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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

OC Re-Load

For some local boys hoop squads things are just about to start getting interesting since this week marks the beginning of eligibility for the state's second semester transfers. A lucky crop of the county's top teams are automatically getting better by bringing aboard some added stud cage prowess to already formidable line-ups.
The two local teams that will most likely benefit the most from this second wave of 2010 transfer talent – due to administrative issues, some transfers became eligible as soon as the season kicked-off early last month – are Holly and North Farmington.
Engaging and innovative fifth year Holly head coach, Lance Bayliss and his gritty Broncho bunch bring into the fold senior combo-guard, Thomas "The L-Train" Lovachis, an electrifying and athletic backcourt sensation who played his first three years of all-conference varsity ball at Stockbridge (outside Jackson). In his debut in the Holly red and white, Lovachis proved "as advertised" by going for 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the Bronchos 51-37 defeat of conference-foe Lapeer West on Monday night. Also joining hot-shooting senior point guard Justin Fowler in Bayliss' behemoth backcourt rotation will be junior shooting guard, Josh Fugate, a transplant from Lakeland. Fugate is a deadeye marksman from the perimeter and will benefit greatly from Lovachis "drive and kicks." He is the younger brother of SVSU freshman point guard and former Lakeland all-stater, Mike Fugate. Josh had five points in his first game on Monday, canning 1-of-3 attempts from beyond the arc. Holly is 6-3 and feeling optimistic about its chances at claiming its first ever district title by season's end.  After winning a school record 19 games last season and playing so well without Lovachis and Fugate through the campaign's first eight games, Bayliss, rightfully so, thinks the sky's the limit with this group. Before I sign off on my Holly take, let me say a little something about "L-Train" Lovachis: This kid is only going to be playing in the county for 12 regular season games. That's not a lot.  But, if you're a high school hoops head like I expect my reading audience to be, I encourage you to get out and take a look at this devastatingly smooth jumping jack of a baller. Trust me, "Train's" game is as cool as the other side of the pillow and Bayliss, the Bronchos, and the Holly faithful, hope to ride him all the way to the promise land.
Now, onto my boys at North Farmington, who are set to welcome 6-8 junior power forward/center, Urban Bingham into the line-up on Tuesday night when the Raiders go on the road to face a struggling Pontiac squad. Bignham is a bonafide D1 talent – a big guy who can bang and has a banner touch from within 15 feet of the basket. Bingham left DCD, where he played on a stacked 2009 Yellowjackets team, last summer and enrolled at N. Farmington in August. The minute he steps on the floor donning the brown and gold and he will combine with Raiders' guard Kyle Vinales (Grand Valley State), the leading scorer in the county, to most likely form the most dominating inside-outside tandem in the area not named "Ray McCallum and Amir Williams" at Bingham former stomping grounds, Country Day. Head coach Tom Negoshian's team is trying to keep its head up following an array of buzzer-beating losses, so no matter what, Bingham's presence is a needed breath of fresh air for a skilled squad hoping to finish strong. The Raiders are 5-4.
A few more guys to keep your eyes on:
Chris "Rip City" Dewberry, a fearless 6-2 sophomore swing-guard who played his freshman year on a very talent-rich Oak Park varsity team, will add some more firepower to an already "hot out of the gate" Waterford Mott squad (5-2). Dewberry's nickname spawns from the fact that due to a severely broken nose suffered as an 8th graders, he's been forced to wear a Rip Hamilton-esque mask when he plays. So not only is Dewberry's game scary, he looks like Jason from Friday the 13th when he's torching the opposition and that's badass if you ask me. Dewberry's hard-nosed mentality and sweet shooting stroke will be an awesome addition to senior leaders and scoring machines, John Schaeffer and Devontay Green.
Finally, junior Dominic Reynolds, a lighting quick playmaker of a point guard will be coming into the starting line-up for the Ferndale Eagles this week, and MH Lamphere will welcome aboard Christian Keener, a 6-5 transfer from Detroit Consortiom. Reynolds could end up being the "sleeper" of the season. His presence on the floor for the Eagles only make fellow future backcourt-mates Jody Hill and Shawn Amiker even better.  And much like "Rip City" Dewberry's mask and game, that's scary. Although Reynolds, who was enrolled at Detroit Henry Ford the last two years, has never played varsity ball, he's been wowing his teammates and coaches alike in his performances at practice and has already earned a starting spot for new head coach Tom Staton's upstart Eagles, currently sitting at 6-3 and looking mighty dangerous.


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