Tuesday, Otisville’s finest defeated the Wolverines of Atherton, 60-55, in a non-division GAC battle. While Lakeville is the bigger school, this was an evenly matched affair despite some roadblocks for the class C school.
Atherton Coach Bobby McAllister is quickly earning his stripes during his stint in Burton. Last year he lost his star guard, Tyler Youmans, to Flint Kearsley who would now be a senior.
Fast forward to the this year. Coming into 2010, coach McAllister had one of the biggest posts in the state with 6’8” senior Fred Perkins, who impressed some scouts at Steve Bell’s mini-camp this past fall and looked dominant at times during the AAU season, and 6’5” transfer Tim Simmons, a highly recruited football tight-end.
But the implementation of an archaic MHSAA rule, that also drilled other talented young players in the area like the late Terrance Keaton and UDM’s LaMarcus Lowe saw Perkins ineligible for his senior season, and a decision to focus on football saw Simmons forgo his year on the hardwood.
Add to that the fact that his Wolverines were unable to practice over the break due to some renovations taking place at the school, and there were a lot of factors playing against Atherton going into this season and Tuesday night’s contest especially.
For a good majority of the game Lakeville held a small lead, off the backs of 6’3” senior Romel Morgan and 6’4” sophomore Matthew Romano. Morgan was tough in transition and from deep, while Romano was pretty well unstoppable inside, keeping things simple and using the glass.
But Atherton’s post was just as productive behind 6’5” junior Miles Thronson, who may actually be taller than his listed height. Thronson showed a variety of low post moves, including a nice jump hook, and has a better acumen with the ball than I expect from GAC bigs. Thronson even stepped out and canned his only triple attempt of the night and showed a rare ability to pass out of the post.
Despite Thronson’s offense inside, he was unable to provide the same impact on the other end, against the smaller and younger Romano, who even, kind of, dunked it in transition, kind of, over the Atherton center.
After Thronson had to sit due to some foul trouble early in the second half, Lakeville mounted a healthy lead. But in the big man’s absence, Atherton adjusted.
Seniors like forward James Haynes stepped in with great defensive stops and transition buckets, Brandon Bryant made key passes and outside shots, while Eric Phipps provided stability, being the best ball-handler on the court.
However, with the game within a possession, Lakeville’s Nick Streichert silenced the crowd with a pair of free throws, giving the Falcons a valuable five-point road win.
— Gavin Raath | Great Lakes Hoops