MHSAA Making Some Changes

MHSAA Making Some Changes

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

MHSAA Making Some Changes.

Written Tuesday March 29th at 1:00 PM
Written by Sammy Taomina

The MHSAA Representative Council made some huge moves on Tuesday morning.

The League approved several new measures last week at their winter meetings. Some of which are huge changes.

The League approved a basketball resolution going from 20 games to 22 basketball games and cut down on preseason practice time from 21 days to 14 days.

“Thank you to the MHSAA Representative Council on approving 22 games for next season. The BCAM (Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan) leadership has made it a top priority for many years. Today is a great day for the coaches and players in the State of Michigan.” said BCAM Executive Director Dan Young on Twitter.

Other proposals that were approved included postseason divisions that are more reflective of the number of schools that actively sponsor teams for that season.

In football, teams can opted up a division after the spring release of the annual classifications. It will be a two year thing and require the Executive Committee’s approval. The school would then need to show proof why they want to move up a division.

In hockey, there will be a 2,000 student increase in Co-Op programs which will allow 5,500 students for hockey only.

In track and field, those that are in a wheelchair can compete in the 100, 200, 400, and shot put for the tournament season.

In swimming, there will be a 100 yard freestyle race that will be added to the state finals for Paralympic athletes.

In baseball and softball, the districts will be allowed to start the week before Memorial Day.

Thoughts

I like the basketball move from 20 to 22 games. It’s a long time coming in my opinion. It gives more teams the chance to play more games before the postseason.

I also like the wheelchair events for track and field student-athletes. It gives them a chance to compete and showcase their talents. It brings inclusion to the fold.

In Football, moving up a division is going to be very interesting to watch and see. I’ll be curious to see which teams want to move up.

I think that will help. In all it makes sense and the Representative Council did the right thing heading into this spring and next season.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

Here is the article from the MHSAA.

https://secondhalf.mhsaa.com/topics/mhsaa-news/rep-council-approves-expanded-basketball-schedules-classification-changes-winter

MHSAA Making Some Changes

Boys Basketball Shortcomings

Around the OAA.

This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Boys Basketball Shortcomings.

Written Friday March 25th at 8:00 PM

Written by Sammy Taormina

With the Boys Basketball season over here are the shortcomings for each program heading into the offseason.

Ferndale: It was a great season for the Eagles. Ferndale won the Red and made the final four for the second straight season. They earned their third straight district title by beating Birmingham Detroit Country Day. The Eagles earned the regional crown on their home floor and beat Detroit Henry Ford and Detroit Pershing in the process. They beat Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in the State Quarterfinals and earned a rematch with defending Division Two State Champions Grand Rapids Catholic Central. The Cougars beat the Eagles last season in the State Semifinals. Ferndale fell to Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the Division Two State Semifinals for the second straight year. The Eagles will be in a very interesting spot this offseason. Ferndale despite winning 21 games this season seem to have trouble when they play teams that are as athletically talented as them but with proven experience and deeper. It has been evident in most of their losses and especially to Grand Rapids Catholic Central in both postseason meetings. They lose Treyvon Lewis and Justin Drake to graduation. The Eagles have Cameron Reed, Chris Williams, Jacoby Jackson, Caleb Renfroe, Maurice Booth, and Trenton Booth coming back for Coach Juan Rickman. Program strength will be very interesting this offseason. Ferndale should be back in the mix next season Program strength and overcoming teams that are athletically talented with experience and deeper than them will be something to watch.

North Farmington: It was a great season for the Raiders which saw more positives than negatives. They won a district crown by beating Redford Thurston and Livonia Stevenson on their home floor. It was going to be a very tough task for North Farmington in the regional semifinals going up against a very good Orchard Lake St. Marys program but the Raiders battled despite falling by two points to the Eaglets. North Farmington has been one of the most consistent programs when it comes to program strength. The Raiders won 18 games this season and their sub varsities won double digit games as well. They lose Amari Lee, Jared Frazier, Aaron Rice, Donovan Hayes, Blake Ingram, and Wylan Hall to graduation. North Farmington has Prince Jackson, Vincent Lee, Lee Hardy, Connor Childress, Daemon Eubanks, Lamar Walls, Dwayne Ray, Donovan Williams, Tyler Spratt, Landon Williams, and Ryan Hurst coming back for Coach Todd Negoshian. The Raiders are built for the now and the future. They should be very good next season.

Oak Park: It was a great year for the Knights. They had another strong showing in the Red and the regular season but it’s clear that they have a problem when they play their Catholic League Central rival to the southeast in Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit in districts. Oak Park fell to the Cubs for the second straight year in the district finals (fell in double overtime in the district semifinals last season.) The Knights won 15 games this season. They lose Ashton Henderson, Bwana Miller, and Derald Blackmon to graduation. Oak Park has Jason Harns, Robert Smith, Geno Hutchins, Kevin Tolliver, Soloman Willie, and LuJuan Holliday coming back for Coach Durand Sheppard. Program strength should be very interesting. They have lot of young talent coming back but the sub varsities are a question mark. The Knights should be in a great place heading into the offseason but if I were Sheppard, I would seriously consider playing Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit in a non league game next season.

Adams: It was a very interesting season for the Highlanders in which they saw a ton of peaks and valleys. Adams won their first district crown in a long while with postseason wins over Rochester and Lake Orion. The Highlanders fell to Clarkston in the regional semifinals. Adams won 15 games this season. They lose Gunner Walters, Justice Mims, Jon Urusy, Jacob Durand, Teddy LaGarde, Tyler Barbee, and Tre Tuppins to graduation. The Highlanders have Brady Prieskorn, Nathan Kim, Peter Kardasis, Thomas Blaine, Drew Blackmer, and Jack Donohoe coming back for Coach Jaret Thomas. Program strength is very strong for the Highlanders and they’ll need a lot of that with one returning starter next season. Adams is a up and coming program. They have everything in place to be very good now and into the future.

Clarkston: It was a very odd season which was very un Clarkston like. The Wolves added another district crown after beating Avondale in the district semifinals and Waterford Mott in the district finals. They avenged Adams in the regional semifinals after the Highlanders beat them twice in the regular season. Clarkston fell to a very good Novi Detroit Catholic Central program in the regional finals. The Wolves won 14 games this season. They lose seven seniors including Keegan Wasilk, Nate Steinman, Zach Austin, Caleb Woodberry, Bryce Jacob, Jacob Beck, and Kaden Dietlin to graduation. Clarkston has Desman Stephens, Cavanaugh Diton, Zach Scherler, Brody Kosin, Brayden Wiley, John Kaul, Matthew Pflieger, and Cole Church coming back for Coach Tim Wasilk. Program strength looks very solid. The Wolves should be fine going forward.

West Bloomfield: It was a rough first season for Coach Arnette Jordan. The Lakers learned a lot even though things didn’t go well for them winning four games. West Bloomfield had a really tough first round loss to arch rival Bloomfield Hills. They lose six seniors including Jameson Head and Jaydan Montgomery to graduation. The Lakers have Jayden Jones, Tory James, Evan Ammori, Louis Johnson, Isiaiah Bryant, Terrance Curry, Adam Shewcraft, and Mitchell Seay coming back. Program strength is solid for Jordan. They will be fine there is no need to panic.

Farmington: It was a very rough and challenging season. The Falcons really struggled being in the Red and having been through a coaching transition this past offseason. The struggles showed in the postseason loss to Southfield Arts and Tech in the first round. Farmington won two games this year. They lose three seniors including Jalen Silver to graduation. Farmington has DeAndre Green, Tony Tobert, Nick Morgan, Chris Boyd, Logan Robinson, Jaden Turner, and Luke Donehue coming back for Coach Derrick McDowell. Program strength is a concern going forward for McDowell. The Falcons have a lot of experience coming back which always helps next season.

Bloomfield Hills: The Blackhawks made a ton of noise this season. They shared the White for the second straight year and beat some really good teams. Bloomfield Hills beat West Bloomfield on their home floor in the first round. They fell to a very good Orchard Lake St. Marys program in the district semifinals. The Blackhawks won 16 games this season. They lose Ben Canty, Julian Manna, Carson Brotsky, Jordan Holoman, Kyle Hudas, Joe Hudas, and Rion Ando to graduation. Bloomfield Hills has Noah Adamcyzk, Derrick Lee, CJ Jackson, Ahmad Taylor, Brandon Newland, and Henry Jackson coming back for Coach Phil Kurajian. Program strength is very solid. They should reload just fine. The Blackhawks should be in the conversation because of Adamcyzk, Taylor, Lee, and Jackson coming back next season.

Lake Orion: It was a very interesting year for the Dragons. Lake Orion saw a ton of ups and downs especially early. They made a coaching change after a 2-4 start during the Christmas break. After the coaching change the Dragons were a much different program. They won 13 games, earned a share of the White crown, and the top seed in their district. Lake Orion beat Utica Eisenhower in the district semifinals. They fell to Adams in the district finals. The Dragons won 15 games this season. They lose Alden Ritt, CJ Witt, Trevor Witt, and Malachi Grandberry to graduation. Lake Orion has DJ Morrow, Nate Havrilla, Kevin Tobe, Jordan Morse, Brady Harwood, J’Mari Wiggins, and Blake Leidell coming back for Coach Jose Andredas. Program strength is very concerning. The Dragons should be a very interesting team this offseason and in the future.

Groves: It was a very interesting year for the Falcons which saw a ton of ups and downs. They were in the White title hunt until the final week of the season where they lost to Troy and Lake Orion. Groves was riding with no momentum heading into the postseason. The Falcons beat arch rival Seaholm in the first round which would set themselves on a collision course very similar to last season when they played Birmingham Brother Rice and fell by two points in overtime. Groves was no match in the district semifinals. They fell to the Warriors for the second straight year. The Falcons won 13 games this season. They lose Aaron Dubose, Nick Lutz, Paige Williams, Amrit Sran, Ben Roman, Quinton Steele, and Kalik Blount to graduation. Groves has Jack Abbot, Max Kramer, Elijah Yelder, Josh Gibson, Max Young, Myles McClary, and Brody Tushman coming back for Coach Benny White. Program strength looks solid. Groves will be young but very competitive next season.

Troy: The Colts had a very young and competitive team this season. Troy made some noise on their home floor in the districts. The Colts didn’t get either of the top seeds in the district but they made up for it by beating Warren Cousino in the first round and arch rival Troy Athens in the district semifinals. The Colts made the district finals but fell to a very good Warren De LaSalle program. The Pilots ended won the Division One State crown. Troy won 13 games this season. They lose Ethan Block, Zach Fairless, Dominic Thomas, Lalith Gudi, and Akram Alkhateeb to graduation. The Colts have Darius Whiteside, Jon Whiteside, Chase Kuiper, Mason Parker, Carter Cusmano, Zach Penoza, Bryce Parker, Kyle Parker, and Nate Liberty coming back for Coach Gary Fralick. Program strength looks very solid. Troy should be very good next season.

Stoney Creek: It was going to be a very challenging year for the Cougars after making the regional final last season. They struggled with injuries, experience, and consistency this season. Stoney Creek fell to Rochester in the first round. The Cougars won six games this season. They lose five seniors including Gage Beers, Jayson Igwe, Evan Taras and Calvin Becker to graduation. Stoney Creek has Tre Walker, Jonah McKay, Peyton Rummler, Emilio Villafuerte, Tommaso Sinacola, and Jacob Watson coming back. They will have a new coach as Steve Norgrove stepped down from the program. Program strength looks to be solid for the new coach. It could be a transition year for the Cougars next season.

Rochester: It was a great season for the Falcons. Rochester won 15 games and the Blue. They were hit with the injury bug during the middle of the season but got healthier and started to turn things around on route to the Blue crown. The Falcons had to go through their city rivals if they wanted to get to the district finals. Rochester beat Stoney Creek in the first round however they fell to Adams in the district semifinals. They lose Matt Stone, Armann Hussaini, Bryan Zeneli, Louis Bowes, Connor Cracium, and Humzah Abu Shanan to graduation. Rochester has Grant Calcagno, Alex Bueno, Elijah Kalaj, Jaiden Bolden, Khamani Potts, and Joe Lulgjuraj coming back for Coach Nate Evobla. Program strength looks like it’s a question mark this offseason. The Falcons will be a program to watch next season.

Berkley: It was a very interesting season for the Bears which saw a ton of ups and downs. Berkley was in the thick of the Blue until the final weeks of the season. The Bears beat Detroit Mumford in the first round. They fell to Oak Park in the district semifinals. Berkley won 13 games this season. They lose Ben Maurice, Zach Maurice, Jack McClure, Jack Qualman, Zach Vigliotti, Alex Steif, Asa Schnackel, and Issac Schultz to graduation. The Bears have David Rolands, Tamir Runekvich, Jacob Sheriff, Luke Winter, Hunter Robinson, Riley Shafritz, and Ian Smith coming back for Coach Joe Sermo. Program strength looks to be very strong. Berkley should be a force for a while.

Oxford: It was a very challenging season for the Wildcats with everything they went through. Oxford wasn’t expected to go this far into the postseason but they made an incredible run. The Wildcats beat Flint Kearsley in the first round and beat host Davison in the district semifinals. They made the district finals for the first time since 2019 but fell to a very good Grand Blanc program. Oxford won 10 games this season. They lose Alec Brown, Bryce Essman, Mitchell Vivano, Ben Cruz, Jon Aschutto, and Mark Slezak to graduation. The Wildcats have Jake Champagne, Logan Rozanski, Lucas Botette, Dylan Stone, Kyle DiMalanta, Keaton Lynn, and Dominic Cassisee coming back for Coach Steve Laidlaw. Program strength is very solid. Oxford is built for the now and the future. This will be a program to watch.

Seaholm: The Maples had a very interesting season which saw a ton of ups and downs. Seaholm really struggled in non league play where they lost six of their first eight games but when they got into the division things changed. They won six games and were leading the Blue heading into the final week of the season but lost their last two games costing them the division. Seaholm fell to arch rival Groves in the first round. They lose eight players including Jon Chinosis and Ethan Wise to graduation. The Maples have Ben Diskin, Jeff Sheldon, Ricky Sparby, Findlay Sparby, Rishi Thota, and Abe Miller coming back for Coach Mike DeGeeter. Program strength looks to be solid. Seaholm will be fine next season.

Troy Athens: It was a very interesting season for the Red Hawks. Troy Athens won 10 games and earned the second seed in their district after a blowout of Seaholm and a Troy home loss to Lake Orion. The Red Hawks whom lost to the Colts in the regular season also fell to them in the district semifinals. They lose Jonah Botardo, Evan Biber, Christian Jemmoa, Jordan Sebaugh, Havi Kolli, James Russell, Andre Shelton, and Logan Slade to graduation. Troy Athens has Doug Mersier, Evan Colquhoun, Alex Proefke, Kyree Harper, Emmanuel Robinson, and Brogan Withun coming back for Coach Dave Scott. Program strength looks to be solid. The Red Hawks should be a very interesting team to watch next season.

Southfield Arts and Tech: It was a very interesting year for the Warriors. Southfield Arts and Tech lost a lot of proven experience last season. They had a very young team with the majority of Coach Darreylle Buchanan’s roster that were sophomores and juniors. The postseason gave them some confidence despite a struggling season. The Warriors beat Farmington in the first round but they fell to Livonia Stevenson in the district semifinals. Southfield Arts and Tech won eight games this season. They lose Antonio King, Justin Abney, and Jaylin Carpenter to graduation. The Warriors have Greg Davis, Davier Burt, Quantie Pryor, Ethan Taylor, Bryce Hughens, Kayel Sims, Nicholas Hardy, Matt Young, and Juwan Ramsey coming back. Program strength is going to be a major concern. It will be very interesting to see what happens with Southfield Arts and Tech but they should be improved with the experience they have coming back.

Royal Oak: It was a turnaround year for the Ravens. Royal Oak made a ton of noise this season where they snapped a stretch of eight losing seasons. They shared the Gold with Harper Woods but won both meetings over the Pioneers which earned their first outright league crown as one school (were Kimball and Dondero before merging in 2006.) The Ravens fell to a very good Detroit Renaissance program in the first round. Royal Oak won 13 games this season. They lose six seniors including Jessie Hoisington, Jason Gilbert, and Eddy Freytag to graduation. The Ravens have Dylan Hoffman, Davis Arbeiter, and Clark Camden coming back for Coach Aaron Smith. Program strength is a concern next season. It will be very interesting to see how they do as an encore next season.

Harper Woods: It was a transition season for the Pioneers. They had to adjust to a new league along with a new coach. Harper Woods struggled with the coaching and league transition early but they adjusted and made some noise late in the season. The Pioneers shared the Gold with Royal Oak however the Ravens held the tie breaker by winning both meetings. Harper Woods made a ton of noise in the postseason. The Pioneers beat the hosts Eastpointe in the first round. They upset top seed St. Clair Shores South Lake in the district semifinals. Harper Woods beat second seed arch rival Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy in the district finals. The Pioneers fell to Detroit Pershing in the regional semifinals. Harper Woods won 13 games this season. They lose Marquise Kelly, Quincy Dickerson, and Roszell Mathews to graduation. The Pioneers have Julian Young, DeAndre Williams, Isiah Lewis, and Stephone Buford coming back for Coach TaJuan Porter. Program strength looks solid. Harper Woods should be in the mix with the experience coming back and the district title confidence as well. This should be a program to watch in the future for sure.

Ferndale University: It was a much better season for the Eagles. They went winless in 2020-2021. Coach Josh Nicks in his first season turned Ferndale University into a seven win program. They had a chance to win the Gold in the final week of the season but things didn’t fall in place. The Eagles fell to Detroit Jalen Rose Academy in the first round. They lose Aaron Tucker and Antoine Lewis-Hardie to graduation. Ferndale University has Chris Kendrix, Semaj McGee, Rasheed Jones, Semaj Clark, Cordae McAllister, Antoine Owens, Pierce Sanders, Jonathan King, Zakaria Sillah, Antoine Owens, and Damir Orr coming back. Nicks still needs to address program strength. The Eagles are in a much better place than they were last season. Nicks is clearly building something in Ferndale.

Avondale: The Yellow Jackets have really kept improving in each season under Coach Pat Clancy since he arrived from Warren Cousino in 2020. Avondale has had some strong wins which included a regular season victory over Troy. They made some noise in districts even though it was going to be very challenging. The Yellow Jackets beat Waterford Kettering in the first round. They had a really tough time with Clarkston in the district semifinals. Avondale won 10 games this season. They lose Jermaine Crimes, Abe Herrera, Marshall Dennis, and Anthony Howard to graduation. The Yellow Jackets have Malik Adams, Denzel White, Tyler Prentice, Justin Sykes, Terry Daniel, Issac Gordon, DJ White, Darren Pagel, and Jeremiah Phillips coming back. Program strength looks very concerning. Even with the program strength concerns, Clancy has built something in Auburn Hills.

Pontiac: It was a very challenging season for the Phoenix. Pontiac played 10 games this season and won one game. The Phoenix fell to Waterford Mott in the district semifinals in blowout fashion. Pontiac was probably my most disappointing team with the expectations. They lose John Hall to graduation. The Phoenix have Daveon Hall coming back for Coach Dameon O’Neil. Pontiac has a lot of things to address and fix especially when it comes to program strength. The Phoenix will rely on Hall to carry them next season. It will be very interesting to see what happens with Pontiac in the years to come.

MHSAA Making Some Changes

Ferndale falls to Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Around the OAA.

This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.

Friday, March 25, 2022

 

Eagles find similar result from last season in loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Written Friday March 25th at 7:40 PM

Written by Sammy Taormina

Updated Saturday March 26th at 12:00 PM

Turnovers and losing a star player really hurt the Eagles.

The defending Division Two State champs Grand Rapids Catholic Central used a 15-0 third quarter run very similar to their 28-0 run in last season’s game as they beat Ferndale 82-71 for the second straight year on Friday evening in the Division Two State Semifinals at the Breslin Center.

The Eagles had trouble with the Cougars fast break transition and 17 turnovers which resulted in the Grand Rapids Catholic Central student section chanting “just like last year.”

Ferndale fell 81-55 in the same round last season to the Cougars.

Eagles star Jason Drake fouled out late in the third quarter. The Cougars proven experience and depth proved too much for Ferndale.

Treyvon Lewis had 32 points while Drake had 12 points before fouling out late in the third quarter.

Jack Karasinski led Grand Rapids Catholic Central with 34 points and Durral Brooks had 22 points.

Ferndale has had problems playing these type of teams like the Cougars.

It seems like when the Eagles play teams that are as athletically talented as them, along with proven experience, and deeper they tend to struggle which was evident in both meetings against the Cougars.

This season they relied a lot on Drake and Lewis. It got them through the Red, the district, and regional.

It’s very tough to address because Ferndale is not a big school enrollment wise.

You can’t blame Coach Juan Rickman, the players, or Athletic Director Shawn Butler.

They are doing everything they can.

Yes they schedule very tough games, they try to address this issue but it’s very hard and difficult to do.

The players want to play those type of games which is understandable.

Ferndale has a lot of talent coming back next season but losing Drake and Lewis to graduation will be a challenge. It will be a very interesting offseason to see what happens with the Eagles next season.

My suggestion to Rickman if he wants to go this route is to play proven Division Two powers like Grand Rapids Catholic Central and see where they are at. Play them or even Williamston early, see where you at.

The Eagles did beat a proven Division One powerhouse in Muskegon which was huge at the time but playing a team like the Cougars will tell a lot about the program.

Ferndale will be a program to watch next season. They need to address this issue and this is a challenge they need to address.

MHSAA Making Some Changes

Clarkston has their new Football Coach

Around the OAA.

This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Clarkston has their new Football Coach.

Written Wednesday March 23rd at 12:40 AM

Written by Sammy Taormina

The Wolves kept the varsity football coaching job in house.

Clarkston named Justin Pintar as their new varsity football coach on Tuesday night. He replaces Kurt Richardson whom retired after 35 years on the Wolves sideline.

The hire was confirmed by The D-Zone’s Jeff Corriun and retweeted on Twitter by Wolves Athletic Director Jeff Kosin.

Pintar was the offensive line coach under Richardson. He is a teacher at Clarkston High School.

Pintar will have a lot of proven talent coming back in running back Ethan Clark and lineman Cole Dellinger. Also he will have linebackers Nick Waszczenko and Cavanaugh Diton, along with wide receivers Kohl Jarvis and Desman Stephens, and tight end Brady Kosin. The Wolves will have a new quarterback in John Kaul likely taking over the reins this fall.

Richardson said in an interview with MIPrepZone’s Scott Burnstein after he retired that program strength was very strong with Clarkston. The Wolves have a really good freshman class and the rest of the classes aren’t too bad either.

Clarkston opens the season at Davison against the Cardinals. They don’t have a week nine opponent as of yet. The Wolves will be in the Red with Oxford, West Bloomfield, Adams, Stoney Creek, and Lake Orion. They will have non league games against Southfield Arts and Tech and Oak Park.

Pintar is the fourth new coach in the OAA joining Dustyn Truitt (Royal Oak,) Tom Cook (Troy Athens,) and Chris Bell (Lake Orion.)

Thoughts

I really like the Pintar hire. He is a teacher in the school so familiarity is there. The transition should be smooth for the program. I am curious to see what offense Pintar will run if he will keep the RPO (run pass option) offense that has been very successful under Richardson.

The defense will be the question mark for Pintar this upcoming season especially in the secondary.

It will be very interesting to see what happens.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

 

Here is the Tweet confirming the hire from Corriun.

https://twitter.com/TheD_Zone/status/1506418220722499591

MHSAA Making Some Changes

West Bloomfield Girls Basketball Wins State Title

West Bloomfield Wins the Division One State Title in Girls Basketball.

Written Saturday March 19th at 3:20 PM

Written by Sammy Taormina

The West Bloomfield Lakers have had a ton of success in winning State crowns. First it was football and now they have won their first ever State title in Girls Basketball.

The Lakers beat Hartland 51-42 on Saturday afternoon in the Division One State finals. They earned their 25th win and the State crown as well. It was the program’s first State final since 1989.

Coach Darrin McAllister is in his first season with the program has done a great job leading the program to a Red title and a deep postseason run.

Indya Davis had 17 points while Sydney Hendrix had 12 points for West Bloomfield.

Amanda Roach led Hartland with 21 points.

The Lakers controlled tempo from the start and was dominant throughout the game.

West Bloomfield did not make the postseason because of COVID-19 protocol last season. They fell to Hartland in the regional semifinals in 2019 and also in 2020. It was clearly on the mind of those especially who played in that game at Walled Lake Western on that day.

The Lakers lose Myonna Hooper and others to graduation but returns four starters in both Davis sisters and the Hendrix sisters. Destiny Washington has really emerged and could fill that fifth starter roll next season for West Bloomfield.

The Lakers could be right back in East Lansing next season.

Congrats to Coach Darrin McAllister and the Lakers.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

MHSAA Making Some Changes

Girls Basketball Shortcomings

Around the OAA.

This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

 

Girls Basketball Shortcomings.

Written Saturday March 19th at 3:30 PM

Written by Sammy Taormina

It was a great season for the OAA especially when it came to the postseason. There is a Division One State Champ that was crowned, a team that pulled off a huge upset to win a district title, a team that went through two Macomb County powerhouses to get to the quarterfinals, and several schools getting to the regional rounds. Congrats to everyone on a great season. Here are the shortcomings for each program.

West Bloomfield: The Lakers were on a mission toward a Division One State crown this season. They achieved that mission. West Bloomfield won the Red, knocked off Detroit Edison, made their first Division One State final since 1989, and won their first ever Division One State Championship. The Lakers had not lost a Red game in two years. West Bloomfield didn’t play in the postseason because they were in COVID-19 protocol last season. Coach Darrin McAllister has done a great job in his first season with the program winning 25 games. The Lakers State title postseason run went through Groves, Birmingham Marian, Farmington Hills Mercy, Grosse Pointe North, Troy, Rockford, and Hartland in the postseason. They lose Myonna Hooper, Zaneiya Bastiste, Miracle Whitfield, Morgan Shropshire, and Shayanne Taylor to graduation. West Bloomfield has Ava Lord, Gabby Williams, Jaylee Head, Jada Vaughn, Gabrielle Hale, Destiny Washington, Summer Davis, Indya Davis, Kendall Hendrix, and Sydney Hendrix coming back. Program strength is a concern for McAllister. The Lakers should be back in the State title picture again next season.

Clarkston: It was an incredible season for the Wolves. Clarkston won a district crown. They beat their arch rivals Lake Orion in the regional semifinals, and made the regional finals. The Wolves had a chance to beat Hartland but they missed a tough shot at the end which gave the Eagles the 48-46 escape. Clarkston won 17 games for first year Coach Aaron Goodnough. They lose Maddy Skourpski, Izzy Hadley, Kaitlyn Thierry, and Sophia Walker to graduation. Skourpski and Hadley will be very tough to replace however they could be very balanced next season. The Wolves have Keira Tolmie, Emily Valencia, Mia Zorski, Ava Hernandez, Claire Walker, Anna Thomas, Marley Maxur, Wiley Gibbs, Ella Morgner, and Olivia Gray coming back. Program strength looks to be solid. It will be very interesting to see what Clarkston does heading into next season.

Stoney Creek: The Cougars had a really great year winning 14 games. One of those wins came against Grosse Pointe North whom was state ranked at the time. Stoney Creek fell to Lake Orion in the district semifinals. They lose Emma Demetral, Milana Skoric, Mackenzie Walker, Kendall Binfet, Riley Binfet, and Sydney LaPrarie to graduation. The foundation is there for Coach Kellen James. The Cougars have Sarah LaPrarie, Mia Carson, Erin Flynn, Liberty Allen, Lily Solek, and Merrick Schwalbach coming back. Program strength looks very solid. Stoney Creek should be a force to be a recon with next season.

Groves: It was a transition year for the Falcons which saw a new coach take over the program and a ton of changes to the roster and program. Groves won 10 games which included a win over arch rival Seaholm in the first round. The Falcons played a very good West Bloomfield program three times including in the district semifinals. They lose Destiny McCurdy to graduation. Groves has Kaitlyn Sanders, Cira Racco, Cameron Little, Lily Gallagher, Dana Wesley, Ella Blank, Nevaeh McCay, Jean Smith, Payge Charnas, and Kirsten Jasinski coming back for Coach Alison Hidey. Program strength is still a major concern. There are major question marks and concerns for the Falcons heading into next season but for now they seem to be heading in the right direction.

Troy: It was an incredible year and especially in the postseason for Troy. This postseason makes up for all the postseason struggles the program has went through in the last three years (Utica twice and once to Rochester.) The Colts were middle of the pack in the Red but the postseason made up for everything. Troy earned their first ever regional crown and their first district crown since 2001 with wins over arch rival Troy Athens and Macomb County powerhouses Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, St. Clair Shores Lakeview, and Warren Cousino. The Colts fell for the third time to a very talented West Bloomfield program in the State quarterfinals. Troy won 13 games this season. They lose Kendal Zeiter, Charlotte Sobotka, Elena Zesses, Mia Valaotis, and Alyssa Matuza to graduation. The Colts have Lizzie Butzyzk, Avery Allen, Charlotte Guillion, Raegan Zeiter, and Zoe Silver coming back for Coach Julius Porter. Program strength is a concern going forward. Troy will be very young next season but this postseason they will have a ton of great memories. It was a great season for the Colts.

Royal Oak: It was really rough for the Ravens this year with a lot of youth and inexperience. They lost six of their last seven games by less than 12 points each time. Royal Oak played very well defensively against Detroit Renaissance by holding them to 34 points despite falling by 14 points in the district semifinals. The Ravens won three games this season. The foundation is there to build on for next season. Royal Oak has Elly Finch, Anna Waterstredt, Lucy Freytag, Emmy Walden, Izzy Fairless, Alania Morello, Emilee Austin, and Emmy Walden coming back. Program strength looks to be coming back for Coach Brian Sopota. The Ravens should be a very interesting team to watch next season.

Southfield Arts and Tech: The Warriors have had a very inconsistent year. They won five games this season. Southfield Arts and Tech looked very good by blowing out very bad teams and when they play good teams they get blown out. The inconsistency really showed all season including in their postseason loss to Farmington Hills Mercy in the district semifinals. They lose three seniors to graduation. The Warriors have Christian Banks, Kamira Paige, Jordan Ushery, and Jaylin Austin coming back for Coach Shiquita Coltraine. Program strength is a big concern for Southfield Arts and Tech. The Warriors could be in some trouble unless they address program strength and their inconsistent play next season.

Rochester: The Falcons had a great year winning 18 games and the White this season. Rochester could not get past the district for the third time in four years. The Falcons fell to Lake Orion in the district finals. They lose Abby Breitschuch and Lulu Taliercio to graduation. Rochester has a ton proven experience led by their two proven towers in forwards Alice Max and Kiley Robinson along with proven guards in Natalie Rayce, Abbey Pleasant, Ava Williams, Lindsey Gleason, Stevie Norgrove, Alana Webb, Melina Troy, and Trinia Mollicone coming back for Coach Bill Thurston. Program strength looks to be solid for Thurston and his program. The Falcons are in a very good place heading into next season.

Lake Orion: It was a very challenging, tough, but rewarding season for the Dragons. Lake Orion went through a ton of adversity especially early. They won 18 games for the first time since 2009 when they went to the Class A State Semifinals at Eastern Michigan. The Dragons earned their first district crown since 2010 after beating Stoney Creek and Rochester in the district semifinals and finals. Lake Orion fell to a very good Clarkston program in the regional semifinals where they were in the game for three quarters. They lose Olivia Peplowski, Katie Van Heck, Maddie Wolfe, and Kaitlyn Mitchell to graduation. The Dragons have Maddie Ebbert, Kylie Heck, Chloe Wiegers, Taylor Dinda, Jodie McCaffery, Audrey Wischmeyer, Grace Sullivan, Fontana Blackney, Ali May, Bella Gonzales, Ryan Pawlacyzk, and Lexi Stroschein coming back for Coach Bob Brydges. Program strength is very strong. Lake Orion should be a force next season.

Oxford: The Wildcats overcame a ton of adversity this season. They bounced back after a really rough start to win 12 games. The MPR has not been kind since the formula was introduced to the girls basketball world two years ago. Oxford has had to play Grand Blanc in the district semifinals despite having the second best MPR in the district but the matchups were pre determined which the matchups released the week before the end of the regular season. Oxford was behind Davison in the MPR at the time which meant they were the C team in the district and had to play the top seed which was the Bobcats. The Wildcats fell to Grand Blanc for the second straight season. They lose Kayla Casper and Elizabeth Gonzales to graduation. Oxford has Miranda Wynemkio, Peyton Ritcher, Sophia Rabb, Braydee Elling, Alison Huffsteder, and Nevadeh Wood coming back for Coach Rachel Bryer. Program strength looks to be solid. The Wildcats as long as the MPR Gods give them a break should be very good next season.

Berkley: It was a great season for the Bears. Despite the ups and downs they won 13 games in Coach Cody Feltner’s first season. The postseason made up for the inconsistencies they endured this season. Berkley earned the second seed in their district. They beat Detroit Mumford in the district semifinals in a hard fought game. The Bears would send shockwaves through the State when they stunned Division One State finalist Detroit Renaissance in their gym by 20 points in the district finals earning their first ever district crown. Berkley riding with a ton of confidence fell to a very strong Grosse Pointe North program in the regional semifinals. They lose Ashley Loon, Mya Jones, Jillian Gomes and Aurora Sousanis to graduation. The Bears have Maeve Nolan, Sammi Withrow, Ava Beard, Avery Wintergarden, Dakya Cunningham, Addison Hambright, and Maddi Bonsall coming back. Feltner will need to build on program strength for the future. I think with the district crown and the regional semifinal appearance, this sets the program well ahead into the future.

North Farmington: The Raiders had a very interesting year this season. They beat Bloomfield Hills in the first round but fell to a very talented Birmingham Marian program in the district semifinals. North Farmington won 12 games this season after really struggling early. They lose Alyssa Peak, Jenna Lee, and Lucy Lazaryan to graduation. The Raiders have Sela Lefler, Penelope Creary, Eliza Muller, Asiyah Jihad, Sam Hoffer, Amarriah Merriweather, Hannah Hart, and Halee Rogers coming back for Coach Jeff Simpson next season. Program strength is a major concern. North Farmington should be in the mix next season with the experience coming back but if Simpson doesn’t address program strength then it could be a rough few years going forward.

Adams: It was a very interesting year for the Highlanders which saw a lot of change and transition. Adams had a complete culture shock this past offseason. They changed coaches and changed the culture. The Highlanders had things very difficult early but really caught fire late in the season. Adams won seven games this season but fell to a very good Lake Orion program in the first round of districts. They lose Madison Kessman, Emma Klott, and Abbey Drahnak to graduation. The Highlanders have Samantha Blaine, Olivia Marcial, AuJayna Howard, and Taylor Green coming back for Coach Joe Malburg. Program strength is a major concern despite Malburg brining back three programs. Malburg has a ton of questions they need to address this offseason. This will be a program to watch for sure.

Troy Athens: There were a ton of ups and downs for the Red Hawks. They had some expectations coming into the season after their late season success in 2020-2021 which included a upset road victory over Oxford but couldn’t make the postseason because of COVID-19 protocols. Troy Athens won six games which one was over arch rival Troy in December but the Colts got them back in the district semifinals. They lose Gillian Ciak, Bea Cortes, Erin Turnbach, and Cece Fey to graduation. The Red Hawks have Ella Musto, Rebekah Delia, Lily Batzold, Fiona Wingblad, Kayci Mersier, Abby Malone, and Skylar Emerson coming back for Coach Stacie Klumpp. Program strength should be very interesting this offseason. Troy Athens will have to replace some scoring and experience. This will be a program to watch this offseason.

Bloomfield Hills: The Blackhawks were much improved and have gotten better throughout the season. Their record did not show it but they were in a ton of games including their first round postseason loss to North Farmington. Bloomfield Hills has Ashley Forner, Brianna Young, and Ruby Smith coming back. There is a lot of excitement brewing in the future for Coach Kristen Massey moving forward with the foundation in place. Program strength is also on the rise for Massey with three programs. The sky is the limit for the Blackhawks.

Seaholm: It was a very good season for Coach Chris Manchester and the Maples. Seaholm won the Blue with their regular season finale victory over Harper Woods in Wayne County. They fell to arch rival Groves in a very competitive first round district matchup. Seaholm won 15 games this season and is built for now and the future. They lose Kate Sullivan to graduation. The Maples have Shay Manchester, Taylor Hartwig, Lola Weber, Olivia Davis, Kate Anderson, Clara Guffy, Emma Weber, Mary Gumbis, and Annie Boogeren coming back. Program strength looks very solid. Seaholm has to find a way to beat their arch rivals next season to make the next step. The thing that I would like to see Manchester do is expand his program from two to three programs. If you have three programs instead of two the better the program will be. Seaholm should be very good for years to come.

Harper Woods: The Pioneers had a very good season in their first year in the OAA. Harper Woods won 19 games and had a chance to win the Blue but they fell to Seaholm on the final day of the regular season at their home gym. The non league schedule really hurt the Pioneers with playing really bad teams and blowing them out. Harper Woods had a very challenging postseason ahead of them. They were the second seed despite having home court. The Pioneers beat arch rival Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy in the district semifinals in a tough overtime game but fell to top seeded St. Clair Shores South Lake in the district finals. They lose Destiny Bealey and Charita Childs to graduation. Harper Woods has Kendall Kelsey, Mya Duncan, Lauren Peterson, and Cleaira Peterson coming back for Coach Paul Allen. Program strength is a concern. I think with the experience coming back should help but they’ll need to toughen up their non league schedule heading into next season if they want to take the next step as a program.

Farmington: It was a very interesting season in Farmington. The Falcons had a great year winning 13 games. Farmington earned their first district victory since 2010 by beating Redford Thurston in the first round. The Falcons had things going in the right direction but had a really heartbreaking overtime loss to Livonia Stevenson in the district semifinals. They lose eight seniors including Autumn Bartlett, Brielle Burns, and Madelyn Beckwith to graduation. Farmington has Yasmine Thorpe, Jayla Silver, Brooke Farrington, Annalin Nardelli, and Clarissa Hankins coming back for Coach Laura Guzman. Program strength appears to be solid. The Falcons have to replace a lot of experience but they should be back in the mix again next season.

Avondale: The Yellow Jackets had a very interesting year. They had a ton of ups and downs and injuries hurt them early this season. Avondale beat Pontiac in the first round but fell to Waterford Kettering in the district semifinals. The Yellow Jackets won 10 games with many of those wins coming late in the season. They lose Regian Lawrence and Savannah Schmidt to graduation. The Yellow Jackets have Lily Titus, Madison Menyweathers, Khila Bradley, Amaria Daniels, Takera Williams, and Kaliyah Carroll coming back for Coach Roy Christmon. Avondale needs to address program strength heading into next season. They will need someone to step up with Schmidt and Lawrence graduating.

Ferndale University: The Eagles have had a ton of ups and downs this season but they are always there ready to compete. There were some games that they looked very good and there were some games that they really struggled especially in the Blue. Ferndale University won 10 games this season with most of them coming against non league teams. The Eagles beat arch rival Ferndale in the district semifinals. Ferndale University fell to a very talented Birmingham Detroit Country Day program in the district finals. Coach Desdan Hester has built a very good program at Ferndale University with the limited numbers they have. The Eagles have adjusted to life in the OAA pretty well. Program strength is a concern. It will be very important for Hester to keep the program heading in the right direction. If they want to take the next step as a program they need to be in contention for a league title and pick up wins in league. They can’t rely on non league games to carry the team, they have to win games in league.

Pontiac: It was a very interesting first year for Coach Rawelle Marshall and the Phoenix. Pontiac won five games this season after not having a program in 2020-2021. They should be improved next season. The Phoenix will need to build program strength which will be a challenge for Marshall with Pontiac.

Ferndale: It was a very rough season for the Eagles in what will still be a very tough rebuild for Coach Al Katolla. Ferndale beat Oak Park on the last day of the regular season. The victory over the Knights gave his players some confidence heading into the future. The Eagles fell to arch rival Ferndale University in the district semifinals. They don’t lose anyone to graduation. Ferndale has Jada Buchanan, Jalia Martin, Jayla Pouncey, Tarriyah Early, Briunna Young, Angel Ajonuma, and Jewell Marsh coming back next season. Katolla needs to keep building the program to get back to stability. Wins and program development will be key for the Eagles next season.

Oak Park: It was a very rough year for the Knights and Coach Chantelle Corson. They won two games and fell to Detroit Mumford in the first round. Oak Park was very young this season to their defense. They need to find some scoring next season. If they can repeat that same magic that they had under former coach Peggy Evans-Carr then they can turn this thing around and quickly.