Romulus’ Jaylin Walker Scores 23 For Eagles to Dispose Of Rival Belleville

9 Mar

IMG_0219Romulus and Belleville, two schools separated by a mere seven miles along the I-94 Corridor.  A third edition for the Battle of Hannan Road occurred at Westland John Glenn in the first round of the Class A district tournament, the Eagles and Tigers split the two earlier meetings on the year.

It was a strange start to the game.  On a simple break-away, Romulus star guard Jaylin Walker went up for a lay-up, but Belleville senior forward Arlington Hambright wrapped Walker and threw him to the ground.  Jaylin slid into the first row of pull-out bleachers.  After roughly two minutes of discussion, Hambright was awarded an ejection just 1:36 into the contest.

This is not the first time Walker and Hambright have had their on-court issues.  Jaylin said following the game Hambright pulled the exact same move the last time Romulus played Belleville, yet, was not given an ejection.

The young Tigers rallied behind the absence of their senior leader.  Belleville led 16-12 at the end of one, then at one point in the second held a lead as large as eight points.   Senior Andre Dixon and freshman Davian Williams both paced Belleville with 11 and seven first-half points respectively.

However, the Eagles decided enough was enough.  For the last 2:47 of the second quarter, Romulus made a 8-2 spurt to trail by just one at halftime.

The ending to the second was only a preview of what was to come in the third.  Romulus allowed a measly seven third quarter points, while the Eagles were able to hold both Williams and Dixon scoreless in the quarter, as well as allow just two points to Tiger junior stud point guard Mike Bruce in the stanza.  Romulus built a nine point advantage entering the fourth.

Put your stars in positions to succeed, and the team will prosper.  Just ask Walker, “I like doing fast-paced.”

The fourth summed up Walker’s statement.  Jaylin scored nine of his team-high 23 points in the final period of action, a three to shift momentum entirely for the Eagles early in the fourth, and then a show-stopping dunk off an assist from Rio Washington to place Romulus up 15 with 4:22 left.

“There’s not too many people,” said Romulus head coach Jarret Smith, “that can climb the elevator like that in order to get the ball.”

Walker missed one shot the whole night on 10-11 from the field.

“I was just really feeling it,” Walker said.  “My teammates got me into the groove.”

Dixon led the Tigers with 12, and Williams scored 10.  Aside from Walker, D’Angelo Hansbro contributed 12 points, four steals and assists following a sluggish first quarter shooting performance, Rashaan Pope scored six of his 11 points in the fourth quarter along with six rebounds, and senior center Rio Washington tallied six points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Romulus improves to 15-5 on the season, while Belleville concludes the year with a modest 12-9 record.  The Eagles return to Glenn for district semi-final action against Downriver League champion Taylor Kennedy Wednesday night (15-4).



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