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, December 26, 2010

Hard Day At The Office

The first day of the 16th annual Motor City Roundball Classic was unkind to a pair of Oakland County boys hoop squads. Both West Bloomfield and Novi Detroit Catholic Central, each previously unbeaten on the young season, dropped their first ballgame of the campaign on Sunday evening in the yearly showcase event that brings together some of the best teams in the state and the nation for a weeklong slate of intriguing matchups.
West Bloomfield (2-1) lost to Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 72-64, while Catholic Central (4-1) fell to Ypsilanti in a 48-46 low-scoring thriller. For the second straight year, the Roundball Classic is being hosted by Birmingham Detroit Country Day.
In West Bloomfield's defeat, senior forward Spencer Parker continued his torrid scoring streak by touching up the Chandler Park defense for a career-high 35 points to go along with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. A three-year varsity performer, Parker is averaging 26 points per game. He scored 25 of his 35 in the second half, where the Lakers got as close as two-possessions behind with less than two minutes left to play. His steal and breakaway lay-up made it 68-64 at the 1:57 mark of the fourth quarter.
Catholic Central's loss was gut-wrenching as the Shamrocks looked to have all the game's momentum heading down the stretch. Behind 28-17 at halftime and then falling behind by as many as 17 in the third quarter, Catholic Central, the consummate grind-it-out bunch of ballers for the past four years under head coach Bill Dyer, stayed true to its reputation and clawed its way back into the game.
Five fast points by the Shamrocks to end the third quarter sparked the rally. After Richard Katrick drained a long 3-pointer from the left elbow with 12.3 seconds remaining on the clock, Catholic Center forced a turnover and got a buzzer-beating 15-foot jumper from junior Matt Doneth to head to the huddle only down seven points, 39-32. Star junior forward Kyle Cooper converted on a slick baseline spin move and drive that made it 41-40 at the 3:46 mark of the fourth quarter.
Consecutive baskets by Ypsilanti (4-0) pushed its lead to 45-40, however the Shamrocks continued to bring pressure and roared back. Cooper's jumper from the foul-line made it 48-46 with 14.7 seconds left and after Chandler Park missed the front end of a one-and-one, Catholic Central got the ball back with a chance to tie with a two-point hoop or win it with a trifecta.
Doneth's jump shot from the corner right before the final horn sounded went in and out and the Shamrocks had the wind officially taken out of their sail. Leading Catholic Central in the scorebook was Cooper (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Doneth (14 points, 10 rebounds), who along with Brandon Tammaro, make up one of the most rugged frontcourts in the area.  Tammaro, verbally-committed to the University of Buffalo for football, pulled down six boards and contributed solid defense on an athletic Chandler Park post attack. Playing in his third varsity hoops campaign, Doneth is being recruited on both the hardwood and the gridiron, having emerged as one of the state's best tight end prospects this past football season.
Three more Oakland County teams suit up to play in the Roundball Classic Monday, as North Farmington faces Detroit Allen Academy at 11:00 AM, Troy Athens, coming off a colossal upset of Clarkston last week, tangles with defending Class C state champ, Melvindale ABT at 12:30 and Pontiac throws down with PSL stalwart Detroit Henry Ford at 2:00.
In girls bball action at the event, Waterford Kettering faces Warren Fitzgerald at 1:30 and Troy Athens plays Chandler Park in the nightcap at 8:20.


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