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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Getting The Job Done

I really like what I'm seeing from the Birmingham Brother Rice basketball squad so far this season.
The Warriors are 5-1 out of the gates.  TEAM SHAFFER has proven to be one of the most dangerous shooting clubs in the whole area.
They could wind up surprising a lot of people and contending for a Catholic League crown.
What's even more noteworthy is that Brother Rice's Orange&Black cage crew is doing all of this after losing the services of their top returning player, senior ALL-EVERYTHING megawatt BALLER Jason Alessi (all-state in f'ball, LAX & all-CHSL in bball), who opted to not come out for his final season of prep hoops.
Alessi is fresh off helping lead the school's football team to a 3peat state-title last month and committing to play on the gridiron in college in the Ivy League at historic Yale University.
Minus Alessi, Shaffer's Warriors haven't missed a beat.
After a minor bump in the road, taking a loss to Ferndale in their season-opener, Brother Rice has reeled off five straight 'W's', capped by a 60-59 victory over Madison Heights Bishop Foley in the Ventures' annual holiday tourney championship game.
Alright, let's roll call it and shout out these Warrior hoopster delights.
Patrick Sparks – Cash Money from downtown (drained game-winning 3 to beat Bishop Foley), a genuine leader and playmaker, lives up to his nickname "The Firecracker" with his explosive nature on the hardwood..Can u say HEAT CHECK?
Kevin Hayes – This 6-foot-5 forward has an upside that's through the roof, just sick potential that's beginning to blossom into stardom, long and athletic, sweet stroke and good court instinct...might be a Top 5 player in the Catholic League by the conclusion of the campaign in March....YEAH I SAID IT!!
Dominic Downs – Fast-rising junior shooting guard that's nails tough in the backcourt, gritty as humanly possible and a deadeye marksman out on the perimeter
Stephen Middlebrooks – Crafty, bulldog of a senior combo guard that finds his way into the lane and causes problems with his tightly-constructed mid-range game and ability to slip in between defenders and get to the rack
Nick Bielke – Took over point guard duties in the wake of the Alessi departure and has played like a savvy vet in his stead. The junior floor general can set tempo, create for his teammates on the break or the half-court set and score from beyond the arc.
Drew Gallagher – Another sniper for the Orange&Black Hoop Attack that can provide some instant 'O' off the bench
Delano Madison – Speedy defensive specialist that can be a terror in the open floor on transition
Jaqualin Hannah – Transfer from crosstown at Birmingham Detroit Country Day where he won a Class B state title last winter, this 6-foot-4 forward could be a real X Factor when he gets eligible next month after MLK Day
Sean Mattingly, Denny Flynn, Mitchell Shaffer, Davis Feldman, Ryan Jordan, Brendan Smith – A half-dozen "Glue Guys" that contribute to the effort if and when called upon


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