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.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bonus Bytes - Coaches Corner

Let's start things off by delving out some mad props to a few sideline hoop legends from the local coaching ranks:  
1 Congrats to Clarkston's Dan Fife, who with the Wolves 46-36 win over Lake Orion on Friday evening, has now led the C-Town boys hoops squad to an almost-unfathomable 18th straight district championship. The victory over the rival-Dragons gives Fife his 523rd career win and moves him into 13th place all-time in the state record book.  
2 Congrats to Birmingham Roeper's Ernie Righetti, who with his boys's victory in a Class D district final Friday night over Southfield Christian became the first coach in the Metro Detroit area since the season-switch to win district championships with both the boys and girls in the same school year. Last Friday night, Righetti's girls squad defeated Detroit Urban Lutheran to win a district, before they eventually bowed to state quarterfinalist-Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes in the regionals on Tuesday. Righetti, who has coached the girls since 1982 and the boys since 1983 and is arguably the best small school hoops coach around, has now won a total of 12 district crowns throughout his career.
3 Congrats to Birmingham Detroit Country Day girls coach Frank Orlando, who with his squad's 67-24 pasting of Marine City on Thursday, has now led the program to an amazing 14 straight regional championships. Even more amazing, if Orlando takes the Lady Yellowjackets to their third consecutive state title exactly one week from today, he will become the state's all-time winnigest girls coach in history.
Switching topics from the old school to the new school: Walled Lake Northern's Ron Thompson and Novi's Corey Heitch, both rising powers in the local coach circuit in their own right, guided their respective teams to district banners on Friday night. Thompson, a member of the 1993 WL Central team that advanced to the Class A Elite Eight, imparted his winning wisdom on the Knights over the past two seasons and it all culminated with capturing a blood bath of a district in Milford, the first in school history. Heitch has accumulated quite a large number of wins over the past few years and led by "The Sham Wow" himself, junior Wildcats forward Samier Ozier, who scored 16 points and grabbed 10 boards in the Friday's final against Hartland, things only appear to be getting better.  
 Can you say first district since 1984? The Southfield Bluejays can. My marquee-worthy-primetime-showtime- homeboys, Carlton "Captain Amazing" Brundidge, Desmond "Pee Wee" Barnes, Patrick "The Money Man" Onwenu, each got their mad hoop skillz on Friday night in the 'Jays thrashing of Ferndale in a Class A district final. Barnes had 22, Brundidge had 21, and The Money Man was nothing but cash money in the paint, collecting yet another double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. What was even cooler was that most of the '84 squad was there in the stands cheering the 'Jays on.
Just like Roy Marble did before him on Monday night (36 pts), Holly's senior stud forward Lance Hopkin ended his prep career on the hardwood with a bang, by going off for 28 points and 8 boards in the Bronchos loss to Flint Carmen-Ainsworth in a district final. Holly head coach Lance Baylis has led the program to 37 wins over a two-year span, the most in the history of the school, including state championship years (Class D) in the 1920s and a Class D state finalist team in 1959.


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