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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Instant Feedback - High Marks

Thoughts from Tuesday night on the OC boys prep hardwood
BH Lahser SUPER SOPH Yante Maten (25 pts, 14 rebs, 6 blocks in win over Groves to clinch at least a share of the OAA Gold crown) is the best big fella in the county…..YEAH, I SAID IT!!!
Holly senior Blake Ordiway has been playing out of his mind lately. Last week in the first start of his career he went for a career-high 12 points in a blowout win over Swartz Creek in hostile waters. Then, on Tuesday, starting his first game in front of the home crowd, he exploded for another career-high of 16 points in leading TEAM HORSE to a 57-44 fleecing of Fowlerville . Move over Larry Sylvester, it looks like the OC has ANOTHER Jeremy Lin on our hands……
Oak Park's Donovan Moore went all DWAYNE WADE on Tuesday, sinking a game-winning trifecta at the horn to send the Knights to a 76-75 win over Berkley in OT
CONGRATS to Rochester head coach John Pleasant and the FALCONS CAGE CREW - with Rochester's 70-49 defeat of Farmington on Tuesday, TEAM PLEASANT captured their second straight league title for the first time since the 1980s…….WOW!!!
Lakeland's Nick Troxell got BUCK WILD in the Eagles 58-51 win over Livonia Churchill, scoring 25 points and bringing down 8 rebounds!!! The Eagles are only 4-15 this year, but Troxell is only a sophomore, so TEAM BRUGGER appears to have a bright future ahead for itself
Great win by TEAM PORRITT aka OL St. Mary's on Tuesday, sneaking past Detroit Cass Tech 54-53. The Eaglets needed some momentum heading into a tough district next week and they got it thanks to a balanced scoring sheet; junior Matt Linehan put up a team-high 15, with Danny Furlong, putting in 14, Ethan Woelke scoring 13 and Chewy Ukandu notching 12.
Pontiac's Dijon Cogdell is the straw that stirs the Phoenix's drink…..I love me some Jarod Jones, Mark Hoover and Jamerea Samples, but this season has shown that if Cogdell isn't on, the Purple People Eaters struggle……no struggles were uncovered on Tuesday, as my man DJ went for 11 points, five dimes and five swipes in 'Yacktown's beatdown of West Bloomfield.
BH Andover head coach Jeff Rubin getting the Barons to 10 wins is downright REMARKABLE!!!!
Mark my words, Southfield, which destroyed FH Harrison 71-30 on Tuesday, will be REALLY REALLY GOOD next year
Troy's ZAK ATTACK aka junior point guard Zak Noor showed why he's a BALLER and a SHOT CALLER by scoring 21 points and dropping 11 dimes in the Colts lopsided victory over AH Avondale.  Noor is a big reason why the Colts train didn't derail this season amid an emotionally-taxing conditions and a major factor in snaring Troy at least a share of a league title for the second consecutive campaign.

SUPERIOR JOB by coach John Hall and his staff over at RH Adams keeping the Highlanders focused and playing their best ball of the season the last week or so, putting together a pair of huge wins - sat over Berkley and Tue over Ferndale - in the wake of SUSPENSIONGATE 2012 to keep them alive in the race for a league title....Watch out Rochester, John Hall or no John Hall, the ultra-motivated Highlanders are going to be hot as a pistol and hungry as heck entering your district clash next week

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Butcher Shop Special

One of the true class acts on the local prep sports scene, Walled Lake Central boys basketball coach Denny Butcher, eclipsed the 200-win plateau last week, with his squad's comeback victory over Milford in the KLAA Tournament.
Butcher has been coaching in the area since the early 1990s. He got his start on the sidelines as an eager 24-year old at traditional Catholic League powerhouse Orchard Lake St. Mary's and he was quick to make a reputation as a master motivator and tactician with a clipboard and whistle in his hands. His 1994 St. Mary's team, featuring NFL vet David Bowens in the post and all-state guard Diallo Johnson on the wing, lost in the state championship game at the buzzer, a heartbreaking defeat Burney suspects his main man DB will one day – IMO sooner, rather than later – make amends for in a major way.
Taking the reins at Walled Lake Central eight years ago, Butcher has done his usual GRADE-A job making the Vikings a perennial contender and consistently one of most tenacious teams in the area. The two best words to describe Butcher and his teams are-NAILS TOUGH!!!
While a prepster himself in the 1980s at Lakeland, he set a slew of Eagles records on the hardwood, showing the same take-no-prisoners attitude as a player than he does now as a head coach.
Butcher and the Vikings (14-5) have a good shot at taking home the program's first district since 2006 when the state tourney tips off next week.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Burney's Boys Hoops Rankings - Heading Home

OC Top 10
1 Birmingham DCD – 'Jackets assistant coach Rick Palmer would be one of my first targets if I was a local AD looking for a new sideline general on the basketball court for the 2013 campaign….My boy RP has all the tools to be the next GREAT head coach in the Metro Detroit prep hoop ranks
2 Clarkston – I like me some under-the-radar Wolfpack role players like Dylan Hancock, Chance Huth, Nick Owens, Mark Tynan, etc!!!! They can all get SUPER BUSY off the bench for TEAM FIFE!!
3 Rochester – It's a FALCONS WORLD, we're all just living in it!!!
4 Novi Detroit CC – ALL HAIL THE CHSL CHAMPS!!!!! Team DYER is the BOMB!!!!
5 North Farmington – TEAM LITTLE NOGO has taken its game up a notch the second half of the season and Burney thinks the trend will continue into the state tournament….TAKE IT 2 THE BANK!!
6 (tie) Troy – You can't stop Colts guards Joe Leonard and Larry Sylvester from 3-point land, you can only hope to contain this tandem of elite PRIMETIME GUNNERS!!!
6 (tie) MH Bishop Foley – ALL HAIL THE CHSL CHAMPS!!!!!! Team WEST is the BEST!!!!
7 MH Madison – Man, do the Eagles have a lot of two-sport STUDMUFFINS.....yeah, i'm talking to u DJ Larkins, Nick Wallace, Tevin Washington, Willie Bradley, Denel Manning, etc..!!!
8 Southfield-Lathrup – Don't overlook the Chargers heading into districts next week….not as hot as they were earlier in the campaign, but still wouldn't want to face them in the tourney
9 Pontiac – Mark Hoover has been getting into a groove lately for the PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS!!
10 Southfield Christian – Back in Burney's rankings  just in time for MARCH MADNESS….TEAM BAKER has a great draw in the state tourney and could be talking BRESLIN in a few weeks

Sunday, February 26, 2012

District Lowdown - Ladies Week

OC Girls Hoops District Forecast
Class A
At Holly
Teams; Holly, Fenton, Clarkston, Grand Blanc, Swartz Creek, Ortonville-Brandon
Pick – C-Town aka TEAM WASILK aka the Lady Wolfpack aka Clarkston will be making a trip to regionals for the second straight season!!
At Novi
Teams; Novi, Salem, Plymouth, Northville, Canton
Pick – Kerrie MacMahan will be took much for the comp to handle, Novi takes the crown!!!
At Southfield-Lathrup
Teams; Lathrup, Southfield, Royal Oak, Berkley, Oak Park, Detroit Henry Ford
Pick – Michelle Hayes and Amber McCulloch lead the host Chargers to the title
At West Bloomfield
Teams; West Bloomfield, North Farmington, FH Mercy, Farmington, WL Western
Pick; Jasmine Harris lifts North Farmington to the upset in this district over Mercy!!!
At Milford
Teams; Milford, Hartland, Howell, Lakeland, WL Central
Pick – Burney says all hail the Mavericks!! Milford in an upset too!!
At BH Andover
Teams; Andover, Birmingham Groves, Birmingham Marian, Birmingham Seaholm, BH Lahser
Pick; Head coach Jeff Rubin and the host Barons have Shannon Wilson, the rest of the draw doesn't….'NUFF SAID!!!! Andover raises first district championship banner in 35 years!!!! TAKE IT 2 THE BANK!!!
At AH Avondale
Teams; Avondale, Pontiac, Troy, Troy Athens, Waterford Kettering, Waterford Mott
Pick – Senior point guard Loreal Farris knocks down the game-winner at the buzzer in the finals for Avondale, which claims second-straight district title in climatic fashion
At Rochester
Teams; Rochester, Lake Orion, Oxford, RH Adams, Stoney Creek
Pick; Highlanders of Adams sneak out of this one with title in hand
Class B
At Livonia Clarenceville
Teams; Clarenceville, Ferndale, Old Redford Academy, Detroit Community, Detroit CMA, Ferndale U, Highland Park, Hamtramck
Pick – You can't stop Ferndale senior forward Janecia Jenkins, you can only hope to contain her…..none of the squads in the Eagles district can and TEAM ELLIS captures the crown!!
At Birmingham DCD
Teams; DCD, BH Cranbrook Kingswood, Clawson, Center Line, Hazel Park, MH Lamphere, Warren Lincoln
Pick – REALLY? Is there any doubt that the host 'Jackets are going to romp to the championship on their own home floor? NOPE!!!!!!! TEAM ORLANDO raises UMPTEENTH district banner in a rout!!!
At Capac
Teams; Capac, Almont, Armada, Imlay City, Pontiac NDP, Lutheran North
Pick; Two words; FIGHTING IRSIH!!!!!!
At Linden
Teams; Linden, SL East, Lake Fenton, Fowlerville, Stockridge
Pick – EAST is a BEAST this week!!!
Class C
At Mt. Clemens
Teams; Mt Clemens, MH Madison, Det Winans, GP Liggett, Harper Woods, Warren Michigan Collegiate
Pick – Liggett lambastes the comp on their back to Breslin
At RO Shrine
Teams; Shrine, MH Bishop Foley, AH Oakland Christian, BH Sacred Heart, Pontiac AFE, RH Lutheran NW, Southfield Bradford
Pick – The Foley Ventures will have little problem advancing
Class D
At Birmingham Roeper
Teams; Roeper, Southfield Christian, Novi FR Christian, WB Jewish Academy, Detroit City
Pick – Super Sophomore Charity Godbolt and her SCS Eagles will show no charity to their opponents and corral their second consecutive district title
At Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
Teams; WOLL, AH Christian, Clarkston Everest, MC Cardinal Mooney, New Haven Merritt,
Pick – Duffey, Cottrell, Doetsch, Robb, Robak, Parry, Topolewski… other words, all the old names will be GETTING SICK BUSY on the comp, winning another in a long line of district championships and moving on to more important things like getting that THREEPEAT

Powerful Women

OC Girls Hoopster PLAYOFF Power Ratings
1 Aerial Powers (Birmingham DCD)
2 Amber Deane (Birmingham DCD)
3 Gabby Yurik (Stoney Creek)
4 Shannon Wilson (BH Andover)
5 Hannah Little (AH Avondale)
6 Jasmine Harris (North Farmington)
7 Michelle Hayes (Southfield-Lathrup)
8 Candace Leatherwood (FH Mercy)
9 Sinclair Russell (Troy Athens)
10 Tori Duffey (Waterford Lakes)
11 Karin Moss (Troy)
12 Sami Stormont (Royal Oak)
13 Jackie Bieniewicz (MH Bishop Foley)
14 Amber McCulloch (Southfield-Lathrup)
15 Erin Davenport (Clarkston)
16 Janecia Jenkins (Ferndale)
17 Carlee Cottrell (Waterford Lakes)
18 Sydni Davis (West Bloomfield)
19 Marissa Secontine (Lake Orion)
20 Allison Bicknell (Waterford Kettering)
21 Cherish Willis (Farmington)/Kerrie MacMahan (Novi)
22 Kristin Massey (Novi Franklin Road Christian)
23 Asia Doss (Birmingham DCD)
24 Megan Hastings-Delaney Kenney (Clarkston)
25 Mark Kate MacLean (Birmingham DCD)
26 Lauren Boyle (RH Adams)
27 Gabby Williams (South Lyon)
28 Alyssa Copley (Holly)
29 Shelby Davis (Oxford)
30 Charity Godbolt (Southfield Christian)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Herculean Effort

Breanne Watterworth went bonkers earlier this week, putting out a performance for the ages on Tuesday night.
Lake Orion Baptist's star sophomore center registered a mind-blowing double-double of 51 points and 34 rebounds in her squad's 62-51 takedown of Midland Calvary Baptist in front of an energized home crowd.
The 6-foot-2 Watterworth, who is a behemoth in the paint on both ends of the floor, hit on 24 of her 42 attempts from the field and added eight blocked shots and three assists to round out her amazing evening on the prep hardwood.
For the season, she is averaging a robust 19 points and 19 rebounds an outing.
She is the younger sister of current Oakland University standout Bethany Watterworth (Lake Orion) and current Lake Orion High School basketball player Brad Watterworth, a starter in the post on the Dragons varsity hoop squad this season.
Both elder Watterworths started their respective prep careers at tiny Lake Orion Baptist, until transferring to Class A Lake Orion as upperclassmen. The Watterworth's father played football in college at Georgia Tech in the 1970s.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downright Dirty Shame

Former North Farmington boys basketball player Claude Lewis, who transferred to Melvindale ABT back in December, was ruled ineligible for the rest of the season by the MHSAA this week, forcing his new team to forfeit all eight of its wins for the 2012 campaign.
Lewis, ABT's second-leading scorer, averaging 12 points and four assists per contest, never sat out the required time limit before starting to suit up for the Class C powerhouse Gators.
In fact, he never sat out at all.
Blatantly flouting the most basic of MHSAA regulations for, at the very least, the second time in the past three years, ABT's head coach and AD felt no need to report Lewis' transfer, immediately granting him eligibility mere days after he played in a game for North Farmington in the first week of the season.
The collective genius of the ABT brass were so arrogant that they had Lewis in their starting lineup a week after the transfer when the Gators matched up with Farmington in the Motor City Roundball Classic, held at Detroit Country Day smack dab in the middle of Oakland County and in front of a crowd that included his former North Farmington coaches who were there scouting the Falcons for an upcoming intra-city showdown the following week.
And what a great example of integrity these people are setting for the teenagers in their care.
Is winning on the high school basketball floor that important?
It's exactly this kind of deliberate cheating that forced ABT to vacate its 2009 state title and that, in one way or another, is running rampant – while not as brazenly – across the state.
The MHSAA needs to get a hold of this issue soon before it careens even more out of control than the level it's at now, which is REALLY BAD!!!!
In fact, if I was the MHSAA I would inform ABT that even the slightest infraction of the rules exhibited by them at any time in the next 5 years will result in the DEATH PENALTY. That's the kind of deterrent you need to throw out there. Draw a line in the sand. Furthermore, since this is the second time in 3 years they've been caught with their hands in the cooking jar – doing the exact same thing –, I'd cancel the rest of their season. DONE and DONE!
But, hey that's just me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Five For Fighting - Going To Work

Five For Fighting – Most impressive prep hoops performances of Tuesday night
1 Chuck Taylor (WL Central) – Went all OLD SCHOOL MOSES MALONE on the Milford Mavs, posting a nails-tough double-double of 17 points and 14 boards (nine offensive) and registering the game-winning hoop in the Vikings come from behind 34-32 victory in the KLAA semis
2 Kristin Massey (Novi Franklin Road Christian) – The OC's lady scoring machine pumped in 37 points in FRC's 46-37 defeat of Ypsilanti Calvary Christian
3 Matt Dellinger (Clarkston) – Burney's main C-Town homeboy 'Delli' made his return from injury in style, putting up 13 points and seven rebounds in the Wolves defeat of RH Adams
4 Robert Pulekis (Birmingham DCD) – This kid's post game is so refined it's scary…….the Lethal Lithuanian racked up his second straight double-double, scoring 15 points and snatching 13 rebounds in the 'Jackets outright dismantling of Flint Northern.  
5 Sami Stormont (Royal Oak) – The Ravens SILVER STORM torched BH Cranbrook Kingswood for a 26-spot in the RO girls  46-36 win……just another day at the office for one of the area's most exciting offensive weapons

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jersey Jam Session

He paid his dues on the CC circuit.
Now, Bri' ahn Smith is getting his chance to shine on the big stage – aka playing D1 hoops at Farleigh Dickinson University out in New Jersey.
Smith, a 6-foot-5 fundamentally-sound swingman, prepped at Madison Heights Madison in the late 2000s before heading to Miles Community College to get his grades in order.
In the summer of 2010, he landed at Farleigh Dickinson and immediately worked his way into the Knights starting lineup in his first season in the fold.
Over the past two years, Smith has averaged six points and three rebounds per contest, serving as the team's top defensive stopper as well.
Back in high school, Smith led Madison to league and district titles as a senior in 2008 before dropping a one-point heartbreaker to defending state champion Birmingham DCD in the Class B regional finals. While at Madison, he was a two-time all-league selection, putting up 18 points and nine rebounds per game.
The Farleigh Dickinson hoops program is not unfamiliar with Oakland County cage prowess. Southfield-Lathrup assistant coach Brandon Edwards played at Farleigh Dickinson in the early 2000s.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Burney's Boys Hoops Rankings - Killer Elite

1 Birmingham DCD – The 'Jackets' "Lethal Lithuanian" Robert Pulekis is the best fella in the area with his back to the basket…..YEAH I SAID IT!!!
2 Clarkston – When Delli gets back at full strength, watch out 'cause the C-Town Cage Crew will take it up another notch!!!!
3 Rochester – Burney thinks that district draught is about to come to an end real soon!!!
4 (tie) North Farmington – The Raiders are the hottest team in the county not named the Rochester Falcons
4 (tie) Troy – Larry Sylvester IS JEREMY LINN…… story of the entire prep athletic campaign, BAR NONE
5 Ferndale – TEAM STATON has a slew Super Sophs in Jermaine King, Robert Diez and Aaron Rice……WOW!
6 MH Madison – Tevin Washington is underrated!!!
7 Novi Detroit CC – Doneth and Cooper are both ballers and shotcallers!!!
8 (tie) MH Bishop Foley – The Ventures are about to catch a serious case of CALIHAN HALL FEVER!!
8 (tie) Southfield-Lathrup – Chargers starting to round back into shape
9 Pontiac – PURPLE POWER on the hardwood is still ALIVE & WELL in 'Yacktown, don't get it twisted!
10 RH Adams – Great to see TEAM HALL finding their way back into Burney's OC Hoop rankings!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Great Scott

Madison Heights Bishop Foley football star Scott Gwisdella lightened the load for the rest of his senior year by getting his college plans stored away last week and committing to Heidelberg University down in Ohio.
A two-time All-Catholic League running back, Gwisdella ran for 1150 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall. As a junior, he rushed for 867 yards and 10 touchdowns and helped lead Foley into the playoffs.
Currently, Gwisdella is a starting forward on the Ventures basketball team that is 14-3 overall and looking to capture their second consecutive CHSL crown this week. The Bishop Foley hoop crew is slated for a CHSL Tournament semifinal matchup on Tuesday at Birmingham Marian against Royal Oak Shrine.
Gwisdella will join other area footballers on the HU roster such as; Danny Kilger (Novi), Clifton Powell (MH Bishop Foley), Colton Gillies (MH Bishop Foley), Matt Cawley, (Clawson), Larry Massey (Birmingham Groves), Kyle Reed (Birmingham Groves), Vaughn Wesley (Novi Detroit CC) and Randall Hamlin (Novi Detroit CC)
Former Walled Lake Central baseball star Karl Boedecker is currently a pitcher on the diamond on HU as well.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Whose Got The Power?

Late-Season Power Rankings – OC Boys Hoops
1 (tie) Corey Green (MH Bishop Foley)
1 (tie) Damon Bozeman (MH Madison)
2 Dorrell Foster (North Farmington)
3 Taylor Perry (Rochester)
4 Nick Tatu (Clarkston)
5 Kellen McCormick (Pontiac NDP)
1 James Young (Troy)
2 Jon-Jon Williams (Southfield-Lathrup)
3 Jordan Dasuqi (Clarkston)
4 (tie) Paris Bass (Birmingham Seaholm)
4 (tie) Austin Price (Birmingham DCD)
5 Jarod Jones (Pontiac)
1 (tie) Maury Diane (Birmingham DCD)
1 (tie) Yante Maten (BH Lahser)
2 Maceo Baston, Jr (Birmingham DCD)
3 Jermaine King (Ferndale)
4 Lindsey Hunter IV (Southfield Christian)
5 (tie) Vezzie Carthane (Pontiac)/ John McCarty (Lake Orion)
1 Jerron (Buda) Rogers (North Farmington)
2 Bakari Evelyn (Southfield Christian)
3 Jalin Gardner (WL Western)
4 Gary Perry (MH Bishop Foley)
5 Issac Casillias (Holly)
Name to watch – Deshawn Lewis (Birmingham DCD)
1 James Young (Troy)
2 Damon Bozeman (MH Madison)
3 (tie) Jon-Jon Williams (Southfield-Lathrup)
3 (tie) Corey Green (MH Bishop Foley)
4 Dorrell Foster (North Farmington)
5 (tie) Nick Tatu (Clarkston)
5 (tie) Taylor Perry (Rochester)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Walking Tall

It's great to see that the hometown Detroit Pistons decided to add a little OC flavor to its roster and sign former Rochester High School hoop star Walker Russell, Jr. to a guaranteed contract for the rest of the 2012 campaign.
Russell, Jr. has certainly earned the dough, helping the organization stabilize the backcourt rotation while it dealt with a variety of physical ailments to its guard pool the past month.
In his five-years in the D-League, he has been a perennial all-star, averaging 15 points and nine assists for his non-NBA career, most of which has been spent with the nearby Fort Wayne franchise.  Since joining up with the Pistons this season, he's averaging 3 points and 2.5 assists per contest.
While he was a local prepster in the early 2000s, Russell, Jr. starred on a Falcons cage crew that also featured NBA draft pick Paul Davis (Michigan State). Going on to play with Jacksonville State at the college level, he was a two-time all-league pick.
The kid comes from Grade-A cage stock as well, since Walker, Jr comes from the Russell clan, the first family of hoops in the storied hardwood history of Pontiac. His father, Walker, Sr., played parts of 6 seasons in the NBA in the 1980s, including three of them with the Pistons. His uncles were former NBA'ers Campy Russell and Frank Russell.
The inspiring tale of Walker Russell, Jr. and the story of how he wound up in the NBA shows everybody that hard work, determination and a never-say-die attitude on the court can pay major dividends for those willing to keep chasing their hoop dreams!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Deuces Wild

A couple of names to remember for the area's prep football recruiting Class of 2013;
Derek Edwards (OL Novi Detroit Catholic Central) – Agile and aggressive, Edwards is a 6-5, 285 pound menace in the trenches. Played varsity as a sophomore at Novi and has already garnered a BCS offer from Arizona
Isaiah Gourdine (LB Farmington) – Super sleeper prospect at the outside linebacker spot, Gourdine is fast, strong and instinctive. Recently received MAC offers from Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's All In The Name

Don't get it confused; his name is Garrett Ross, but he's a Robak no doubt!
Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes star junior basketball player is in the midst of his second straight standout campaign on the hardwood and it should come as no surprise considering his storied lineage.
Ross' mother is Michelle Robak as in THE Robaks, the first family of hoops in the city of Waterford for the last three decades.
Garrett's uncle is Steve Robak, head coach of WOLL two-time defending state champion girls basketball squad and Lauren Robak, the three-time all-state cage star for the Lakers from 2009-2011, now playing up the road at Oakland University, is his first cousin.
Showing off his arsenal of skills on Tuesday night, Ross (6-3, 180) put up a dazzling performance of 16 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and four steals in the Lakers downing of rival Clarkston Everest Academy.
This kid has more the just the right genes too. He's long, active and the ultimate grinder on both ends of the floor.
Behind the strength of Ross' stellar play and leadership, WOLL is 9-7, 7-3 in league action.
In terms of his college potential; Can you say upside?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Out of Nowhere

The Oakland County prep basketball scene has its own Jeremy Lin-type story in Troy senior guard Larry Sylvester.
Back on Friday night, Sylvester found the zone in a huge way, dropping a career-high 20 points by hitting a sizzling 6 of 6 from 3-point distance, in the Colts 91-53 thrashing of Berkley.
The amazing part of this story is that Sylvester was literally pulled off the scrapheap a few weeks ago and added to the roster for needed depth in the wake of the departure of a pair of Colts starters.
He played JV last year as a junior and failed to make the final cut for varsity this year during tryouts in November. Despite his cutting, Troy head coach Gary Fralick liked Sylvester's dogged determination. When he asked the Colts' longtime sideline general if he could just practice with the team, take stats during games and not dress, Fralick welcomed him into fold with open arms.
Sylvester played so well in practice that when senior point guard Evan Mahone left the team for personal reasons in late January, Fralick didn't hesitate to call him up to duty on the varsity squad, issuing him a uniform and assigning him back-up responsibilities in Troy's backcourt for the Colts' stretch run. The transfer of the team's second leading scorer, Maceo Baston, Jr., to Birmingham Detroit Country Day, last week, opened up even more playing time for the hot-shooting Sylvester.
"Larry is just the definition of hard work, persistence and resilience," Fralick said. "He's earned everything he's got these past few weeks and that's a tribute to his attitude, his loyalty to this program and the timely play he's exhibited whenever we've called his number."
The Colts are 11-4 and have won eight of its last nine games.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pretty Fly

After flying high on the high school gridiron last fall, establishing himself as one of the most explosive running backs in the area, Milford's Brandon Wallace has decided to stick with the whole "flying" theme for his college plans.
Last week, Wallace, a sturdy 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, agreed to become a Flyer in college, verbally committing to the University of Dayton.
Back in the fall, Wallace led a Mavericks' resurgence, rushing for 1300 yards and 20 touchdowns, while helping return the program to the playoffs after a five-year absence.
It's not just football this kid excels at either.
Wallace is a star on the basketball floor in the winter and running track in the spring. Playing a mean combo-guard on the hardwood this season, Wallace and the Mavs are currently 14-1 and brought home a league title last Friday night. Just a couple of weeks ago, he showed his ability to come through in the clutch in any athletic arena, by putting in a game-winning shot at the buzzer in a critical Mavericks victory.
Once he hits campus down in Ohio in August, Wallace won't be lonely as a  handful of area players dot Dayton's roster, including wide receivers Gary Hunter (OL St. Mary's) and Danny Ney (Lake Orion) and Wallace's former teammate at Milford, Flyers back-up quarterback Luke Johnson.