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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Training Camp Report - The Queens of Sting

Okay, so yesterday I broke down Birmingham Detroit Country Day's high-flying boys hoop squad and now it's time for the girls. Returning a trifecta of core players off back-to-back Class B state titles as well as sporting a pair of ultra-talented underclassmen, the Lady Jackets will pack just as much sting, if not more, on the prep hardwood this year as their highly-touted male counterparts.
First off, DCD has Madison Williams, a wiry, 6-6 senior center who recently inked with Michigan State. This girl likes to swat away shots in the lane like Homer Simpson loves donuts and beer - in other words, quite a bit. She had a state finals record 11 blocks in last season's championship game triumph over GR Catholic Central. Williams is more than just long arms and defense too, displaying a velvety soft touch around the basket and a nifty jump hook shot. Unlike previous seasons where she has deferred to past superstar teammates Erica Solomon (Notre Dame) and Amber Moore (U of Illinois), this year head coach Frank Orlando will place a bulk of the squad's scoring load squarely on the two-time all-state shoulders. There is no doubt in my mind, my main homegirl, Maddie, is up to the challenge and I predict she significantly ups her scoring average this campaign.
Then there's Troy Hambric and Imari Redfield, both highly-intelligent and athletic floor leaders who were each key cogs in the Jackets last two state championship runs. Hambric signed with Loyola (Illinois) two weeks ago and Redfield looks sharp running the floor in practice coming off a partial-ACL tear suffered early last spring.
Rounding out the starting line-up this season will be coach Orlando's two diaper dandies, super-sophs Aerial Powers and Amber Dean. In just the small glimpse I've gotten of Powers and Dean tells me the program could have another deadly-combo like Solomon and Moore on their hands.
That said, lost from the 2009 team were 5 separate DI players, like Moore and Sherena Taylor (Georgia Tech).
The thing that puts this Jackets team over the edge, like always is Frank Orlando, entering his 42nd year on the prep sidelines in the state of Michigan. With a remarkable 10 state titles under his belt, Orlando's resume speaks for itself. He's a one of a kind bench tactician and the picture of cool and calm when leading his ship. His players love him and he knows the ins and outs of the game of basketball like the back of his hand – the consummate teacher/coach.  
This year will be exciting because of the blend of veteran and young talent that will fill out the playing rotation," Orlando said in his office one afternoon last week. "I think there might be a few people out there that think we'll be down this season because we lost so much from the last two state title teams. But I don't think they're looking closely enough. I'm not saying we're a shoe in to win another state championship, however, I can say will still be a force to be reckoned with. These younger girls can play and the captains like Maddie, Troy, and Imari are great teachers and have imparted a lot of wisdom on them since they started playing together last summer. I faith in these girls and this team to successfully carry on the tradition this program has built. Wherever that leads us by the end of the season, I'm pretty sure at that point in time we'll be the best team this group could possibly be."


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