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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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Cheer

A handful of area hoop teams took time to celebrate the New Year a day or so early by ending 2009 with exhilarating wins, while bringing home a few championship trophies to boot.
Birmingham Brother Rice notched its second win of the season as well as the championship of "The Venture Holiday Classic" (being hosted by Madison Heights Bishop Foley) on Wednesday by topping Melvindale 46-41. Warriors junior forward Joey Alessi scored a game-high 20 points, including a game-clinching steal and score in the closing seconds of the contest to as Dave Chappell might say, "Wrap it up, B". With Brother Rice in front by the score of 44-41 and Melvindale looking to get a game-tying 3-point attempt off, Alessi picked off a pass and went in for an uncontested lay-up that just beat the buzzer and sent the Warriors' bench into hysterics. Starting guard Adam Gorski, who has been out of the Rice line-up as of late due to a concussion, returned to action and played well, contributing nine points and five assists. Warriors head coach, Ed Shaffer has a real diaper dandy on his roster in sturdy sophomore power forward/center Dylan Anderson. This kid is a bull in the post and a real gamer. Getting his first major playing time of the season against Berkley in the tourney semi-final on Monday, Anderson was magnificent. The 6-6 brick-wall of a 15 year old scored 16 points and hauled down eight boards in the Rice 83-80 "W" over the Bears. He shot a sterling 80 percent from the field and made a serious statement to Shaffer that he is deserving of significant more court time.
Clawson's Joe Baker played the part of Willis Reed and pretty much single handedly won his school's own holiday tournament, "The Trojan Holiday Classic", and kept his squad undefeated heading into the New Year with his performances in Monday's semi-final and Wednesday's final. In Monday's defeat of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook, Baker, a prolific-scorer with equally ace-worthy shooting skills from beyond the arc and at the charity stripe, dropped 35 points to advance Clawson into the tourney championship game against Royal Oak Shrine. Playing against Shrine on Wednesday night, Baker scored 19 points and hit two pairs of crucial free throws in the game's final seconds to get the job done for the Trojans in their 52-49 win over the Knights. Oh, and Baker, who nailed 13-of-13 from the free throw line, missed a majority of the second half after getting hit in the mouth and losing two teeth. Like any superior athlete would, Baker dug down deep and returned to the game with about four minutes left to push Clawson past the finish-line, displaying a relentless sense of urgency and desire down the stretch in the Trojans victory that only the true greats can muster up when facing that type of adversity. Needless to say, "Joe the Show" was named MVP of the tournament. With Baker leading the ship, it's no wonder Clawson is sitting pretty at 6-0.
Just like crosstown at Clawson, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep captured its own holiday tournament, "The Irish Hoops Classic," on Wednesday night by trouncing visiting Bloomfield Hills Andover, 58-37. Starting center, Ross Lindeman, scored a game-high 22 points and collected 10 rebounds. The Fighting Irish started the championship game on fire, jumping out to a 12-0 lead. From that point forward, it was smooth sailing towards the tourney title. Joey De Martis, who tallied 17 points in the contest, banged down a triple at the halftime buzzer to send NDP into the lockeroom ahead on the scoreboard by a comfortable 14 points. Point guard, Danny Dulapa, scored 16 points, while draining 3-of-6 attempts from 3-point distance and held Barons' offensive-machine, Matanya Kidron (averaging close to 25 ppg), to a mere four points. NDP goes into 2010 sporting a 3-2 record.    


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