Detroit Catholic League final: OLSM wins the championship, 68-48
After finishing third in the tough Catholic League Central Division basketball race, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s acquitted themselves well once the Bishop tournament began.
The Aiglons used a balanced offense Saturday night to beat Novi Detroit Catholic Central for the third time this season, 68-48, at Eastern Michigan University’s George Gervin GameAbove Center.
Four players scored in double figures as the Aiglons (15-4) won their 11th Catholic League title in school history. Duquesne-led lead point guard Kareem Rozier led the way with 17 points, while West Michigan-bound JaVaughn Hannah added 16.
“I just knew my time was coming, I was at fault the first two quarters and didn’t play as much so I had energy,” said Rozier, who scored 11 points in the third quarter. highlighted by three 3-pointers. “I was ready to play the third and it just so happened that those shots went in and we came out victorious.”
Freshman guard Trey McKenney also did his part with 14 points, while 6-foot-7 senior center DeCorion Temple, who heads to Central Michigan to play football, gave OLSM a shot. inch to add 13.
“That’s the beauty of it,” Rozier said. “We have so many weapons. That’s what I like when I have so many people around me because I like involving my guys. It makes me feel better. I like that more than scoring. Having these guys around me makes me even more dominant.
OLSM, which appears to be peaking at just the right time ahead of the Division 1 state tournament, now earns a spot in next Friday’s “Operation Friendship” game at Calihan Hall against Detroit Public School League champion Detroit. King (18-1).
“I think we’ve started to come together and do what we do at St. Mary’s, which is defend, rebound and push the ball,” OLSM coach Todd Covert said. . “I think we played pretty well tonight.”
And although forward Jack Crighton only scored two runs, the 6-foot-4 senior traveling to Michigan to play baseball once again proved his worth.
“Jack never gets credit for anything,” Covert said. “He scores anything, four or five points per game. The kid probably just locked up one of the best shooters in the state (TJ Nadeau). But it was teamwork tonight. I just wanted to say something about him because he does so many things that people don’t recognize. I’m happy for our seniors, and he’s a senior.
Trailing by 16 at halftime, CC tried to make it a game by hitting nine of 15 shots from the field while cutting the deficit to eight. But Rozier helped offset the Shamrocks’ rally by scoring 11 points to keep the Aiglons ahead 51-39 after three quarters.
McKenney had two shots to start the fourth to put the Aiglons up 17 and the Shamrocks never got closer to 12 the rest of the way.
Freshman Sharod Barnes’ 13-foot jumper with a second left gave St. Mary’s a 17-11 advantage after one period despite the Eagles making just seven of 18 shots from the floor.
CC made four turnovers in the first quarter shooting 4 for 12.
In the second, St. Mary’s went 14-2 to open the period, hitting five of seven shots as Hannah sparked the flurry with a steal and a dunk, followed by a 3-pointer.
Meanwhile, CC missed his first 10 shots until a field goal by TJ Nadeau (14 points) broke the drought with 2:14 left at the half.
Temple, who had an immediate impact with six points, made a layup five seconds from time on an assist from Rozier to put the Eaglets ahead 35-19 at halftime as Hannah opened up the way with 11 points.
Catholic Central (10-8), which finished fifth in Central, had lost twice to St. Mary’s in division play, 75-64 and 81-64.
The Shamrocks got a game-high 18 points from senior forward Kam Mayes.
Meanwhile, the Shamrocks’ two stalwarts in Wednesday’s semifinal win over Warren De La Salle, senior center Cooper Craggs (Oakland University) and sophomore guard Chas Lewless, combined for just 12 points.
“They (St. Mary’s) are so talented, if it’s not one guy, it’s someone else,” CC coach Brandon Sinawi said. “It’s difficult to lock yourself in defensively with several guys who can hurt you. And we took risks and with other guys who stepped in, it hurt us. It’s a good basketball team, once one of the best teams in the state and for good reason. And they have players to back him up. We struggled and they made us pay.
Catholic Central will face PSL runners-up Detroit Western (15-4) in the other “Operation Friendship” game at 6 p.m. Friday at Calihan.
Gabriel Richard conducts Cardinal
Two-time defending Riverview champion Gabriel Richard kept his perfect season intact by repelling a second-half charge from Clarkston Everest Collegiate, 47-43, in the EMU Cardinal Division Final.
The Pirates, who led 30-19 at halftime, won their 19th in a row behind 13 points apiece from senior center Michael Calhoun and freshman goaltender Luke Westerdale. Senior guard Cainan Harrison contributed with 10.
The Intersection 1 champions Pirates did it without the guts of their team, senior guard Nicholas Szezechowski, who suffered an apparent brain injury after battling for a stray ball under the basket. ‘Everest with 3:27 to go in the first half.
Sczezechowski, the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, had five points. He was transported to Mott Children’s Hospital and appeared conscious as he left the field on a stretcher.
“It was for Nick,” Gabriel Richard’s trainer Kris Daiek said. “My wife says you always want to leave a wrinkle in the brains of children, and that was the wrinkle in the brains of children. They will remember it forever. We came in at half time and said, ‘It’s all irrelevant. It is for him. And the kids reacted to it. He is the heart, without a doubt. It was for this kid and his family.
Senior guards Lucas Cross and Joey Thibodeau beat Intersection 2 champion Collegiate (13-5) with 15 and 13 points respectively.