Burney's Bytes with Scott Burnstein

Clutch Defense Secures WL Central Clipping Of Feisty Cass Tech Club

Basketball   | Scott Burnstein

State Champs! Sports Network

Walled Lake Central went to war down in “The D” and came out unscathed. The Vikings’ boys basketball squad pulled out a nip-and-tuck, early-season classic with a 58-56 defeat of host-Detroit Cass Tech in a Prep Spotlight showcase event Sunday afternoon. The game was supposed to take place back on Tuesday in the cancelled second half of Derrick Coleman’s DC Elite tipoff slate at Calihan Hall.

Central appeared in the Class A quarterfinals last season and return its’ two top players, senior perimeter threats, Walter Kelser and Anton Lukaj. Both were putting in heavy work Sunday.

Kelser tickled the twine for a game-high 22 points. His blocked shot in the waning seconds of action clinched the victory for the Vikings. The block came on an attempted Cass Tech putback off a missed front-end of a 1-and-1. The Technicians got off a long 3 at the buzzer on the follow up to Kelser’s swat, but it fell short. Saturday’s city-vs-suburbs showdown never had the score go above two possessions for either club.

Lukaj had 15 points. The Vikings are now 2-0.

“That was a really good basketball game, we improved from Game 1 to Game 2 and that’s always the goal,” Central coach Chuck Spolsky. “We have big-game experience, these guys aren’t shook by the spotlight and that showed late in a packed gym with the game on the line. We just made plays.”

Cass Tech is in the first season of the Steve Hall regime and they played super hard Sunday. Technicians star Leonard Silas sheeted a team-high 21 points. Hall, a Cass Tech alum and all-time hoop great, won a number of Class D state titles in the 2000s at defunct Detroit Rogers, found success at the Class A level at Detroit Northwestern and was most recently an assistant coach in the college ranks.