Friday Basketball Highlights: Wild Night Turns Division Standings Upside Down
Troy beats Ferndale 62-59 to even score in Oakland Activities Association White division; buzzer beater sinks Lahser 47-46 in key Gold matchup against Royal Oak; Andover holds on to beat Groves 61-59.
* Home team in all CAPS
An unlikely hero has Troy back in the running for an Oakland Activities Association White division title.
Senior Larry Sylvester buried a 3-pointer with 50.2 seconds left against Ferndale on Friday night to give his team a 58-56 lead.
Troy (12-5; 6-1 OAA White) held on in the final minute to escape with a 62-59 win, evening the season series between the schools. Both teams are now tied atop the OAA White at 6-1 with three games left to play.
Colts coach Gary Fralick sent Sylvester, who played limited minutes, into the game to provide leading scorer James Young an option on the wing in case Ferndale (12-5; 6-1 OAA White) prevented him from getting to the rim.
Young attacked the basket, but instead of taking the shot he kicked it out to a wide-open Sylvester in the corner.
“He usually goes to the rim and scores; coach told him to watch my side and I was fortunate to knock it down,” Sylvester said. “It looked like it was going to hit the back of the heel (on the rim), but just thank god it went in.”
An amazing turn of events, considering Sylvester wasn't on the team until a couple weeks ago. He was cut from the team during tryouts this year after being sent down to junior varsity as a junior.
Sylvester actually had to convince his coach just to let him practice with the varsity squad.
“He’s something else, isn’t he?” Fralick said, smiling. “He emailed me again, again and again. I finally gave up and said you’re a practice player. He said basketball was his life, and it is.”
After Sylvester’s heroics, Young gave his team a four-point cushion in spectacular fashion.
He used his long reach to knock the ball away from Eagles point guard Jordan Ellis and create a fast break. The junior finished the play all by himself with a thunderous slam on the fast break to put Troy up 60-56.
“Man, he comes up the big steal on my point guard,” Staton said. “I didn’t feel like he hurt us that bad (offensively) in the second half, but that’s what great players do. He came through in the final 90 seconds.”
Nate Stepney hit a 3-pointer to bring Ferndale within one at 60-59. The Eagles had to foul and Young buried two free throws with 8.7 seconds left.
Ellis had a chance on the final play to send the game into overtime, but his 3-point attempt bounced in-and-out of the basket.
Royal Oak over LAHSER 47-46
Dre Smith drained a buzzer beater from 15-feet out on Friday night to give Royal Oak a 47-46 win over Lahser in the Oakland Activities Association Gold division.
The loss dropped the Knights (12-5; 5-2 Gold) out of a first place tie with Oxford.
“They set a screen for Smith, we had Khalil Gracey and Kyle Riley right there in his face,” Lahser coach Duane Graves said. “We had solid defense on the play, he just hit a tough shot.”
Ravens senior Martel Porter hit two free throws to put his team within one and then Brandon Fredrikson stole the ball on the Knights ensuing possession to set up the game winner.
“We got four steals in the last minute and half to come back from down five,” Royal Oak coach Michael Massucci said.
Porter finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Ravens (10-7; 4-3 Gold).
Yante Maten led Lahser with a game-high 17 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. Martez Jones had 13 points and four steals.
Graves credited Royal Oak for its stellar play down the stretch, but couldn’t hide his frustration with the way the referees called the game.
“I don’t want to take a single thing away from how Royal Oak played," Graves said. "They played phenomenal and I hate to sound like that guy, but it was embarrassing. That’s the worst officiating I’ve ever dealt with."
He pointed to a play in the second quarter where Maten went up for a layup and was grabbed by two defenders. Instead of calling a foul, the referees called a jump ball.
“The kid goes up and gets clobbered, just clobbered,” Graves said. “They call a jump ball. It was poor officiating like that both ways.”
Lahser was up 17-4 going into the second quarter when the foul discrepancy started tipping in Royal Oak’s favor. To open the second half, the Knights were called for four fouls on the Ravens first three possessions.
“The third quarter was ugly,” Graves said. “We couldn’t get across half court without getting called for something.”
Graves said officiating this season has been a league-wide problem in the Gold.
“We are the bottom league in the OAA and that means we get the worst referees,” he said. “My problem is that it robs the kids, who are playing their hearts out, it takes the outcome out of their hands.”
ANDOVER over Groves 61-59
Andover played the role of spoiler on Friday night.
Groves was hoping it could win the rest of its games in the Oakland Activities Association Gold division to get back in the division race, but the Barons put a wrench in those plans with a 61-59 win.
With five seconds left in the game, the Falcons (6-11; 4-3 OAA Gold) missed two free throws that would’ve sent the game into overtime.
Andover (8-9; 2-5 OAA Gold) breathed a sigh of relief after it missed seven free throws in the final 90 seconds.
“We missed the front end of three one-and-ones,” coach Jeff Rubin said. “Our defense prevented the missed shots from costing us the game.”
Myron Butler had 15 points for the Barons and Zach Smoler had 11. Parrish Thruman had a game-high 17 points for Groves. Grant Henderson added 15.
“It was pretty close throughout,” Rubin said. “It was a one point game at halftime and we hit 5-of-9 3-pointers in the third quarter to take a lead. If we would’ve hit our free throws it wouldn’t have been as close of a game.”
ANDOVER over Southfield 50-30
Andover’s best defensive effort of the season came at a good time.
The Barons (15-2; 13-1 OAA Blue) beat Southfield 50-30 on Thursday night in pivotal game in the Oakland Activities Association Blue division.
A win over the second-place Bluejays puts Andover one win away from clinching at least a share of the Blue division title.
“It was a fantastic defensive effort,” Barons coach Jeff Rubin said. “I was really pleased with the focus we had tonight.”
Rubin’s team came out in the first quarter and limited Southfield to only four points. By halftime, Andover had a comfortable 25-10 lead.
“It really wasn’t much of a game after the first quarter,” Rubin said.
The Barons limited Southfield’s two centers Mieana Gaines and Cortney Williams to a combined 10 points.
“We did a great job taking away their post game,” Rubin said. “We kept a defender behind them in the post and then put a guard in front, forced their guards to shoot a lot of jump shots.”
Jamie Lederman had a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds. Rachel Rea had 12 points and Shannon Wilson, who is still nursing a sore ankle had eight points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“Anytime we can win by 20 and Shannon has only eight, it’s a good night,” Rubin said.
Ferndale over OAK PARK 50-27
Micaela Ellis drained three 3-pointers to help Ferndale pull away at Oak Park on Thursday night. Ellis had 11 points in a 50-27 win.
“We started off a little raggedy,” Eagles coach Berwyn Ellis said. “But Micaela really helped us take control. And then (Janecia) Jenkins controlled the boards to keep us in control.”
Jenkins finished the game with a double-double. She had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Ferndale is now 8-9 overall and 8-7 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue division.
Berkley over HAZEL PARK 43-24
A solid effort on both sides of the court helped Berkley beat Hazel Park 43-24 on Thursday night.
The Bears were led in scoring by Angela Simon with 12 points, Marla Krasnick with 7 and Grace Hammerle added 6. Hazel Park’s leading scorer was Haili Pasden with 7 points.
Berkley will be hosting Lahser on Tuesday at 7pm for its 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Benefit Basketball Game. All proceeds go to Beaumont Hospital Caring and Sharing Program.
Boys and Girls Skiing
Five Rochester skiers have qualified for the upcoming state finals at Nub's Nob in Harbor Springs.
The skiers from Rochester, Adams and Stoney Creek high schools competed in the regional meet Thursday at Pine Knob.
The Adams boys and girls teams (which include skiers from Stoney Creek) placed fourth overall, narrowly missing a team spot in the state finals.
The following skiers qualified as individuals for the state meet:
- Josh Ellis, an Adams senior, placed 11th overall.
- Lauren Henry, a Stoney Creek junior, placed second overall in giant slalom.
- Scott Martin, a Rochester High senior, placed sixth overall in slalom.
- Kendal Rosalik, a senior at Stoney Creek, placed fifth overall in slalom.
- Jamie Stanton, an Adams senior, placed fifth overall.
At Warren Cousino, Royal Oak lost its Division 1 match to Roseville, 50-19. Roseville went on to capture the regional, with a 42-28 win over Sterling Heights.
In Division 3, Clawson struggled in a 51-27 loss to Grosse Ile. The Trojans have six wrestlers headed to the individual regionals on Saturday, but of that group only one wrestler won his match on Wednesday night.
Seaholm didn’t get the strong start it needed to stay competitive with a tough Clarkston squad. The Wolves won three of the first four matches in the team regionals at Waterford and went on to win 53-21.
“The meet started at the heart of our lineup and we thought do a lot better,” Seaholm coach Neil Tuomi said. “Clarkston was the better team, I just was happening to catch a few other (wins) early.”
Maples senior Cameron Brady opened the meet with a pin in the second round (2:45) over Matthew Wright. Brady’s win in the 125-pound bracket gave his team its only lead of the night at 6-0.
Clarkston responded by winning the next three matches to take a 15-6 lead. Jake Dionne pinned junior Erik Adams (2:36) in the 130-pound bracket and Michael Cardinale pinned senior Shane Brady (3:29) in the 135-pound bracket. In the 140-pound bracket, Tim List lost a close 11-7 decision to Grant Ulrich. Senior Ryan Law slowed the Wolves momentum by pinning Kasimir Waitkus in the 145-pound bracket.
The most exciting finish of the meet came in the 171-pound match between Tuomi’s son Dakota Tumoi and Clarkston junior Tristan Tozzi.
Tozzi hit a takedown in each round to take a commanding 10-1 lead. With time running out in the match, Tuomi hit a cradle move out of nowhere to score a pinfall victory (5:45).
“That was nice,” Coach Tuomi said, smiling. “He flipped him, that’s what he’s done all year. It’s been fun to watch.”
The freshman gained an advantage by getting Tozzi in a side headlock. He used the headlock to get Tozzi on the mat where he cradled him into a pin. It was the first time Tuomi knocked Tozzi off his feet the entire match.
Tuomi’s win brought Seaholm within one point at 19-18, but that was the closest it would get. Clarkston won the next five matches to go up 47-18.
The Ferndale boys basketball team’s 11-game win streak came to a screeching halt Tuesday night against Detroit Country Day.
The Yellowjackets turned a close game into a blowout at the end of the third quarter and cruised to an 88-59 win on the road.
“We knew coming in that Ferndale was very talented, but we also thought they weren’t real deep,” Country Day coach Kurt Keener said. “Our game plan was to just press and press to wear them down. And I think that’s what happened. When they got tired they started turning the ball over.”
Through the first three and a half quarters, Ferndale (12-4; 6-0 Oakland Activities Association White) kept pace with the Yellowjackets. Country Day went into halftime clinging to a 32-31 lead and both offenses enjoyed the up-tempo pace.
With 3:03 left in the third, Jermaine King threw down a thunderous one-handed slam to get the Eagles’ home crowd on their feet. Nate Stepney followed the dunk up with a 3-pointer to bring Ferndale within one at 47-46.
But the burst of energy ran the Eagles’ gas tank to empty. Facing an aggressive full-court press, Ferndale turned the ball over four straight times and didn’t score another field goal until the fourth.
With an 11-1 run to end the quarter, the Yellowjackets sucked all the noise out of the gym.
“I was absolutely shocked,” Ferndale coach Tom Staton said. “It was a one point game and then I looked up and we were down 11.”
Country Day (13-4) ended up outscoring the Eagles 56-28 in the second half. Keener had seven different players score at least six points. Robert Puleikis had a game-high 20, Mory Diane had 12 and Jordan Hall added 11.
LAKE ORION over Groves 68-60
Justin Walukonis had 20 points and teammate John McCarty had 19 to lead Lake Orion over Groves 68-60 on Tuesday night.
The Dragons were up eight points at halftime and maintained their lead for most of the second half.
“We were able to cut it to three or four points a couple of times,” Groves coach Scott Sheckell said. “We just couldn’t get over that hump.”
Sheckell pointed to the free throw discrepancy between the teams as a deciding factor. Lake Orion was 23-of-27 from the line while his team was only 4-of-7.
The loss dropped Falcons’ record on the season to 6-10 overall (4-2 Gold).
ATHENS over Avondale 78-59
Athens shrugged off bad news to top Avondale on Tuesday night 78-59.
In the afternoon, the Red Hawks found out that leading scorer Marcarius Coakley is out for the rest of the regular season. Coakley injured his achilles two weeks ago in a loss to Rochester and tried to play through it.
His condition hasn't improved so he had it examed and doctors put him in a walking boot. He will miss at least two weeks and then be reevaluated.
“There’s no tear,” Athens coach Dave Scott said. “He was trying to play, but he wasn’t able to really do a lot. He just wasn’t the same player.”
Scott said everyone is going to have to step up. On Tuesday, it was Caleb McIntosh who led the charge. He had a game-high 18 points. Robert Dema and Tim Shayoka each had 11 for the Red Hawks.
Athens (12-4; 3-3 OAA Blue) went up 18-11 in the first and outscored Avondale in the second quarter 20-6.
“Defense sparked us,” Red Hawks Dave Scott said. “That was one of the better first half’s of the season we’ve had.”
ROYAL OAK over University 62-55
Tied 55-55, Jalen Mitchell took over. Mitchell scored the final seven points for Royal Oak to give his team a 62-55 win over University High School on Tuesday night.
Mitchell scored a career high 17 points and Dre Smith added 15 for the Ravens. Jason Penn led University with 15 points. Royal Oak is now 9-7 on the season. University has an overall record of 12-5.
Rochester over TROY 70-56
Rochester’s dynamic duo Paris Pereria and Taylor Perry did it again. The two combined for 44 points to lead the Falcons over Troy on Tuesday nigh 70-56. Pereria had a game-high 28 points and Perry added 16.
James Young had 26 points in the loss for the Colts. Rochester is now 15-1 on the season while Troy drops to 11-5.
- Scores and highlights for the week of Feb. 5-11
- Scores and highlights for the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4
- Scores and highlights for the week of Jan. 22-28
- Scores and highlights for the week of Jan. 15-21
- Scores and highlights for the week of Jan. 8-14
- Scores and highlights for the week of Jan. 3-7
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