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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, February 4, 2010


Lake Orion's Alex Mayo is a survivor. Two seasons ago as a sophomore, Mayo, a soft-stroking 6-foot-2 swingman, was a top reserve on a very good Dragons varsity hoops squad that featured All-Stat superstud and current Oakland University forward, Drew Maynard. Then the bottom fell out. Last year was an all-out disaster. With Maynard graduating, starting point guard Anthony Fields – who should be a senior this year – bolting to the PSL and Detroit Southeastern, head coach Jim Manzo resigning and starting guard Jeff Heath deciding not to come out for his senior year due to wanting to concentrate on his college football career, Lake Orion stumbled to a paltry four-win campaign.
This year, on the other hand, has been a whole different story. Led by Mayo's high-scoring ways and a boatload of rugged role players, the Dragons are in the process of fighting it out for a conference championship. Mayo was at it again on Tuesday night, recording a game-high 25 points and propelling Lake Orion to a hard-fought 60-59 road victory over Troy. The win sends the Dragons into a three way -tie with RH Adams and Stoney Creek for second place in the OAA White Division.
The comeback-win raises Lake Orion's overall record to 8-4. After starting the season 1-3 under first year head coach Mike Shafkalis, the Dragons have now won seven of their last eight contests. Adams, Stoney Creek, and Lake Orion each stand at 5-2 in league play, one game behind first place Birmingham Seaholm (11-1, 6-1), who got upset by Adams on Tuesday.
Eight of Mayo's 25 points came in the frantic-paced fourth quarter which saw the Dragons rally back from a 6 point-deficit. Also a wide receiver on Lake Orion's highly-vaunted football team these past two seasons – in '08 he played in Ford Field in the Class A state title game – Mayo is averaging 17.5 points per game so far this year.
Behind the play of the Colts' painfully-potent "May-December"-combo of senior captain and all-conference forward, Bobby Wunderlich (set to play football next year at Grand Valley State) and freshman phenom, James Young, Troy staked claim to a 34-28 halftime lead and a 48-45 advantage after three quarters of play, but failed to hold on at the end. Two straight baskets by Mayo put Lake Orion on top 60-55 with under 90 seconds left on the clock. However, the Colts made it interesting late, scoring two straight hoops to get within one possession down and securing an opportunity for a game-winning shot in the game's final seconds. Coming out of a timeout, Wunderlich's shot at the buzzer fell just short and Lake Orion took home the 'W.'
Wunderlich scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Young scored 15 points by way of sinking 5-of-7 3-point shots and corralled seven boards to headline Troy's offensive output for the night. Sophomore point guard Evan Mahone contributed 10 points and five assists to the Colts effort. Troy drops its overall record to 5-8, 2-5 in the conference.
Besides Mayo, Lake Orion also got top of the line performances from senior guard Derek Schrauben (a D1 soccer recruit) and senior center Ian Monk. Schrauben tallied 13 points for the Dragons and Monk, patrolled the paint with poise and passion to the tune of six points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.


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