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, March 31, 2013

Burney's All-OC Boys Hoop Squad

2013 All-OC Dream Team
G Edmond Sumner (Birmingham DCD)
G Jon-Jon Williams (Southfield-Lathrup)
G Luke Short (South Lyon)
F James Young (Rochester)
F Paris Bass (Birmingham Seaholm)
F Kyle Ervin (Birmingham Groves)
C Yante Maten (Bloomfield Hills Lahser)
Head Coach – Doug Host (South Lyon)
1st Team
G Bakari Evelyn-Lindsey Hunter IV (Southfield Christian)
G Akhemji Williams (Rochester Hills Adams)
G Caleb Hogans (North Farmington)
F Zack Littleson (Rochester Adams)
F Jeron (Buddha) Rogers (North Farmington)
F Khalil Gracey (Bloomfield Hills Lahser)
C Arben Camaj (Rochester)
Coach of the Year – Todd Negoshian (North Farmington)
2nd Team
G Jordan Dasuqi (Clarkston)
G T.J. Warren (WL Central)
G Khalil Malone (Waterford Mott)
G Sam McClendon (Orchard Lake St. Mary)
F Miroslav Jaksic (Walled Lake Western)
F Gage Throgmorton (Walled Lake Northern)
F Quincy Norman (Waterford Mott)
F Earl Swift (Southfield)
C Maurice Ways-Christien Wright (Birmingham DCD)
Coach of the Year – John Pleasant (Rochester)
Jeff Greer (Southfield)
Nick Owens (Clarkston)
Phil Nelson (WL Central)
Damarco White (Southfield Christian)
Ted McCree (OL St. Marys)
Sterling Sharp (North Farmington) Head Coach - Scott Sheckell (Birmingham Groves)
James Young (Rochester)
MVP (small school)
Garrett Ross (WOLL)
All-Underclassmen Team
Marlow Brown (Southfield Christian)
Kyle Woodruff (Holly)
Deshawn Lewis (Birmingham DCD)
Isaiah Green (Southfield)
M. Bailey-J. Flowers-J. Booker (WLW)
Jacob Joubert (North Farmington)
Tabin Throgmorton (WL Northern)
Gary Perry (MH Bishop Foley)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Kentucky Way of Life

Forget about basketball and horse racing.
Ferndale star athlete Eric Ellis is going to the Bluegrass state for football.
Ellis, a two-time all-OAA pick at quarterback, signed a National Letter of Intent with Kentucky State last week. A slithery and strong-armed 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Ellis is a natural leader and a genuine "sleeper special" under center, having showed his poise and accuracy in the pocket for the Eagles in both his junior and senior seasons on the gridiron. He has the ability to throw a nice deep ball and connect on tight-spiraled mid-range routes. He can also beat teams with his legs if his protection breaks down and out-think the opposition if they give him too much room to roam in their protection schemes.
Back in the fall, he threw for 1,250 yards and 12 touchdowns (against only four interceptions).
During his time as the school's starting signal-caller, Ferndale only went 7-11, however almost all of the Eagles losses came down to the wire and could have easily gone the other way.
Kentucky State went 2-8 in 2012.
The Thorobreds hired Josh Deane as their new coach earlier this month. KSU's 2012 roster featured 10 players from the state of Michigan, three of them (Southfield-Lathrup's Anthony Johnson-Bradford and Ben Holloway and Oak Park's Isaiah Magee-Robinson) spawning from Oakland County.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Up and Gone

Nate is no longer a Knight…..Or a Blackhawk for that matter.
Local prep football star Nate Emery has left Bloomfield Hills Lahser and enrolled at Utica Eisenhower.
Last season as a sophomore, Emery was one of the top tailbacks in Oakland County, rushing for 1,250 yards and 14 touchdowns, being named all-OAA and all-state in Division 3, while helping lead the Knights into the playoffs.
If he had stayed at Lahser and merged with his former teammates into Bloomfield Hills High School, the Blackhawks would have had quite the three-headed monster on offense made up of Emery, quarterback Spencer McCourt and wide receiver Khalil Gracey.
As it stands now, seniors McCourt and Gracey will have to go at it by themselves this fall, (in their new Black and Purple digs) without their one-time superstar rushing threat at their side.
Eisenhower is a public school power in Macomb County. In 2012, the Eagles finished 8-3 and lost in the district finals. The prior two seasons, they won district and regional crowns respectively.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Burney's All-OC Girls Hoop Squad

2013 ALL-OC Girls Hoops Squad
Dream Team
G Sydni Davis (Southfield-Lathrup)
G Lexie Robak-Ava Doetsch (WOLL)
G Asia Doss (Birmingham DCD)
F Kyla Roland (FH Harrison)
F Delaney Kenny (Clarkston)
C Erika Davenport (Clarkston)
First Team
G Shannon Wilson (BH Andover)
G Candace Leatherwood (FH Mercy)
G Sami Stormont (Royal Oak)
F Amber Stephens-Kristin Nelson (FH Harrison)
F Kristina Green (Southfield-Lathrup)
C Aaron Howell (Farmington)
Second Team
G Kerri McMahan (Novi)
G Kristin Massey (Novi Franklin Rd. Christian)
G Charity Godbold (Southfield Christian)
G Kamry Peake (Birmingham Marian)
F Shelby Watts (Waterford Kettering)
F Amber Jamison (RH Adams)
C Alyssa Copley (Holly)
MVP – Erika Davenport (Clarkston)
MIP – Marissa Cotton (FH Harrison)
Coach of the Year: Tim Micklash (FH Harrison)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Give Me A Double

I'm going to call my shot right now;
Both Birmingham Detroit Country Day and Southfield Christian will repeat as state champions on the boys basketball court….MARK IT DOWN!!  Its a DONE DEAL!!
For Class D SCS that will be a THREE-PEAT!!!
I don't foresee any drop-off with either club, as each squad brings back the bulk of their already-stacked line-ups.
Edmond Sumner, DCD's fearsome floor general, will be a candidate for Mr. Basketball next winter….YEAH, I SAID IT!!! He's that COLD!!!  Can u say ESKIMO blood?
'Jackets mega ballers Maury Diane and DeShawn Lewis will keep BLOWING UP too (Just call these two the "TNT Twins" and Moe Ways on the inside is as consistent as Jay-Z dropping hip-hop classics on the radio…..he never stops coming at you!!!
Over on the SCS side of things, the Eagles CRAZY NICE hardwood crew returns EVERYBODY!!!!
That's pretty scary.
We're talking the Boy Wonder aka B-EASY aka Bakari Evelyn, LH4 (maybe), D-MONSTER aka Damarco White, Kam I AM aka Kameron Garner, Marlow the Magnificent , B-CHEEZY aka Ben "The Chef" Cookingham, and Leonard "Mr. Crafty" Crosby
Can't wait for next March already!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Five For Fighting - Breslin Cage Contigent

Five For Fighting – Top performances from this past weekend's boys bball final four
1 Edmond Sumner (Birmingham DCD) – Showed why he's the best perimeter player in the area, leading the KEENER KAGE KREW to a state title….just etch his name on the 'Jackets all-time great list right now!!!
2 Bakari Evelyn (Southfield Christian) – The Eagles "Boy Wonder" is tracking towards being one of the OC's most clutch players in recent memory…..CAN U SAY BACK-TO-BACK, BABY!! Just so, so, so MONEY!!              
3 Damarco White (Southfield Christian) – His emergence as a force to be reckoned on in the paint was the X-Factor in SCS's second straight state crown….Best slam dunker in the OC? Burney thinks it might be!!!
4 Kameron Garner (Southfield Christian) – KAM I AM went all SPIDERMAN on Tri-Unity superstar Joey Blauwkamp, holding the state's Class D MVP to a mere seven points in the state finals, making his life miserable with his sticky 'D' the whole way to raising the crown!!!
5 Deshawn Lewis (Birmingham DCD) – The future is ULTRA bright in 'Jacketsville with this stellar talent on the wing…..Hit the boards extra hard over the weekend and showed NO FEAR under the Big Lights of Breslin

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Familiar Faces

A number old OC faces were front and center at the Breslin Center and the 2013 prep boys basketball final four this weekend;
Christian Pino (Romulus) – Pino was a two-year starter at the point for Birmingham Seaholm, winning a leaggue title in 2010 before transferring to Romulus, where he was an integral role player on this season's state-title squad.
George Ward (Detroit Southeastern) – Ward was the head coach at Oak Park back in the late 2000s, where in 2008 he took the Knights to league and district titles. Landing at Southeastern a few years back, he has guided the Jungaleers to two appearances in the final four in the past three years
Jalin Gardner (Detroit Community) – Was WL Western's starting floor general as a Fab Frosh last year, prior to transferring to Community, which fell to B'ham DCD in the Class B state finals, and playing a back-up role in the backcourt during this year's run to Breslin.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Walk In The Park

Expect to see Ja'Christian Biles as one of Oakland County's top-scoring threats on the boys basketball court in the 2013-2014 season.
Biles, who played the last two years at Southfield-Lathrup, won't be wearing a Chargers uniform though.
Last month, the hot-shooting wing transferred to Oak Park, leaving the Lathrup hoop crew mid-campaign.
With Oak Park getting hit hard by graduation losses going into next season, Biles will be the team's go-to-guy. His skills on the offensive side of the ball are very refined. He has the ability to get toasty from downtown and he can effectively slash and create shots for himself off the dribble.
Battling discipline issues, Biles only played a quarter of his junior year this winter. When he was on the floor, he was by far, the Chargers second-best player, behind all-state combo guard Jon-Jon Williams (Toledo).
As a sophomore in 2012, Biles made large strides over the course of the season and was a major part of a Lathrup squad that was one of the best in the area.
Since 2011, Oak Park's athletic department has become a transfer haven, with the Knights being the beneficiary of a venerable waterfall of newcomers, mostly in football.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

An Elite Venue

The other night in the Class A boys basketball quarterfinals down at Calihan Hall on the campus of University of Detroit-Mercy was the most electric I've seen a building in a long time.
Droves of prep hoop heads filled the rafters to watch a doozy of a doubleheader (Detroit Pershing-Romulus & Detroit Southeastern-Rochester) and the place was rocking and rolling like it was a KANYE WEST concert.
That was great to see.
But it also made me think; How awesome would it be if that same atmosphere was brought out to the O'rena at OU?
It's surprising the Golden Grizz have never hosted a high school state tourney game. Being even more intimate in dimensions than Calihan, a big-time Elite 8 affair in the Grizzly Den would be OFF THE CHAIN.
The perfect setting.
Note to MHSAA and OU; GET IT DONE!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Great Burnzini - Quad City

Picks from Tuesday's boys hoops state quarterfinals;
Class A
Rochester v. Detroit Southeastern
Burney's calling his shot:Rochester senior All-American James Young delivers a "statement" game, dropping 35+ in a Falcons 'W' and showing the Mr. Basketball voters they got it all wrong by snubbing him for the hardware Monday.
Rochester 71, Southeastern 69...PLEASANTVILLE REIGNS SUPREME once again, punching the program's ticket into the state semis!!
Class B
Birmingham DCD v. Flint Powers
KEENER KAGE KREW cruises into its fourth consecutive final four in emphatic fashion...I feel a pair of double-doubles coming on from the DCD ROLL CALL; MO Ways, Poet Thomas and Christien Wright, do your boy Burney proud!!!
'Jackets 78, Powers 68
Class D
Southfield Christian v. Climax-Scotts
One word: REPEAT!!!! SCS knocks CS out of the tourney for the second year in a row, as the Eagles guards runs their opponent's backcourt ragged!! Oh and junior center DeMarco White keeps punishing the comp around the rim, too!!!
Team Baker the state-championship maker 64, Climax-Scotts 60

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lake-side View

There's nothing like living out at the lake.
That's what Walled Lake Northern senior football stars Collin O' Donnell and Mitch Curle will doing the next four years, signing with Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for their college pigskin last week.
O' Donnell (QB) and Curle (OL) spearheaded one of the state's most prolific offenses last fall, leading Walled Lake Northern to a historic campaign on the gridiron, capturing city and league championships, while qualifying for the program's first-ever playoff appearance.
With Curle providing Grad-A protection in the trenches, O'Donnell threw for more 1,600 yards and scored 30 touchdowns.
Walled Lake Northern won its first postseason contest against Howell, before losing in the district finals to border-rival Novi Detroit Catholic Central.
Lakeland went 2-8 in 2012.
The Muskies have had success in the recent past recruiting the area, snaring a fearsome foursome of prep teammates from Oakland County in Pontiac's Kendrick Burks, Josh Guy and Romain &Patrick Johnson.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Not Done Yet

WOLL sports fans don't fret, the 'Drive for Five' is still alive.
Even though the Lakers girls hoop squad failed in its quest for a fourth straight Class D state title Saturday up in East Lansing (losing to St. Ignace in the state finals), senior two-sport stars Ava Doetsch and Jessica Parry, will have one more shot this spring on the soccer field to get that fifth overall crown aka 'One for the thumb.'
Doetsch and Parry won a state championship on the pitch as freshman in 2010.
Along with fellow starter on the basketball court, Anna Robb, the trio of WOLL kickers make up a daunting trifecta and will lead the Lakers into battle as a front-runner for snagging another state-title ring.
Besides being an all-state selection on the hardwood, Doetsch is a three-time all-state pick in soccer, having already scored over 75 goals in her career. She is signed to play her college ball at the University of Nebraska-Omaha
Parry, the Lakers' floor general on the bball floor, will be getting her kicks at the college level just down the street at Lawrence University.
Robb, who is a high-scoring forward on the pitch, yet only a junior, teams with Doetsch to headline WOLL's formidable frontline attack.
Don't be shocked to see my main Lakers homegirls, Ava, Anna and JP raising state-championship banner No. 5 come early June!!!
"We're all very excited to go for one more state title," Doetsch said. "Everyone's coming back and I think we have a good chance at getting it done."
Last season, WOLL was the state's No. 1-ranked squad for almost the entire campaign, advancing into its second state finals in three years (losing to GR Granville Christian).
The year before that during Doetsch and Parry's sophomore season the Lakers fell to eventual state-champion Madison Heights Bishop Foley in the regionals.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Charging Back Home

Jason Jones, one of Oakland County's all-time best two-sport superstars at the high school level, is heading back to, 'The D.'
On Wednesday, Jones signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions.
The former Southfield-Lathrup Charger attended college at Eastern Michigan (third-team All-American as a senior) and was a second-round NFL Draft pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2008.
A tenacious pass rusher on the defensive line, he has logged 19 sacks, 122 tackles and seven forced-fumbles in his pro career, spending four years with the Titans and one with the Seattle Seahawks prior to inking with the Leos this week.
Jones graduated from Southfield-Lathrup in 2004, following an awesome prep career on both the football field and the basketball floor.
Showing his versatility, he starred on both offense (tight end) and on defense (DE) on the high school gridiron and was a lethal weapon of a forward on the hardwood.
As a senior in football, Jones led the Chargers to a playoff-berth and a 7-3 victory, losing to Birmingham Groves in the district finals. Demonstrating his big-play instinct at a young age, he returned three fumbles for touchdowns that season in the fall of 2003.
Hooping it up as hard as he hits quarterbacks in pass coverage, he averaged a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds per game and led the Chargers boys cage crew to a district title and a spot in the Sweet 16 during his senior bball campaign. Two years prior, as a sophomore, he started on a Lathrup hoop squad that made a Cinderella run into the Elite Eight.
Here's to my main man and OC alum JJ doing great things with the Lions for the foreseeable future, gobbling up quarterbacks and spitting them out like a crazed sack machine!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Officially Disturbing

The behavior I saw from one of the referees Wednesday at the Rochester-Bloomfield Hills Lahser boys basketball regional championship game was outright deplorable.
This kind of unprofessionalism at any level of employment needs to be pointed out and exposed.
I've talked to players on both teams from the title tilt – a 65-41 Rochester 'W' – and heard horror stories.
A player from each squad told me that this particular ref swore at them and physically threatened them during the game. I'm not talking about one incident, either. This was two separate players telling me about two different instances, without me telling either I had heard the same thing from someone on the opposing team.
Even worse, he shoved Oakland Press-MIprepzone sideline reporter Emmy Lucas in the middle of action in the second half in a sequence where he wanted her to move further away from the court.
Who does this guy think he is?
Hurling threats, bullying anyone in sight and acting like a bull in a china shop is no way to officiate an athletic event, especially when it's youth sports and you're trying to set examples as authority figures of how to act.
One thing is for sure, that is not it.
This man needs to be admonished immediately and precluded from ever officiating again in the MHSAA….point blank, plain and simple!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

EDucating the Competition

Let me hit you with some factual knowledge;
Birmingham Detroit Country Day junior basketball star Edmund Sumner is the best guard in Oakland County right now……YEAH, I SAID IT!!!!      
All due respect to Jon-Jon, Akhemji, Dasuqi and Sumner's backcourt-mate Austin Price, but BIG ED is the top gun in the OC.
He has no flaws in his game.
Last year as a super soph he was a nails-tough, slasher who was 5-foot-11 and 130 pounds soaking wet.
This season, Sumner has taken things to the NEXT LEVEL; he grew five inches, put on 25 pounds, while also developing MAD floor general skills and a lights-out stroke from downtown. CAN YOU SAY FEARLESS?
On Monday, he dropped a 20-point, eight-dime effort in taking DCD to its eighth straight trip to the ELITE 8 with a beat-down of Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy in the Class B regional finals. His "pogo-stick" alley-oop in the second half of Monday's smashing brought the home crowd to its feet. Xavier and UMass are the biggest college programs to offer Sumner a scholarship so far, but with what this PTP'er has been doing lately, more elite schools are sure to be entering the picture soon. Watch for Sumner to etch his name among the all-time DCD backcourt greats before he graduates next June. I smell another KEENER KAGE KREW state crown with BIG ED at the helm of the 'Jackets offense.....TAKE IT 2 THE BANK!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Great Burnzini - Boys BBall Regional

My picks for this week's March Madness on the local boy prep hoops scene
Class A
At AA Huron
Teams: North Farmington, South Lyon, Ypsilanti and Canton
Pick: What's the longtime Raiders motto? - Just win, baby!! Well, that's exactly what TEAM NOGO and the NF Raiders will be doing this week, advancing into the program's first-ever ELITE 8
At West Bloomfield
Teams: Rochester, BH Lahser, Troy Athens and Romeo
Pick: The James Young Joyride continues……Rochester and its All-American head to the quarterfinals
At Southfield
Teams: Birmingham Groves, UofD-Jesuit, Detroit Pershing and Redford Thurston
Pick: No. 1 in the state Pershing purrs its way past the field in this one
Class B
At Birmingham DCD
Teams: DCD, Detroit Douglas, Ferndale University, HW Chandler Park
Pick: 'Jackets just way, way too deep not to go to at least the quarters this March
Class C
At MH Bishop Foley
Teams: Bishop Foley, Melvindale ABT, Detroit Consortium and Detroit Loyola
Pick: Consortium is really, really good and the Cougars scratch and claw out of this tightly-contest regional
Class D
At Novi
Teams: Southfield Christian, AP Inter-City Baptist, Bellevue and Pinckney-Livingston
Pick: Burney smells a repeat state title for TEAM BAKER at SCS!!! Yeah, I said it!!! Eagles fly to the final eight!!
At Lansing Christian
Teams: Lansing Christian, Birmingham Roeper, Clarkston Everest Academy and Peck  
Pick: Roeper rides the roll of Cinderella into the longest tourney run in program history….Watch out for Roughriders senior point guard Abe Hashwi, one of the more underrated and deadliest floor generals in the OC
Sleeper picks: Wouldn't be shocked to see Lahser or Clarkston Everest punch a ticket to the quarters either

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Name Game

Some names to watch for in this week's boys hoops regional round of the state tourney;
Connor Weidman (South Lyon) – Everyone knows about Lions' floor general Luke Short, maybe the MVP of the whole KLAA this year, but don't sleep on Weidman, South Lyon's senior combo guard and one of the best long-range shooters in the area
Sterling Sharp (North Farmington) – The future D1 baseball player has been the difference-maker for the Raiders this season, just dusting the comp from his spot on the wing
Eddie Reese & Emmanuel Thomas (Birmingham Groves) – This speedy, slick-handed backcourt is very, very underrated around here when the talk of backcourt studs comes up, win or lose vs. state-ranked Catholic League-champ UofD-Jesuit, expect the Falcons ferocious duo to show why Groves is in the midst of such a memorable campaign
Manny Mendoza & Mike Murri (Rochester) – With so much attention paid to All-American swingman James Young, this pair of scrappy forwards could be the X-Factor for the Falcons this week in their quest for the crown
The Troy Athens SOPHOMORE STUDS!!!! – The whole bunch of'em have proven quite disruptive to opposing squads on the hardwood lately……The future for the boys cage program in REDHAWKSLAND is as bright as a Christmas Tree!!
De Marco White (Southfield Christian) – If the astoundingly athletic junior Eagles center keeps up his recent streak of strong performances, SCS advances into the ELITE 8……mark that down!!!!
Antonio Capaldi (Madison Heights Bishop Foley) – The transfer besides James Young that might have made the biggest difference for their squad this winter, that's how good this crafty and hot-shooting off-guard has been for TEAM WEST since becoming eligible………Can u say three straight Catholic League and SIX consecutive district titles? Thanks AC!!!!