Sunday, February 26, 2012

Girls Basketball District Preview

Holly District
Teams: Holly, Clarkston, Fenton, Schwartz Creek, Ortonville Brandon, Grand Blanc
Breakdown: Too bad that Holly and Clarkston meet in the opener, because both teams had a legitimate chance of playing in the finals. GiveClarkston has the edge because of its experience and ability to find scoring and defense from just about anywhere on the court
Winner: Clarkston

Novi District
Teams: Novi, South Lyon, Plymouth, Plymouth Salem, Plymouth Canton, Northville
Breakdown: Novi could get tested by Northville or Plymouth Canton, but ultimately, it’s the Wildcats District to lose. Novi hit a bit of a rough stretch late in the year with losses to quality Hartland and John Glenn teams, but they’ll bounce back in time for the playoffs.
Winner: Novi

Southfield-Lathrup District
Teams: Southfield-Lathrup, Southfield, Berkley, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Detroit Henry Ford
Breakdown: This district will likely come down to Lathrup and Royal Oak, Lathrup has played much better late in the season, but Royal Oak has the always dangerous Sami Stormont. Lathrup could have the advantage because of its very difficult regular season schedule and seems to have turned the corner as of late.
Winner: Lathrup

West Bloomfield District
Teams: West Bloomfield, North Farmington, Farmington Hills Mercy, Farmington, Farmington Hills Harrison, Walled Lake Western
Breakdown: This is a district that has some of Oakland County’s most dynamic players which include North Farmington’s Jasmine Harris and West Bloomfield’s Sydni Davis. But Mercy is the favorite in this district, especially after its 52-45 upset of No. 5 ranked Detroit Pershing on Thursday. However, if players like Harris or Davis have a big game, this district could be wide open.
Winner: Farmington Hills Mercy

Milford District
Teams: Milford, Hartland, Howell, Walled Lake Central, Walled Lake Northern, Lakeland
Breakdown: This district should be all Hartland as the Eagles have by far the best record out of the bunch and with players like Bailee Maggert and Lindsay Pajot, Hartland should make it look easy.
Winner: Hartland

Bloomfield Hills Andover District
Teams: Bloomfield Hills Andover, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, Birmingham Seaholm, Birmingham Marian, Birmingham Groves
Breakdown: This district should belong to host Andover with star sophomore Shannon Wilson, who is quickly becoming one of the most clutch players around, but don’t sleep on a young Marian team that could surprise some teams. But in the end, expect Wilson and Co. to take care of business and their home floor.
Winner: Andover

Auburn Hills Avondale District
Teams: Auburn Hills Avondale, Troy Athens, Troy, Waterford Kettering, Waterford Mott, Pontiac
Breakdown: A season opener rematch between Avondale and Kettering is more than a possibility as both teams have played stellar defense this season, but almost any team has a shot at making it to the district finals here. I have a feeling that it will be a district final showdown between Avondale and Kettering and I’m giving the slight edge to the “Defense Department”
Winner: Kettering

Rochester District
Teams: Rochester, Lake Orion, Rochester Adams, Stoney Creek, Oxford
Breakdown: After winning an OAA White title, Adams should be considered as the favorite in this district, but with a dynamic scorer like Gabby Yurik from Stoney Creek, anything can happen. However, in the end, I think that Adams is the deepest team in this district and it will show once the district is all wrapped up.
Winner: Adams

Class B
Livonia Clarenceville District
Teams: Livonia Clarenceville, Highland Park, Detroit Community, Ferndale, Detroit Old Redford, Highland Park Community, Detroit CMA, Ferndale University
Breakdown: Ferndale has a very good chance of picking up the district title here, especially with two very good scorers in Janecia Jenkins and Micaela Ellis, who are both averaging nearly 15 points per game, while Jenkins is also averaging well over 10 rebounds per contest.
Winner: Ferndale

Birmingham Detroit Country Day District
Teams: Birmingham Detroit Day, Hazel Park, Clawson, Warren Lincoln, Madison Heights Lamphere, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Center Line
Breakdown: As always, it’s never a good thing when your team is in the same district as Country Day because every year it’s a lock that the Yellowjackets will make a run at going to the Breslin and they have as good of a shot as ever with guards Amber Deane and Aerial Powers.
Winner: Birmingham Detroit Country Day

Capac District
Teams: Capac, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Macomb Lutheran North, Armada, Imlay City, Almont
Breakdown: Notre Dame Prep should be able to make it into the district finals, but it is  going to have a tough uphill battle playing in a district final that will likely include a 15-4 Capac team. However, senior guard Kiaya Bowman and sophomore sharpshooter Sarah LewAllen should give the Fighting Irish a chance.
Winner: Capac

Linden District
Teams: Linden, Fowlerville, Lake Fenton, South Lyon East, Stockbridge
Breakdown: South Lyon East took big strides this season as the Cougars finished the season with an 11-9 mark. East will be challenged, facing a solid Lake Fenton team in the semifinals and either Stockbridge or Lake Fenton who hold 13-7 records and have proven to be very good scoring teams.
Winner: Stockbridge

Mt. Clemens District
Teams: Mt. Clemens, Harper Woods Heart Academy, Madison Heights Madison, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, Detroit Winans Academy, Warren Michigan Collegiate
Breakdown: This district should be all Liggett as the Knights have had a very impressive season which includes a 16-4 regular season record. Liggett could get a bit of a challenge from host Mt. Clemens, but Liggett should move on.
Winner: Liggett

Royal Oak Shrine District
Teams: Royal Oak Shrine, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart, Southfield Bradford, Pontiac Academy for Excellence, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian
Breakdown: Bishop Foley has the looks of a team that’s ready to make a run in the state tournament with a senior laden team. Guard Jackie Bieniewicz and forward Colleen Szakacs should provide plenty of scoring punch to lead the Ventures into the regional round. Don’t sleep on Lutheran Northwest though who has quietly put together a nice season.
Winner: Bishop Foley

Birmingham Roeper District
Teams: Birmingham Roeper, West Bloomfield Jewish Academy, Novi Franklin Road Christian, Southfield Christian, Detroit City
Breakdown: This district will likely come down to Franklin Road Christian and Southfield Christian. Southfield Christian will be a tough challenge for Franklin Road Christian, but the Warriors have been impressive all season long, holding a 16-4 record behind standout sophomore Kristen Massey who is averaging an impressive 27 points per game and nearly five rebounds per as well.
Winner: Novi Franklin Road Christian

Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes District
Teams: Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, New Haven Merritt, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Marine City Cardinal Mooney, Auburn Hills Christian
Breakdown: Once again this district should belong to WOLL, with a lineup that can provide scoring from just about anywhere. The lone team that should test WOLL is rival Cardinal Mooney as both teams hold a 15-4 record heading into the playoffs. WOLL beat Cardinal Mooney twice this season, 37-35 on January 12th and 52-40 on February 2nd.
Winner: WOLL

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Boys Basketball Top 10 - A New Number 1

1. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The Yellowjackets are playing their best basketball of the season, scoring as well as anybody and playing some stellar defense at the same time and it showed as Country Day blasted red-hot Ferndale 88-59 on Tuesday night.

2. Clarkston
Nick Tatu has continued to be one of the best all-around players that Oakland County has to offer, no only is he a lockdown defender, but he can score with the best of them with his deadly 3-point shooting ability and proved it last week with his mind-boggling 12 3-pointers and 47 points against Troy.

Some how the Falcons have flown under the radar all season long, even with two of the county’s best scorers in Taylor Perry and Paris Pereira who have led Rochester to a 15-1 record and 15 straight wins.

4. Ferndale
Ferndale’s impressive 11 game winning streak finally came to an end on Tuesday night, but with Nate Stepney and Jordan Ellis playing some stellar basketball, there’s no reason to think that Ferndale can’t put together another long winning streak.

5. (Tie) North Farmington
The Raiders had one of the toughest schedules to start the season, but now they are streaking at the right time and are getting big time play from Dorrell Foster, Caleb Hogans and Sterling Sharp lately.

5. (Tie) Troy
It’s been a tough year for the Colts after losing a couple of big time contributors for different reasons, but the Colts have been looking like an improved team and are have quickly returned to the form that many expected them to be in at the start of the season.

6. Madison Heights Madison
Damon Bozeman can do it all for Madison, scoring 39 points and grabbing 16 rebounds on Tuesday night, but it’s not just the Bozeman show in Madison Heights. Tevin Washington, Will Bradley and Co. are quietly have some impressive seasons as well.

7. Waterford Mott
The Corsairs might have the most underrated frontcourt duo in Oakland County in Brady Losh and DaVonte Daniel and paired with all-everything senior Khalil Malone, Mott has shocked just about everyone in Oakland County and has grabbed a KLAA Lakes conference title.

8. Pontiac
The Phoenix have continued to improve this season, and with a young team highlighted by point guard Vezzie Carthane, Pontiac should be a team to keep an eye on in the playoffs and down the road next year.

9. Madison Heights Bishop Foley
The Ventures can find scoring from just about anywhere, with senior star Corey Green and sharpshooter Max Aleshire, Bishop Foley is a very tough team to shutdown and even after back to back losses, they will be a tough out in the playoffs.

10. (Tie) Milford 
The Mavericks caught many by surprise this season, only suffering to losses on the year and fell just short of picking up a KLAA Lakes title. The Mavericks have one of the top defensive squads around and it should help them during the KLAA playoffs.

10. (Tie) Novi Detroit Catholic Central
The Shamrocks, much like Milford, have been one of the top defensive teams in Oakland County this year and haven’t let up so far. The only way to beat the Shamrocks is to hope they have an off night shooting the ball, because scoring on them really isn’t an option.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Girls Basketball Top 10

1. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The Yellowjackets have arguably the best backcourt in the state with Aerial Powers and Amber Deane and they proved just that in their blowout win over former No. 1 ranked Detroit Pershing at the end of last month.

2. Waterford Kettering
Just one loss on the season, and the Captains continue to dominate teams defensively, holding teams to 30 points or less nine times and 20 points or less in five games out of their 14 wins this season.

3.Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
The Lakers have found scoring from just about everywhere this season which is another reason why they have locked up a third consecutive CHSL title. There’s no doubt that Lakes is gearing up for yet another deep playoff run.

4. Clarkston
A bit of a stumble after a couple of losses in the past few weeks at the hands of Auburn Hills Avondale and Southfield-Lathrup, but the Wolves will bounce back in time for the playoffs. Expect Clarkston to raise back to the top of its game during the course of the next week or so.

5. Auburn Hills Avondale
Avondale picked up that win over Clarkston and that could be the win the Yellowjackets have been waiting for to push them over the top and it’s more than possible that they are now hitting their stride.

6. Bloomfield Hills Andover
The buzzer beater from Shannon Wilson to lift Andover over Royal Oak and preserve a near perfect 14-1 record. With Wilson and Co., the Barons continue to find ways to win and that’s going to come in handy come playoffs time.

7. Farmington Hills Mercy
Mercy continues fly under the radar, but at the same time pick up the wins, and sophomore sniper Allie Gorcyca has given the Marlins an offensive boost to go with Sarah Benson and Candace Leatherwood.

8. Rochester Adams
Adams is one of the deeper teams in the OAA White, with a number of different players that can have a breakout game at any point, and it’s shown as the Highlanders have a 9-1 record in the White division

9. Madison Heights Bishop Foley
The Ventures have stumbled a bit here and there, but still remain as one of the most dangerous teams in the county heading into the playoffs with top-notch scoring from Jackie Bieniewicz and Collen Szakacs.

10. Novi
Much like Mercy, Novi has flown under the radar, but has been at the top of the KLAA Central all season long along with Livonia Stevenson. Novi has gotten the job done behind both its offense and its defense, which is why Novi will be a dangerous team once the playoffs get underway.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Boys Basketball Top 10

1. Clarkston
The Wolves remain at the top and have shown that they are still tops in the OAA especially after their second half performance against Southfield Lathrup almost two weeks ago.

2. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The Yellowjackets are quickly closing the gap on Clarkston especially after several wins where Country Day has put up explosive offensive numbers especially now that transfer Robert Puleikis has entered the fold.

3. (Tie) Madison Heights Bishop Foley
It’s not just the Corey Green show at Bishop Foley, because the Ventures have several players that can provide a bit of a scoring punch every now and then including 3-point specialist Max Aleshire who burried five first quarter triple en route to a 30 point night on Friday.

3 (Tie) North Farmington
The Raiders have been one of the hottest teams in Oakland County, winning seven of their last eight games including a bit of an upset on Friday night over Southfield-Lathrup. Dorrell Foster continues to fly under the radar as he continues to prove that he’s one of the elite scorers in the County this season and proved it with a 30-point output against Lathrup.

4. Southfield-Lathrup
The Chargers have stumbled a bit as of late, with losses coming at the hands of Clarkston and North Farmington, but they still remain as one of the most dangerous teams in the County this year with Jon-Jon Williams and Ben Bedford and Co.

5. Ferndale
Ferndale has snuck up on some this season, but with players like Nate Stepney and Jacob Dotson, teams have already taken notice that these guys are for real. After several impressive wins, including an upset over Troy, Ferndale isn’t an unknown this year anymore.

6. Rochester 
Taylor Perry and Paris Pereira might be the best 1-2 punch in Oakland County, because very rarely, if ever do either of them have an “off night” which makes Rochester that much harder to defend on a game-in, game-out basis.

7. Southfield Bradford
Another team flying under the radar, but have continued to get the job done behind outstanding play from Chris Boatmon and Erik Murphy and come playoff time, Bradford will be a team that nobody will want to face.

8. Milford
The Mavericks narrowly escaped what would have been a disastrous upset against winless Hartland, but Milford again picked up another win to move to 12-1. It’s not the prettiest basketball you’ll see, but it’s effective and that 12-1 mark is all that matters in the end.

9. (Tie) Waterford Mott
The Corsairs have been one of the county’s pleasant surprises this season, and have put themselves as one of the favorites to win the KLAA North along with Walled Lake Central. With DaVonte Daniel and Brady Losh down low, very few teams can match up with Mott in the post.

9. (Tie) Walled Lake Central
The Vikings continue to be one of the most consistent teams in Oakland County with big time play from big man Chuck Taylor and guard Zac Leimbach. With the type of defense the Vikings play, it’s going to be a tall task to try and outscore them down the road in the playoffs.

10. Madison Heights Madison
Damon Bozeman might be the best scorer not only in Oakland County, but possibly the state. Capable of putting up 40 points on any given night, it’s almost impossible to contain Bozeman. As Bozeman puts up some serious numbers, Madison follows suit.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Signing Day Recap

Taking a look at some of the top signings to come out of Oakland County and a few that were overlooked

Signing With The Best Chance To Make An Immediate Impact:
Mario Ojemudia - Farmington Hills Harrison (U-M) 
Ojemudia might end up being the best recruit from the state of Michigan in the 2012 class and could see plenty of play time as a freshman after Michigan lost a handful of players off of last years squad due to graduation. With a nickname like “The Nigerian Nightmare” you better believe that Ojemudia will be giving Big10 offensive coordinators all sorts of trouble over the course of the next few years.

Aaron Burbridge - Farmington Hills Harrison (MSU)
Burbridge, much like Ojemudia, is going into a situation where he might see the field right away because of graduations at the wide receiver position. Pairing him with Tennessee transfer commit DeAnthony Arnett, Michigan State could have a dangerous passing attack for the next couple of years.

Best Signing
Devin Church - Birmingham Brother Rice (Illinois)
Church took his play to a whole new level last season, rushing for nearly 2,000 yards and breaking the single season rushing record at Brother Rice. Church was originally committed to Northern Illinois, but finally got a much deserved Big10 offer a couple of weeks ago from Tim Beckman and Co. at Illinois.

Prescott Line - Oxford (Southern Methodist)
Much was made about the eye-popping offensive numbers that Line put up at Oxford this past season, but his defensive ability was overlooked because of it. Line was a tackling machine and a flat-out playmaker at the linebacker position a season ago and should step into the SMU defense nicely. Don’t be surprised if Line plays both ways at the next level.

Most Underrated Signing
Jake Vento - Farmington Hills Harrison (Grand Valley State)
Vento was one of the area’s top receivers as a junior but moved to quarterback as a senior. Vento will make a huge impact with the Lakers and give them a Wes Welker type of guy with tremendous hands and is even better after the catch.

Matt Dellinger - Clarkston (Kent State)
Dellinger has been one of the most consistent linebackers in Oakland County over the past couple of years and should bring exactly that to the Kent State defense for the next 4-5 seasons. Dellinger flew under the radar a bit because he committed much earlier than most, but he should be on many people’s radar once he gets going at KSU.

Most Intruiging Recruiting Class: Grand Valley State
The Lakers landed a number of Oakland County football players including Lake Orion QB Sean Charrette, Bloomfield Hills Lahser DB Nate Cole, OLSM linebacker David Talley, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep DB/WR Troy Sassack, Birmingham Brother Rice TE Joey Warner as well as Vento. All six players were big time playmakers on their respective teams in the fall and should do the same at Grand Valley State.