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.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Work In Progress

Sitting at an even-steven 2-2 heading into the start of conference play on Tuesday, the Pontiac Phoenix are still in the midst of working out some early-season kinks, as evidenced by Saturday night's showdown against defending Class A state champion, Detroit Pershing, in the Mister Basketball New Year's Classic held at West Bloomfield High School. The Phoenix played tough, but let a severe late-first half lapse ultimately spell doom for their hopes of victory and dropped an up-and-down affair to the powerhouse Doughboys, 88-73, in front of a capacity crowd with an overflow of fans hailing equally from both the city of Pontiac and the city of Detroit.
Pershing got monster games from its top two players, Mr. Basketball candidates and senior co-captains, Juwaan Howard, Jr., and Keith Appling. Howard (Western Michigan) went off for 39 points, while taking down a game-high 14 rebounds. Appling (Michigan State) scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and gave out six assists. 
Junior guard Juwaan Moody led Pontiac in the scorebook with 27 points. Moody's backcourt mate, junior point guard, Anthony "The Ant" Adams, put in 14 points and dished off eight assists. Senior center, James Odneal, played solid in the post, scoring 11 points and pulling down nine boards.
Pontiac lost its first game of the season to Detroit Southeastern, another PSL power, by only a three point-margin, before reeling off two straight wins heading into Saturday's much-anticipated contest. The Doughboys, who dropped their opener to Romulus (state semi-finalists last season), are now 6-1.
"We got out of what we were trying to do at the end of the second quarter and that was costly," said Phoenix associate head coach, Mychal Covington, in the minutes after the game. "You can't go shot-for-shot with that type of team and that's what we tried to do there for a while. It really hurt us. Other than that, I was happy with the effort."
With Adams scoring seven points in the game's first three minutes and Moody sticking a long 3-pointer from the left wing with 17.5 seconds to play in the first quarter, the Phoenix looked spry and seasoned as they took a 22-18 lead going into the second. After a pair of free throws by Moody with a little more than four and a half minutes remaining in the second quarter gave the Phoenix a 28-26 lead, the Doughboys exploded for a 24-4 run to finish off the half and entered the break with a momentum-grabbing 50-32 advantage.
Coming out of the locker room hot as a pistol once again, Pershing looked like it was on its way to Blow Out City.  An Appling score in the lane, followed by a deep 3-pointer from the left elbow by Howard gave the Doughboys a 55-32 lead less than 30 seconds into the third quarter.
But the Phoenix kept pressing and behind some more spirited play in the fourth quarter got their deficit down to 10 points twice in the last five minutes of the game. Seven straight points by Moody, capped by a 3-pointer from the top of the key, made it 73-63 with 4:29 left to play. Anthony Lavallis' steal and lay-up with 2:43 remaining made it 79-69 and forced Pershing head coach A.W Canada to call a time out.
The Doughboys made fast work of the Phoenix down the stretch though and Howard, showed signs of brilliance that flashed back to the days of his dad, Juwaan, Sr., when he was running with the Fab Five at UofM back in the early-1990s. His 3-pointer out of the huddle pushed the Pershing lead to 13 and his electrifying transition bucket only a few seconds later made it 84-69. Scores by junior Kidez Foster and sophomore Sherron Dorsey-Walker put the game to bed.
Pontiac gets the OAA-Red conference season on its way on Tuesday night when they play Clarkston.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

all i no is that lavallis is the best point guard in michigan for the class of 2011 and is being black balled by pontiac high coaching staff..and is being forced to play the center position...wonder if its because myke covington hangs out with anthony adams like their both in highschool.or because roy webb is john moodys best friend and promised him if he transfer to pontiac he had a starting spot for him... I guess if anthony had friends and family coaching ....he could get a fair shot at the point guard and bring home a state championship

January 3, 2010 at 7:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 7, 2010 at 9:51 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wake up coaches dont let personell issues and haterism...roy webb come before putting the best team out there on the court...its time to grow up mychal an roy... You looked real stupid against clarkston the other day... No guard production as ussual from your favorites. Horrible defense..and to top it of yr best penetrater passer and playmaker sittn on the bench... To the pleasure of coach fife and his guards... They thank you. For not starting your best guard # 21" im sure once u do start this kid it will take alot of pessure of juwan moody.. He will be able to spot up and drain threes from everywhere in transition as well as set plays..because lavallis#21 is yr best pg...if i were u id give him a fair chance this is the only chance u have at winning a state championship...wake up haters....o it for the team... Thats if u wanna win... But u have to question the coachin staff and say is that what u wanna do win or protect certain players images... Wake up haters.. And lets win..

January 7, 2010 at 10:14 AM 

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