Thursday, February 28, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Thursday
Well, Thursday marked the end of a couple of roads. One it was the last day of February and two, it was the last night of meaningful boys basketball games around the state. There might be some makeup games tomorrow or Saturday, but it's pretty much on to the playoffs with most everyone done with the regular season. In honor of that, here are Kosmo's 3 stars for the last night of the regular season for boys basketball.
Akhemji Williams, Rochester Adams - It doesn't get much more historic than a perfect regular season and it doesn't get much better than what Williams has done of late. He was at it again, scoring 30 points in a win over Athens that gave Adams a 20-0 regular season. Wow to both the team and Williams.
Paris Bass, Birmingham Sesholm - Kosmo admits he thought Lahser had an outright OAA Blue title in the bag. But Bass scored 18 points and helped lead a furious second half comeback to help Seaholm knock off the Knights, who had to share the league title with Lake Orion.
Kyle Ervin, Birmingham Groves - Like Groves, Kosmo is wondering how different the outcome of the first meeting with Stoney Creek would've been had Ervin not been injured. Ervin was the star of the rematch at Groves on Thursday, collecting 20 points and 14 rebounds and making all the key plays down the stretch. He put his team on his back and led the Falcons to a 58-52 win and a share of the OAA Gold crown. What a star he has been all year
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Monday
Forgive Kosmo for being so late with this but the first night of the girls basketball and hockey playoffs were so riveting that the K-Man needed about 15 hours of sleep to recover. But better late than never Kosmo wants to hand out his 3 stars for Monday's prep action. Before he does, Kosmo needs to once again gloat. He warned everyone how "Someone is Goin'Down!" and it happened with Waterford Mott's upset of Kettering. Never underestimate the power of the slogan. No on to the stars.
Lauren Hung, Waterford Mott girls basketball - This girls sure has gotten even better this year, hasn't she? She scored 21 points in that 41-38 upset of Kettering, which best Mott three times during the regular season. But as they say, Mott won the game that mattered most.
Grant Luzynski, Walled Lake Northern hockey - So how about a 5OT game to start the state tournament, huh? Northern managed to prevail 4-3 thanks in big part to Luzynski, who made 55 saves, 31 of which came in the overtimes. He also stopped a penalty shot. Two words: Brick wall.
Mallory Slicker, Walled Lake Central skiing - This may be the first time Kosmo has ever given recognition to a skier, but Slicker is deserving of being the first. Despite competing with a torn MCL and being in pain, Slicker won the giant slalom state title at the Division 1 finals and took fourth in the slalom. If only Kosmo had that sort of courage and athleticism on a good knee
Monday, February 25, 2013
Ultimate redemption story
For the second time in three years, the Division 1 state wrestling finals came down to the final match on Saturday in Battle Creek.
And also for the second time in three years, the last wrestler to take the mat for Novi Detroit Catholic Central was Evan Toth.
Two years ago as a freshman, Toth took to the mat with Catholic Central holding a two-point lead over Oxford, but ended up losing a decision that gave Oxford a one-point win and the state title.
Can you imagine what Toth was feeling when he once again was put in that position this past Saturday against Davison and Catholic Central trailing the match, 26-23?
Kosmo isn't sure, but he also can't imagine what Toth was feeling when he was down 9-2 and it appeared as if for the second time in his high school career he would lose the final match that decided a state title.
But in a brilliant maneuver (Kosmo saw the highlights in his cave), Toth took the Davison wrestler down to the mat with his arm, put him in a headlock and pinned him to complete an incredible comeback and give Catholic Central a 29-26 victory.
What a great feeling for that kid.
It doesn't get much better than that, and Kosmo doesn't care what happens the rest of this year in prep sports. There can't be a better story of redemption than that.
- Kosmo also wants to send his condolences out to Clarkston head coach Dan Fife and his family over the passing of "Papa" Fife the other day. No doubt, "Papa" Fife was as supportive and as important a part of the success of not only Dan over the years, but sons Dugan, Dane and Jeremy. Rest in peace and he'll be smiling down on Clarkston from up above now.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Feb. 22
Well as Kosmo wrote about on Friday in the paper and online, we've reached the finish line of the regular season for girls basketball teams around the state. Coaches and players are now gearing up for the start of the playoffs on Monday, so congrats on a great regular season and good luck to all.
The same goes for boys teams in their last week of the regular season next week. Both boys and girls players had tremendous performances during Friday's game, and as he often does, Kosmo is here to present his 3 stars for Friday night.
Arben Camaj, Rochester — So think the Falcons are completely dead without James Young? People forget they have an inside force in Camaj, who stepped up to the tune of 20 points in a win over Troy Athens. This kid is a player and hopefully he'll get more recognition.
Kristen Massey, Novi Franklin Road Christian — For those who think Massey feasts on small Class D schools, she scored 22 points in a game against a bigger Class C school, Madison Heights Bishop Foley.
Dan Fife, Clarkston — Yes, he's a legendary coach and not a player, but all condolences go out to him and his family after his father passed away just hours before Friday's win against Pontiac. Fife felt it was better to be around his players and team as a way to deal with the loss and he deserves a lot of praise for his fortitude and loyalty.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Tuesday
Sorry for the tardiness, but it was a little cold in the cave last night and Kosmo had to deal with some heating issues. But your seer is thawed out now and ready to give out his 3 stars for Tuesday night's basketball games.
Amber Jamison, Rochester Adams - One of the more promising sophomores in the county showed why again in a win over Farmington, collecting 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for the Highlanders. Keep an eye out for her for the next couple of years.
Derek Blunden, South Lyon East - This could be given to the entire East team, which finally got one in the win column after a frustrating season. Blunden was a big reason why as he scored 23 points. Way to go Cougars. Kosmo knew you would break the hex at some point.
Charity Godbold, Southfield Christian - It seems as if Godbold has been a regular fixture in Kosmo's 3 stars all season, and here she is again. She scored 32 points for the Eagles against Allen Park Inter-City Baptist to continue an amazing season.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Good changes to Prep Kickoff Classic
There was a lot of controversy last August with the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University, since there was complaints about the ticket prices, games that took way longer than expected and backed start times of other games up and of course, a couple of fights that scared a lot of people when Cass Tech and Brother Rice played on a Saturday night.
However, none of that has stopped the event from returning to Wayne State, which it will in August.
There have been some tweaks, and Kosmo likes them. There will be only six games, with two games taking place on Thursday, Aug. 29, Friday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Aug. 31.
The start times are 4 and 7 p.m. for Thursday and Friday games and 1:30 and 5:30 for Saturday, so that should mean games that aren't delayed and also less chance of any trouble taking place.
As for the high ticket prices? Well, that unfortunately won't change but maybe Kosmo will be pleasantly surprised.
Oakland County will also be well represented with Oak Park playing Orchard Lake St. Mary's at 4 p.m. on Friday and Southfield taking on Detroit Cass Tech after that at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Brother Rice will play at 1:30 on Saturday against Cleveland St. Ignatius.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Friday
A day after Valentine's Day, Kosmo is hear to give out some love. No, it's not in the form of chocolates, roses or other gifts, but rather it's giving out some love to area high school basketball players.
Two of them to be exact, along with a special star Kosmo will recognize tonight. As for who they are, drum roll please.
Jordan Dasuqi, Clarkston - Kosmo predicted a Clarkston home win over Southfield on Friday and he was dead on thanks to Dasuqi, who led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds. The Wolves are rounding into form and on way to yet another league title.
Amber Thomas, Madison Heights Madison - Magic Johnson, eat your heart out. The king of triple-doubles would be proud of the performance turned in by Thomas, who had 20 points, 13 steals and 10 rebounds in a 53-32 win over Clintondale.
Joe Mahan, Ferndale - No, this isn't a basketball player, but this is special exception. For those who don't know, Mahan might be the most legendary PA announcer to ever reside in Oakland County. He's been the "Voice of the Eagles" at Ferndale and an administrator/athletic supporter for 65 years and was rightfully honored by the school on Friday. The 86-year old Mahan couldn't attend because he's recovering from a heart attack, but he's a living legend and one of Kosmo's all-time favorites. Well deserved and get well soon, Joe.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Feb. 12
While pretty much most of the state was focused on a college basketball game in East Lansing, Kosmo was busy on Tuesday seeing what was going on around Oakland County on another full night of hoops. The full nights of the regular season are starting to wind down, so hopefully everyone else can smell the playoffs like Kosmo is.
Kosmo also is smelling his 3 stars for Tuesday night's games.
Paris Bass, Birmingham Seaholm - Kosmo isn't sure what happened to Bass to where he was suspended for the Lahser game a couple of weeks ago, but it sure sounds like he learned his lesson. He had 34 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Troy Athens.
Nicole Solakian, Novi - The Wildcats have been a true definition of a team all season with new contributors stepping up every night. In Tuesday's win over Livonia Franklin, it was the turn of Solakian, who scored 24 points.
Katie Stewart, Bloomfield Hills Lahser - Kosmo wants to know what Stewart ate for her pregame meal, because he wants that same food. Stewart was incredible in a win over Hazel Park, collecting 37 points, nine rebounds, nine steals and five assists. She was a rebound, a steal and five assists away from a quadruple-double. Wow.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Sad demise of a traditionally great program
It's almost Valentine's Day, but right now, Kosmo's heart is breaking.
No, it's not because Mrs. Koz is demanding too much for Valentine's Day or is ripping his forecasts every day (although she sometimes has reason to, ha-ha), but instead Kosmo's heart is bleeding because it appears the glory days of a once proud basketball city are over.
What has happened to Pontiac basketball? Yes, the new Academy For Excellence is enjoying a nice season, but Kosmo can't believe what's going with with Pontiac High at the moment.
The Phoenix are struggling, having only won one game in OAA Red play and losing games even at home.
North Farmington is a good team every year, but to be down by almost 30 points at home to the Raiders?
That is something Kosmo thought he would never see around Pontiac.
The biggest culprit is that the school district is losing enrollment like crazy, so there's less talent in the pool to draw from.
Still, Kosmo thought there was so much depth in the city that even that wouldn't hinder Pontiac from being a good team each year.
Sadly, that doesn't appear to be the case and Kosmo is worried that good basketball in the city of Pontiac could be permanently extinct.
If that happens, than Kosmo would really be heartbroken.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Feb. 7 and 8
As Kosmo feared in his forecast of Friday games, the big winner on Friday was Mother Nature. Because of all the snow that wiped out school for just about every district in the area, it also led to mass cancellations. Fortunately, this was the first big night of cancellations. If the first big one of the year is on Feb. 8, we've done pretty good.
Anyway, due to the lack of activity on Friday, Kosmo is combining Thursday and Friday's games into his 3 stars selections for the night.
Dominique Zigo, Lakeland - Well, Waterford Kettering's make up game against Walled Lake Northern is meaningless now, because the Captains are KLAA North champions after Lakeland's upset win over Walled Lake Western. The big reason was Zigo, who scored 17 points.
Kyle Ervin, Birmingham Groves - This was one from Thursday night. Once again, Ervin showed why he is one of the most underrated players in the county, scoring 26 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in a win over Royal Oak.
Sam Moore, Southfield - Kosmo didn't know much about Moore before Thursday, but he does now after what he did against rival Lathrup on Thursday. Moore came off of the bench to score 25 points to help the Bluejays stay atop the standings in the OAA Red.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Feb. 5
Well, Tuesday could be considered upset night.
With the Oxford and Walled Lake Western girls and the Waterford Mott boys all losing at home, they all fell out of first place ties in their respective leagues.
It looks like March Madness is starting a month early.
There were a ton of games played on Tuesday, so choosing just 3 stars will be difficult. But here it goes.
Lauren Hung, Waterford Mott — Was this a great win for the Corsairs or what? Thanks to 20 points, five steals and five rebounds from Hung, Mott upset Walled Lake Western and knocked it out of a first place tie in the KLAA North, meaning Waterford Kettering is in the driver's seat now.
T.J. Warren, Walled Lake Central — Spy Jeff Dullack couldn't have put it any better. Warren had ice water in his veins, hitting the game winning shot at the buzzer from behind the 3-point line to give the Vikings an incredible 51-48 win in overtime over Walled Lake Northern. It clinched at least a share of the KLAA North title for Central entering Friday's home game with Waterford Mott.
Micaela Ellis, Ferndale - Well, we know who the class of the OAA Blue is now. It's Ferndale, which seized control of the league with a 62-42 rout of Royal Oak. Ellis was a big reason why, scoring 22 points for Ferndale. The girl can play, no doubt.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Hidden gems on signing day
Unless you live under rock (or an adjacent cave to Kosmo without oxygen), you probably know that one of the most important days of the year is upon us as national signing day is on Wednesday for athletes in football, soccer and track and field/cross country.
Kosmo's spies are working tirelessly to compile the list of signees that'll run online and in Thursday's paper, and your seer is here to offer a few players who Kosmo thinks will shine at the next level despite being lightly regarded.
Anthony Darkangelo, Novi Detroit Catholic Central - Kosmo still can't figure out why more schools went after him. He goes 100 percent all the time and does everything well on the field. He's got the heart of a champion and if he was one of the top players to ever play at Catholic Central, he'll be a top player at Ferris State. No doubt, the folks in Big Rapids got a steal.
Chris Calvano, Clarkston - Quite possibly one of the more underrated players in the entire county, Calvano is a tackling machine that has committed to Grand Valley State. He was one of the central figures on a solid Clarkston defense and will do well at the next level in Kosmo's opinion.
Isaiah Gourdine, Farmington - Gourdine recently switched his commitment to Bowling Green when Butch Jones left Cincinnati for Tennessee, and he could end up being one of the top corners in the MAC in a couple of years. Kosmo loved following him at Farmington and he turned down bigger schools to play at Bowling Green.
Griffin Anderson, Brother Rice - Without question, Anderson was one of the top reasons why Brother Rice repeated as state champions. He became the team's top offensive lineman and a reason why the running game was so effective. He will sign with Pennsylvania, which has to be doing backflips it got a player like this.
Jake Slobin, Farmington Hills Harrison - It took a little while for Slobin to land a college opportunity, but he's not surprised Grand Valley State swiped him up. He was one of the toughest two-way lineman in the state the past three years and will bring his non-stop motor to the Lakers program.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for Feb. 1
Well in a few hours the groundhog will appear and find out if he sees his shadow. We'll find out how much more winter we have as a result (OK, Kosmo knows it's a fixed time regardless, but have some fun and play along with the little rodent). One thing Kosmo knows is that with Groundhog Day arriving, the state playoffs aren't that far off.
The regular season is getting into the homestretch, and your seer is getting really excited.
Evidently, so are players around the county since there were more great individual performances on Friday night. Here are Kosmo's 3 stars.
Caitlin Crowley, Walled Lake Northern — The Knights might not be doing great as a team, but boy is Crowley getting it done individually. One of the county's best-kept secrets, she scored 20 points in a win over Lakeland.
Sam Orley, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood — Kosmo loves great all-around performances, and Orley turned in one against Riverview Gabriel Richard, going for 18 points and 15 rebounds for Cranbrook.
Becky VanSloten, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian - This is a frontcourt player who just flat out gets it done night in and night out. VanSloten willed her team to a win over Southfield Christian, posting 25 points and 17 rebounds for the Lancers.
Big Saturday on tap
The calendar has turned to February, which means the light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnels for winter sports since the postseason for those sports aren't too far off after a long regular season.
Saturday is probably the first sign of that since it's going to be a big day for various sports.
Here are the big events that are happening.
- The Oakland County boys swim meet is going to be taking place at Lake Orion High School and as traditionally the case, it'll likely be the Birmingham Invitational with Brother Rice and Seaholm the favorites.
- League wresting tournaments. With districts ready to start on Wednesday, just about every league will have their year-end tournamens on Saturday. The one Kosmo is most excited about is the OAA Red/White tournament at Oxford, which will feature county powers Oxford, Rochester and Clarkston.
- Area hockey teams will also have a big Saturday with the annual OAA/MAC showcase taking place at the Onyx in Rochester. Kosmo wishes more sports would have such invites pitting the best in Oakland and Macomb Counties and it should be a fun day.
It doesn't get better than all this activity on Saturday, and it should excite people waiting for the postseason for winter sports to arrive.