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.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fab Frosh

Some 18 years ago the University of Michigan's much-ballyhooed Fab Five – five young and hip all-american bball players that took the Wolverines to the NCAA title game as a freshman starting five back in 1992 – hit the local sports scene and instantly became a national phenomenon.
Fast forward almost two decades later and Oakland County has its own Fab Five at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes. The Lady Lakers hoop squad, on the verge of a Class D state championship after a 54-33 demolishing of Ontonagon in the semi-finals on Thursday night, has five formidable freshmen in its playing rotation. And trust me, these girls play at a level way beyond their young age.
First, there's the frontline: WOLL's "Tantalizing Twin Terrors" of Ava Doetch and Lexie Robak, who both start for the 21-5 Lake Show. Doetch, an inside-outside threat and ace defensive stopper, registered a double-double in the Thursday's semi-final win, scoring 13 points and corralling 10 rebounds. She also completely shut down the Gladiators all-state "point forward" Janele Linna, not letting her make a single field goal and holding her to a mere one point on the night. What was interesting about that match-up was that Doetch is just 15 years old and had never played on the big stage before and Linna was leading Ontonagon into its second straight Final Four.
Robak, an expert marksman from long distance range, scored 7 points and dished four assists, in the victory. Often overshadowed this year by her big sis, Lauren (30 points in the semi's), Lexie is a no-nonsense player in her own right who is as tough as nails on the court and has the potential to equal her older siblings accomplishments when it's all said and done. In the Catholic League Finals back in late-February, Lexie scored 13 points, dished five assists, and grabbed five rebounds in the Lakers win over arch-rival MC Cardinal Mooney.
And please, let us not forget the squad's other three talented frosh, Jessica Parry, Hailey Howell, and Kaleigh Meloni. These girls all get spot duty for WOLL in key reserve roles and do all the little things when they're in there that don't always make it into the stat sheet. All three will be names you will be reading quite a lot of about in the future, that I assure you.
Ava's big sis, Alexis, is also a starter on the team. The only senior on the squad, Alexis holds it down for the Lakers in the paint and is the team's vocal leader on the floor. She scored 4 points and hauled down 10 boards in the semi-finals. A three year starter, Alexis was thrilled to welcome her younger sister into the fold.
"I was waiting three years for a chance to get to play with my sister and Lexie Robak, who's like a little sister to me, and it's been an unbelievable experience,", she said in the press conference following the game. "They both bring so many attributes to the table on the basketball floor, how could I have not been excited? I think tonight each showed what they can do and that they can play against anyone, no matter what age."
The younger Doetch and Robak have being playing basketball together for almost as long as they can remember, so it's only natural that they would both play so well together on the court this season.
"We've played together since the third grade and we know each other's games inside and out," said Ava."Both Lexie and myself have been playing against older girls our whole lives, so coming onto varsity and playing with Lauren and Alexis, who we've both been playing with forever, was really an easy transition for everybody"
"The chemistry has been there from the start with us (the two pairs of sisters) and it flows over onto the team," added Lexie. "Neither Ava or I are afraid out there. We play like we've been there before even though we haven't.  It's important for us to get this next win for Alexis. She's our leader and she deserves to go out with a state championship."
Now that they've gotten a taste of a deep tournament run, the "twin terrors" are hungry for more.
"This has been an amazing couple of weeks and I don't want it to end," Ava said. "I think whatever happens, this whole experience is going to stay with us for the next three years after this. Hopefully, we can get back here a couple more times and do it all over again."
"I Know that's what I intend to do," Lexie remarked in response to her teammates comments.
"Me Too!" said Ava. And with that the "Twin Terrors" went into the lockeroom to celebrate with the rest of team - an experience this writer is positive these two will be repeating a great bit over the next few years.
WOLL plays for the school's first state title in girls basketball on Saturday morning against Cinderella squad, Adrian Lenawee Christian, which upset Number One in the state-Central Lake in the night's other semi-final game, at 10 AM. If the Lakers come home with the win, they will be only the second Class D school in Oakland County history to capture a state championship in either boys or girls hoops, and the first since 1992 when the AH Oakland Christian girls team did it.


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