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, March 31, 2012

Hitting The Links

The Masters is next weekend.
So in honor of golf season getting on its way, I'm going to breakdown some of the best high school golfers Oakland County has seen in the last 30 years.
Max Kollin (North Farmington) 2011 state champion
Jon Levy (Birmingham Groves) 1993 state champion
Jason Buha (Farmington) 1992 state champion
Doug Smith  (Birmingham Brother Rice) 1984 state champion,
Griffin Smith (BH Cranbrook) 2011 state champion
Alex Zanetti (OL St. Mary's) 2009 state champion
Andrew Klein (BH Cranbrook) 1997 state champion
Del De Wint, (BH Cranbrook) 1997 state champion
Zach Pruess (RH Lutheran NW) 2010 state champion
Todd Moore, (Birmingham DCD) 1989 state champion
Mike Hirsch (Pontiac NDP) 1982 state champion
Pete Ugolini (Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes) 1990 state champion
Doug St. Souver (Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes) 1986 state champion
Aaron Knutson (Pontiac NDP) 2011 state champion

Friday, March 30, 2012

Seasons Past

With the NCAA Final Four fast approaching, the Big 10 Network has been showing two great documentaries called "Greatest Seasons" that each focus on a specific glorious campaign in the conference's storied history.
The first one documents the 1976 season where Indiana topped Michigan in the National Championship Game and the second one deals with the 1989 season where Michigan beat Illinois in a NCAA semifinal tilt prior to winning the crown vs Seton Hall.
In both seasons, area hoopsters were on the scene repping the OC to the fullest with their tenacious and timely play on the hardwood.
Let's take a look
Tom Staton (Ferndale/Michigan) – As a freshman, Staton, a savvy swingman, got serious minutes in the Wolverines run to the final four. He scored seven points in the championship game defeat at the hands of the undefeated Hoosiers. When he was a senior, Staton was named team captain before going on to have a short pro career in the CBA. Landing back on the sidelines at his alma mater in 2010 – where he was a two-time first-team all-state pick –, 'Tournament Tom' has returned the Ferndale Eagles to prominence, raising the program's first district banner in over a decade earlier this month
Tim Teasley (Birmingham Roeper/Northwestern) – While at Roeper, the high-scoring Teasley took the Roughriders to a pair of district championships before heading off to Northwestern and quickly working his way into a starting spot in the Wildcats backcourt for head coach Tex Winter, inventor of the Phil Jackson-employed Triangle Offense. In '76 as a senior, Teasley along with future Detroit Pistons GM Billy McKinney led NU to a gigantic upset of national powerhouse Kentucky. When he was a prepster, he was also an all-state wide receiver on the gridiron for the state-ranked Roeper football team. His first cousin is longtime Southfield Blue Jays head coach Gary Teasley, who starred as a high school cager at Detroit Northwestern.
B.J. Armstrong (Birmingham Brother Rice/Iowa) – One of the best hoopsters to ever spawn from the state of Michigan, Armstrong was an All-American point guard for both the Brother Rice Warriors and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Drafted into the NBA, he was in the backcourt along with the legendary Michael Jordan as the Chicago Bulls claimed three straight world titles from 1991-1993. During his senior year at Rice in 1985, he guided the Warriors into the Class A final four. Once at Iowa, he navigated the Hawkeyes to a Sweet 16 and an Elite 8.  The '89 Iowa squad when B.J. was a senior with the Hawkeyes opened the season as the country's No. 1 ranked team, however, finished the year 23-10 and got bounced in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. As a pro, he was named as a representative for the Eastern Conference to the 1994 NBA All-Star Game.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gunning For The Thumb

Local two-sport prep SUPERSTARS, Ava Doetsch and Jessica Parry of Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, have a very good shot at leaving high school with enough state championship rings to fill an entire hand.
Only juniors, Doetsch and Parry have already won a mind-boggling four state crowns – three in basketball and one in soccer – and have three more shots at getting No. 5 before they graduate in June of 2013.
That's pretty AMAZING!!!!
As a matter of fact, just winning three (NBA'er and former DCD hoopster Shane Battier in the 1990s comes to mind, as does NFL'er and former OLSM football and cage stud Grant Mason) is an unbelievable feat
I for one think it's a no-brainer that Doetsch and Parry will get 'one for the thumb' before the curtain closes on their respective high school athletic careers.
They define the word CLUTCH.
Take it to the bank!!! That's how confident I am about this pair snaring another ring.....
On the basketball court, these talented young ladies are both gritty forwards. On the soccer pitch, each is a savvy midfielder, with Doetsch - already verbally committed to play in college at the University of Nebraska-Omaha - being one of the state's top playmakers and most prolific offensive weapons, racking up over 50 goals and 25 assists in her first two years as a prepster.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Up and Comers

Some more names to look for on the local prep football scene this fall
Kyle Ervin (Birmingham Groves) – Has all the physical tools (6-4, 195, 4.5) to have a breakout season at wide receiver for the Falcons…..last year, he demonstrated dizzying talent in small patches….word is he's having a great offseason….WATCH OUT OAA!  
Matt Linehan (OL St. Mary's) – Helped the St. Mary's hoop squad into the Elite 8 with his long-range bombing in the winter and will now shift his focus to quarterbacking the Eaglets gridiron gang to a state title repeat after spending last season as a back-up…..has a big arm and a very high in-the-huddle IQ
Darius Danzy (Southfield) – Transferring over from OL St. Mary's, Danzy will start at cornerback for the Blue Jays in the upcoming campaign….cousin of the soon-to-be departed three-year starting field general Justin Danzy and has the potential to become the top lockdown DB in his league
Jeremiah Johnson (Pontiac NDP) – Showed flashes of brilliance toting the rock as a sophomore in 2011 and will DOMINATE in 2012 as the Fighting Irish's featured running back
Joe Leonard (Troy) – Had a breakout season on the hardwood this past winter and will have another one this fall on the gridiron as a slick and a speedy slotback for TEAM GRIFF
Kevin Henry (Birmingham Brother Rice) – A strong, phyiscally imposing and athletic lineman, Henry will team with Sergio Perkovic to make up one of the top pass rush duos in the state
Spencer McCourt (BH Lahser) – In his first year under center as a sophomore in 2011, the Knights' BIG MAC led his team into the playoffs with his heady performance taking snaps. With that valuable baptism-by-fire year under his belt, I expect McCourt to shine even brighter on the field for TEAM LORIA in 2012….kid's got a WICKED FAST release, overwhelming presence in the pocket and increasingly good accuracy  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Up and Comers

Some names to watch for this fall on the local prep gridiron
Jayvon Tate & Malik Washington (Oak Park) – Tate is a possible D1 recruit at defensive end and a speedy pass rusher. He will see time on offense this upcoming season too as the Knights starting tight end. Washington is an elusive jitterbug in the open field and will be the OP's featured tailback in the fall for head coach Greg Carter and his staff
Isaac Turner & Corey Lacanaria (Birmingham Brother Rice) – This pair of sticky-handed ends will probably be the Warriors top receivers in 2012. Turner is a sly burner that can line up in the slot and on the outside, while Lacanaria is the consummate possession receiver who will make up quite the family pass-catch tandem with his big brother, Rice starting quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria
Chris Calvano (Clarkston) – A big and instinctive linebacker that will captain the Wolfpack 'D' for the 2012 campaign. Learned the trade from some expert mentors, starting alongside Zach Collins and Matt Dellinger last season as a junior and comes from GRADE-A football stock; he's the baby bro of former C-Town LB and captain, Matt Calvano
Matt Farrow (West Bloomfield) – Farrow is a shifty and blazing fast running back (think C.J. Brathwaite) that will see the bulk of the carries in the Lakers backfield in the fall. This kid might be that annual WB sleeper that winds up snaring himself a D1 scholarship

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where Are They Now - In The Dragons Den

In honor of the 2012 Lake Orion boys basketball team, which took an EPIC ride as the state's Cinderella into the Class A elite eight last week, let's catch up with some former Dragon Hoop Hounds and see how they are doing
Drew Maynard – During his first season at D2 Valdosta State down in Georgia after two campaigns as a starter at D1 Oakland U, Maynard found a rebirth in his playing career, averaging a more than respectable 10 points and 6 boards an outing for the Blazers. When he was in high school in the late 2000s, Maynard was a three-time all-state pick and arguably the best hoopster to ever play in the Dragons' program
Anthony Fields – Maynard's point guard at LO played in the ACC at Wake Forest this past winter, earning first-team All-Academic honors in the league, before recently deciding to transfer in search of more time on the floor. Sadly, Fields opted not to finish his career as a Dragon and transferred to Detroit Southeastern in the wake of Maynard's graduation.
Duane Graves – Is currently one of the area's top young sideline generals, coaching the BH Lahser Knights to its first district title in over a decade in only his second year on the bench this season.. As a prepster, Graves was a spunky gunner in the backcourt for the Green and White in the early-to-mid 1990s
Derek Schrauben – This former Dragons cager is a starting midfielder on the Western Michigan soccer team. Back as a senior at THE LO in 2010, Schrauben was a leader of a gritty hoop squad that came close to upsetting Clarkston in the district championship game. He could shoot and guard with the best around in the OAA in his time.  
Chris Lum – Following an All-American D2 football career quarterbacking the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, this former LO two-sport stud could find himself drafted into the NFL next month, and if not, he will almost certainly be in an NFL training camp come July. On the basketball court, Lum was a rugged, gutty and athletic forward, who hit the glass super hard, always guarded the opposing teams' top scorer and started alongside Maynard in the Dragons' frontcourt for two seasons.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Five For Fighting - Bright Lights of Breslin

Five For Fighting – The top performances from the Southfield Christian boys hoop squad in the Eagles 76-44 pasting of Climax-Scotts in the 2012 Class D state championship game
1 Chris Dewberry on offense – THE DEW aka RIP CITY was the best player on the floor, by far, dropping a 30-spot on 10-of-13 combined attempts from the field(6-of-8 from 3pointland)……Can u say one of the most dangerous marksmen the area has ever seen?....Oh, yeah, he also hit the boards pretty hard, corralling seven rebounds
2 Chris Dewberry on defense – Did an ace defensive job on CS star forward Aaron Cook, holding him to a paltry two points on the day and disrupting his opponents game plan by consistently denying Cook that ball on the wing….Where did that come from? RIP CITY did his best SCOTTIE PIPPEN impression at the Breslin on Saturday
3 Lindsey Hunter III – Continued to show off his increasing versatility and big-play ability by tallying 16 points, eight boards and four assists…..not to mention drilling a back-breaking 25-footer at the halftime buzzer to send the Eagles into the locker room with a commanding 44-18 lead.
4 Gavin Toma – In a nutshell, Gaving Toma went all GAVIN TOMA, registering an ultra-efficient effort of 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals…..he's like the OC's very own version of Ohio State's Aaron Craft
5 The SCS coaching staff – TEAM BAKER did an excellent job of coaxing the team's most oppressive outing on 'D' for the entire year in its biggest game…..SCS forced an avalanche of bad shots, harassing Climax-Scotts into a frigid 20 percent shooting from the field

Friday, March 23, 2012

Finding A Way.....Again

The motto for the 2012 Southfield Christian boys basketball team is 'Find a Way'.
Well, the Eagles have been finding a way all season long and it was more of the same on Thursday night in the state semifinals where SCS slid past Muskegon Catholic Central 78-74.
Some thoughts;
Chris Dewberry (25 points, 8 boards) has the most pure shot in the area!!!
"He's the best shooter I've ever coached, by far," said Eagles first-year head coach Josh Baker.
Bakari Evelyn (14 pts, 5 asst, four steals, game-securing ft with three seconds left) might be the best freshman in the county !!!(Sorry Buda!).
You can't stop Gavin Toma (20 points, 4-4 from 3-point distance), you can only hope to contain him!!!…….come to think of it, that's a pretty difficult task too.
I give Lindsey Hunter III MAD PROPS for how much he's improved and expanded his game this year. He might have been popping off 25 a night last season, but's he's a considerably more of a complete player now, scoring 16 a night and doing more of the little things that every team needs done by its leader. His shot selection is off-the-charts better than it was as a junior and he's just tougher in a lot of different and important ways. Facing off against a nails tough MCC defense, L-THRIZZLE went for 17 points and 7 rebounds, including scoring five straight in the final 90 seconds to win the game for SCS down the stretch. Wonder where he got that big-play ability from? Someone once told me his dad could play a little hoops back in the day as well!!!
Lindsey Hunter IV was a little icy on Thursday in the semis….don't expect it to stay that way. Burney is predicting a 15-5-4 spot by L-Quatro in the finals…..Mark it down!!!
Sophomore reserve Harding Fears (5 rebounds) gave TEAM BAKER some real high quality minutes off the bench.....Can u say X-FACTOR?
Entering the Class D State Finals on Sat morning against Climax-Scotts, the Eagles are 23-2 and haven't lost a game to a Class D team all year

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leaving Blue Behind

Sadly, Carlton Brundidge has decided to leave the University of Michigan basketball program.
Things just didn't work out for the former three-time Southfield high school all-state selection up in Ann Arbor, but I'm sure this bulldog of a guard and absolute warrior of competitor will resurface somewhere next year and make his name on the college level before it's all said and done on his playing career.
Only wearing Maize and Blue for a single season, the dynamic and high-scoring Brundidge led Southfield to back-to-back spots in the Class A final four in 2010 and 2011.
Brundidge and the Wolverines weren't the right fit. TEAM BEILEIN's offense relies on a sharpshooting backcourt and for all of my man CB's strengths on the court, bombing away from the outside isn't one of them. He's the classic slashing guard and needs a coaching philosophy that matches his style of play.
The Brundidge situation reminds me a little of a situation with my beloved Indiana Hoosiers back in the 1980s; DelRay Brooks, a heavily recruited homegrown Hoosier hoopster that had a style that simply didn't mesh well with Bobby Knight's offensive game plan. He couldn't find his way on to the floor and finally transferred to Providence in the Big East, which was a much more natural fit for his talents and he wound up helping lead the Friars to a Final Four in 1987.
Here's hoping that Carlton Brundidge winds up with a similar fate on the collegiate hardwood.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brawny Impact

Ben Braun returned to Southeast Michigan Tuesday night, leading his Rice Owls men's basketball team into the O'rena where they faced Oakland U in a postseason clash in the CIT quarterfinals.
Back in the 80s and 90s, Braun turned Eastern Michigan into a genuine mid-major power, leading the Eagles to four league titles, a spot in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tourney in 1991 and an upset of nationally-renowned Duke in the first round of the Big Dance in 1996. Before the 1997 season, he left for the Pac 10 and Cal, where he stayed until 2008, becoming one of the Golden Bears all-time leaders in wins on the bench.
The Golden Grizz might have defeated Braun's Owls on Tuesday night, 77-70, but make no mistake about it Braun has made about as serious an impact on the area hoops scene as one could in his time roaming the sidelines.
While on the bench at EMU (11 years in all), he coached a pair of local prep studs in Marcus Kennedy (Troy) and Theron Wilson (RO Dondero). An athletic and aggressive post prowler, Kennedy was the captain of his 1991 Sweet 16 squad and an NBA Draft Pick of the Portland Trailblazers.
Wilson, a rangy and agile power forward, was the starting power forward on Braun's 1996 MAC title team that sent the Dukies home packing early some 16 years ago last week.
Braun has over 570 career victories and remains EMU's all-time winningest head coach. When he was at Cal, he took Cal to the Sweet 16 and numerous appearances in the NCAA Tourney.
Burney has no question in his mind that his boy DOUBLE B will have the Rice cage crew back in the Big Dance sooner rather than later and the Owls as significant mid-major contenders in no time, equaling the success he's had everywhere he's been.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Finals Flashback - Two Times Was The Charm

It was the perfect the school year for the Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets athletic program in 2000.
In the fall, they won a state title in football.
Then, come March, they took home another state crown in basketball.
The 2000 Eaglets hoop squad, the core of which also starred on the gridiron for head coach George Porritt, finished the campaign with a flawless 28-0 record.
In the Class B state finals, OLSM topped Flint Beecher 62-59. Leading 35-28 at halftime, the Eaglets grabbed a 51-41 advantage heading into the fourth quarter and staved off a furious last-second Beecher rally to claim the victory. Porritt's courageous cagers shot the ball about as well as humanly possible that fateful night up in East Lansing a dozen years ago, connecting on 50 percent of their shots from the field and 80 percent of their bombs from 3-pointland.
Senior point guard Maurice Seawright, one of the best two-sport athletes Oakland County has ever seen, sparked the Eaglets in the stat sheet with an immaculate performance of 25 points, six dimes, nine rebounds and two steals.  The previous autumn, Seawright was an electrifying presence on the football field as a big-play split end and return specialist.
Jonte Jones, Seawright's running mate on the hardwood, tallied 17 points in the state championship game. Controlling action in the post for St. Mary's was Charles Davis, another two-sport standout for the Eaglets, who brought down a game-high 14 boards. Jermaine Gonzales, a starting forward and the quarterback on the football team, put up nine points and Grant Mason, the team's defensive specialist and a future NFL'er with the Steelers, Saints and Chargers, sank 2 of 2 from the field for four points.

Gonzales and Mason both played football in college at Michigan. Davis also played football in the Big 10 at Purdue, while Seawright had a short-lived hoops career at Michigan before flaming out due to off-the-court issues.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Clawing Back To The Top

The Clawson boys basketball resurgence these past couple of years has been unbelievably impressive.
Head coach Billy Shellenbarger (a former high school star at Gladwin and college star at Lake Superior State) is one of the best young sideline generals around……to say this guy is a master motivator and expert tactician with a clipboard in his hands would be an massive understatement.
The most appropriate word to describe the Shellenbarger regime in CLAWVILLE would be FLOURISHING!!!!
People in TROJANSLAND haven't been this excited about hoops since the JANSEN ERA in the early 1990s, where the Jansen brothers Matt and Jon, took Clawson to multiple district and league crowns as well as an appearance in the final four 20 years ago this week in 1992.
Let's highlight the Trojans' accomplishments, shall we……
Two straight league championships: This year they went 20-3, 18-2 in league play, and led the league in defensive proficiency, limiting opposing squads to a paltry 42 points a night.
Coach Shell was recently named Macomb Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Now, let's breakdown the individual stars for the Clawville Cage Contingent;
Deshawn Gilbert – The senior point guard averaged 12 points and 5 dimes a night and was named first team all-league. This versatile Trojans athlete is headed to play football in college at Sienna Heights as a WR/KR/DB
Tywaun Watkins – The senior forward was Clawson's ace defensive specialist and was selected to the first-team all-league squad averaging 12 points and five rebounds per contest. Showing off his range from downtown, Watkins connected on 41 percent of his shots from 3-point range.
Marquian Johnson – The Trojans sensational sophomore forward was named first team all-league, while averaging nine points and nine rebounds per game, holding things down in the paint for TEAM SHELLENBARGER with authority. Johnson had a very efficient 49 percent field goal percentage for the season and led the team in both blocks and steals.
Jared Ocampo – This sophomore sharpshooter established himself as one of the area's most lethal 3-point assassins this year; He shot 46 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 8 points a night.
Kentrail Holt & Jalen Harrison – This pair of senior SIR-GRIND-A-LOTS were each tabbed as all-league honorable mention picks, with Holt being named to the MAC All-Defensive team alongside Watkins.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Great Burnzini - 8 Ain't Enough

Burney's boys basketball quarterfinals picks
Class A
At Davison
Orchard Lake St. Mary's v. Saginaw
I love me some TEAM CHEWY aka TEAM PORRITT aka the Eaglet's hoop squad, who are smoking hot right now, but SagNasty is just too, well, NASTY!!
SagNASTY 65, OLSM 58
At UofD-Mercy (Calihan Hall)
Lake Orion v. Macomb L'Anse Cruese North
Cinderella lives to dance another day!!!! Junior point guard Damonte Kruse sticks a game-winning triple from the top of the key at the buzzer to send the Dragons to Breslin!!!! Yeah, I SAID IT!!!
Lake Orion 54, LCN 51
Class B
At Imlay City
Birmingham Detroit Country Day v. Goodrich
The Yellowjackets are playing some great ball in the tourney…….this team is more well-rounded than past editions of the STAR-STUDDED Keener Kage Krew (they have depth, experience, talented youth, size, speed, shooting, leadership, outstanding chemistry….etc) and will impose its will on the Goodrich Martians early and often, while cruising to another 'W'…..
DCD 77, Goodrich 55
Class D
At Waterford Mott
Southfield Christian v. Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary
TEAM BAKER aka the Eagles high-octane BALLER BRIGADE will take its frustrations for not being able to play last Wednesday on SMSL, torching their opponents with their usual prolific antics on the for SCS senior assassin Chris Dewberry to go all CHRIS DEWBERRY, in his old Corsairs' crib...will be a mighty fine reunion if you're a RIP CITY fan, which Burney certainly is!!!
SCS 87, SMLS 69  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Dreamcatcher

The Big Dance got a little taste of that MAD OC FLAVOR last night when former area prep hoop star and current Lehigh University head men's basketball coach BRETT REED led his Mountain Hawks to a galactic upset of national superpower Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
In his fifth year on the sidelines, Reed has taken Lehigh to two NCAA Tourney appearances and has won more games in his first five years than any coach in program history.
As a prepster, he was a standout point guard at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, where he helped navigate the Lancers to a pair of league and district titles as well as a spot in the Elite 8 in 1989.
Reed played his college ball down in Florida at Eckerd University, sparking his squad to a league title as a senior.
Getting his start in the coaching profession in the mid-1990s as an assistant under his dad, legendary former OCC head coach Lynn Reed, who guided the Raiders to a National Championship in 1987, he slowly, but surely started moving his way up the ranks, paying his dues, until finally snagging the Lehigh head coaching gig in 2007.
Almost, if not, equally impressive as Reed's exploits in the world of basketball, is his accomplishments in the arena of academia. Back in 1998, he earned both a Masters' Degree and a PHD from Wayne State in Sports Education. Yeah, you read that man BR can straight get his books on. Why don't we just start calling him 'Doc'.
Well, at the very least, Reed's a surgeon on the sidelines. Just ask Coach K and the Blue Devils!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Burney's Girls Basketball All-County Team

The 2012 LADY CAGER Dream Team
G Aerial Powers–Amber Deane (Birmingham DCD) – Best backcourt in the state, BAR NONE, NO QUESTION!!
G Sami Stormont (Royal Oak) – Simply a storm of offense every time this junior hoopstress steps on the floor
G Carlee Cottrell–Tori Duffey (WOLL) – Best small school backcourt in the state, BAR NONE, NO QUESTION, 2nd best overall backcourt in the OC…….would kill it at any level!!
G Shannon Wilson (BH Andover) – Could be the best sophomore in the state….just so VERSATILE!!
G Karin Moss (Troy) – the consummate floor general!!
G Allison Bicknell (Waterford Kettering) – Jack-of-all-trades guard that is the ultimate leader on and off the court
F Gabby Yurik (Stoney Creek) – Expert gunner, can loosen up defenses with the best around from downtown!!!
F Delaney Kenny (Clarkston) – Does a little bit of everything REALLY, REALLY WELL!!!
F Jasmine Harris (North Farmington) – The definition of a WARRIOR on the hardwood
F Shelby Watts (Lake Orion) – Super refined post game, long, athletic and crafty
C Hannah Little (AH Avondale) – By far the top shot blocker in the area, a walking, talking DOUBLE-DOUBLE!!
C Mary Kate MacLean (Birmingham DCD) – Most complete post game in the area, best passing center I've seen on local girls hoops scene in quite a while...will be a steal for whichever college lands this yet-to-be discovered gem  
MVP – Aerial Powers (Birmingham DCD) – Most dynamic player in the area the past two seasons
MIP – Michelle Hayes (Southfield-Lathrup) – Turned herself into a top-flight floor general over the summer, earned a scholarship to Toledo, took the Chargers to a district title in her first year starting at the point…….What a 10 months for this young lady!!!
Coach of the Year – Scott Woodhull (Waterford Kettering) – Got his Captains over the proverbial hump in a MAJOR WAY!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Glass Slipper Glory

This has been one of the craziest postseasons in local boys prep basketball that I've ever seen…..So in honor of all the surprise BIG DANCE DESTINY MAKERS alas Lake Orion, OL St. Mary's and Waterford Mott, Burney's breaking down his official All-Cinderella Hoop Squad.
Burney's All-Cinderella Team
G Khalil Malone (Waterford Mott) – The Corsairs superstar junior floor general was the OC's best point guard in the state tourney!!!
G Justin Walukonis (Lake Orion) – This super steady senior is the heart and soul of the 2012 Cinderella Dragons…game-winning triple vs. Rochester in overtime of the district finals, & some big free throws down the stretch in LO's downing of Mott in the regional title tilt
F Chewy Ukandu (OL St. Mary's) – What a tourney run this kid is having? Ukandu CAN DO no wrong for the Eaglets this March; THE CHEW MONSTER went for 22 points, 8 rebounds and four assists in St. Mary's upset of AA Huron in the regional semis and then dropped a 19 point-10 rebound performance against rival Novi Detroit Catholic Central in his squad's upset of the Shamrocks in the regional championship gam
F Chaz Miller (Lake Orion) – The Dragons two-sport MEGA STUD showed he's just as dangerous on the hardwood as he is on the gridiron. THE CHAZANATOR scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in Lake Orions defeat of Waterford Mott in the regional finals and buried the game-winning 3 in the Dragons upending of BH Lahser in the regional semis
C Danny Furlong (OL St. Mary's) – No doubt the MIP of the Catholic League....This big and strong post presence for the Eaglets is a huge reason why they've been able to bounce back from losing starting forward Justin Barrows so wonder he's a starter in the trenches for the state champion OLSM football squad
6th Man – Davonte Daniel (Waterford Mott) – Mean, lean and aggressive……an absolute beast on the boards!!!
Head Coach – Tom Risi (Lake Orion) – Welcome to THE ELITE 8 Coach, all Burney can say is WOW!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hey Joe, Not Bad

This guy is no Regular Joe.
Orchard Lake St. Mary's Joe Eroyan showed that he is equally adept in the classroom and on the gridiron, recently signing a National Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Chicago.
Eroyan (6-4, 225) started at outside linebacker and tight end for the Eaglets state championship team back in the fall, recording 80 tackles, 10 for lost yardage, five sacks, four caused fumbles and a pair of recovered fumbles.
He was named both All-State and All-Catholic League and he is the final member of the Eaglets elite linebacking corps to find his home at the next level. All-American middle linebacker James Ross committed to Michigan almost a year ago and David Talley, the squad's speedy inside linebacker inked with D2 power Grand Valley State last month.
A three-year member of St. Mary's varsity squad, Eroyan was a part of a defensive unit known as "The Nasty Boys" for its aggressive and attacking demeanor on the field and helped lead the Eaglets to three straight appearances in the Division 2 state finals.
University of Chicago is one of the most well respected academic institutions in the country and finished the season 5-5 on the D3 gridiron last year.
Once on campus in August, Eroyan will join former St. Mary's teammates Mike Gilliam (CB) and Matt Sargent (DL) on the UofC roster.
Oakland County has served UofC well in the past in terms of feeding it top-grade football talent.
Back in the early 1990s, Bloomfield Hills Lahser's Frank Baker was a star running back at the University of Chicago, earning All-American honors twice and ending his career as the program's all-time leading rusher with over 4280 yards churned out on the ground. While at Lahser, Baker was also a multi-year all-state selection in hockey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Five For Fighting - Manic Monday

Five For Fighting – Best performances from boys regional hoops action from Monday night
1 John McCarty (Lake Orion) – This sophomore standout in the post, scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Lake Orion's comeback win over BH Lahser. He went for 16 points during a Dragons' mid-contest rally where they went from being down 18-0 to start the game to up five with five minutes left to play. McCarty is one of the best sophomores in the area.
2 Chewy Unkandu (OL St. Mary's) – Ukandu was all over the floor for the Eaglets in their upset of AA Huron. The senior swingman scored 22 points, collected eight rebounds and dished four assists. This kid's name might be CHEWY, but on the basketball floor he's about as far from soft as you could possibly be!!!!
3 Khalil Malone (Waterford Mott) – What can't this LITTLE BIG MAN do with the leather in his hands? Malone dropped 15 points, hauled down eight rebounds and delved off five assists in the Corsair's five-point victory over Southfield….THE DREAM CONTINUES!!!!
4 Kyle Cooper (Novi Detroit CC) – Owned the floor in CC's narrow win over a pesky WL Central squad….in other words…..he was the DIFFERENCEMAKER, scoring 17 points, while garnering 10 boards and swatting away five blocks
5 Maury Diane (Birmingham DCD) – The Yellowjackets SOPHOMORE SENSATION showed his stuff in DCD's throttling of Imlay City, pumping in 21 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists.