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.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Change Of Pace

The perception that Holly's boys basketball team is one-dimensional and can't win games without scoring a lot of points was smashed on Monday night and so were the Bronchos' opponents in their first round-district match-up at Flint Carmen-Ainsworth. Showing they can play multiple styles of basketball, not just the "run-and-gun" kind, the Bronchos won a defensive-minded slugfest over Swartz Creek, 53-46, and with it took one step closer to claiming the school's first district title since moving up to the Class A division some 45-plus years ago. 
Kicking off the state tournament with a victory, Holly improves to 17-4 overall and has now won 14 of their last 15 games. The win for head coach Lance Baylis and the Bronchos is extra-sweet due to the fact that Swartz Creek had beaten them twice in the regular season. Senior combo guard Thomas Lovachis registered a game-high 15 points to lead Holly. Kevin Wilson, a senior forward, played big for the Bronchos too, posting a productive outing of 14 points and eight rebounds. All-conference co-captain, Lance Hopkin, was his usual tough-as-nails self and contributed a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Defense was the name of the game for Holly Monday as Baylis used a combination of schemes including an aggressive match-up zone and a diamond-and-one to successfully contain Swartz Creek's high-octane offense, specifically the Dragons' star player, Cody Campbell. Bronchos senior point guard Justin Fowler (9 points, four assists) was assigned to shadow Campbell most of the night and did a quality job, limiting him to 15 points, seven points off his season average.  With Campbell having difficulty finding a consistent rhythm shooting the ball, Swartz Creek struggled to generate easy baskets.
A pair of free throws by Hopkin in the final seconds of the first half gave Holly a 23-21 lead at the break. Lovachis' hoop with time running down in the third kept the Bronchos advantage at a single basket, 36-34, heading into the fourth. Behind some more razzle dazzle by Lovachis, Holly jumped its lead to eight points midway through the fourth. Campbell's 3-ball cut the Bronchos lead to two possessions at 52-48, but that was as close as the Dragons would get the rest of the way.  Free throws by Kyle Sherwin, Fugate, and Lovachis put a bow on the win for Baylis and his merry band of Holly Hoopsters.
The road appears paved for the Bronchos to be playing for a district crown on Friday night. If Holly holds serve and defeats Ortonville Brandon in the district semi-finals on Wednesday – the Bronchos beat the Blackhawks both times the teams faced each other this season – it will play the winner of Carmen-Ainsworth and Fenton (a team the Bronchos split with this year) in Friday's championship game.
Swartz Creek, winners of the Flint Metro Conference regular season crown, turns the lights off on its season with a final record of 17-4.


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