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.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Clawing To The Top

BAKER & TROJANS WIN WAR OF RIVALS
By SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN
CLAWSON
Clawson junior guard Joe Baker is a straight-out savage on the basketball court – he destroys almost everything and anything in his way. Coming off a two game-victory run through their own holiday tournament last week where he totaled 55 points, Baker kept up his torrid scoring pace on Wednesday night as he pumped in a game-high 27 points, while collecting five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the Trojans decisive 70-55 home defeat of perennial conference rival-Madison Heights Lamphere.
Just like its star player, Clawson is off to a smoking-hot start to the young season. After taking their conference opener, the Trojans push their overall record to 7-0 (1-0 in the MAC-Silver). 2009 was not overly-kind to the Trojans program, as they finished 8-12. Lamphere, winners over Clawson in the districts last year, falls to 2-3.
Baker, who had to sit out more than half of his sophomore year last season due to his transfer from Southfield-Lathrup, is averaging 26.5 points per game so far in the current campaign. On Wednesday he was an efficient 8-for-13 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Oh yeah, "Joe the Show" also knocked down 5-of-7 attempts from 3-point land, 4-of-5 of which came in the first half.
"It feels great to be back for the full season this year and I'm trying to take complete advantage," said Baker in the locker room following the game. "Playing from the first game forward will help me lead this team better. Our defensive effort is what got us the win tonight. We locked down on their scorers and got ahead early. When our offense is flowing and playing at its best, everyone gets involved. If teams start to key too much on me, my teammates can all hit shots and make them pay."
Kelvin Toma, Lamphere's high scoring swingman, was held to 23 points by Baker and the aggressive Clawson defense. Toma, who averaged 15 points per game in 2009, scored a career-high 43 points in the second week of the season.
The game and its atmosphere proved intense from the moment each team hit the floor for warm-ups.  The Trojans' slippery 6-2 sniper, appreciates the heated rivalry. "What us and Lamphere have between us is kind of hectic," he said. "It's a true rivalry and goes between both basketball and football teams. Sometimes, it reminds me of like a Duke-North Carolina or a Michigan-Ohio State type of thing. We're in a hard-nosed conference and we're two hard-nosed teams. Whenever we meet up, we both know it's going to be a classic conference showdown."
Using the 3-pointer as their weapon of choice, the Trojans claimed a 21-point lead with just less than four minutes to play in the first half. Two straight 3-pointers from Baker backed-up by one by starting point guard Dominic Davis gave the Trojans a 32-11 advantage at the 3:58 mark of the second quarter. The Rams closed the half on a 10-4 run and trailed 36-21 at the break.
Toma's offensive rebound and put-back hoop and Mitch Kozlowski's steal and score in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter trimmed the Clawson advantage to eight points at a score of 48-40. But a quick 8-2 run by the Trojans got their lead back into double-digits to stay. Two free throws apiece by Baker and senior co-captain Rob Feeman and then a Baker steal and feed to Garrett Matthews for a basket in the lane made it 56-42.
Tempers flared late and Lamphere head coach Joe Jolet received a technical in the final minutes of the game. Jolet was arguing an intentional foul called on one of his players. At the same time as the confrontation between Jolet and the officials was taking place, Baker began getting verbally harassed by the Rams' rowdy student section. As Baker jawed with the crowd, being held back by Feeman (12 points), the Lamphere students who had gotten out of hand were removed from the gymnasium by Clawson High School security.
"Whenever it's a rivalry game like this one was, it's a good win," said Trojans second year-head coach, Billy Shellenbarger. "It feels great to start the season off so well, but we have to stay focused and keep improving. This group is tough and the seniors are outstanding leaders. We're fighting for everything we get and we'll continue to do so."
Clawson gets back to action on Friday when it takes to the road to face conference foe-Clintondale.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PONTIAC HIGHSCHOOL VARSITY BASKETBALL COACHING STAFF...WE AT CLARKSTON HIGHSCHOOL AS WELL AS THE OTHER TEAMMS U HAVE AND WILL LOSE TO THIS SEASON THANK YOU FOR BEING THE DUMBIEST COACHES IN THE NATION.... KEEP PLAYING THE BEST POINT GUARD AT THE CENTER POSITION...WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH U GUYS OR IS THIS SOME NEW FORM OF COACHING CALLED STUPID AS HELL 101.. IF SO COACH COVINGTON AND ROY WEBB HAVE IT MASTERED TO THE FULLEST... WAKE UP COACH REN & STIMPY.. U DONT PLAY A POINT GUARD AT THE CENTER UNLESS OF COURSE HE IS SIX FOOT NINE AND HIS NAME IS ERVING MAGIC JOHNSON....STOP THE FAVORTISM NOW AN U JUST MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE.. DO IT FOR THE KIDS....

January 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM 

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