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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


By Scott M. Burnstein

Madison Heights Madison junior point guard R.T. Merritt proved his merit on Tuesday night in his team's monumental comeback effort. Leading an energetic rally back from trailing virtually the entire game, Merritt's free throw with five seconds remaining propelled the host-Eagles past Ferndale, 64-63. 
Merritt finished with 10 points, five assists, and three steals. Sophomore Tevin Washington led the Madison scoring attack with 15 points. Ashton Curd, Merritt's backcourt mate, registered 13 points and four assists. Damon Bozeman, another talented sophomore on the Eagles roster, recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Madison moves its record to 7-2 overall. Ferndale goes to 8-2 with the loss. Senior guard Shawn Amiker led the visitors with 25 points. Amiker is one of the more underrated players in the county and it showed while he helped Ferndale claim a 38-29 halftime lead and a 54-56 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
But just as Amiker might be under-valued in area hoop circles, so are Merritt and Curd, often lost in the sea of Metro Detroit's outstanding stable of little men this season. The pair spearheaded the furious Eagles' comeback effort that culminated in Merritt's game-winning free throw. Inspired by Merritt's momentum-seizing antics, Madison stepped up big on defense on the following possession and didn't even let Ferndale get off a potential game-winner of its own prior to the final buzzer. The Eagles backcourt has been getting it done on the court in a major way for the past three seasons. Although Merritt and Curd are only juniors, they have both played on the school's varsity team since they were freshman. Last year, Madison won the MAC Gold league title with a 15-6 overall and two seasons ago the Eagles took home a leauge crown and a district championship.
There's little time to celebrate for the Eagles after the climatic 'w', however, as first year head coach Steve Rhoads (30 year sideline veteran over at Berkley prior to taking the Madison gig), and his crew must start preparing immediately for their crosstown throwdown with Madison Heights Lamphere on Friday.


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