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.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Great Burnzini Returns - District Picks Part 2

Here are my final picks for the top boys hoops districts being played this week:
Class B
Livonia Clarenceville
Local Teams – Academy of Oak Park
Pick – This district should be a romp for the AOP Rams, a possible "up and coming" Class B powerhouse filled with college hoops talent. Head coach Bobby Thompson learned how to win back in the 90s playing alongside Maurice Taylor and the Detroit Henry Ford Trojans and in only two years has successfully imparted that mentality on his team. Can you say Back-to-back? The Rams can and will……… be playing in the regionals once again this year!
Local Teams – Clawson, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Madison Heights Madison, Madison Heights Lamphere, BH Cranbrook, BH Lahser
Pick –  The MHSAA should just pass a rule that as long as Country Day plays in Class B, the Yellowjackets get an automatic bid every year into the regionals. I mean, it just seems a waste of everybody's time. Here are the biggest questions that will arise this week for DCD: How many 3-poiners will Mahesh Umansekar drain?, How many dunks will Ray McCallum and Amir Williams combine to slam down on the comp?, and which team, not nicknamed the Yellowjackets, will be able to keep their game with the Yellowjackets the most respectable in margin of defeat? Keener's Kage Krew rolls onward towards an Elite Eight re-match with Flint Powers, a team which has knocked DCD out of the tourney the past two seasons.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Local Team – ND Prep
Pick – The Fighting Irish will fight their way to the crown to the delight of the Green&Gold-clad home crowd. Get busy double-time my main Irish homeboys, Danny Dulapa, Joey De Martis, and Kellen McCormick!! Burney himself won a district on the NDP floor his senior year back in the '90s and the NDP "Big Three" will do the same this week!
Class C
Royal Oak Shrine
Local Teams – Shrine, RH Lutheran Northwest, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, WB Jewish Academy, Pontiac Academy of Excellence, Ferndale University
Pick – This district is a toss-up between the host-Shriners, Lutheran Northwest, and the Jordan Walker-led Ventures from Bishop Foley. For all intents and purposes, the hometown Knights have a walk into the district final while Northwest and Foley will battle it out on the other side of the bracket for the right to face the Shriners, who have been running "hot and cold" this year. Hopefully hot will be the way of the team this week. Indeed, playing the district final in front of their home crowd, I see the Knights squeezing out a close one over Walker and the Ventures. Freshman Jack Wangler will continue to improve and play well and will prove the x-factor in the championship game.
Class D
Birmingham Roeper
Local Teams – Roeper, Southfield Christian
Pick – The host-Roughriders will ride the dazzling playmaking ability of senior point guard Ryan Zinser (almost a shoe-in for All-State honors at the conclusion of the year) and the tough as nails supporting artillery of seniors Jacob Saslow, Derek Dunlap, and Cole Stasek to the program's first district title since 2006. The key for the 'Riders post-season run – barring an upset in the first round Monday night against a battle-worn Detroit Winans squad – will be the emerging play of Saslow and Dunlap and the return into the line-up of the team's best 3-point shooter, Tomas Jhashi, who has missed the past five weeks with a foot injury.
Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
Local Teams – WOLL, AH Oakland Christian, Novi Franklin Road Christian, Auburn Hills Christian, Clarkston Everest Academy
Pick – Oakland Christian, Class D powerhouses the past two seasons, has been a bit down this year, while WOLL, with a new coach and renewed spirit, has been up. Head coach Josh Molnar and his Franklin Road squad could play spoiler in the second round when they get a shot at the Lakers, at this point the district's frontrunner. In the end Coach Whiteman, Derek Sant, John Kroll and company officially get the Lakers boys hoop regime headed back in the right direction by claiming stake to the crown.


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