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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Flames lose Opener To Cleveland

From Patrick Hayes, Flint Journal

After a rough shooting stretch to start the game, Flint Flames basketball player Angel Chan came off the bench and nearly shot the team back into it, helping the Flames erase a double figures lead and tie the game in the second half before losing in the home opener, 52-47 to Cleveland May 15 at Flint Northern.

Chan, a lefty guard who graduated from Central Michigan, scored 13 points, 12 of them on three-pointers, to lead the team.

“She’s really embracing that role as a shooter off the bench for us,” said Flames coach Dreyon Wynn.

The Flames needed that production off the bench as the team struggled shooting early, only managing five points in the first quarter. Chan came on in the second and scored 10 of her 13 points as the team cut Cleveland’s lead to two before heading into the half trailing 23-17.

In the third quarter, Wynn elected to start Larecha Jones, a former Flint Northwestern star, who couldn’t get into the flow of the offense off the bench in the first half.

“I wanted to bring her in and run the offense through her (in the post),” Wynn said.

Jones responded, scoring six points in the first five minutes of the quarter, helping the Flames tie the game at 25.

The Flames, however, went cold again and Cleveland pulled away with a 17-6 run late in the third and early in the fourth quarter.

The Flames turned up the pressure late, but ran out of time as a three by Chan at the buzzer cut the final deficit to five.

While the team shot poorly, the defense kept them in it by creating turnovers and putting constant pressure on Cleveland. Wynn believes once the team gets more accustomed to playing with each other, they’ll be able to put together some wins.

“We wanted to give our fans a win today,” he said. “But there are some things we can take away from this and build on going forward.”

Play of the game: Point guard Jasmine McCall was the quickest player on the court. She advanced the ball on a two-on-one, gave her defender a little crossover move and the defender bit on it hard, falling flat on her back as McCall dished to a wide open Jones for a layup.

Seen and heard: Flint dance crew Final Destination performed during the game and interacted with the crowd. Flint City Council President Delrico Loyd and City Councilman Sheldon Neeley were in attendance, as were high school basketball standouts Patrick Lucas-Perry, Gerald Williams-Taylor and Dalvin David, among others.

Up next: The Flames hit the road to play the Rock County Robins in Wisconsin at 1 p.m. May 23. The team's next home game is at 4 p.m. June 5 against the Lexington Lightning. It will be broadcast on Michigan Regional Sports Network.

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