caruso.

Hank Minckiewicz

Gabriel Richard’s amazing basketball season kept the momentum going with a 50-33 Catholic League Intersectional road win over Ann Arbor Greenhills on Jan. 31.

It was league-leading Gabriel Richard’s sixth straight league win. The Pioneers, who are undefeated in league play, are 11-1 overall.

The Pioneers played a bit of an uneven game against the Gryphons, getting out to a big lead early, stalling in the second quarter and and then finishing with a strong second half. The Pioneers held Greenhills to just 11 points after the intermission.

The win was Rivhard’s second of the year over Greenhills and the Jan. 31 game marked the start of the Pioneer’s second trip through league opponents.

Robbie Henderson had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the visitors. Michael Calhoun scored 11 points and had 13 rebounds as well as three blocked shots. Mike Holdsclaw had nine points and Nick Szczechowski had eight points.

On Jan. 27, Royal Oak Shrine was Richard’s victim, falling by a 57-34 count.

The Pioneers were clicking from the start and they led 34-17 at halftime before turning up the defensive pressure in the second half and continuing to pull away.

Szczechowski led the way in scoring with 14 points. He also had six assists and four steals. Holdsclaw and Henderson each had 11 points and they combined for 13 rebounds. Calhoun contributed a solid game with  seven points, eight rebounds and four  block shots.

The Pioneers have proven to be the class of the league so far, winning their league games by an average of 20 points, but they did face a challenge on Jan. 17 when they traveled all the way to Marine City to face Cardinal Mooney.

“There is no question that playing (at Cardinal Mooney) is one of the toughest places to play,” coach Kris Daiek said. “They get great support from the community and play extremely hard.”

Despite Richard jumping put to a 10-2 lead to start the game, it was a close contest throughput and Richard held just a one-point lead at halftime before winning the second half and the game 49-41.

Poor long distance shooting plagued the Pioneers in the first half as the team took 14 three-point shots and missed them all.

The game went back and forth in the second half. With under four minutes to play, Richard took the the lead for good and sealed the victory with some solid defense and shooting.

Eight players scored in the game for Richard, led by Szczechowski with 14 and Calhon with 12.

The Pioneers faced Mooney again – this time as the host school – on Feb. 7 and they close out  the league schedule against Bishop Foley (Feb. 11) and Shrine (Feb. 14) before heading to the CHSL payoffs.

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