Blogs > Burney's Bites

Burney's Bites 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.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Second Season

Alright, the second season has been upon us for over two weeks and I've been out of commission..aka..struggling to finish my book - "Family Affair - Greed, Treachery, & Betrayal In The Chicago Mafia" available at book stores in August, plug plug - and getting pressured by my editors in NYC to devote my entire life to completing the manuscript and thus ignoring this blog.  My bad, people. It was out of my hands. I apologize.  

But just because I was in the trenches trying to get the book done doesn't mean I was ignoring my favorite time of the year - March Madness!!! I saw a lot of the games and was up on all the exciting action. So lets do a little re-capping. Good to be back everyone, so enjoy.

The girls hoops scene in Oakland County had a great year, sending two teams to the final four and one to the elite eight. Props to Country Day for going back-to-back, claiming the Class B title for the second straight year and being one of the more dominant girls bball teams to play in the area in quite some time. The word stacked doesn't do this team justice. Five D1 players and another three or four more lurking in the shadows, made these Yellowjackets a buzzing headache for anyone who crossed their path. Seniors Amber Moore, Faziah Steen, Spencer Lane, Sharena Taylor, and Emma Golen and underclassmen Madison Williams, Troy Hambric, and Imari Redfield dominated the competition, compiling a 27-1 record. Most of their games were blow outs,20but the state finals proved these Yellowjackets mettle. Rallying from a fourth quarter deficit to win by double digits showed what this team was really made of. Maddie Williams, the leading canditate for the 2010 Ms. Basketball Award, demonstrated why she has the college recruiters swarming, and recorded the only triple double (10 pts, 10 reb, 10 blks) in the history of the girls bball state finals. Since they won last year's title, head coach Frank Orlando and his girls came into the season with very high expectations. I think its fair to say they met them.  

On a final note, its sad to see the lack of student support these last two DCD squads have received. These were two teams for the ages and it seemed like nobody at the school, minus some teachers and coaches, really cared. I was at a regional final game where there was literally not one student in attendence to watch the lady jackets claim the programs 12th straight regional crown. come on DCD students, I know you're better than that. So next year, come out in droves and help the lady jackets try to make it three in a row.

Lake Orion made a run to the program's first ever Class A final four and culminated a historic season in Dragons bball. Senior "do everything" forward Bethany Watterworth could be the best player in the state and its a downright shame that she wasn't nominated for the 2009 Ms. Basketball Award. Running mate, Courntey Zott, a senior floor general, could be one of the state's most underated players. Head Coach Steve Roberts played some great ball through the tournament, winning the school's first regional hoops title and providing continuous excitement for the many Dragons fans that traveled with the team. The 2009 squad sets the bar high for future Lake Orion teams and I know Steve Roberts wouldn't want it any other way.

Finally, my girls at Waterford Our Lady of The Lakes, a team that wasn't even ranked until the final week of the season, culminated an outstanding post season by advancing all the way to the Class D quarterfinals.  I'm totally an "I told u so kind of guy", so I'm gonna tell everyone I told you so. I've been propping the Lakers all season and deserverdly so. These girls could flat out play. Sophomore Lauren Robak is a bonafide superstar. Seniors Allison Robb and Taryn Stevens kept opponents honest and were excellent from the outside. Throughout the course of the season, junior center Alexis Doetch developed into a walking double double. Point guard, Jen Losiowski, was the straw that stirred the drink, controlling tempo and being the Lakers' top distributer. Jamie Irwin, Abby Walbrook, and Megan Topolewski, were "glue" type players that made the whole thing stick together. Head coach, Steve Robaks' expert motivational skill paired with his well-honed game strategy and player-management technique, gave WOLL an instant edge the moment the team hit the court. 

What's tragic is that the Lakers were unable to play conference rival Marine City Cardinal Mooney, a team that had beaten twice over the final month of the regular season, at full-strength in their elite eight game. Allison Robb, the team' second leading scorer, battled a back injury the entire post season and was limited to less than 10 minutes on the floor in the quarterfinal against the Cardinals, who exploited her absence by double teaming Lauren Robak. I can bet you that if Robb was at full playing capacity the game would have been significantly closer than the 20 point differential that was put up in the quarters. Anyway, with Robak and Doetch coming back, the Lakers are certain to be dangerous again next year, as they will continue to rep the county's small school population with their trademark dignity, skill, and pride. 


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