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, February 18, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Steve Rhoads, Madison Heights Madison boys basketball head coach, has coached some pretty good players in his day. Bruce Flowers formerly of the NBA's New York Knicks comes to mind. So does Aric Morris formerly of the NFL's Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots.
When it's all said and done on his high school career in the next month or so, Ashton Curd, the Eagles' killer-quick senior guard, will go down as one of the best Rhoads has had the pleasure of mentoring on the court. Curd showed why on Wednesday night by stealing a pass at mid-court and then going down the floor to put in a lay-up to win it at the buzzer for the Eagles, 57-55, over Eastpointe East Detroit in a game of MAC Blue Division powers. The game-winning bucket send the Madison home crowd into a state of delirium and capped a double-digit comeback by the Eagles as well as an awesome evening by Curd, who finished with 25 points and five assists.
The win lifts the Eagles overall record to 12-3, 7-2 in conference play, good enough for a first place tie with East Detroit. Down by 14 points heading into the fourth quarter, Madison rallied behind Curd's playmaking and a stout defensive effort which only allowed five East Detroit points in the final eight minutes of play.
Madison's victory also redeems the Eagles spirit after dropping a game to East Detroit back in January where they blew a late lead. Johnnie Mills led East Detroit (12-3) with 16 points.
Rhoads is in his first year on the sidelines leading Madison's program, after spending the past five seasons as an assistant under Brian Canfield. From 1969 until 2000, Rhoads was the head coach of Berkley where he coached a number of high quality teams, including district championship teams captained by Flowers (Notre Dame) and Morris (Michigan State for Football).
Sophomore sizzler, Damon Bozeman, put in another remarkable performance for Rhoads and the Eagles. The 6-5 forward notched his fifth consecutive double-double, scoring 18 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. R.T. Merritt, Curds's rock-steady backcourt mate, chipped in with six points, five assists, and three steals.


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