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, November 19, 2011

Training Camp Report - Horse Play

The Holly Bronchos have experienced a hoops resurgence the past three years.
Perpetually exuberant Bronchos boys basketball coach Lance Baylis has brought a newfound pride and passion back to the Horseshoe, accumulating over 50 wins (an average of 17 per campaign) since 2009 and making people in Southeastern Michigan take notice of what he's been doing with the once downtrodden Holly program since his arrival.
With another Baylis' roster filled to the brim with talent this year, a cagey concoction of seasoned veterans and fresh faces, TEAM HORSE will once again be making noise in the local prep ranks.
Having sent close to a dozen former players onto the college level in his short tenure on the sidelines, Baylis compared his current squad to a prep version of the early Bad Boys Pistons teams of the late 1980s.
"We're like the Pistons around '87 and '88 when they had a mix of veterans like Isaiah, Adrian Dantley and Bill Lambier and young up-and-comers like Dumars, Dennis Rodman and John Salley," he said. "I've got great leadership from my upperclassmen and a group of underclassmen that are going to really compliment them nicely. Hopefully, they'll feed off each other and it will translate to another successful season."
Holly's 2011-2012 hardwood crew is set to be fueled by a dangerous trio of three-year letter-winners in center Nic Stoll (6-7), forward Austin Hopkin (6-4) and guard Jared Plawski (6-3).
Stoll will be one of Metro Detroit's most polished big men this winter and arguably the top player in the Flint Metro League. He averaged a double-double last season and will conclude his career as a Broncho as the school's all-time leader in blocked shots. Earlier this month, Stoll signed a National Letter of Intent to play his college ball at Michigan Tech.
Hopkin and Plawski, a pair of rugged football stars known for taking their tenacious gridiron mentality with them onto the basketball floor, are poised for breakout years, graduating from role players to featured players and team leaders with something to prove. Plawski will run the point and Hopkin can hurt opponents equally in the post and on the perimeter. Lance Hopkin ('10), Austin's big brother, was an all-league starting forward on Holly's league championship team three years ago.
The squad's sleeper could be Donovan Williams, slated to start besides Plawski in the Bronchos backcourt. A natural scorer, Williams – a reserve last season and the JV's leading point getter in 2010 –, will be let loose this year and be allowed to display his refined arsenal of offensive moves at every opportunity.
Closing out the starting lineup will be junior Mike Alexander. Coming off a productive summer on the AAU circuit, Alexander is a crafty lefthander that can play solid defense and knock down the open jumper when called upon to do so.
The squad's bench unit is set to be manned by a quadrant of talented youngsters, three freshmen and one sophomore whom Baylis has supreme confidence in making a mark as a group right off the bat.
The three freshmen are Morgan Baylis, the coach's son, Issac Casillas and Parker Rowse, an intriguing trifecta that have been playing together since the third grade. Baylis is a classic combo guard, while Casillas is an expert outside shooting specialist and Rowse, a fast-improving floor general.
Logan Spiker, a transfer from Wateford Our Lady of the Lakes, will be the only sophomore on the roster and will back-up Hopkin, Alexander and Stoll.
"These guys are all chomping at the bit to get after it this season and show everyone that Holly basketball is here to stay," said Baylis of his team's mindset heading towards its first game in two weeks. "The guys before them started the tradition, now they're here to continue it."
When he was in high school, Baylis was an all-state shooting guard at Birmingham Groves in the late 1970s before going on to play D1 ball in college down in Florida at Stetson.
Holly kicks off the schedule on December 5 when Baylis and the Bronchos host Lapeer East at the Horseshoe.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home