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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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Soaring Phoenix

Special to The Oakland Press
Pontiac's backcourt of juniors Anthony Adams and Juwaan Moody lived up to their respective nicknames on Saturday night in the 15th annual Motor City Roundball Classic played at Birmingham Detroit Country Day. Adams, nicknamed "The Ant", was a constant annoyance to the opposition all game long with his pesky defense and timely-scoring and teamed with Moody, who holds the moniker, "The Surgeon", to provide doctor-like precision on the floor and spark the Phoenix to a 59-57 defeat of a tough-as-nails Goodrich squad.
Moody, a slippery-fast and offensively-gifted transfer from Orchard Lake St. Mary's, started things off by scoring 17 of his game-high 23 points in the first half and giving Pontiac a 28-25 lead at the intermission. Taking the proverbial baton in the second half, Adams, a feisty and headstrong point guard, finished things out by scoring the last seven points of the game for the Phoenix, including the go-head hoop that broke a 52-52 deadlock with just under two minutes to play. His steal and score at the 1:52 mark of the fourth quarter put Pontiac up for good. Along with his eight assists and five steals, Adams knocked down 3-of-4 free throw attempts in the game's final 45 seconds to clinch the win for his team.
The Phoenix push their record to 2-1 overall. Goodrich was led in the scoring column by senior Mitch Vallie's 20 points and falls to 4-2. Not the least bit intimidated by the athletically-superior Phoenix, the Martians were scrappy and tenacious throughout the contest and determined to keep pace with their much speedier opponents. Sporting blue and gold colored uniforms, if one didn't know any better, it would have been easy to mistake the dead-eye shooting Goodrich squad with perennial Oakland County superpower, Clarkston – that's how well-disciplined and fundamentally-sound they played.
"That was a heck of a team we just faced," said an obviously exhausted Pontiac associate head coach, Mykel Covington following the hard-fought Phoenix win. "They executed and played great defense. I was very impressed to say the least.
Covington liked what he saw from his team when the outcome held in the balance. "The last four minutes or so, we played real tough. They kept clawing, but we scraped it out. We hit our free throws and brought some intense pressure on the defensive end that caused some important turnovers. It's a good win."
For a while it even looked as if Goodrich was going to run away with the upset. The Martians held a five point advantage with 4:39 left to play and looked to be holding the game's momentum. However, the frenetic and aggressive Pontiac guard pool was up to the test and took over when the game was on the line.  Besides getting commanding contributions from Adams and Moody, the Phoenix's De Brian Lewis and Jabari Martin each came up big late. Both Lewis and Martin caused turnovers and converted fast break points in the game's final four minutes.
A 25-foot 3-pointer from the far left wing by Goodrich's Drew Patrick at the buzzer took what would have been a 5-point loss and made it a 2-point loss instead.
"We knew they could play and they came hard tonight," said Martians' 19th year head coach, Gary Barns in the locker room after the game. "This was a great opportunity for this team to go up against a real top-quality opponent, a program with an elite tradition. I was proud of the effort. This game will be a building block for us."


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