Saturday, January 30, 2010
Local players announced as All-Stars
With national signing day on Wednesday, it's appropriate that some of the best high school football players in the area got some good news by being named to play in the Michigan High School Football All-Star game.
The game will take place June 19 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Congrats go out to Justin Cherocci of Birmingham Brother Rice, D.J. Cook of Farmington Hills Harrison, Rob Feeman of Clarkston, Dana Harris of Madison Heights Madison, Bryan Haslinger of Clarkston, Gary Hunter of Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Matt Judon of West Bloomfield, Mike Kinville of Novi Detroit Catholic Central, D.J. Lynch of Auburn Hills Avondale, Jason Ray of Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Jordan Sanders of Rochester Adams, Mike Schiano of Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Ben Walker of Lake Orion and Bobby Wunderlich of Troy, all of whom will play for the East squad.
All these players represented Oakland County well this past fall, and all will no doubt do the same this summer in East Lansing.
— The basketball upset of the night on Friday came courtesy of the Troy girls team, which recorded a big win at Pontiac. The Phoenix were coming off a win over Rochester on Tuesday, snapping the Falcons' six-game winning streak in the process, and were tied for second in the OAA Red standings. But the Colts went into the Sy Green gymnasium and took care of business.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Quick turnaround in Lake Orion
Of all the scores from high school boys basketball games that Kosmo saw the in the paper this morning, the most surprising was the score between Lake Orion and Rochester Adams. It wasn't necessarily because Lake Orion won, after all, anything can happen when a team plays at home. Rather, it was Lake Orion's record. Last year, the first year of the post-Drew Maynard era, the Dragons won just three games. Kosmo didn't expect a whole lot out of them this year, but first year coach Mike Shafkalis has done a terrific job. Lake Orion is 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the OAA White this year, and they way its playing, is rightfully harboring league title hopes.
Lake Orion will play league-leader Birmingham Seaholm at home next month and is playing with a lot of confidence.
That's certainly something Kosmo didn't expect.
- Kosmo would like to make a correction to something he put in his Friday picks column. He said the Walled Lake Central boys basketball team lost to Hartland on Friday. In fact, the Vikings won pretty handily. My deepest apologies to the Vikings and coach Denny Butcher. I guess all this cold must have fogged up Kosmo's memory inside his paper bag.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Interesting adjustment for hockey teams
It's come to Kosmo's attention that this year there has been a change for area hockey teams this season as it relates to time.
Instead of 15-minute periods, there are now three, 17-minute periods in high school hockey games.
Also, some leagues have instituted overtime for regular season games. From a media/seer perspective, Kosmo doesn't like these changes.
It's already difficult enough to get out and report on high school hockey games with them taking place so late on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Add six minutes at the very least to the games, and it makes it even harder.
Kosmo isn't sure what it's doing for the players and coaches either. Why 17 minutes? Where did people get that figure from? Why not 18 minutes, or 19:25?
It just seems like an unusual number. Hopefully hockey teams are liking it and benefiting from it, even if it makes no sense to Kosmo
Monday, January 25, 2010
Big one at Sy Green gym
Kosmo has to admit that as of a couple of weeks ago, a girls basketball matchup between Rochester and Pontiac wouldn't mean that much.
The Falcons were struggling with injuries and getting adapted to a new coach, while Pontiac was trying to overcome a rough non-league season.
Well, lo and behold, the matchup between the Falcons and Phoenix and Pontiac on Tuesday will be mighty important.
If Rochester wins, it moves into a first-place tie with North Farmington in the OAA Red. If Pontiac wins, the Phoenix will go to .500 on the season and be tied for second place in the league with Rochester and Lathrup.
It should be a fun night at the legendary spot known as the Sy Green gymnasium.
— Another big game to watch out for is in the OAA Blue, where Birmingham Seaholm will play at Bloomfield Hills Andover in a game that'll have serious league-title ramifications. Andover is led by senior point guard Lena Thomas, while Seaholm is led by a foreign-exchange student from Finland, Katti Karkkainen.
— Beyond Birmingham Detroit Country Day, there a couple of other schools that are having a lot of fun right now, since both the boys and girls basketball teams are good. North Farmington has a girls team that is tied for first in the OAA Red and has one of the state's most exciting boys players, Kyle Vinales. Oh, and the Raider boys won at Clarkston on Friday. The other school that's doing well in both boys and girls hoops right now is Novi. Each is in contention for KLAA Central titles and are a combined 17-3 on the season.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Kosmo doesn't know how many overtime games have been held around the county in boys and girls basketball games, but whatever the total is, a majority of it had to come on Friday night in was an incredible string of close games.
Overall, four games were decided in an extra period, with the most thrilling being a girls basketball game at Lakeland.
The Eagles and Waterford Mott went to three overtimes in a battle of the what might be the two best teams in the KLAA North before Lakeland prevailed, in the process handing Mott it's first loss of the season.
The most surprising overtime game and eventual upset came at Clarkston, where North Farmington did what Kosmo can't recall any OAA Red team doing the last couple of years, which was win at Clarkston.
Even though leading scorer Kyle Vinales only had 11 points, the Raiders still prevailed in overtime, 42-40.
That no doubt had to make Tom Negoshian happy.
Another overtime game was held at Berkley, where the host Bears handed another loss to what's a reeling Troy team, 72-68.
Finally, Holly and Oxford played a thrilling overtime game at Oxford, won by Holly, 79-75. The Bronchos and Wildcats combined to score 56 points in the fourth quarter in what had to have been a thriller.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
If there's one sport Kosmo both stinks at and loves at the same time, it's bowling. It doesn't matter if he throws more gutter balls than strikes or alleys are way too smoky, either.
Kosmo loves bowling, and over the past few years, has gotten even more into high school bowling.
It's the fastest growing high school sport in Michigan, and the best part is you don't have to be a certain height to bowl, unlike other sports. Anybody can do it.
Also, the sport is surprisingly intense. Lots of crowds gather around lanes and bowlers rightfully fist pump and scream like crazy when they get a strike.
It's a lot of excitement and tension all in one, believe it or not.
There figures to be lots of that going on this weekend with both the Oakland County boys and girls tournaments taking place.
The boys tournament will be on Saturday and Fairlanes Bowl in Madison Heights, while the girls event is slated for Sunday at Drakeshire Lanes in Farmington.
Kosmo's spies will be on hand at both, and your seer is looking forward to the results.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Of all the boys basketball teams that Kosmo thought would be playing well in January, one of them was not Birmingham Brother Rice.
But it's an understatement to say that the Warriors are on a roll right now. Not only has Brother Rice won three straight games in the Catholic League Central, but they've won all of them on the road, doing so at Orchard Lake St. Mary's, at Novi Detroit Catholic Central and at Warren De La Salle, no less.
Brother Rice got off to a slow start, mainly because their key players were just getting into basketball mode after starring during the fall season in other sports. Kevonte Martin-Manley helped lead Brother Rice to the state football semifinals, while Adam Gorski led Brother Rice to the Division 1 state soccer title.
Martin-Manley has especially been on a tear lately, scoring 25 points against St. Mary's and 34 against Catholic Central.
- Speaking of the Catholic League, maybe Kosmo spoke too soon about Orchard Lake St. Mary's. In Tuesday's column, he expressed that the Eaglets are struggling more than he can ever recall. Well, St. Mary's responded with a big win over Detroit U-D Jesuit in overtime.
- Pontiac must not have been happy about Sunday's home loss in the Martin Luther King Classic to Detroit MidTown. The Phoenix responded with their first OAA Red win of the year, a 61-46 win over North Farmington. Pontiac held Kyle Vinales to just 13 points, well below his season average.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Arguments for and against Country Day moving to Class A
It's been a much-talked about issue for say, oh, 20 years or so regarding the Birmingham Detroit Country Day girls basketball team?
Why don't the Yellowjackets move up from Class B to Class A?
After all, every year they're arguably the best team in the state regardless of class.
So far this year, Country Day has proven to be just that.
Not only is Country Day unbeaten, but three of those wins have come against some of the best Class A teams in the state, Detroit Renaissance, East Lansing and Saginaw Arthur Hill.
East Lansing and Renaissance in fact are the state's top two teams in Class A.
It's a valid point, and no doubt Country Day would have Class A state championship banners hanging had it decided to move up at one point in the recent past.
However, there is one argument Kosmo can offer for Country Day staying in Class B: Sometimes the best teams in the state are in Class B.
That has been the case over the years, with Flint Powers earlier this decade and Detroit Community as recently as two years ago being among the state's best regardless of class.
For that, maybe it's been better that Country Day has stayed in Class B.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Ganfield will be missed
Kosmo was both sad and glad to hear the news come out that Pontiac football Greg Ganfield will leave the program and become the new head coach at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central.
It's good that Ganfield has an opportunity to be in coaching, but obviously a sad thing for the city of Pontiac and Pontiac High School.
In his only year at the helm of the Phoenix, Ganfield did a wonderful job both uniting the kids on Central and Northern High Schools after the merger and orchestrating a successful season.
Pontiac made the playoffs and hosted a playoff game for the first time in 10 years. He specializes in bringing inner-city teams together and creating a winning atmosphere, and he also was an honest and accountable man.
He'll definitely be missed, but Kosmo wishes him the best of luck at Forest Hills Central.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
OLSM's Thomas decommits
National signing day for football players around the country is three weeks away, and one of the area's most-sought after recruits is a sought-after recruit again.
Orchard Lake St. Mary's senior linebacker/defensive back Earnest Thomas, who had a sensational senior season, has decommitted from UCLA and is opening up his search again. Thomas cited a desire to stay closer to home, so the next three weeks should be interesting as schools around the state and midwest try and woe a commitment from him.
There was also some news regarding what could be the next great defensive player at St. Mary's, sophomore linebacker James Ross.
Last week, Ross was named a second-team All-American player by maxpreps.com, quite an honor for a sophomore
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Good news for Country Day
The Birmingham Detroit Country Day boys basketball team has a lot going for it this year with an unbeaten record and a Mr. Basketball candidate in Ray McCallum, but the Yellowjackets had a major scare on Friday in a win over Roseville.
Junior center Amir Williams, who has played extremely well this season, left the game with a knee injury after a teammated rolled onto his leg underneath the basket.
It was feared that Williams was lost for the season, but he should only miss a month with a sprained ligament.
That's good news for Country Day, which should get Williams back in plenty of time before the playoffs.
- There was another injury that hit an unbeaten team on Friday, as Clawson lost four-year standout Rob Feeman to a shoulder injury in its win over Clinton Township Clintondale. It's uncertain as of now how long Feeman will be out. Feeman was also the starting quarterback on the football team and an important member of the school's baseball team.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thomas steps down at West Bloomfield
West Bloomfield is searching for a new football coach after James Thomas decided to step down after three successful seasons on the job.
Under his guidance, the Lakers had two winning seasons and made only their second playoff appearance in school history in 2008.
Thomas also had a successful run at Pontiac Northern earlier this decade, so Kosmo gives him kudos on what he did at West Bloomfield and wishes him the best of luck in the future.
As for who will succeed Thomas, Kosmo knows of a perfect candidate. He's a bright, personable, energetic coach who works well with kids. He was a valuable assistant for him, has the same last name and has the same initials. That's all Kosmo will say for now.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Scoring binges galore
The boys basketball season is not even a month old, yet there already have been high-scoring performances not normally seen in one season.
In particular, two players have gone off on multiple nights, those being Kyle Vinales of North Farmington and Richaud Pack of Birmingham Seaholm.
Vinales already has scored 40 points or more in two games this year and 35 in another. Pack scored 45 points in a game against West Bloomfield in December before taking it to a new level against Troy on Tuesday, pouring in a sickly 56 points in a 95-71 Seaholm win.
In addition, Carlton Brundidge of Southfield scored 32 points in the second half alone during a 69-61 win over archrival Southfield-Lathrup on Tuesday, while Brandon Carlson of Waterford Kettering scored 32 points in a win over Rochester last month.
Given there's still over half the season left to be played, all Kosmo can say is that it should be a fun regular season.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Starting off 2010 right
If you're a fan of boys basketball like Kosmo is, especially rivalry games, then there can't possibly be a better way to start off 2010 than what will take place on Tuesday.
There are a handful of rivalry games on the slate for Tuesday, meaning teams had pretty much the entire break to prepare for the other. There are three games in particular that have Kosmo's attention.
— Pontiac at Clarkston. With the Pontiac schools now merged, this is will be the first installment of what Kosmo guarantees will be the best boys basketball rivalry in Oakland County. There were always classic battles between Clarkston and Pontiac Northern and Clarkston and Pontiac Central, and the twice annual matchups between Clarkston and Pontiac should keep basketball fans warm every winter. The people in Clarkston will have to get used to seeing Pontiac in purple, but the same great basketball should take place.
— Southfield-Lathrup at Southfield. This game will be played at 4 p.m., so there should be a lot of excitement right after the school bell rings. It'll be a matchup of teams with two Big Ten players, Iowa-bound Roy Marble of Southfield-Lathrup and Michigan-bound Carlton Brundidge of Southfield. Should be an electric atmosphere and great game.
— Rochester Adams at Rochester. The first of two regular season meetings between the rivals will be the only one that takes place in a high school building, since the other will be the annual "Crosstown Showdown" game at Oakland University. Neither team played over the break, so they've had plenty of time to prepare for each other. Look for Adams point guard Joey Dillon to be the difference as he usually is for Adams, which will play at its other city rival, Stoney Creek, on Friday.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Kosmo is happy to report that he survived his New Year's Eve celebration, although it wasn't the most exciting function he went too, as he'll explain in his Tuesday picks column.
Anyway, Kosmo is happy to be back on the blogging scene after a holiday break, and he was pleasantly surprised by two developments in particular that occurred over the break.
One, Birmingham Brother Rice senior football player Kevonte Martin-Manley received and accepted a scholarship offer from Iowa. It was great to hear because he's just an explosive playmaker that Kosmo felt he deserved a little something better than Bowling Green.
Second, Kosmo was happy to see Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes junior point guard Lauren Robak returned from a broken hand.
Now that she's back, look for the Lakers to get on a roll the rest of the season, one that could possible carry them to the Breslin Center in March.