Boys Basketball Thoughts.

Written Saturday January 21st at 10:35 AM

Here are my thoughts on each team in boys basketball thus far.

Pontiac: The Phoenix have not been playing well and that is a concern going forward for Coach Dameon O’Neil. Pontiac has been scoring more since the West Bloomfield game and that could be a start. They are 1-4 in January which is not good. The Phoenix need to address some things especially defensively if they want to turn things around.

Ferndale University: The Eagles have seven wins but they have not been consistent which should be a concern for Coach Josh Nicks. They are 2-3 in January but have played some really good teams to their defense. Ferndale University is fine but they need to be more consistent especially in the Gold.

Avondale: The Yellow Jackets have really picked things back up after a rough early January. They have put together two good wins to start the late half of January. Avondale has not been consistent which it’s a concern for Coach Pat Clancy. They have a very tough week looming with Adams and Rochester. If the Yellow Jackets play like what they did against Troy against the two Rochester schools then anything is possible.

Harper Woods: The Pioneers look like they are the best team in the Gold despite being two games over 500. Harper Woods has been playing consistent basketball despite the loss to River Rouge and the very tough non conference schedule. They have wins over West Bloomfield and Pontiac which says a lot. Coach TaJuan Porter has this program heading in the right direction.

Southfield Arts and Tech: The Warriors had started to figure some things out. They really struggled against Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit giving up 91 points. Southfield Arts and Tech has played a tough schedule to their defense but they do have some concerns going forward. Coach Terrance Porter still has Lincoln Park, Clarkston, and River Rouge for their non conference. It’s going to be very tough for the Warriors going forward.

Royal Oak: January has been a really tough month for the Ravens. They are 2-4 on the month and they still have a tough schedule ahead of them. Dylan Hoffman scored his 1,000 career point and was honored in their loss to Berkley. Coach Aaron Smith needs to find that magic from November and December if they want to turn things around.

Troy Athens: The Red Hawks have been a hot and cold team. Troy Athens has had nine days to prepare for their next game against Rochester. Coach Dave Scott needs to find some sort of consistency with his program. They are struggling record wise right now.

Seaholm: The Maples have really started to turn things around. Seaholm has some big wins over Stoney Creek and Oxford which is a good sign for Coach Mike DeGeeter. They are starting to get healthy and on the same page which is a good sign for the Maples.

Oxford: The Wildcats have not been the same team since the Lake Orion game. Oxford had a very tough loss to Seaholm as well. Jake Champane has had some bright moments but when teams focus on him they seem to struggle. They need Lucas Bottete, Joe Cady, Jay Cady, or Dominic Cassise to step up if Coach Steve Laidlaw wants to turn this around.

Berkley: The Bears are the best team in the Blue and their play has showed why but there is a danger and they have experienced this before. Berkley has relied on Tamir Runkenvich and Jacob Sheriff and they have proven they can win on the road well. Coach Joe Sermo has also gotten some third and fourth scoring as well. The Bears are in a good place right now and there is room for improvement as well.

Rochester: The Falcons have really missed Khammani Potts which is a reason why they are 1-3 in their last four games. Eli Kalaj and Grant Calcagno have been performing at high levels each night for Coach Nick Evola. The Falcons need to find that third scorer with Potts out if they want to turn things around.

Stoney Creek: The Cougars are much better than their record indicates but they have really struggled lately. Stoney Creek really misses Peyton Rummler as he is still out with a shoulder injury but he could be back in February. Jake Fulkerson, Leo Kent, and Tre Walker are doing everything they can right now. Coach Jeff Olind has his work cut out in trying to turn the Cougars around.

Groves: The Falcons have clearly been battle tested. Groves lost two tough games to Adams and West Bloomfield. Josh Simpson and Josh Gibson have been playing really good basketball but so has Elijah Yelder, Max Cramer, and Paige Williams. Coach Marc West has done a solid job with this program. The record is deceiving but the Falcons are clearly a player for sure.

Farmington: The Falcons hung tough with Troy in a tough loss. Farmington is 1-3 in their last four games now all be it the three losses were to very good teams in Berkley, Oak Park, and Troy. They have a makeup with North Farmington looming along with West Bloomfield. That could be very tough for Coach Derrick McDowell and his team this week.

Lake Orion: The Dragons are clearly a different team with DJ Morrow in the lineup. Lake Orion had a tough one point loss to Bloomfield Hills. Missed layups and free throws doomed them in that game. Blake Liddell will be key going down the stretch along with Nate Havrilla, Kevin Tobe, and Kayden DeGriffenreid. Coach Jose Andreadas’s team has a tough week with Warren DeLaSalle and Groves looming. The Dragons will be fine.

West Bloomfield: The Lakers have been playing some consistent basketball. Cameron Britton is a name to watch for Coach Arnette Jordan. Britton was very instrumental in their win over Groves. Mitchell Seay has had some moments as well. West Bloomfield will be fine going forward. They have a tough matchup with Detroit University Prep looming this week.

Bloomfield Hills: The Blackhawks are a different team without Noah Adamcyzk. Adamcyzk missed half of the Lake Orion game with a groin injury but gutted it out late in that game. Drew Wilson has played well and Brandon Newland has had moments as well. Coach Brian Canfield has a strong team but there are some warning signs particularly in the postseason that Bloomfield Hills needs to be aware of.

Troy: The Colts have been rolling as of late especially the play of Mason Parker. Troy has not lost in January but that will be tested when they play Bloomfield Hills this week. Darius Whiteside, Carter Cusmano, Chase Kupier, Jon Whiteside, and Zach Penoza have been playing really good basketball for Coach Gary Fralick. It should be very interesting to see what happens with the Colts.

Adams: The Highlanders got Brady Prieskorn back from injury which is a huge deal for Coach Jaret Thomas. William Gee and Peter Karakasis are going to be special players for Adams. They are pure three point shooters and can create their own offense. The Highlanders have tough non conference games with Stoney Creek, Oxford, Seaholm, Avondale, and New Haven looming and that’s still not the Red schedule. Thomas has his team in a good spot right now despite their loss to Ferndale.

Clarkston: The Wolves have not been playing consistent basketball but have found ways to win games. Other than the blowout loss to Ferndale, Clarkston hasn’t been the same Clarkston of the past. They still don’t have Jon Kaul as he has been dealing with a hand injury. He could be back in February. Desman Stephens, Brayden Wiley, Cavanugh Diton, and Brody Kosin have been doing a lot of the heavy lifting for Coach Tim Waslik. Once Kaul comes back, the Wolves should be ready to roll.

Oak Park: The Knights had been rolling with confidence but they had a very tough road loss to North Farmington which snapped their three game winning streak. Oak Park is still a very young team with a ton of sophomores. Coach Durrand Sheppard’s team will be fine. They have Adams looming this week.

Ferndale: The Eagles might be coming back to life a little bit. They got Caleb Defoe back which is a big deal for Coach Juan Rickman and they are already 2-0 in the Red with wins over Adams and Clarkston. Ferndale’s schedule is very tough as mentioned and Rickman said that they want to get back to Breslin which they have a shot to do that. The Eagles might be back and that’s bad news for the Red.

North Farmington: The Raiders have been rolling as of late. They have turned things around since their loss to Warren Lincoln with wins over Grand Blanc and Benton Harbor. Ryan Hurst, Landon Williams, Tyler Spratt, and Prince Jackson have been playing well for Coach Todd Negoshian. North Farmington is a well-oiled machine right now.