Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

Mad props go out to the nearly-twenty Oakland County athletes who signed college letters of intent on Wednesday. This feat is reserved for an elite few across the nation every year and those who achieve such exploits deserve a hardy pat on the back and shout outs galore.
A few observations from the multitude of singings going down in the OC this week:
North Farmington appears headed for banner seasons in both boys and girls hoops as three Raiders' ballers inked with college programs. Jenna Bachrouche, a spry 6-2 double-threat in the post or out on the perimeter signed with Oakland University and Lyndsey Booker, the Lady Raiders' starting point guard the past three seasons, signed with Loyola University in Chicago. Both Bachrouche and Booker were key contributors on North Farmington's 2008 squad that made a run all the way to the Class A state semi-finals. Kyle Vinales, arguably the best boys player to ever don the Brown and Gold, bypassed several mid-major offers and signed with D2 power Grand Valley State.
Joining Lyndsey Booker at Loyola will be Birmingham Detroit Country Day's Troy Hambric, a member of the Yellowjackets back-to-back Class B state title teams who signed with the Ramblers on Wednesday. Hambric's teammate, 6-6 Madison Williams, the top player in the County and the front runner for the 2010 Ms. Basketball award, signed with Michigan State. Williams, limber and lanky with a velvet-soft touch around the hoop, is one of the best post-players to emerge from the Metro Detroit area over the last decade. When you pair the intimidating tandem of Hambric and Williams with Imari Redfield, another solid role player from the squad's consecutive state championships in 2008 and 2009, the Lady Jackets' have a great shot at making it three straight.
Clarkston's Matt Kamienieke, a 6-7 mid-major version of former Rochester Falcon and MSU Spartan, Paul Davis, punched his ticket to the state of Indiana when he signed with Ball State in Muncie. The son of former MLB pitcher Scott Kamieniecke, Matt has gotten better every year since he emerged on the local prep scene as a sophomore two years ago. Being tutored in the game by the OC's best basketball mind in his head coach, Dan Fife, only makes what the Cardinals are getting that much more special. He is a big reason that the Wolves finally got over the hump last season and made it to the Final Four for the first time since the Tim McCormick era.
Southfield-Lathrup's Roy Marble, Jr. is heading to Iowa, signing with the Hawkeyes and following in his father's footsteps into Big Ten competition in Iowa City. Marble's game is fluid and smooth. He averaged 22 points per game as a junior in 2009. While his father – former All-American and NBA'er Roy, Sr – liked to drive the lane and dunk on people, Junior has more of a finesse game, owning a much better outside 'J" than his pops did at this point in his career. Teamed with fellow senior standouts, Bryan Coleman and Drew Gilchrist, the Chargers and head coach Mike Avery, are thinking big things for this season.
Birmingham Seaholm's Richaud Pack will be flying south with the seagulls next year, signing to play for Pistons' great Zeek Thomas in Miami at Florida International. Pack and his first cousin and running buddy, Shawn Conway, make the Maples favorites to repeat as conference champs in the OAA this year.
Just when you thought OU Woman's Hoops coach Becky Francis had the OC locked-up as tight as it could be by snaring '09 and '10's studs in Bethany Watterworth and Jenna Bachrouche respectively, the tireless sideline maestro residing in the Grizzly Den on Walton Blvd, got a verbal commitment from the area's top junior hoopstress, Lauren Robak of Waterford Our Lady of The Lakes to top of the program's stellar commitment period. Robak is a diamond in the rough because she plays at a Class D school, but make no mistake about it she is as big time as the come. Her 36 point outburst in the Lakers OT win in the CHSL title game at Calihan Hall last season goes down as one of the all-time great prep performances in state history. Robak scored the final 9 points of regulation  - including 2 FT's with less than 2 secs left - to lead a 4th quarter comeback against foe MC Cardinal Mooney and send the game into OT. Then she scored all 8 of WOLL's points in the extra-stanza, including the game-winning lay-up in the closing seconds, to bring home the trophy for the Lakers. All in all, Robak tickled the twine for 31 of her 36 points in the second half and OT. To call the performance epic, would be to do it injustice. That's all you need to know about Lauren Robak. And she's only a junior!  Do I see a state title looming in head coach and proud papa's Steve Robak's very near future? With an ice-cold assassin on the court like his daughter anchoring the Lakers attack, I think It'.s very possible, to say the least.


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