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.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Warrior Mentality


If you were to pick a song that properly embodied the feeling the Birmingham Brother Rice boys basketball team was experiencing late Friday night, it would probably be the Bee Gees 1970s hit, "Staying Alive." Thanks to some high-quality backcourt play and timely-defense, the Warriors took themselves off life support and are still alive and kicking in the race for the regular season CHSL Central Division crown following their tooth-and-nail 61-59 road win over conference leader, University of Detroit-Jesuit.
Senior guard Kevonte Martin-Manley was his usual brilliant self in leading the Brother Rice offense with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Martin-Manley, bound for college football stardom in the coming years at the University of Iowa, also provided consistent lock-down defense on the Cubs' talented perimeter attack.
Junior point guard Adam Gorksi contributed 11 points and five assists for Brother Rice, who is now 9-7 overall, 5-3 in conference play. Denzel Palm, a junior swingman, played a solid overall floor game for the Warriors and added 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Palm's performance was much needed, considering UofD did a very thorough job of containing Brother Rice standout junior forward Joey Alessi (4 points, 5 rebounds). Although UofD is only 7-7 on the year, its 5-2 league record has the Cubs in first place as things sit right now.
Brother Rice's victory prevents UofD from staking claim to an outright league title and makes certain the Warriors remain in the hunt for the 2010 banner with a week left to play in the CHSL regular season schedule. UofD will travel to Warren De La Salle on Tuesday with another shot at wrapping up the crown on the line. Head coach Ed Shaffer and his Brother Rice ballers will be crossing their fingers as the Cubbies and Pilots face-off, since a Pilots win will create a three way tie for league championship bragging rights between UofD, De La Salle, and Brother Rice.
Out in front comfortably 30-20 at halftime and 45-30 late in the third quarter, the Warriors were playing commanding basketball. But the Cubs refused to go quietly and led by a pair of heady underclassmen in freshman A.J. Hoard (13 of his 19 in the fourth) and sophomore Cameron Fowler (nine of his game-high 20 in the fourth), UofD came storming back.
Back-to-back hoops by Hoard and then Fowler, pulled UofD to within a single basket, at a score of 61-59 with less than 25 seconds left to play. The Cubs had a shot to tie or win it at the end, however courtesy of some stifling man-to-man defense being applied by the Warriors – including Velcro-like pressure from Martin-Manley on Fowler –, UofD could only get off a desperation 3-point attempt that fell well short at the buzzer.


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